Ask us your Questions
In this section, we have tried to address some of the questions that are frequently asked by students.

Additional questions may be directed to Tenzin Dratsangshema, Coordinator, Associate and Student Programs at 403-260-3676 or [email protected]. You may also speak to any lawyer you meet during the interview process.

The Firm

How many lawyers are with McCarthy Tétrault?

A leading law firm with approximately 600 lawyers, we provide top-tier coverage across Canada in all critical areas of expertise.

How big is the Calgary office?

There are approximately 64 lawyers.

What are the law firm's hours expectations?

Our associates hours targets are a combined billable and non-billable contribution of 1900-2000 hours per year. Students are not required to record a specific number of hours, but they should aim to work at the same pace as the firm's associates so that they experience a realistic view of legal practice and are developing their knowledge and skills. We review the recorded hours for students to determine whether they are getting enough work and are learning how to record their time correctly.

When are associates considered for partnership?

The firm has a written policy regarding partnership admission that is shared with all of its lawyers. Generally, lawyers are first eligible for Income Partnership after completing six years of practice. Income Partnership is a transitional category. It is generally expected that a lawyer will remain an Income Partner for two to three years before being admitted to Equity Partnership.

How are decisions made at McCarthy Tétrault?

McCarthy Tétrault has an innovative governance structure to fully integrate the firm into a single, national operating unit. This enables our firm to be proactive and responsive in a rapidly changing legal market and facilitates decision-making.

The firm is organized by national practice groups and headed by a Chief Executive Officer and a Board of Partners. The Board is composed of members who are elected nationally from among the partners in a manner that assures a reasonable representation of each of the firm's regions.

Each office has a local management group that oversees the day-to-day operational issues concerning their respective office. Decisions relating to each individual office are made by the Regional Managing Partner, in conjunction with the CEO, National Practice Group Leaders and the National Leader, Practices and People.

Recruitment and Hiring

How many interviews does the Calgary office grant?

The number of interviews scheduled varies each year depending on the number of positions available and the number of qualified applicants.

How important are law school grades?

Law school grades are important, but they are not determinative. Grades are one factor used to asses student applications. We look for well-rounded individuals and therefore we consider work experience, life experience, undergraduate grades, personal interests and extracurricular activities when determining whether a candidate will be offered an interview. Once we are at the interview stage, the interview itself is the most important element in making our decision about job offers.

Does the Calgary office give second interviews?

We try to make sure that each candidate meets at least two lawyers during the first interview, so we rarely grant second interviews. We endeavour to ensure that each student interviewed has a good opportunity to learn about the law firm during the interview process.

Does McCarthy Tétrault prefer students who come from local law schools?

No, attendance at a particular law school in Canada does not determine our interviewing or hiring decisions. McCarthy Tétrault has a long history of hiring students from all Canadian law schools. We also hold events at many law schools across the country.

What is the policy on clerking with the courts?

We recognize the value of clerkships and regularly hire students who clerk before articling with us. We also believe that the articling process is important in terms of training and integration.

What are the opportunities for work at other offices as students?

There may be opportunities for this, but there are limits due to the requirements made by the bars in various regions.


When are students expected to start their summer or articles positions?

Generally, articling students start in mid-August on a date set by the Firm. Summer students start in early May on a date set by the Firm.

How many articling students did the Calgary office hire for the 2017/2018 articling year?

We hired 5 articling students (one of whom will be clerking).

How many second-year summer students did the Calgary office hire for summer 2017?

We hired 6 second-year summer students. We do not hire first-year summer students in Calgary.

How is work allocated?

Students receive work directly from the lawyers in their current rotation. Also, to ensure they get the most out of each rotation, students can actively seek out the work in which they have a particular interest. The Student Program team monitors student workload on a regular basis.

Do students have access to computers and mobile devices?

Yes, each student has a personal laptop, dual 22” screens and wireless headset. Students have access to the latest online research tools. Each student also receives a mobile device upon their arrival at the Firm. Our Information Technology Department provides training to summer and articling students and is readily available to provide assistance when required.

Do students receive legal assistance?

Yes, Articling students have access to well-trained assistance. In addition evening and weekend document services staff are available to our students.


What is the associate placement record for the Calgary office?

Our associate placement record has been very strong overall. While we do not guarantee associate positions to our articling students, we hire roughly the number of students we believe we will need as first-year associates.

When is the placement decision made?

Hire-back decisions for articling students are generally made after the student has completed two of the three articling rotations.