The Articling Program
We make a considerable effort to recruit excellent students with a view to producing excellent lawyers. We consider all students who accept our offers of employment as having the potential to be our future partners.
At Taylor McCaffrey LLP, our goal is to ensure that our articling students receive a broad range of experiences to set the foundation for a solid legal practice. Completing a well-rounded set of articles is essential to a successful articling year, independent of a personal desire to specialize at a later date. We continually strive to refine and improve our articling program so as to better fulfill our needs and those of our students. By responding to suggestions made by our students, Taylor McCaffrey LLP is able to fine tune our articling program within the context of a mixed commercial and litigation rotation system, unless the student is hired to do a specialized rotation, such as family law. Within each rotation, students will have opportunities to work in the firm’s specialized departments, which include, in addition to commercial and litigation, tax, labour, aboriginal, intellectual property, securities, privacy and domestic law. A more intensive rotation may be arranged for students with a particular interest in domestic law.
It has been our experience that a key to a successful articling year is regular feedback and support from supervising lawyers. Each articling student will be assigned a principal, as well as a junior mentor, with whom they will meet regularly throughout the year. The principal and mentor will work with the student to ensure that the articling year is a rewarding experience. In addition to regular formal reviews and periodic informal reviews during the course of the articling year, we also meet with the students at the end of each articling year to get their feedback on the articling program in general and any suggestions for improving it.
Nature of Work
We strive wherever possible to provide our articling students with an opportunity to work on files from inception through to conclusion. The following list, though not exhaustive, is indicative of the available kinds of work:
- civil and family motions, small claims court appearances and tax litigation work;
- participation in examinations for discovery;
- assisting in trials, arbitrations and administrative hearings;
- drafting or assisting in the preparation of notices of motion together with supporting memoranda, orders, affidavits, separation agreements, statements of claim and defence, pre-trial memoranda, trial books and appeal factums; and
- researching and preparing memoranda.
(b) Corporate and Commercial
- commercial and residential real estate transactions and mortgages;
- incorporations, extra-provincial registrations and other corporate amendments or reorganizations;
- preparing various forms of agreements including, for example, leases and sub-leases, share and asset purchases, security, partnership and employment contracts;
- completion of purchase transactions, including preparation of documentation and assisting with the closing;
- performing transactional due diligence, including minute book reviews, various regulatory searches and document reviews;
- performing personal property security searches and registrations;
- corporate and personal tax planning;
- wills and estate work, including participating in estate planning work;
- securities transactions, including public offerings, private placements, assisting with filings and applications to The Manitoba Securities Commission and other securities regulatory bodies, such as the TSX Venture Exchange, performing due diligence and assisting in the preparation of offering documents;
- bankruptcy and insolvency matters;
- intellectual property matters; and
- researching and preparing legal memoranda.
Our students are encouraged to gain exposure to as many aspects of the practice as possible and to demonstrate a high degree of personal motivation and self-discipline. The success of the articling year will largely depend on the amount and variety of work he or she accepts. We encourage students to take on as much work as they are able, given the time constraints imposed upon them, but also to make the best use of their time by constantly establishing priorities and monitoring work flow. Again, our principals and mentors will meet regularly with their students to assist them in dealing with these issues.
Our articling students spend the first few weeks of their articles in extensive training and orientation aimed at providing each student with a level of comfort and awareness of our administrative systems and research facilities. Early in each articling year, Taylor McCaffrey LLP offers an intensive week long training program, in which members of the firm, including senior and junior lawyers, paralegals and support staff, meet with our new students to provide valuable instruction and insight into many aspects of the practice of law at Taylor McCaffrey LLP. Seminar topics range from how to manage a litigation file or close a commercial purchase transaction to time management and research instruction. Additionally, students have the opportunity early in their articling year to learn the ins and outs of the Courts, the Winnipeg Land Titles Office, and the Companies Office by assisting our clerk. Each student will receive an orientation handbook which was developed by lawyers of our firm. It is updated yearly based on the feedback we receive from our students.
To assist you in meeting all of these objectives, and to ensure that your transition from university to the practice of law is as smooth as possible, you will be assigned to a supervising lawyer, your principal. Weekly meetings with your principal allows both of you to review the amount, variety and quality of work that you receive, and provides a regular forum to voice any questions, comments or concerns that you may have.
Additionally, an associate will be appointed as a junior mentor to provide you with guidance and support throughout the year on a more informal basis. While we expect communication to be maintained between the students and all of our lawyers, we recognize that in a large firm it helps to have identified a person who is able to facilitate this.
A formal review process is in place so that you receive feedback throughout, and our Articling Committee, comprised of both partners and associates, is specifically responsible for ensuring that the process is working as effectively as possible. An atmosphere of cooperation and shared responsibility ensures that all parties – clients, lawyers and you – obtain maximum benefit from the articling program.
Bar Admission Course
Completing the Canadian Centre for Professional Legal Education (“CPLED”) assignments, attending lectures, seminars and exams is a priority, therefore you will be able to adjust your work schedule accordingly. Many members of the firm have been lecturers for past Bar Admission Courses and participate in the current CPLED program and we are well aware of the demands of the course. To qualify for admission to the Bar in Manitoba, you must meet certain practical requirements, and the work you are given in the term will have regard to those requirements. Passing the CPLED course is a primary objective of your articles so it is our practice to ensure that our students are provided sufficient time to complete necessary tasks and assignments.
Taylor McCaffrey LLP expects the salary offered for the 2014/2015 articling year to be comparable with other Winnipeg firms of a similar size. In addition, Taylor McCaffrey LLP will pay your Canadian Centre for Professional Legal Education fees.
After three months with Taylor McCaffrey LLP, students are entitled to participate in a comprehensive group insurance plan, which includes the following benefits:
- Hospital insurance;
- Extended health and dental care;
- Long term disability;
- Accidental death and dismemberment; and
- Group life insurance.
Subject to the requirements of the Law Society in respect of the articling year, students are entitled to two weeks paid vacation during their articles.
(d) Seminars and Conferences
Continuing education is highly encouraged so Taylor McCaffrey LLP will pay the registration costs for you to attend certain seminars, conferences and other functions conducted by the Manitoba Bar Association and Law Society of Manitoba during your articling year. Additionally, our commercial and litigation departments regularly hold informal meetings to discuss practice issues and any recent changes in the law.
(e) Call Fees
The fees for your call to the Bar will be paid by Taylor McCaffrey LLP if you are employed by us beyond your articling year. If you remain with the firm after your articling year, we will pay your practicing fees and insurance.
While we cannot guarantee employment after the articling year, we have traditionally recruited additional lawyers from our articling students and, bearing in mind our future development and work load, expect to continue this practice. We acknowledge the importance of proper training and development of our articling students and junior lawyers, and this is the central focus of Taylor McCaffrey LLP’s training and mentoring programs. We firmly believe that the development of our students and junior lawyers will enhance the future growth and strength of Taylor McCaffrey LLP.
Summer Student Program
Taylor McCaffrey LLP has established a program for the hiring of second year students to work with the firm each summer. We have hired two students for the summer of 2015. Decisions for the following summer are typically made in the fall of each year. The purpose of the summer student program is to give students an opportunity to gain insight into the practice of law as well as what lies ahead for them as articling students. We strive to provide our summer students with exposure to a variety of areas of practice, by assigning the student to a group of lawyers, under the direct supervision of one principal. The principal will be responsible for monitoring both the type and volume of work in order to ensure that the student’s summer is a rewarding experience.
Salary and benefits provided to our summer students are competitive with that offered by other firms our size. For further details, please contact a member of our Articling Committee (see below).
Current Articling Students
This year we were pleased to be able to offer employment as associate lawyers to our three articling students who will receive their call to the Bar in June, 2017. Please feel free to contact any of our present students to discuss their articling experience. They have been encouraged by us to be candid in any conversations with you concerning Taylor McCaffrey LLP and the articling process. Our articling students are:
If you have any questions regarding the Articling Program or our firm in general, please feel free to contact one of the members of our Articling Committee, whose direct telephone numbers are listed below:
Nicole Merrick (Co-Chair)
David Marshall (Co-Chair)
Remo De Sordi