Where* do well-rounded law students go to become top-tier advocates? Lenczner Slaght. We are focused exclusively on litigation and advocacy, and so are our students. As a Lenczner Slaght student, you will attend trials, motions, appeals, arbitrations and hearings before a wide range of courts and regulatory tribunals. Our focus on real-world experience is how the best§ law students grow into expert litigators. We are looking for students whose drive, resourcefulness and leadership abilities are already evident in their professional and personal lives. We expect students to have a keen interest in litigation, demonstrated through participation in debates, moots, clinics and other opportunities to begin honing advocacy skills. In addition to high academic standing, we want those who are enthusiastic, engaging, confident, and civil in all their dealings. If that sounds like you, we at Lenczner Slaght will help you get better‡ both inside and outside the courtroom. Our highly experienced lawyers teach by example, encouraging you to learn the basics of litigation and then build your advocacy skills from there. We don’t simply offer students more opportunities to gain firsthand courtroom experience – we insist on it. .
Because Lenczner Slaght's practice is focused exclusively on litigation and advocacy, we don't simply offer students more opportunities to gain firsthand courtroom experience – we insist on it.
As a Lenczner Slaght student you attend trials, motions, appeals, arbitrations and hearings before a wide range of regulatory bodies. Our highly experienced lawyers teach by example, encouraging you to learn the basics of litigation and then build your advocacy skills in the same way they did – by watching and doing.
What We Look for in a Student
We are interested in well-rounded law students whose drive, resourcefulness and leadership abilities are already evident in their professional and personal lives. In addition to high academic standing, we consider the personal attributes in which your intellectual capability is grounded. We look for people who are enthusiastic, engaging, confident and who conduct themselves with civility in all their dealings. Not surprisingly, we place a premium on being focused and well organized.
Above all, we expect students to have a keen interest in litigation, demonstrated through participation in debates, moots, clinics and other opportunities to begin honing advocacy skills. We are passionate about what we do, and seeking out others with the same passion is vital to the continued success of our firm.
See our student brochure for more details.
Life at Lenczner Slaght
At Lenczner Slaght, our articling and summer students play a vital role in the day-to-day life of our firm. Working alongside our lawyers at all stages of the litigation process, students draft pleadings and factums, prepare motion records and conduct legal research. Articling students attend court on opposed and unopposed motions, trials, appeals, arbitrations and other hearings. All students meet with clients and witnesses, attend examinations for discovery, take on small claims court files for our clients and regularly accompany lawyers to every level of court, as well as to various tribunals.
Because Lenczner Slaght focuses solely on litigation, we have no rotation system – although any student who is interested in a particular area of our practice is encouraged to pursue it. Every student will be exposed to a wide variety of practice areas and lawyers while at the firm. They will take on a wide range of important responsibilities that share one common theme: intensive exposure to the litigation process. At the end of the day, our goal is to nurture future advocates whose dedication and enthusiasm mirror our own.
For another perspective, you may want to read this article on how firms of various sizes offer different kinds of experiences to articling students.
The Social Network
Because Lenczner Slaght remains a relatively small and close-knit firm, students quickly become part of the professional and social fabric of the office. The collegial atmosphere is reinforced by a regular cycle of informal events designed to help everyone get to know each other a little better outside of work. Our organized social activities include a summer celebration, champagne reception and our end-of-year Holiday Party. We also host a barbecue for our summer and articling students, and throughout the year we organize pub nights, bowling tournaments and other gatherings.
Every second Friday, the lawyers, students and senior administrative staff come together for a delicious lunch. With no agenda or speakers, it's simply a chance to catch up on what is going on with your colleagues and often to engage in lively debate about the law. In the same spirit, lawyers regularly invite students out for lunch, coffee or dinner. Impromptu events are also often organized to celebrate good news, or just to break up a long winter.
Professional Development & Mentoring
Lenczner Slaght provides an orientation and training program for all students during their first week at the firm. We introduce our perspective on the practice of law, with content ranging from an overview of the life of an action to more in-depth discussions of motions, examinations for discovery, undertakings and other litigation building blocks. We also focus on more specific practical topics, such as starting your research project, adding value to a client file and developing your professional "survival skills" – with presentations from firm lawyers at every level.
The learning continues – for students and lawyers alike – through bi-weekly breakfast meetings on a variety of subjects, from substantive legal issues to helpful practice tips. In addition, we encourage our students to attend continuing legal education programs outside the firm, many of which are taught by our lawyers. The goal underlying all of these efforts is to give students the solid grounding they need to shorten the learning curve and achieve success – at our firm and in the profession.
To facilitate the growth of each lawyer's practice and the firm's business as a whole the firm provides training and support in business development which grows and evolves throughout one's career.
Mentoring – Formal and Informal
We pair each new student with a formal mentor whose role is to ensure a smooth integration into the firm and aide in the student's professional development. Each mentor ensures that his or her mentee benefits from a diverse summer or articling experience, including regular opportunities to attend client meetings, pre-trials, discoveries and court proceedings. Mentors also ensure that students have an opportunity to gain valuable experience in working with a wide range of Lenczner Slaght lawyers.
This mentoring program – which extends to lawyers in their first year with the firm – includes guidelines for both mentors and mentees that are designed to facilitate the relationship. Parallel to this formal arrangement there is also a very strong informal mentoring process that unfolds naturally as students and lawyers forge connections with one another.
Summer & Articling Programs
As a student working at Lenczner Slaght, you can count on having the support you need to be successful. In addition to your standard-issue work tools – a smartphone and a laptop – you have the backing of an experienced assistant who understands what your role entails and can both support and guide you. You can also rely on research guidance from our Research Counsel. The Director and Co-ordinator of Student & Associate Programs are a constant resource for any questions or concerns that may arise as you settle into your role.
Compensation and Benefits
We pay our summer and articling students in line with the large downtown Toronto firms. In addition, we pay all licensing examination fees for our articling students, and full salary during the licensing process study period, regardless of whether they are ultimately hired. We offer our articling students paid vacation time, a health club membership and a dental, health and life insurance plan.
Feedback and Reviews
As with our mentoring process, at Lenczner Slaght feedback is provided on a formal basis but also happens informally – we encourage our lawyers to provide comments on each piece of work that a student undertakes. For our formal mid-term and end-of-term reviews, students are provided with an evaluation template at orientation to ensure everyone is clear on the criteria.
Our Recruitment Process
Lenczner Slaght observes the guidance for recruiting summer and articling students set annually by the Law Society of Upper Canada (LSUC).
Communications: All applications are acknowledged by email. We will advise you in advance whether we're going to contact you on Call Day, usually one week before. Interview details are also confirmed by email.
On-campus Interviews: The Lenczner Slaght lawyers who visit your law school are looking to get to know you through an informal conversation during your interview. You can expect that they may ask for more detail around the academic and extracurricular activities summarized on your résumé. They are particularly keen to know more about your interest in litigation. At the same time, the on-campus interview is a great opportunity for you to ask us questions – to make sure you get a chance to get to know us as well. Everyone at Lenczner Slaght is happy to talk about why we love the firm. We attend OCIs at the following schools: Dalhousie University, McGill University, Osgoode Hall Law School, Ottawa University, University of Toronto, Queen’s University, Western University, and Windsor University.
Call Day: You will begin receiving calls from law firms at 8 a.m. on the designated day to arrange in-firm interviews. If we call you, we will schedule your interview for Monday or Tuesday of the designated interview week. There is no significance to the day; you have the same opportunity as any other interviewee to demonstrate that we are a good match and determine whether Lenczner Slaght is the right place for you to begin your legal career.
In-Firm Interview: You will meet with four or more of our lawyers during your interview. You can also arrange to meet one of our articling students who can answer any questions you may have about the student experience. There is no need to send thank you notes following your interviews as they are not expected.
Offers: We extend formal offers by telephone at 5:00 p.m. on the date prescribed by the LSUC.
Making Your Application
Your application package should include a covering letter expressing why you are interested in our firm, a résumé and a copy of your law school and undergraduate transcripts. Reference letters, while helpful, are not mandatory.
Applications are accepted through the viDesktop Portal and should be addressed to:
Director, Student & Associate Programs
130 Adelaide St W
Canada M5H 3P5
You can also reach us by email:firstname.lastname@example.org
Lenczner Slaght has a strong commitment to pro bono work and community service.
For several years, Lenczner Slaght and the Refugee Law Office (RLO) have been partners in an exciting and important project. The Firm provides pro bono assistance to the RLO by supporting their work in bringing emergency applications to stay removal orders in the Federal Court. We encourage our lawyers, as well as articling and summer students, to become involved in our collaborative efforts with the RLO team.
Lenczner Slaght’s commitment to pro bono extends beyond our work with the RLO. Examples of other pro bono cases include:
- Representing indigenous elder Douglas Cardinal in proceedings to restrict the use of the Cleveland baseball team’s name and “Chief Wahoo” logo on human rights grounds.
- Representing the plaintiffs in a successful jury trial against a school board in connection with an allegation that a failure by the school board to properly supervise led to a student being sexually assaulted.
- Representing an accused facing criminal charges of assault of a police officer and possession of a controlled substance. Evidence was excluded and an acquittal was entered on all counts on the basis of multiple Charter breaches and adverse findings of credibility concerning the police officer.
In addition, our lawyers, students and staff support various community organizations such as the United Way, Pro Bono Ontario, Lawyers Feed the Hungry, The Yonge Street Mission, Camp Oochigeas, and the Daily Bread Food Bank.
Gale Cup Moot
Lenczner Slaght and the Criminal Lawyers' Association ("CLA") are pleased to announce that the CLA will be the new co-sponsor of the Gale Cup, replacing the Canadian Bar Association.
The CLA is Canada's largest criminal law specialty association and a leading voice for criminal justice and civil liberties in Canada.
The Lenczner Slaght/CLA Gale Cup Moot was founded in 1974 to give top law students from across the country the opportunity to argue a constitutional law case – an appeal from the Supreme Court of Canada – before panels comprised of distinguished members of the Canadian judiciary. Participating students are permitted to moot in either English or French, with simultaneous translation provided for oral arguments.
One of Canada's premier litigation events, the Gale Cup Moot, in promoting the development of young advocates, reflects the same commitment to fostering excellence that defines professional development at Lenczner Slaght.
Gale Alumni at Lenczner Slaght:
For a complete list of the 2017 Gale Cup Winners please click here.
Follow-us on Twitter @GaleCupMoot