The summer student program at Cassels is designed to meet each student’s personal learning objectives. Our summer students don’t have rotations. We encourage them to explore all practice areas we offer and to work with a broad range of lawyers so that they can confirm their areas of interest and/or develop new ones. That way, they know which area(s) they want to pursue during their articling period.
Each summer student is assigned two mentors – a member of the Student Committee and an associate. Generally, the two mentors are from different practice groups. These mentors introduce the students to the demands and busy pace of a downtown Toronto, Vancouver or Calgary law office. Our mentors ensure that our students receive interesting and stimulating work. They also help our summer students get to know a broader network at the firm and navigate any challenging situation that may arise.
Summer students and their mentors meet regularly for coffee or lunch, and their mentors attend many of the social events that take place throughout the summer. Student Committee mentors participate in all summer student evaluation and feedback sessions and ensure that their student mentees get all of the support that they need to be successful.
Here’s what some of our summer students have been saying about why they chose Cassels to gain first-hand, real experience working in a law firm and the support and mentorship they have received:
My summer experience at Cassels was exceptional. Beginning with the recruit, what drew me to Cassels was the kindness and genuineness of every one that I met, and the firm’s commitment to EDI initiatives. From day one, I consistently felt like I was valued as part of a team as I was meaningfully involved in projects and given opportunities to gain experience in a wide variety of matters over the summer. My formal mentors and informal mentors that I met through work assignments and affinity groups instilled confidence in me and reminded me that they were looking out for me, offering the encouragement that I needed to excel. Beyond this, the student group displayed this same collegiality and provided an excellent support system. I am beyond excited to return the Cassels team next year!
– Courtney Wong, JD University of Ottawa 2023, Toronto Summer Student 2022 and Articling Student 2023/2024
Working at Cassels this summer confirmed what I had sensed after my first interview with the firm – that the people at Cassels are most readily characterized by their approachability, commitment to professional development, and genuine interest in who you are both as an individual and as a lawyer. Coming off seven seasons working in remote bush camps, I never once felt out of place or uncomfortable in my first office job. All of the lawyers are generous with their time, patient with your learning process, and proactive in exposing you to the practice areas you are interested in so you can become the type of lawyer you want to be. The student committee staff is equally supportive and approachable, offering an abundance of resources and open communication lines so you never feel that you don’t have the tools to succeed. The open-ended approach to work allocation allowed me to gain meaningful exposure to all practice areas and ultimately begin the process of narrowing my focus. I am excited to continue this process through 2023/2024.
– Jake Farrow, JD University of Calgary 2023, Calgary Summer Student 2022 and Articling Student 2023/2024
I chose Cassels for the people, the true commitment to diversity and inclusion initiatives, and the firm’s innovative mindset. I wanted to be at a firm that allowed and encouraged all of its people to bring their whole selves to work everyday. I wanted to be at a firm that embraced change, new ideas and fresh perspectives. I wanted to be at a firm that was comfortable with trying new practice areas and being a leader in new and developing fields. The summer program has exceeded my expectations in allowing me to experience a multitude of practice areas, get involved in Affinity group programming, get access early on to meaningful work, learn a lot, and have fun doing it!
– Misha Apel, JD Western 2023, Toronto Summer Student 2022 and Articling Student 2023/2024
My summer at Cassels exceeded all of my expectations! The inclusive, friendly and open environment that initially attracted me to the firm is what makes the culture at Cassels unmatched. I had the opportunity to take on meaningful roles on files which included drafting court documents, corresponding with clients and attending hearings and meetings. The lawyers I worked with were quick to answer any questions I had and took the time to explain anything I did not understand. I got to take on challenging tasks and grow as a future lawyer, while always knowing that I had multiple people I could reach out to for support. The non-rotational summer allowed me to try numerous areas of law, interact with lawyers in all offices and gain new areas of interests. I cannot wait to return to the Toronto office for my articles!
– Rheanna Geisel, JD Western 2023, Toronto Summer Student 2022 and Articling Student 2023/2024