download icon down chevron

FAQ

What does the firm look for in a student? keyboard_arrow_down

We expect that you will have excellent academic qualifications.  We could also set out a long list of attributes that you should possess including a commitment to excellence, integrity, a strong work ethic, curiosity, sound judgment, drive, enthusiasm, patience, a good sense of humour.

And while – yes – we are hoping that you possess all of those attributes, we are looking for something more.  It is the quality that is toughest to measure and judge.  We are looking for summer and articling students who fit within our firm culture.  Students that will continue with us beyond their articles.  Students we can envision as colleagues.

During the interview process, our approach to finding out whether you have that intangible “something more” is to find out as much as we can about you.  What you are hoping to achieve?  What are your big picture career objectives?  What makes you unique?  What inspires you?

Your question, of course, is how can you stand out?  How can you make our decision easy for us?  Demonstrate your unique strengths.  Tell us about your skills – but show us your character.  Tell us about your passions.  Show us that you possess that unique blend of entrepreneurial spirit and superior analytical abilities.

What can I expect in terms of salary? keyboard_arrow_down

Summer students earn a monthly gross salary of $4,583.33 (based on an annual salary of $55,000 per year), which is competitive with other law firms in Vancouver.

What benefits are provided? keyboard_arrow_down

Benefits

Due to the short summer articling period, benefits are not extended to Summer students.

The Perks

Following are some of the perks articling students can expect to receive:

  • inclusion in all in-house education programs such as Lunch’n Learn presentations;
  • a student entertainment fund to help you get to know your fellow students;
  • in-house seminars focused specifically on student skill and professional development;
  • a private workspace; and
  • relative freedom to structure your day according to your work assignments.
How much vacation time will I receive? keyboard_arrow_down

Summer students receive 3 days of vacation over the term of their summer articles, which may be taken as work permits.

Does the firm offer any contribution to third year tuition for summer students? keyboard_arrow_down

We contribute up to $5,000 towards third year tuition with a $500 book allowance for students who summer with us between second and third year and return as full articling students.

What kinds of work support and resources are available? keyboard_arrow_down

We understand that even if you have had experience in a law firm, every firm is different.  If it is all new to you then we want to make your first days at the firm as easy for you as possible.  No one expects you to be perfect.  Focus on asking questions, communicating with your principal and demonstrating that you are committed to doing a good job for our clients and that you are willing to learn.  We will be with you every step of the way guiding and supporting you.

Support Team
Your circle of support includes:

  • Kim Yee and Steven Abramson, Co-chairs of our Recruitment Committee, are available to you as a continuing resource during your articles.
  • Lori Williams, our Director of Student and Associate Professional Development, provides guidance and support and is always available to you to discuss any issues that may arise.
  • Ann Has, our Student Legal Administrative Assistant, has many years of experience devoted to students.  She will provide secretarial and administrative support to you and can be trusted to point you in the right direction.
  • Danielle Brousseau, our Librarian will lead library and research seminars during the year. She and her team are an invaluable resource. They are patient, and they have trained many articling students on what the lawyers expect.
  • Every member of our various administrative teams are available to support you in any way they can.

Principal
You will be paired with a senior lawyer who will serve in a supervisory role as your principal to ensure you are provided with a quality summer articling experience.  Your principal will encourage, support and guide you by:

  • monitoring the nature and scope of your workload;
  • providing feedback on different ways to approach work and assignments;
  • ensuring that you are exposed to a broad spectrum of practice areas;
  • providing you with exposure to real-world problem solving;
  • reporting to the Law Society of BC on your progress;
  • ensuring that you are given the opportunity to work on matters that interest you;
  • engaging with you in discussions surrounding your expectations and ours.

 

Mentoring
Our mentoring program is informal.  During any part of your day, you can seek feedback on your work from your principal, or any of our lawyers.  Our firm has an open door policy and some of the top lawyers in the country are available to you for guidance in your pursuit of excellence in law.  Associates and partners alike welcome the opportunity to work with our students and are available to offer guidance and advice.

Do you offer professional development training programs? keyboard_arrow_down

An investment in your learning and development is an investment in our future.

Throughout your summer articles, you will be invited to attend a wide range of in-house lunch seminars on a variety of topics.

The summer articling experience will help you develop to time management, file management and practice management skills.

You will also learn specific skills such as:

  • legal research;
  • writing;
  • drafting;
  • advocacy;
  • negotiation/mediation;
  • interviewing; and
  • problem solving.
What type of work will I do? keyboard_arrow_down

As mentioned, you will generally receive the same type of work as and have similar responsibilities to those of articling students.  Our focus will be on providing you with practical hands-on experience.

You will be given challenging and rewarding work which may include:

  • research;
  • the preparation of memoranda;
  • accompanying a lawyer to court or chambers;
  • meeting clients and answering their questions;
  • drafting an agreement; or
  • interviewing witnesses.
Will I be given a billing target? keyboard_arrow_down

While summer students are expected to track time (an extremely important skill for you to learn) you will not be assigned specific billing targets or workload requirements.  You will work with Lori Williams to set and achieve specific personal goals over your summer articles.

How many summer students does the firm hire per year? keyboard_arrow_down

We typically hire 3 summer students per year.

Hire back decisions are made taking into consideration our needs and your performance, potential and compatibility.

Invitations to join us for full articles are extended to successful students in June.

What is the firm's hire back ratio? keyboard_arrow_down

Hire Back Rates

As you can see from our ratio tables, for the past few years, we’ve hired back approximately half of our articling students and one hundred percent of our summer students have been offered full articles.

This rate can change depending upon our needs.  We were very pleased to hire back all 5 of our 2017/18 students as associates.

This rate can also change for other reasons.  For example, some of our students become interested in working on the other side of files, for the Crown or Department of Justice.  Others decide to focus on an area of law that is not part of our primary service, or decide to work in-house at an organization such as the BC Securities Commission.  If a student decides not to stay with our firm, we will do our best to connect him or her to a suitable employer before the end of the articling year.

The long-term fit between you and us is another reason this rate can change.  We like to ensure good matches on both sides, for the benefit of your career and our firm.  This selectiveness may mean we sometimes don’t hire back all of our students, but when we do, we’re extremely committed to their career.

Articling Student Hire Back Ratios

2011-2013 3 of 5
2012-2013 3 of 5
2013-2014 3 of 6
2014-2015 2 of 6
2015-2016 3 of 6
2016-2017 3 of 5
2017-2018 5 of 5

Summer Student Hire Back Ratios

This table represents the ratio of our summer students that were invited to return for full articles with our firm.  In the past few years, every summer student has received an offer for full articles.

2012 2 of 2
2013 2 of 2
2014 2 of 2
2015 2 of 2
2016 3 of 3
2017 3 of 3

 

 

What sort of student thrives at Harper Grey? keyboard_arrow_down

Your Qualities

We expect that you will have excellent academic qualifications.  We could also set out a long list of attributes that you should possess including a commitment to excellence, integrity, a strong work ethic, curiosity, sound judgment, drive, enthusiasm, patience, a good sense of humour.

And while – yes – we are hoping that you possess all of those attributes, we are looking for something more.  It is the quality that is toughest to measure and judge.  We are looking for summer and articling students who fit within our firm culture.  Students that will continue with us beyond their articles.  Students we can envision as colleagues.

During the interview process, our approach to finding out whether you have that intangible “something more” is to find out as much as we can about you.  What you are hoping to achieve?  What are your big picture career objectives?  What makes you unique?  What inspires you?

Your question, of course, is how can you stand out?  How can you make our decision easy for us?  Demonstrate your unique strengths.  Tell us about your skills – but show us your character.  Tell us about your passions.  Show us that you possess that unique blend of entrepreneurial spirit and superior analytical abilities.

 

How will I be evaluated? keyboard_arrow_down

Summer students are typically assessed before the end of June to let them know if they will be asked to return for formal articles the following year.

Does the firm participate in OCI's? keyboard_arrow_down

Yes.  We participate in OCIs at the following schools:

  • University of British Columbia
  • University of Victoria
  • Thompson Rivers University
How much time will I be expected to spend in the office? keyboard_arrow_down

Students spend as much time at the office as necessary to complete assignments. If they are involved in a trial or have a strict court-imposed deadline, this can include weekend and evening work.

We encourage students to communicate what they need in terms of work-life balance. The articling year can be overwhelming – learning how to manage your workload to be productive in a team environment is essential for success. Demonstrating that you are proactive and conscious of doing the best job possible is part of what makes a successful lawyer.

You will be expected to be present during the regular work seek and encouraged to manage your own workload.  While the workload for summer students fluctuates you can expect to work 40 – 50 hours per week.

What does the firm look for in a student? keyboard_arrow_down

We expect that you will have excellent academic qualifications.  We could also set out a long list of attributes that you should possess including a commitment to excellence, integrity, a strong work ethic, curiosity, sound judgment, drive, enthusiasm, patience, a good sense of humour.

And while – yes – we are hoping that you possess all of those attributes, we are looking for something more.  It is the quality that is toughest to measure and judge.  We are looking for summer and articling students who fit within our firm culture.  Students that will continue with us beyond their articles.  Students we can envision as colleagues.

During interviews, our approach to finding out whether you have that intangible “something more” is to find out as much as we can about you.  What you are hoping to achieve?  What are your big picture career objectives?  What makes you unique?  What inspires you?

Your question, of course, is how can you stand out?  How can you make our decision easy for us?  Demonstrate your unique strengths.  Tell us about your skills – but show us your character.  Tell us about your passions.  Show us that you possess that unique blend of entrepreneurial spirit and superior analytical abilities.

What can I expect in terms of salary? keyboard_arrow_down

Articling students earn a salary of $55,000 per year, which is competitive with other law firms in Vancouver.

Does the firm pay my salary while I am at PLTC? keyboard_arrow_down

Yes.

What benefits are provided? keyboard_arrow_down

Benefits

Articling students receive a comprehensive benefits package which includes Provincial Medical, dental, extended health, short-term and long-term disability, AD&D, life insurance and travel insurance.

Continuing Legal Education + Memberships

In addition, articling students receive from Harper Grey:

  • a fitness subsidy;
  • payment of two CLE courses during the articling year;
  • payment of PLTC course fees and salary during PLTC;
  • payment of BC Law Society and call and admission fees; and
  • payment of Canadian Bar Association membership dues.

The Perks

Following are some of the perks articling students can expect to receive:

  • inclusion in all in-house education programs such as Lunch’n Learn presentations;
  • a student entertainment fund to help you get to know your fellow students;
  • in-house seminars focused specifically on student skills;
  • a private workspace; and
  • relative freedom to structure your day according to your work assignments.
How much vacation time will I receive? keyboard_arrow_down

Articled students are entitled to 10 days/weeks of paid vacation, which may be taken as work permits.

What kinds of work support and resources are available? keyboard_arrow_down

Articling can be a stressful, yet rewarding time.  You will face a steep learning curve as many assignments will be difficult and new to you.  Accept the challenge.  Learn as much as possible.  We encourage you to ask questions, work closely with those who have assigned work and demonstrate that you are committed to doing a good job for our clients.  We will be with you every step of the way guiding and supporting you.

 

Support Team
Your circle of support includes:

  • Kim Yee and Steven Abramson, Co-chairs of our Recruitment Committee, are available to you as a continuing resource during your articles.
  • Lori Williams, our Director of Student and Associate Professional Development, provides guidance and support and is always available to you to discuss any issues that may arise.
  • Ann Has, our Student Legal Administrative Assistant, has many years of experience devoted to students.  She will provide secretarial and administrative support to you and can be trusted to point you in the right direction.
  • Danielle Brousseau, our Librarian will lead library and research seminars during the year. She and her team are an invaluable resource. They are patient, and they have trained many articling students on what the lawyers expect.
  • Every member of our various administration teams are available to support you in any way they can.

Principal
You will be paired with a senior lawyer who will serve in a supervisory role as your principal to ensure you are provided with a quality articling experience.  Your principal will encourage, support and guide you by:

  • monitoring the nature and scope of your workload;
  • providing feedback on different ways to approach work and assignments;
  • ensuring that you are exposed to a broad spectrum of practice areas;
  • providing you with exposure to real-world problem solving;
  • reporting to the Law Society of BC on your progress;
  • ensuring that you are given the opportunity to work on matters that interest you; and
  • engaging with you in discussions surrounding your expectations and ours.

Mentoring
Our mentoring program is informal.  During any part of your day, you can seek feedback on your work from your principal, or any of our lawyers.  Our firm has an open door policy and some of the top lawyers in the country are available to you for guidance in your pursuit of excellence in law.  Associates and partners alike welcome the opportunity to work with our students and are available to offer guidance and advice.

Do you offer professional development training programs? keyboard_arrow_down

An investment in your learning and development is an investment in our future.

Throughout your articles, you will be invited to attend a wide range of in-house lunch seminars on a variety of topics.

The articling experience will teach you time management, file management and practice management skills.  During the year you will also have the opportunity to attend frequent seminars on topics such as:

  • how to be a good junior;
  • recording time and billing effectively;
  • cross examinations;
  • production of documents;
  • appearing in Chambers;
  • mediation briefs; and
  • residential conveyances.

You will also learn specific skills such as:

  • legal research;
  • writing;
  • drafting;
  • advocacy;
  • negotiation/Mediation;
  • interviewing; and
  • problem solving.
What type of work will I do? keyboard_arrow_down

We operate in a fast-paced and dynamic environment and you will be exposed to a wide variety of interesting and challenging matters.  Much of your work will be new to you and it is important in the first few months that you demonstrate initiative and an appetite for learning.  First impressions will be based on perceptions of your motivation, writing and research skills and the ability to meet deadlines.

Articled students work on virtually everything a lawyer does.  You can expect that the work assigned to you will be as varied as the practice areas we offer.  Our goal, as always, is to provide you with the broad exposure necessary for you to develop the technical and practical skills essential to the successful practice of law.

As more lawyers become familiar with your interests and strengths, you’ll receive more varied assignments.  Lori Williams and your Principal will help you manage your workload; this is the time when long hours can be spent at the office and you can be immersed in helping out with a trial or a challenging request.

Will I be given billing targets? keyboard_arrow_down

While you will be expected to track your time (an extremely important skill for you to learn) you will not be assigned specific billing targets or workload requirements until later in your articles.

How many articling students does the firm hire per year? keyboard_arrow_down

Traditionally, we hire 5 students for full articles.  This allows each student to have the right workload and enables us to provide you with a high quality experience.

Both you and the firm will have a good idea as to whether Harper Grey is the right fit for you before the end of your articling year.

The decision to hire an articling student as an associate is made taking into consideration our needs and what you want.  It is a decision made in consultation with all of the partners in the firm and takes into account your performance, potential and compatibility.

Invitations to join us as an associate are extended to successful students approximately two months before the students’ call date.

What is the firm's hire back ratio? keyboard_arrow_down

Hire Back Rates

As you can see from our ratio tables, for the past few years, we’ve hired back approximately half of our articling students and one hundred percent of our summer students have been offered full articles.

This rate can change depending upon our needs.  We were very pleased to hire back all 5 of our 2017/18 students as associates.

This rate can also change for other reasons.  For example, some of our students become interested in working on the other side of files, for the Crown or Department of Justice.  Others decide to focus on an area of law that is not part of our primary service, or decide to work in-house at an organization such as the BC Securities Commission.  If a student decides not to stay with our firm, we will do our best to connect him or her to a suitable employer before the end of the articling year.

The long-term fit between you and us is another reason this rate can change.  We like to ensure good matches on both sides, for the benefit of your career and our firm.  This selectiveness may mean we sometimes don’t hire back all of our students, but when we do, we’re extremely committed to their career.

Articling Student Hire Back Ratios

2011-2013 3 of 5
2012-2013 3 of 5
2013-2014 3 of 6
2014-2015 2 of 6
2015-2016 3 of 6
2016-2017 3 of 5
2017-2018 5 of 5

Summer Student Hire Back Ratios

This table represents the ratio of our summer students that were invited to return for full articles with our firm.  In the past few years, every summer student has received an offer for full articles.

2012 2 of 2
2013 2 of 2
2014 2 of 2
2015 2 of 2
2016 3 of 3
2017 3 of 3

 

What sort of student thrives at Harper Grey? keyboard_arrow_down

Your Qualities

We expect that you will have excellent academic qualifications.  We could also set out a long list of attributes that you should possess including a commitment to excellence, integrity, a strong work ethic, curiosity, sound judgment, drive, enthusiasm, patience, a good sense of humour.

And while – yes – we are hoping that you possess all of those attributes, we are looking for something more.  It is the quality that is toughest to measure and judge.  We are looking for summer and articling students who fit within our firm culture.  Students that will continue with us beyond their articles.  Students we can envision as colleagues.

During the interview process, our approach to finding out whether you have that intangible “something more” is to find out as much as we can about you.  What you are hoping to achieve?  What are your big picture career objectives?  What makes you unique?  What inspires you?

Your question, of course, is how can you stand out?  How can you make our decision easy for us?  Demonstrate your unique strengths.  Tell us about your skills – but show us your character.  Tell us about your passions.  Show us that you possess that unique blend of entrepreneurial spirit and superior analytical abilities.

 

How will I be evaluated? keyboard_arrow_down

Informal feedback is continuous during the articling year, from your Principal and directly from the lawyers assigning you specific tasks.  It is aimed at identifying areas in need of improvement as well as commending you for demonstrated strengths.  After seven or eight months, the firm undertakes a comprehensive assessment process with lots of feedback for you on the work completed.

Does the firm participate in OCI's? keyboard_arrow_down

Yes.  We participate in OCI’s at the following schools:

  • University of British Columbia
  • University of Victoria
  • Thompson Rivers University
How much time will I be expected to spend in the office? keyboard_arrow_down

Students spend as much time at the office as necessary to complete assignments. If they are involved in a trial or have a strict court-imposed deadline, this can include weekend and evening work.

We encourage students to communicate what they need in terms of work-life balance. The articling year can be overwhelming – learning how to manage your workload to be productive in a team environment is essential for success. Demonstrating that you are proactive and conscious of doing the best job possible is part of what makes a successful lawyer.

You will be expected to be present during the regular work week and encouraged to manage your own workload.  While the workload for articling students fluctuates you can expect to work 50 – 60 hours per week.

 

Get in touch with Lori Williams