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Cassels - Vancouver, British Columbia

Professional Development

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Coaching/mentoring program? Yes
Details of coaching/mentoring program 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.
Upward reviews? Yes
Students are interested in specific professional development opportunities you provide. Please provide examples. Law students, like lawyers, encounter challenges throughout their careers. We are committed to making our students’ experiences at Cassels as rewarding as possible. Students from all three of our offices come together in Toronto for the first week of both the summer and articling program. During this week, we review everything they need to know to be successful at Cassels. This includes all of the resources available to them, how to use our systems, and an introduction to the Senior Leadership Team. Throughout the summer and articling terms, students participate in weekly “lunch and learn” sessions. These sessions range in terms of coverage; some of them cover substantive areas of law, while others focus on practice management, “soft” skills or wellness. Students are also encouraged to request customized, one-on-one professional educational assistance to meet their needs. Our real-time responsive system recognizes that individuals have different professional development requirements and aspirations. We are committed to helping our students address those needs every step of the way. We recognize that professional development does not stop once a law student becomes a lawyer. Our Professional Resources team offers a comprehensive Continuing Professional Developing curriculum and students are encouraged to attend any programs they are interested in.
Professional development staff? Yes
Do you offer internal continuous legal education (CLE)? Yes
Do you provide funds to attend external CLE? Yes
Comments Regular feedback sessions are critical to ensuring that our summer and articling students become excellent lawyers. Feedback is provided on a regular basis so that students are aware of their strengths and get additional support where needed. Summer students receive two formal feedback sessions; one at the mid-way point and another at the end of the summer. Articling students receive formal feedback sessions every three months (or after the completion of each rotation in Toronto). Feedback is solicited from every lawyer each student has worked with. Lawyers are asked to comment on the students’ abilities in each of the following four key areas: (1) Technical: Shows attention to detail, possesses strong research and writing skills, and is proficient in the use of precedents and firm resources; (2) Practice Management: Responsive, asks appropriate questions and meets deadlines; (3) Teamwork and Leadership: Works effectively on a team and responds positively to feedback; (4) Business Development Skills: Instills confidence in lawyers and proactively seeks out work