By Julian Franch
Now is the time you should be actively seeking out information about the summer and articling programs at the law firms you are considering applying to in order to strengthen your application and make an informed decision on which law firm is the best fit for you. But don’t delay, the application deadline for summer student positions in London is fast approaching (January 26, 2018). The purpose of this blog post is to provide you with concrete examples of the types of work you can expect to receive as a summer student and as an articling student at Harrison Pensa.
As a summer student, I completed research memorandums for all practice groups. Additionally, I received further assignments in the following practice groups (which were all supervised by a lawyer):
- Business and Financial Services Law: reviewed a corporate reorganization
- Restructuring, Insolvency, and Bankruptcy Law: conducted a judgment debtor examination, took carriage of a Superior Court claim, spoke to motions in Small Claims Court, created PPSA search summaries, and assembled books of authorities
- Real Estate Law: reviewed a lease agreement and participated in a real estate closing
- Insurance Services: prepared a trial record, assembled affidavit of documents, drafted medical chronologies, and attended examination for discoveries.
- Class Actions: completed a comprehensive review of an ongoing class action
As an articling student, I have continued to work on research memorandums and assignments similar to those above for all practice groups. The main difference between summering and articling at Harrison Pensa is that I now assist with the firm’s weekly motion appearances and I have carriage of multiple Small Claims Court files (also supervised by a lawyer). Another difference is that our articling program has two formal rotations (litigation and corporate).
- Motions Court: By assisting with the firm’s weekly motion appearances, I have had the opportunity to speak to motions that are both on consent and opposed. In order to prepare for motions court, I review the pleadings and motion records so that I can appropriately respond to any questions the judge may have about the matter. I have also travelled to Hamilton, Brampton, Oshawa, and Toronto to speak to the firm’s motions.
- Small Claims Court: I have had carriage of a number of Small Claims Court files, which have allowed me to represent our clients at settlement conferences and trials. By taking carriage of a Small Claims Court file, I draft all court documents and correspond with opposing counsel. Of course, I do all of this under a lawyer’s supervision to ensure I am on the right track.
As a student-at-law at Harrison Pensa, you should prepare yourself for challenging and rewarding work; that being said, you will be working with lawyers and support staff that are willing to provide you with guidance and feedback to help you succeed. As mentioned, you will have the opportunity to take carriage of your own Small Claims Court files (under supervision), which will provide you with the opportunity to refine your research skills, develop client management strategies, and gain courtroom experience. To top it all off, you will likely have fun working closely with your peers in the collegial work environment that Harrison Pensa prides itself on. Overall, if you want hands-on legal training and mentorship, I would highly recommend that you apply to Harrison Pensa for a summer student or articling position.