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Summer Program

We are looking for outstanding second-year law students that will grow with us and become the future leaders of our firm.

 

Much like our articling program, our summer program has been thoughtfully created to provide you with a comprehensive and thorough introduction to the practice of law. Summer articles are designed to give you a good sense of what full articling will be like while at the same time providing us with the opportunity to assess your academic and work abilities as well as your overall fit with our firm. If our program has piqued your interest we would love to hear from you, learn more about you, what you are looking for and what drives you.  We encourage you to apply — let’s see if there is a fit.

1. Orientation keyboard_arrow_down

Our five-day orientation program has been designed to familiarize you with your new working environment.  During your first week, you will:

  • be trained on our various office systems, including accounting procedures, central services, office equipment, and facilities;
  • receive computer and systems training and be introduced to our document management, time recording, and precedent systems;
  • be given a comprehensive tour of our library and receive initial research training;
  • meet lawyers and staff;
  • receive a full orientation about what you can expect during your summer articles;
  • set up your workspace; and
  • receive your first work assignments.
2. What to Expect keyboard_arrow_down

Appreciating that many of you have little to no experience working within a law firm environment, our program has been designed to provide you with an introduction to the inner workings of a law firm.  Due to the short time frame of summer articles (roughly 4 months), you will work on specific projects as our program emphasizes the depth of each project rather than breadth of practice areas.

3. Resources + Support 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.

a) 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.
  • Emilie LeDuc, our Research Lawyer and Professional Development Coordinator, provides general guidance and support, and is also available to discuss research strategies and substantive legal issues.
  • 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.

b) 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; and
  • engaging with you in discussions surrounding your expectations and ours.

c) 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.

4. Rotation Program keyboard_arrow_down

While summer students generally receive the same range of work as our articled students there is no formal rotation structure in our summer program.

5. The Work 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.

a) Work Allocation

Your work will come from a variety of lawyers in a variety of ways.  We will ensure that as a summer student you receive diverse assignments that challenge and interest you over the course of the summer.

b) Billing Targets

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.

c) The Hours

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

6. Skills + Professional Development 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 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.
7. Feedback + Reviews 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 full articles the following year.

8. Compensation + Benefits keyboard_arrow_down

a) Salary

Summer students earn a monthly gross salary of $5,416.66 (based on an annual salary of $65,000 per year), which is competitive with other law firms in Vancouver.  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.

b) Benefits

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

c) 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.

d) Vacation

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

9. Social Events + Functions keyboard_arrow_down

We are committed to promoting a healthy work/life balance and encourage everyone, including students, to participate in firm activities.  We make it easy for you to get to know staff and lawyers by hosting many social events and functions, including:

  • welcome lunch;
  • casual Friday get togethers in our lounge;
  • various firm sports teams and events;
  • VBA events;
  • annual firm summer picnic;
  • quarterly firm wine & cheese events; and
  • quarterly firm Red Cup socials.
10. Pro Bono + Community Involvement keyboard_arrow_down

Harper Grey is committed to pro bono service.  Our firm is a strong supporter of Access Pro Bono and many of our lawyers volunteer as supervising lawyers at pro bono clinics such as the Law Students’ Legal Advice Program.  Students are encouraged to participate.

Everyone at Harper Grey is very active in the community both individually and as a group.  We encourage everyone, including our students, to help out as volunteers with local charities and community groups and to band together to support various fund raising efforts.

We’re proud of our role in contributing back to the community through pro bono work for deserving individuals and groups.  True to the independent nature of our firm, individual lawyers choose which cases they would like to be involved in, with the consent of the firm’s Managing Partner.

Have a question?

Get in touch with Emilie LeDuc