As we have mentioned, there are 22 summer students at Cassels. What you may not know is that three of us are first year students. While we usually blend in with the second year students, sometimes we just can’t hide our “inexperience”.
While the first year recruitment process begins in second semester, landing a first year position at a Bay Street firm may be something on your mind when you begin law school in September. If not, you may start to consider first year recruitment after receiving your grades in January. In either case, you will undoubtedly have endless questions and concerns about the process. I have decided to compile this post (with the help of the lovely previous and present 1L students) to provide some insight into the application process, explain why you should consider participating in 1L recruitment, and offer our perspective on being a 1L student at Cassels.
From us to you, we hope this post eases some of your worries and provides you with a few (albeit corny) laughs along the way!
The Application Process:
“I highly recommend applying for a 1L position because even if you don’t end up landing a job, you still come out with polished application materials, invaluable interview experience, and a handful of new connections at law firms.”
– Michael Garbuz
“Although all interviews come with a reasonable amount of stress, the 1L process is much less stressful than the frenzy of OCIs. Firms generally interview fewer 1L candidates and as a result, you get to experience the firm on a more holistic level. I had the benefit of meeting the entire student committee during my interviews at Cassels which provided me with a much more comprehensive view of the firm and its culture.”
– Xi Chen
Life as a 1L at Cassels:
“This year, the 1L students are sharing offices with the returning 1L students. We are thankful that we each have an “unofficial” mentor to calm our nerves and answer all of our questions (usually with a sarcastic response or a laugh). So, while we have capitalized on their knowledge of the Firm, we have also been the victims of the “oh, you silly 1L” jokes.
I was particularly looking forward to having a returning summer student officemate so that my most serious issues – all computer and printing related – could be addressed. Unfortunately, Jacquie has been very unhelpful in this respect. I have suggested that she sign up for additional computer training sessions to fix this problem.”
– Amanda Metallo
“Being a 1L at Cassels is not so different from being a 2L at Cassels. However, there are some changes I would suggest:
- Provide us each with an “in training” label for our clothes to alert lawyers that we don’t know what a PPSA or a Prospectus is
- Provide our office-mates with sensitivity training (looking at you, Chan) to support our professional development
- Take us for ice cream when we have had a tough day at the office
- Give us the authority to delegate work to the 2L summer students
That being said, life is good being a 1L summer student at Cassels.”
– Chad Podolsky
“You will feel like you are scamming the system because you are getting paid but don’t know anything substantial. Don’t worry, everyone is in the same boat, including the 2Ls. Although you might not know anything about securities or business or what a PPSA Registration is, the summer program is all about learning. The lawyers know that we know nothing and everyone’s willing to help so just ask questions. The one caveat to that is if you’re wondering what’s on the lunch menu or how to set up voicemail, you might want to ask another summer student and not a partner.”
– Andrew Chan
“As a 1L student, the number one lession I learned was that, if you don’t know what something means, ask.
As a returning student, I’ve decided to reject my own advice entirely and impart knowledge upon my officemate Amanda exclusively through the “learn by doing” method. While Amanda has not yet figured out that this is almost entirely because I still don’t know what “toggling a doc ID” means or how to convert a PDF into a gif into a three dimensionally printed working airplane, I still take partial credit for her laudable skill at “replying-all” to assignment emails in three seconds or less.”
– Jacquie Richards
Jacquie reminding me that what we lack in skill, we make up for in enthusiasm
Michael has been trying to perfect David’s ‘serious’ face all summer long
Andrew and Chad need a little distance from time to time