Being a student at Hicks Morley is rewarding, enjoyable and unparalleled. I knew after my first interview that this was where I wanted to work. From my first day I felt like part of the Hicks Morley team. I never felt like I was on my own and there was always someone I could ask a question of—whether a fellow student, an associate or even a partner. Hicks truly has an open-door policy. They foster a collegial environment and students have many avenues of support including formal mentors and buddies, informal mentorship relationships and their student group. My experience would have been drastically different without the constant support of my student group.
At Hicks Morley, mentorship is at the forefront of the student experience. Students are matched with both a buddy and mentor during their summer. When articling begins, your principal is added to your support system—meaning you have three people dedicated to assisting and guiding you. Other lawyers, regardless of their position or title, are always willing to assist and answer questions. Collaboration between colleagues, not competition, is always promoted at Hicks Morley. This collaborative attitude was adopted by the students in my cohort who were always willing to lend a hand whenever needed.
There’s no denying that articling during a pandemic is an unusual experience. With hearings, training and meetings moving online—and my desk moving from the office to my apartment—it was a large adjustment. Everyone at Hicks Morley made the change feel seamless, and the student experience was adapted so that no one missed a beat. Whether it was virtual check-ins with Tierney, Zoom drinks with my mentor and principal, or online cooking classes with the other students, I always felt supported and connected.
Prior to my articling experience, I did not realize how imperative strong interpersonal skills are in this profession. Hicks Morley strongly encourages its students to begin forging relationships with clients immediately. As a student, you are not isolated in an office. You are working alongside the lawyer and with the client as a team. I chose to article at Hicks Morley because there are no formal rotations. This flexibility allowed me to explore the incredible breadth of practice areas at my own pace and pursue practice areas that I was interested in and passionate about.
Students gain experience in a wide range of practice areas through working with clients across many industries. Regardless of where your interests lie, being a student at Hicks Morley will allow you to explore opportunities without being limited to one area. As Hicks Morley has no formal rotations, students are able to author their own learning experience. The lawyers are always excited to hear that a student is interested in their area of practice and are more than willing to get students involved in their file work however they can.
One of the reasons I was attracted to Hicks Morley was the litigation-centric nature of employment law, but during my summer I quickly learned that the firm has so much more to offer. In addition to litigation files, I worked on human rights matters, labour relations matters, labour arbitrations, a workplace safety and insurance presentation, a judicial review file and some pensions and benefits. Attending the practice group meetings is a great way to get exposure to all the different things the firm does.
— Michael Jaworski, UofT, 2018–2019 Articling Student
Students are encouraged to spend time attending client meetings, hearings, motions, and mediations for files they have worked on. Even if you have not had the opportunity to assist with the preparation for a hearing, lawyers are always happy to have a student attend to ensure that student is exposed to a wide range of advocacy. I was able to witness advocacy in different settings by different lawyers, allowing me to gain a better understanding of what strategies I would like to employ when I have full carriage of a file.
As a student who learns best from doing, my experience with Hicks Morley was immensely rewarding. At Hicks Morley, you do more than just research. I had the opportunity to engage with matters and clients directly, from drafting pleadings to attending hearings. The Hicks articling experience truly prepares you for real practice by encouraging you to embrace the learning curve.
As an articling student, you are paired with a mentor, first year associate and a principal. This three-level design provides comradeship and an “open door” atmosphere even in the virtual world. Equally important, it provides each student numerous avenues to gain insight, knowledge and learn from lawyers interested in the student’s success. The mentorship program was one of the main aspects that drew me to Hicks Morley. Over the span of the year, with the assistance of lawyers at the firm, I was able to watch my work product grow.
— Kayley Leon, Windsor, 2020–2021 Articling Student