The success of our firm depends on our ability to recruit and retain high quality candidates with diverse backgrounds and experiences. Our student program is designed to ensure students receive a rewarding and well-rounded educational experience. Students will work along-side a variety of lawyers, many of whom are leaders in their field, and will be provided with comprehensive training in all areas of our practice.
We are proud to be an established industry leader in the area of labour and employment law. Both firm and lawyers are consistently recognized by national and international legal publications as well as in the legal community as leaders in the field of workplace law.
We are committed to educating and immersing students in all aspects of workplace law. In addition to conducting legal research and preparing legal memos, students interview witnesses, confer with employers and individuals practising in the areas of human and labour relations, and draft-pleadings, arguments and workplace policies. Our goal is to attract talented law students who will contribute to the success of the firm and that of our clients.
We are a tightly-knit boutique law firm, where summer students and articling students work closely with lawyers on a regular basis, by preparing for and attending collective bargaining, and helping to prepare cases for grievance-arbitration, mediation, trial, and workplace tribunals. Our students are encouraged to attend hearings with lawyers as much as possible, to gain valuable insight into the adjudication process. We believe that this exposure provides our students with an unparalleled experience.
We take pride in our collaborative and teamwork culture. Students and lawyers communicate with each other directly and frequently, creating a dialogue in which students gain exposure to the psychology and strategy behind each practice area while contributing their own fresh perspective. As a student at Mathews Dinsdale, you will be treated as a professional and valued member of the team.
Opportunities for advocacy
Few areas of law require practitioners to appear as advocates as frequently as is required in the area of workplace law. Disputes between employers and their employees are usually referred to any one of a number of specialized adjudicative bodies such as provincial human rights tribunals, labour relations tribunals, workers’ compensation tribunals, or private grievance-arbitration.
A specialized practice in workplace law exposes students to a broad range of sub-specialty fields, including human rights, construction labour relations, occupational health and safety, employment standards, and immigration, to name only a few. Repeated exposure to these sub-specialties helps students learn the full range of complex and ever-evolving issues and rules of workplace law.
Criteria for Recruitment
We select students principally on the basis of their academic achievement, their desire to become involved as an advocate on behalf of employers, their demonstrated interest in the area of workplace law, and their past legal and non-legal work experience. We also look for students with dynamic personalities, who will be able to interact well with our diverse group of lawyers, legal support staff, and clients.
At Mathews Dinsdale, we are committed to developing and growing our legal practice by retaining summer and articling students that progress through our Student Program. Our objective is to hire students who will aspire to become associates and, eventually, partners at the firm. We are proud that the overwhelming majority of our partners and associates began their legal careers as students in our Student Program.
Training and Professional Development
Mathews Dinsdale is committed to supporting our students in their continued professional development. We offer in-house educational programs covering a broad range of topics, including legal research and memo writing, occupational health and safety, human rights and construction sector labour relations, to name only a few. Students are invited to make proposals for future educational topics. Students also regularly participate in external events such as Lancaster House conferences, which address new and exciting developments in the area of workplace law.
Social Activities and Community Involvement
In addition to the professional aspects of our Student Program, a variety of social events are planned throughout the year to round out the student experience. Popular social events include our annual inter-firm ball hockey tournament in support of Sick Kids Hospital and Family Day.
Students are encouraged to give-back to their communities. In past years, the firm has participated in initiatives such as the Yonge Street Mission’s Winter Hope Clothing Drive and the Daily Bread Food Drive Challenge.
Feedback and Evaluations
Mathews Dinsdale’s Student Program operates on a committee structure, rather than a formal mentor structure. The backbone of our Student Program is communication. Students are encouraged to discuss any aspect of their student experience with the Student Committee, their principals and other lawyers in the firm, to seek constructive feedback on their professional development, and to discuss whether the firm is providing them with the work and experience consistent with their expectations. Student workloads and the variety of each student’s assignments are reviewed weekly by the Student Committee.