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In Their Own Words – Summer Students


Current and former students are one of the best resources for you to find out what a firm is really like. Here’s what our summer students have to say about us and their experience at Aird & Berlis LLP:
 
Andreea Andrei, 2014 and 2015 Summer Student (Osgoode Hall)
“Every student will say that the people at the firm above all distinguishes and fulfills their summer experiences. A&B is undoubtedly exemplary in this regard. Irrespective of seniority, lawyers at A&B go out of their way to formally and informally mentor their students, surpass mechanical explanations, and genuinely seek to push their students to their maximum potential. From day one, starting with interviews, I felt that A&B was happy and supportive to have me on board. During my summer, my mentors ensured that I had a chance to work on as many types of files as I was interested in. On multiple occasions, lawyers set aside their valuable time to voluntarily walk me through their legal practice. These experiences have not only helped me with comprehending the practice of law in a holistic fashion, but they have also fostered an environment of cohesion unparalleled on Bay Street.”

Meaghan Barrett, 2014 Summer Student (University of Ottawa)
“In three months last summer I learned more about the law than I did in my first two years of law school. And just to be clear, it’s not that I wasn’t learning a lot at school. At A&B I had the opportunity to engage with many different aspects of the law, and I did so with the guidance of great mentors who gave me a lot of responsibility over the work they assigned. These assignments ranged from attending court and different administrative tribunals to writing articles for publication, drafting legal research memos, and preparing for closings. Throughout the summer, I could tell that the partners and associates who I worked with cared about my development as a lawyer and made an effort to ensure that I had an understanding of how the work I had done fit into the bigger picture. When it was possible, I was able to continue to work on the same file as it progressed through its different stages over the course of the summer.”
 
Alyssa Gebert, 2013 and 2014 Summer Student (University of Windsor)
“From my very first encounter with the firm, through two summers as a student, my experience at A&B has been overwhelmingly positive. At the interview stage, I reached out to students for insight on the interview process and what the firm was like. The students I spoke with were extremely helpful, and took the time to walk me through the entire process. Interviewing is always nerve-wracking, but everyone I met at the firm quickly put me at ease. As a summer student, the lawyers I worked with have been an excellent source of support and guidance. Beyond assigned mentors - who are great! - many lawyers have taken a personal interest in my development and career goals. While the responsibility given to summer students can sometimes seem daunting, I always felt well supported: in addition to explaining the task at hand, many lawyers routinely took the time to explain the file in-depth and background context. Further, the firm provides excellent support by way of topical lunch and learns, legal research training, and internal law library and staff. I’m very much looking forward to returning as an articling student!”
 
Timothy Jones, 2014 and 2015 Summer Student (University of Toronto)
“My first-year summer experience was amazing and diverse. I was given real responsibility, including direct client interaction. My mentors worked hard to give me assignments that would interest me and develop me as a professional – for example, I was asked to co-author an article for a trade publication in my area of interest, and ended up liking the topic so much that I wrote a 40-page research paper in the fall. 

Another highlight was my first litigation file. I started out by researching a side issue in advance of the trial. Two weeks later, I got called back to explain my research memo. That meeting turned into a sleepless night as I helped the assigning lawyer draft his submissions on the issue. When the trial started, I got called to deliver something to court, and the lawyer told me to stay. It turned into a wild week: attending at trial all day, and helping support the next day’s submissions all night. On my penultimate week at the firm, the decision came down (we won), and I got to read the judge’s response to the argument I drafted.

Throughout, the experience and the firm culture felt exactly like it did on interview week: welcoming, supportive, relatively non-hierarchical, and a great place to grow. I’m excited to be returning.”

Amy Marcen-Gaudaur, 2014 and 2015 Summer Student (Western University)
“Aird & Berlis provides an ideal environment for law students who are eager to learn and start their careers. When people talk about firm culture, it isn't always clear how this really translates to day-to-day life. However, I have found the firm culture at Aird & Berlis not only met but actually surpassed my expectations. The lawyers at the firm, whether they are senior partners or junior associates, truly want students to succeed. As a student, I found that lawyers were always more than willing to go above and beyond to offer advice and support. I always felt welcome to stop by just about anyone's office. My mentors did an incredible job of guiding me through my first summer, and I was able to really build lasting professional relationships that will continue throughout my career. There is a uniquely welcoming, positive, and laid-back attitude that prevails throughout Aird & Berlis. This not only made my experience at the firm incredibly valuable, but also enjoyable.”

Danielle Muise, 2014 Summer Student (University of Toronto)
“From my very first interview at A&B during OCIs, I knew that there was something special about the firm. Having worked previously at smaller firms in an administrative capacity I immediately felt comfortable at A&B, which has the warm and open atmosphere of a small firm but with the incredible resources and variety of practice areas of a large firm. My experience as a summer student at the firm did not disappoint. Having no formal rotation allowed me to take on work in the many different practice areas that I was interested in. I was pleasantly surprised at the level of independence and responsibility I was given not only in searching out work in the practice areas that I found most interesting, but also in the work itself. My absolute favourite thing about A&B is the people, who are friendly and supportive. I am very much looking forward to being back at A&B for articling.”

Liam Tracey-Raymont, 2014 Summer Student (Queen’s University)
“My summer at A&B was more fulfilling than I anything could have imagined. From day 1, I felt like a part of the team and the transition from an inexperienced law student to a summer student at a law firm was extremely smooth. The support the firm provided students, particularly in the first few weeks, in terms of training and assistance was superb. Lawyers were always available to answer questions and Ari couldn’t have been better at helping students navigate the occasionally intimidating world of Bay Street. Students were given their choice of which practice groups they wanted to get the most exposure to and provided encouraging and engaged mentors to help us along the way. Due to the lack of a formal rotation, I was able to get a broad range of experience in different practice groups and given an array of different work opportunities, some of the highlights included: drafting articles for the corporate finance practice’s emerging “Start-Up” group, writing a variety of legal research memos for various groups, attending court on several occasions, and getting valuable experience working with senior lawyers in the firm’s “Gaming” group (which is as interesting as it sounds). I couldn’t be happier with my decision to spend the summer at A&B and can’t wait to see what new opportunities articling will hold.”