Summer Student Program
Students who accept an articling position with the Montréal office are given the opportunity to work at Blakes on a full-time basis as summer students, prior to articling. The student program is structured so that students can familiarize themselves with the Firm’s major areas of practice, members and day-to-day activities.
Spending a summer in our Montréal office is a great learning experience and preparation for your articles.
The Student Experience
In contrast to our program for articling students, the Montréal office does not have a structured rotation program for students. Students can, therefore, work in a variety of different areas with lawyers in all practice areas.
Type of Work
Students are an integral part of the team and have the opportunity to work in all practice areas during their time at Blakes. The major areas of practice in the Montréal office include:
Mergers & Acquisitions
Corporate & Commercial
Litigation & Dispute Resolution
Pensions, Benefits & Executive Compensation
Employment & Labour
Restructuring & Insolvency
Examples of mandates students may be been involved in are:
Drafting agreements and ancillary documents
Assisting in organizing and closing business transactions
Conducting legal due diligence in the context of transactions
Performing legal research and analysis
Drafting proceedings, memos and opinions
Preparing and/or drafting articles, publications and conferences
Part-time Work During the School Year
Students, upon request, have the opportunity to work part-time during the school year, and we are usually able to accommodate their schedules.
Opportunities for Secondments
While we cannot guarantee that students will have the opportunity to go on secondment, we do our best to place interested students with clients for a portion of the summer. Working with in-house counsel is a great learning experience for students, and it also allows them to gain a sense of the client’s perspective early on in their careers.
Training and Mentoring
Upon arrival at the Montréal office, students attend a week-long orientation session that introduces them to our offices and resources. Many of these sessions are offered by partners and associates, and provide important information on various practice areas, as well as tips on how to successfully complete your mandates.
We also offer frequent in-house seminars that provide substantive training on an array of topics and information on the recent developments in various areas of law. Lawyers, students and articling students are invited to all of our legal education seminars.
Moreover, Blakes is unique in having a “Special Advisor,” Paul Martel, eminent author and expert in business law. Paul plays an active role in professional development at the Firm for lawyers and students alike.
Blakes is committed to mentoring and accompanying young talent every step of the way, while ensuring an appropriate level of freedom and independence to grow and learn from hands-on experience. Careful thought and consideration are put into our mentorship programs.
Each student is assigned a mentor, usually a partner or more experienced associate. The mentor’s role is to ensure that students have a good experience at Blakes and integrate well into the team from the get-go. This mentor will follow the student until the completion of his or her articles.
Moreover, each student is also assigned a “buddy,” usually an associate in the early years of practice who has worked as a summer and articling student at Blakes. This is a more informal relationship that allows the student to connect with someone they can relate to and who can answer day-to-day questions.
Finally, students meet on a weekly basis with the lawyer responsible for students, associates and professional development at the Montreal office. This helps ensure students are enjoying their summer and that they are working with many lawyers on mandates in their field of interest.
Feedback and Evaluations
Lawyers, including mentors, are encouraged to provide regular and constructive feedback to students. In turn, students are also encouraged to actively seek out feedback. In addition, the Montréal office uses an automated system in order to solicit feedback from lawyers each time a student completes a mandate.
In addition to ongoing feedback, we meet with each student in a more formal way in order to review their performance and discuss their experience throughout the summer. This ensures that their experience always concludes on a positive note. Our goal is to help each student develop their skills and abilities as lawyers in training.
As part of our commitment to attract and retain top legal talent, our compensation and benefits package is among the most competitive in the Montréal market and is reviewed on an annual basis. The current annual salary for summer students is C$55,000.
Life at Blakes and Social Activities
It is very important to us that students have fun during their time at Blakes and have opportunities to bond with each other and our lawyers in a more informal social setting.
As such, students are invited to all of the Firm’s various social events held throughout the year. Such events may include casual lunches, dinners, cocktail parties, sporting events and activities, among others. All lawyers, students and articling students also get together each Thursday evening in the lounge of the Montréal office for an informal “5 à 7.”
Moreover, a special calendar of social activities is set up for students in the summer. These include BBQs, food truck lunches, ice cream breaks, karaoke, a day at the beach, and movie night, to name a few.
Because teamwork is one of the fundamental values of Blakes, we recruit students that are team players and who are seeking to develop meaningful relationships with their peers. As such, students also organize many of their own social activities on a regular basis, in addition to those organized by the Firm.
Finally, as an integral part of the Montréal office team, students are invited to participate in many client events and charitable functions.