By Rishi H.
One of the tough things about trying to learn about a new subject can be figuring out what questions to ask. Law firms are no exception. When I went through the Toronto recruitment process, I was somewhat mystified about what it was that firms actually did. The problem, put plainly, was that I didn’t know what I didn’t know.
The quicker you can start to figure out what you don’t know, however, the quicker you can actually start to find some substantive answers.
To help those of you going through the process, I thought I would share some illuminating questions that different practice groups at Cassels were recently asked to answer for the current summer student class. [Note: You should know that firms are divided into different practice groups, some with clearer distinctions than others.] I have adapted the questions slightly to make them more appropriate for those not yet at a firm. I have also added a note or two to help explain the question a bit more.
Hopefully these questions will help you to get to the bottom of what Cassels and other firms actually do.
(a) What do your different practice groups do? [Note: You would do well to actually know the different practice groups in the firm.] Are there any sub-groups within the practice groups?
(b) Who might be a good person to ask about [insert practice group name]?
(b) What type of clients do the practice groups serve and are there any examples that you might be able to share?
(c) How is work delegated to students? [Note: This is one of the things that separates law firms. This question is for firms that like Cassels that do not have a centralized way of distributing work.] Do partners normally delegate directly to students or does the work get funnelled through associates?
(d) What kind of job shadowing is available over the summer? Who are some people who tend to have job shadowing opportunities available for students?
(e) What kind of work is assigned to students?
(f) What kind of work do junior associates do in the different practice groups?
(g) What kind of qualities do successful lawyers in your practice group possess?
(h)What advice do you have for students interested in working in your practice group?