Zainab Fayyaz
2017 Summer Law Student

My summer with Gowling WLG has been amazing. Gowling WLG’s Hamilton office truly offers the best of both worlds: the incomparable resources of an international firm together with a close-knit community. The work environment is very friendly, collegial and supportive of professional development. I established many informal mentor/mentee relationships and everyone at the firm was always happy to offer support and extend invites to join them at conferences, court, discoveries and client events.

I was exposed to the highest quality of work alongside some of the most amazing and intelligent professionals in a variety of different practice groups, which was exactly what I wanted as a student looking to find where my legal interests lie. As a summer student, I was able to assist with all aspects of the work, including legal research, transactional work and drafting documents such as letters memoranda and court documents. 

My mentors encouraged me to develop professionally early on by taking me to client lunches, allowing me to email clients and outside counsel directly and drafting transactional documents, all of which were meaningful hands-on learning opportunities. I recently had the opportunity to assist one of Canada’s leading lawyers in the Indigenous law group with writing an article discussing the release of two landmark Supreme Court decisions for which she advocated. In addition to this, I had the chance to engage in self-fulfilling work on a Pro Bono case and was given the encouragement to run my own small claims file. These incredible experiences truly made me feel like a valued member of the Hamilton team since day one.

In order to maintain a balance between the dynamic work environment and building social relationships within the office, the firm organized a number of social events during the summer for the students, professionals and staff.  We had a night at the Escape Room followed by ping pong, bi-weekly social hours on Thursday evenings, ice cream socials (with an ice cream truck!), a series of lunch and learns and Friday lunches to explore new restaurants in Hamilton.

All of these experiences created an incredibly rewarding summer and clarified the mysterious concept of “fit” for me. My summer experience was more than I could have imagined. I am very excited to come back for articling next summer!

Sonja Pesko
2017 Summer Law Student 

I am incredibly appreciative of the opportunity I have had to summer at Gowling WLG. The Hamilton office is exceptional in many respects. The professional team culture is closely knit and like-minded, yet diverse; as result, I believe it is able to organically cultivate and reward initiative, resiliency, and hard work, without jeopardizing collegiality.

For a student with no prior law firm work experience, these firm traits made for the ideal place to begin my transition from academia to legal practice. While the work has been challenging, I cannot emphasize enough the breadth and depth of the support I have received from lawyers and staff alike; there is a palpable sense of collaboration in the office. Although I was assigned an official mentor at the beginning of the summer term, I genuinely felt like everyone was always able and willing to provide mentorship. The office culture is truly “open-door” – and I very quickly shed initial hesitations to approach professionals with questions. Similarly, the professionals themselves went out of their way to make sure I felt like an integral part of the team. On numerous occasions, associates and partners checked in with me to ensure I was satisfied with my summer experience and was receiving work from areas of interest.

In short, my experience at Gowling WLG in Hamilton has been immensely rewarding, professionally and personally alike. I am delighted to be coming back to article next year. Without any reservations, I encourage interested students to apply!   

Nathan Prince
2016-2017 Articling Student

Articling with Gowling WLG's Hamilton office has been a rewarding and fulfilling experience. The Hamilton location combines the best of both worlds: The resources and knowledge of a large international firm with the environment of a small town office. Corporate culture at the Hamilton office is one of collegiality and support and there is always a professional willing to lend a hand whenever challenges arise.

The firm goes out of their way to ensure that each member of the team feels valued and makes a concerted effort to keep staff and students engaged in firm initiatives. As one of the largest firms in the city, Gowling WLG' Hamilton office is an integral part of the community and supports many local charities and businesses. The office is conveniently located in the centre of the downtown core close to newly revitalized Gore Park and a slew of incredible dining options which have sprung up as part of the city's gentrification.

The quality and quantity of work given to articling students is both challenging and manageable. Student work is a vital part of case management and carries meaningful weight in resolving client matters. Students are encouraged to engage directly with clients and are active participants in client meetings, negotiations, and mediations. The diversity and scale of assignments is unique to what would be expected of a large international firm and provides a strong foundation to build upon.

I am grateful for the articling experience that I have had at Gowling WLG's Hamilton office and unwaveringly recommend that any potential student strongly consider the firm as their choice of placement in the Hamilton community.

Travis Evens
2015 Summer Student

My summer experience at Gowling WLG Hamilton has been fantastic. After working at a small boutique firm my first summer as a law student, I was looking for the "big law" experience while staying closer to home. Gowling WLG Hamilton was the logical choice, and I could not have been happier with my decision. I was able to enjoy the resources and expertise for which Gowling WLG is well known, as well as the close-knit and more relaxed atmosphere usually characteristic of smaller firms. Doors are always open and both the professionals and support staff are unbelievably friendly, helpful, and supportive.

The best aspect of my summer experience at Gowling WLG Hamilton has undoubtedly been the variety of work I received and the amount of effort the staff has put in to ensure I experienced as much as possible this summer. While the work I received was varied and interesting, it felt meaningful as well. I had the opportunity to work with some of the best lawyers in the country, and yet I always felt as if I was genuinely contributing and that my work and input was valued. If I had contributed work to a file, I was frequently invited to sit in on calls and meetings with clients and counsel so that I could see how that file would progress. If I contributed research, there would be a copy of the finished factum, opinion letter, or other document waiting for me so I could see how I contributed to the finished product. It was these little things that impressed me most about Gowling WLG Hamilton, and made my summer experience so memorable. Over the course of just a few months, I assisted in establishing a multi-million dollar credit facility, drafted numerous factums and research memos on a multitude of legal issues, carried my own small claims files, and contributed research to a factum that will be submitted to the Supreme Court of Canada. I sincerely doubt I could have gained this type of experience anywhere else as a summer student.

Overall, my summer experience at Gowling WLG Hamilton gave me exactly what I was looking for: a chance to work with and learn from of our nation’s top lawyers, while at the same time enjoying the close-knit and collegial atmosphere of a smaller office. This is a unique experience that I believe only Gowling WLG Hamilton can offer.

Samantha Kompa
2015 Summer Student

Working at Gowling WLG is rewarding, enjoyable, and full of learning opportunities. From drafting pleadings for civil litigation files, to editing patent applications, no day is ever the same and the fast paced environment and stimulating work make the summer fly by.

The work at Gowling WLG is challenging and exciting. I have had the opportunity to work with a professional on a factum for a Supreme Court of Canada case, to be extensively involved with editing patent applications, and to help one of the partners with a Pro Bono case right from the initial client interview. While the size of Gowling WLG enabled me to work on a wide range of legal issues, I also found that the professionals were very attentive to my own interests. After expressing an interest in criminal law both partners and associates went out of their way to get me involved in work which reflected my interests, including work related to provincial offences, fraud, and bullying. Students are given a lot of responsibility and are encouraged to take on challenging work. At the same time, professionals are always available for help or discussion.

Professional development is a big part of the summer program at Gowling WLG. Summer students are given the chance to continue their legal education with frequent training sessions on motions, small claims files and corporate issues. These sessions deal with many of the practical skills that are so often absent from law school courses, including how to create a motion record or to make submissions on a motion. 

One of the things that really stands out about Gowling WLG to me is that all of the professionals and staff are exceptionally friendly, helpful, and down to earth. Doors are always open and associates, partners, and staff go out of their way to answer your questions and are happy to discuss their files. The professionals are very inclusive and make an effort to get the students out of the office to client meetings, discoveries, and presentations.

Summer at Gowling WLG includes a delicious, fun and laid-back professional dinner, multiple ice cream days, and many interesting “lunch and learns”. The Gowling WLG office is filled with laughter and despite being very busy, the professionals and staff always take time for a quick chat and frequently stop by to see how the students are doing. Gowling WLG Hamilton is a unique place, it is friendly, fun, and offers an opportunity for extensive learning and professional development.

James Riewald
2010 Summer Student, 2011-2012 Articling Student

My articling experience at Gowling WLG has been exceptional. From my first week it was apparent that professionals and staff alike were extremely friendly and helpful. Doors are always open and partners and associates are readily available to discuss files and answer questions. Office life is marked by a constant stream of social happenings including holiday events, sports tournaments, ice cream and grilled cheese trucks and a multitude of lunches.

The work I have been assigned has been interesting and challenging. Across the three rotations I’ve assisted with and attended at a trial, drafted litigation materials, attended at court appearances and mediations on behalf of clients, managed Small Claims Court files, prepared various corporate agreements, assisted with financing transactions, conducted judgment debtor examinations, met with and interviewed clients and presented at a conference. Through all of this I’ve been encouraged and invited to contribute to the organic brainstorming and strategizing that is involved in files. 

Aside from what I’ve learned through the work, there has been a strong educational component to my experience as well. Gowling WLG offers an incredible student training program including a week of orientation, topical seminars throughout the year and attendance at a number of CLE events. Gowling WLG Hamilton has been a great place to work and learn and I highly recommend it!

David Haughton
2011-2012 Articling Student

Articling at Gowling WLG Hamilton offered a uniquely tailored experience for someone like myself, who had prior experience in a boutique law firm and was seeking a high level of development and quality of work, together with the degree of involvement that one might experience at a smaller law firm. What attracted me most to Gowling WLG Hamilton was the opportunity to make substantial contributions while also receiving the appropriate support from the knowledgeable professionals and abundance of available resources of a national law firm like Gowling WLG.

During my articling term, I was able to work closely with a number of different professionals in a variety of areas of law. I valued the fact that the professionals and staff were readily available for guidance and assistance on a wide variety of matters, ranging from conducting legal research to preparing for and attending various in and out-of-court proceedings. I also valued the level of expectation and  responsibility that I was afforded as a developing professional, including having the opportunity to organize and conduct Small Claims Court trials, settlement conferences and other hearings. I also had the opportunity to be seconded to the legal department of Siemens Canada Limited during my articling term, which I found to offer invaluable experience in the practice of law both from a business and in-house standpoint.

Overall, my articling experience at Gowling WLG provided the opportunity to work and learn in a diverse legal environment, with the knowledgeable professionals and quality resources expected of a national law firm, but in a setting unique to Gowling WLG Hamilton in both its size and the quality of opportunity it affords to its articling students.

Eric Rockefeller
2010 Summer Student, 2011/2012 Articling Student

My time with Gowling WLG Hamilton has been nothing short of extraordinary. Gowling WLG has clearly worked hard to put together a student program that puts a strong emphasis on professional development and learning through practical experience. As a summer student, I assisted in the preparation of a factum submitted to the Ontario Court of Appeal, prepared for and conducted examinations of judgment debtors and corporate representatives, and researched an incredible variety of legal issues. The three-rotation articling program at the Hamilton office really allows you to explore your interests as an articling student and discover for yourself the areas in which you can see yourself pursuing a legal career. As an articling student, I have been provided with the opportunity to deeply involve myself with the files of several professionals in our office. In my seven months as an articling student, I have assisted with the preparation and progression of a week-long trial, conducted extensive litigation hold reviews for international corporate clients, independently managed small claims files, and been heavily involved with the business development aspects of a large firm practice. 

Despite Gowling WLG large-firm presence both in Canada and internationally, the size of the Hamilton office really encourages a strong sense of community in large part owing to the tireless efforts of staff and professionals alike to bring the office together in a variety of social outings, staff parties, and firm lunches. Relationships between students and professionals at Gowling WLG Hamilton are second to none. I have constantly found myself shadowing professionals on matters which my colleagues elsewhere could only dream of experiencing. The professionals here truly take an interest in supporting student development, and always make themselves available to provide helpful knowledge and guidance whenever it is needed. I really look forward to every day of the remainder of my articling term with Gowling WLG Hamilton, and I cannot imagine having started my legal career anywhere else.

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