McInnes Cooper’s objective is to provide articled clerks and students-at-law with comprehensive, high quality training in the practice of law. We add the experience of seasoned lawyers to the legal knowledge our clerks bring with them to the firm. McInnes Cooper’s Professional Resources department is dedicated to the growth and education of our clerks and lawyers. We know that work/life balance is important to our lawyers and clerks, so we make an effort to encourage and support the varied interests of our lawyers and clerks outside the office as well.
We believe you should “learn by doing”. That is why at McInnes Cooper, clerks are involved in the nuts and bolts of each file, from meeting with clients, researching the law and preparing legal opinions, drafting documents, to attending discovery examination and trial, or at the closing of corporate and property transactions.
In Halifax, during their articling year, clerks rotate through three main areas of the firm: Corporate and Business, where they have exposure to corporate finance and securities, commercial law, tax, cross-border transactions and property; Litigation, which involves a number of different practice groups including construction, insurance, admiralty, business and other types of litigation, and Labour and Employment Law. During the rotations, the articled clerks’ work comes from lawyers in the specific group they are currently in. There is also an optional rotation period when clerks can choose which areas of law to focus on for more in-depth exposure to that area of law.
Articled clerks in our Charlottetown, Fredericton, Moncton, Saint John, and St. John’s offices have ongoing exposure throughout the year to all of the different areas of law in which the firm practices.
To ensure that articled clerks are able to discuss their progress and that we fulfill our teaching and associated responsibilities effectively, we have a number of resources for clerks to help them through the articling year:
In Saint John, Fredericton, Moncton, St. John’s and Charlottetown each clerk has a partner assigned to them as a principal. The principal provides guidance throughout the year and meets regularly with the clerk to review evaluations and discuss progress.
In Halifax, the Supervising Lawyer for articled clerks, Michelle Awad, meets regularly with the clerks and oversees the office’s articling program.
Each clerk also has an associate mentor to provide advice and support throughout the articling year. The clerk and his or her mentor are encouraged to meet regularly for lunch; informal relationships frequently develop as well and continue in practice. These relationships are, and have always been, a well known part of our firm’s culture.
The firm’s Professional Resources members are also available to provide guidance and support, from comprehensive orientation programs, educational events, ensuring that you have varied and meaningful work, to just being a resource for any questions or concerns that arise. Our Coordinator of Recruitment, Marie Harding, is a friendly first point of contact and resource for the articled clerks and students when they need any assistance. Lynn Iding , Director of Legal Professional Resources is also involved in the firm’s summer and articling programs. McInnes Cooper has a long-standing “open door” tradition. All clerks are encouraged to simply walk into any lawyer’s office, senior or junior, and ask for assistance.
McInnes Cooper is serious about helping its junior members achieve success quickly. We were the first law firm in Atlantic Canada to have dedicated professional development staff. The firm has a well known professional development and training program. The firm holds regular substantive lunch sessions attended by law students, clerks, associates, and partners and taught by specialist lawyers in the firm. The professional development opportunities available to clerks and students continue in practice as associates.
Articled clerks are greeted each June with comprehensive orientations and helpful materials. By the end of your first couple of days with us, you’ll feel right at home!
If you want to know the inside story to what it’s like to work at McInnes Cooper from the perspective of a law student, speak to one of our current students or articled clerks. They are our best ambassadors!