Yearly Archives: 2016

Fashion Friday: 10 OCI/In-Firm Fashion Tips

You have to look your best to do your best.

It might sound silly but that’s one of my favourite sayings – when you’re confident in yourself you give your best.

I think this is especially true during OCIs and In-firms. It’s intimidating enough to meet a bunch of lawyers working at big Bay Street law firms without having to worry about your outfit not being on point. So, hopefully these 10 tips will make your OCIs and In-firms slightly less stressful.

(1) Buy a Nice Suit –Take the time to buy a nice suit. Yes, suits are expensive, and it will seem like a lot of money to spend before you even have a job. However, a nice suit can make all the difference. I should note that by nice I don’t necessarily mean the most expensive suit on the market, you need a decent suit that works for you. For women’s suits especially the hunt can be challenging. My best friend and I went shopping about 8 different times before I found one that worked for me. I found that the Bay and Calvin Klein seemed to have the nicest suits for me, while other people found Banana Republic or J Crew suits work better for them. Brands that work great for your friend might not work at all for you, so be sure to try out lots of places.

(2) Pants or a Skirt – My thought is skirts are best for interviews and the reality is most people go that route. But, some people rock pants and if you’re more comfortable in them wear them – it’s all about confidence. If you have the option to buy a 3 piece suit it’s not a bad idea because you’ll just have more options for when you land that dream job!

(3) Keep the Colours Simple – Most of the women during OCIs and In-firms wore a black, navy, or charcoal suit. There are special rules for men’s suits though, one of which is that men should not wear black suits because they are considered to be too formal. I would also recommend wearing a white or neutral coloured dress shirt under your suit. I chose to wear a collared blouse, but a lot of the women wore a neutral shirt without a collar under their suit. It is important to note that, I know my colleagues Kojo and Tegan would disagree with me on this point. Kojo, being the stylish guy he is, he wore a bright pink tie to his Cassels interview. Tegan went to OCIs with a patterned shirt under her suit. Again it’s all about confidence!

(4) Go to a Tailor – A little bit of tailoring can make all the difference. I’ve heard a lot of lawyers say that it is better to have a less expensive suit that fits right, than an ill-fitting more expensive suit. So, when you are buying your suit, keep in mind that it will take time and cost extra money to get it tailored.

(5) Nails Done… – This is a very small detail, but you want to make sure you look put together from head to toe. I would suggest either a clear coat of nail polish or getting a neutral coloured shellac polish. The days are long and a regular coloured coat of polish may chip.

(6) Hair Done… – Again it’s about looking polished and professional. Most people wear their hair down and neat but a simple ponytail or bun is also an option.

(7) Everything Did (oh you fancy huh… but not too fancy don’t overdo it)Wear Natural Makeup – If you wear makeup, I would suggest making it look as natural as possible. Also keep in mind that the days are really long and you may not have time for touch-ups. However, it is most important that your makeup is done in a way that makes you feel comfortable and confident. For example, I didn’t wear any lipstick during OCIs/In-firms due to an irrational fear that I would get lipstick on my teeth.

(8) Bring a Structured Purse – For OCIs and In-firms most women brought some sort of purse to hold all of their stuff. As Tegan mentioned in her last post on things to bring with you to OCI’s, the purse you bring should be structured, professional looking, and medium-sized. Don’t worry about the brand. But, if you are looking to save money on a nice bag, I would recommend the Toronto Premium Outlets in Milton, where there’s Kate Spade, Coach, and Michael Kors outlets. You can also find things at Winners or the Bay both name brand and otherwise. Additionally, the simple colours tip from #3 applies to bags as well.

(9) Wear Sensible Shoes – During In-firms especially, there will be a lot of walking from place to place. The best piece of advice I received from upper years was if you plan to wear new shoes to In-firms, make sure you break them in first! Specifically, I would recommend wearing plain black shoes with less than a two inch heel.

(10) Minimal Jewellery (but definitely a watch)– The attention should be on you, not your bling. Some people chose to wear no jewelry but simple studs and/or a simple, small necklace are great options too. Whichever route you go, you should absolutely wear a watch especially for In-firms – you will need to check the time and it is rude to be pulling out your phone. Just be sure the watch you pick is professional (i.e. none of those GPS, calculator, scuba diving plastic ones) and not too flashy.

*Disclaimer, these are my personal opinions with help from Tegan, the most important thing is that you feel comfortable and confident in your outfit so you will rock your interviews!

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The Uncanny Similarities Between Summering At A Law Firm And Pokémon GO



I wanna be the very best… like no one ever was… In-firms were my real test… a job was my cause…

Since its release on July 6, Pokémon Go has been all the rage. I still have fond memories of popping that blue cartridge into my GameBoy and collecting those cards (I had a holograph Zapdos – that wasn’t a typo).  The topic of this blogpost started out as a joke in the office, but we decided to make it a reality. Below are three ways of explaining summering at a law firm through Pokémon Go:

1.         Picking Your Starting Pokémon:

The first challenge of Pokémon GO is the crucial decision between picking your starting Pokemon: either Squirtle, Charmander, Bulbasaur, or Pikachu (note: if the fourth option seemed wrong to you, please be advised that your Trainer Level is too low). This decision is similar to an email you get from your Student Director about what rotations you’d like to prioritize or which practice groups you’d like to sit close to. In that given moment, it is important to pick carefully based on your interests, but is impossible to know exactly how the workflow of the summer will unfold. I would suggest to pick based on your interests but keep an open mind to the other practice groups / Pokémon.

2.         Registering new Pokémon into your Pokédex:

The main goal of Pokémon GO is to explore different areas in your city to find as many different Pokémon as possible. While summering at a full-service firm, I think it’s also important to increase your exposure to different files and practice groups. Summer is a great opportunity to get your feet wet before you make some decisions for your rotations in articling.

3.         Lure Modules:

When you get to a firm, associates will tell you to go introduce yourself to other lawyers and solicit work from a variety of people. Soliciting work is like dropping a lure: a Squirtle might pop up out of nowhere, but you might also get the occasional Pidgey as well. Just be careful not to drop too many lures in a row or else you’ll be stuck in the not-so-desirable situation of passing up great work because you’re overloaded.

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Open Roof Festival!

There was yet another amazing student event last night! The students, as well as members of the student committee headed over to the Open Roof Festival for food, music and a movie – talk about a jam packed evening.

First, was some great food and drinks. Amsterdam Brewery provided beer and wine and there was a food truck on site selling arepa’s which are Venezuelan cornmeal sandwiches. (I wish I had a picture to show you but they were all eaten before I had a chance to take one – instead here’s a picture of me and Meghan).


While we enjoyed our drinks we got to listen to singer-songwriter Tomi Swick. There was also giant Jenga, ping pong tables, and everyone got to be outside on a beautiful evening.

The finale of the evening was a screening of the film “Off the Rails” which tells the true story of a man named Darius McCollum. Darius has Asperger’s syndrome and a love of the transit system which resulted in him impersonating transit employees and driving their routes. His love of transit has landed him in jail 32 times. We all really enjoyed the film – Darius’ story really shed some light on flaws within the criminal justice system. Here’s Koen and Kojo enjoying the film.


It was another evening to remember – thanks again Shannon! It’s no wonder Open Roof Festival’s uses the hashtag #MOVIESMUSICBEER – I certainly enjoyed all three!

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Fashion Friday OCI Tips: Mary Poppins Bag

Hey All!

Happy Fashion Friday! When I was going through the recruit I read this blog and my two favorite kinds of posts were OCI Tips and Fashion Friday posts, so today I figured I would combine the two.

I’m sure you will all wind up putting a lot (if you’re like me maybe too much) thought into what you wear. This post isn’t about that. This post is about all the other stuff you should bring. You know that scene in Mary Poppins where she just keeps pulling things out of her bag – that is what I felt like during OCIs and in firms. If you don’t know what I’m talking about you should probably go watch Mary Poppins it’s a classic. Although another good reference would be Hermione’s handbag from Deathly Hallows. Now if you don’t get either of those references I really can’t help you but I digress.

Here is a list of things you should carry with you during OCI’s and in firms:

  • Gum, toothbrush, floss etc.: nobody likes bad breath and you will be eating… a lot.
  • Make Up: For touch ups – these will be looooong days.
  • Advil etc: Hopefully you won’t need it but you might. And I wouldn’t want to be trying to find time to run to the drugstore while already dealing with a headache.
  • Tide to Go: for obvious reasons.
  • Hair ties, bobby pins etc.: Your hair will look fly when you leave the house in the morning but after running around and sweating it may be more fly-aways than fly. Be prepared.
  • Hairspray: Good for your hair, also good for stopping runs in panty hose. Sometimes they can’t be stopped so…
  • Extra pantyhose
  • Flats: Some people can rock it all day in heels I am not one of those people. I walked everywhere in flats and changed into the heels in the lobby of the building (the building lobby not the firm reception area – made that mistake once – regretted it).
  • Band-Aids: Sometimes even flats can rub you the wrong way.
  • Granola bars or other snacks: Yes there are lots of places to buy food but no you will not always have time. Oddly, even with all the firms feeding me, I still ate about 3 granola bars a day during in firms.
  • Hard copy of your schedule and locations: Your phone may die but the show must go on!
  • Copies of your resume: No one I know got asked for a copy but this is definitely a time to be better safe than sorry.
  • Umbrella: Weather dependent of course. It should be noted that you can take the path everywhere but I still get lost down there so I liked having the option of popping up to the surface.

It should be noted that most people brought way less stuff with them than I did. But, it should also be noted that I gave a lot of Band-Aids, bobby pins, Advil and even a pair of pantyhose to people. I carried a large structured bag – a good idea because they look professional even when bursting at the seams, other people carried much smaller bags and only carried what they deemed to be essential opting to pick up anything else they might need in between interviews. The reality is you need to pack for you. If you’re like me and it makes you calmer to be prepared for any possible situation, bring lots of stuff with you. There is a room to leave stuff in during OCIs and firms have coat rooms where you can leave the bag during interviews. If you would rather travel light that’s fine too (just make sure you know where the closest Shoppers is in case of emergency).

Until next time!

-Tegan (with guest contributions from Meghan who I bothered while trying to make sure this list was complete)


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Cassels Takes on Axe-Throwing at BATL

I’ve always been told that being a summer student at a great law firm means being exposed to work that is both challenging and tough, but also exciting and a lot of fun. While this has certainly proved to be true at Cassels, the assignment that encompassed this motto the most has been at Backyard Axe Throwing League (“BATL”)  for our recent student event!

For those who haven’t tried Axe-Throwing before, here’s how it works: each match involves two players that take turns lifting a hatchet above their heads and throwing them at the equivalent of a dart board. Whoever scores the most points by the end of the match is the winner.


Most of our summer students were born naturals, like David, who made winning the entire tournament look like a breeze. Others (i.e. me) had more difficultly landing those bullseye shots. Despite varying abilities, all of us had a fantastic time, and I highly recommend everyone to give Axe-Throwing a shot.


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