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:
I’ve had a great experience so far at Cassels. I’ve been exposed to a variety of work, and I appreciate how the lawyers I work with treat me like a colleague and not just a student. Additionally, the lawyers do a great job at providing background information to me and including me in all discussions relating to a file. Finally, my student class and everyone I interact with have been nothing but kind and supportive to me, and I truly feel like we are one team here at Cassels.
– Andrew Allen, Windsor JD 2022, Toronto Articling Student 2022/2023
The summer student experience at Cassels does not have a “one size fits all approach” and really feels as though its tailored for each individual student. The Cassels team recognizes that students need varying degrees of mentorship in order to grow into legal professionals and I quickly found my right balance of independence and guidance. Whether you are someone who learns best in a structured setting or are someone who would rather rely on their own networking skills to design your own summer experience, you will be supported and given the right resources and opportunities to thrive.
– Andreas Arvanitis, Western JD 2022, Toronto Articling Student 2022/2023
From my first OCI, my interviewers’ approachable demeanor and genuine interest told me that Cassels was different. I made the decision to join Cassels with confidence. On my first day, I immediately noticed how approachable, kind, and knowledgeable the staff was. Everyone from administrative staff to senior partners was generous with their time and patiently shared advice and guidance. During my summer, I was able to gain exposure to every practice group. My mentor and the professional development team insured that I had the opportunity to explore all my interests. I gained experience in a variety of matters, including securities law, advocacy, trademark law, Aboriginal law, bankruptcy and insolvency, and franchise law. Through this broad exposure, I was able to find new areas of interest and gain insight into what my future practice will look like.
– Lina El Mugammar, Osgoode JD 2022, Toronto Articling Student 2022/2023
The Cassels summer program strikes a great balance between supportive and challenging. Despite fast-paced growth, I never felt overwhelmed or out of my depth. Everyone at Cassels is generous with their time, and there is a strong sense of mentorship and community. I got frequent feedback and consistently knew where my work fit within the larger scheme. I always felt like a valued member of the team. I’m thrilled to be working with the fantastic group in Calgary after I graduate!
– Selwynne Hawkins, Calgary JD 2022, Calgary Articling Student 2022/2023
During the recruit, the people drew me to Cassels. From my first interaction with the firm to now, I have consistently been impressed by Cassels’ friendly and supportive culture. Not only do those characteristics make the firm an enjoyable place to work, but they also make the firm an excellent learning environment. As a summer student with limited knowledge about the practice of law, it was vital for me to find an atmosphere where I felt comfortable asking questions, and that is the case at Cassels! Furthermore, because of the close working relationship between the firm’s three offices, I have had the opportunity to work on files with lawyers across the firm and not just in my local office. By doing so, I happily learned that this culture is present nationally across the entire firm.
– Danielle Hill, UBC JD 2022, Vancouver Articling Student 2022/2023
Going through recruitment in Vancouver as a student from an Eastern Canada law school, I felt like I was at a disadvantage without having many connections in the Vancouver market but interviewing with Cassels made me feel right at home immediately. It was the fantastic and personable people with whom I spoke that convinced me Cassels was the place to launch my legal career and my summer student experience has truly exceeded expectations. Despite the pandemic, I feel like I’ve been able to really connect with my fellow students as well as the other associates and partners here. The work has been stimulating and diverse, allowing me to get a great idea of what my future holds, and I genuinely feel like I can bring my full, authentic self to work.
– David How, McGill BCL/JD 2022, Vancouver Articling Student 2022/2023
During my time as a summer student at Cassels, I enjoyed connecting with the various talented lawyers at the firm who were always more than willing to offer advice and get me involved on files. Cassels commitment to mentorship, growth and support was extremely evident throughout the term. My favorite summer experiences at the firm were the days that I was able to attend court proceedings. It was exciting to discuss strategy with the lawyer and client in real time, and see how my research and preparation was used in examinations and legal argument.
– Sabah Kalim, Osgoode JD 2022, Toronto Articling Student 2022/2023
My summer experience at Cassels was nothing short of amazing! I had the opportunity to work with students and lawyers in the Toronto, Calgary and Vancouver offices and learn about how the law operates differently across Canada. From drafting legal documents, to completing legal research, to communicating with clients, and more, I always felt like I could try my hand at something new and be meaningfully involved in ongoing files. The support and encouragement I received from fellow students and lawyers made me immediately feel like a member of the Cassels team!
– Caitlyn Quartarone, Ottawa JD 2022, Toronto Articling Student 2022/2023
The lawyers at Cassels, at all levels, are enthusiastic about your professional and personal development. Throughout my summer, I have genuinely felt comfortable reaching out to anyone at the firm to learn more about their work and how I can be of assistance. As someone who began his summer with some unique practice area interests, I have been welcomed and invited onto relevant files with substantive work, which has accelerated my exploration of the practice I want to build at Cassels. I truly cannot imagine doing any of this anywhere else.
– Gerrit Yau, U of T JD 2022, Toronto Articling Student 2022/2023