Frequently Asked Questions
Q: Are students provided with BlackBerry devices? If so, how often are they expected to check them?
A: Currently, only articling students are provided with BlackBerry devices. There are no specific guidelines, outlined expectations or requirements regarding how often one is to check their BlackBerry. The BlackBerry is intended to provide students with flexibility, including the ability to work from remote locations.
Q: Do Blakes students have a billable hours requirement?
A: No, students do not have a billable hours requirement.
Q: Is there a formal mentorship program? What is unique about the Blakes program?
A: Blakes does have a formal mentorship program and has a long tradition of providing a strong foundation for legal careers through top-notch mentoring. Our partners benefited from the introduction and wise counsel of more senior members of the Firm, and the Firm benefits further when those lessons are passed on to our students. In each rotation, students are assigned a mentor whose role is to ensure that students are integrated into their respective practice group and that they receive interesting and varied assignments. The mentoring program is unique as some of the social activities are specific to mentors and students only. Students are asked for their feedback and, in some offices, as in Toronto, select a “Mentor of the Year” to recognize and honour an outstanding mentor. The number of nominees exemplify the success of our mentoring program.
Q: What characteristics do you feel are critical for a student to excel at Blakes?
A: Some characteristics that are critical for a student to excel at Blakes include strong presentation skills, strong analytical ability, creativity, hard-working and strong intellectual ability. Students should be willing to seek out work and build relationships with both associates and partners at the Firm.
Q: Can students expect to work with partners directly on some matters or is most of the work fed through associates?
A: The Firm’s full-service capabilities in virtually every area of business law means the scope of work and opportunities are endless. The range of work can be fed through partners and associates and the work matter varies, from drafting memos, researching and attending court to pro bono work and due diligence. As an example, one of our students was seconded to the Bahrain office and works directly with the Managing Partner there.