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 Kimberly Grange, Director, Professional Resources at 416-601-8913 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 Toronto office?

There are approximately 280 lawyers.

What are the law firm's hours expectations?

Our associates have a combined annualized billable non-billable target of 1900-2000 hours. 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 consider 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 important are law school grades?

Law school grades are important in securing interviews, but they are not determinative. Grades are one factor used to screen 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.

How many lawyers can one expect to meet during the interview process?

During the on-campus interviews each candidate will meet with two members of the Firm. During the in-firm interviews we try to ensure that each candidate meets at least four lawyers and one student.

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 throughout the year 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 either before or after 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 are some opportunities for inter office secondments, but these are limited due to the requirements made by the bars in our various regions. In past years, we have facilitated National Articles for students wishing to conduct articles in two jurisdictions.


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

The 2017/2018 articling group will commence their articles on August 8, 2017 and complete the program in early June. Our summer program generally begins at the beginning of May and ends mid-August.

How many articling students has the Toronto office hired for the 2017/2018 articling year?

We have hired 20 Articling Students.

The Toronto office hires its articling student complement from its summer student group and, as a result, does not participate in the articling student recruitment process.

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

We hired 27 second-year summer students.

How many first-year summer students has the Toronto office hired?

We did not participate in the first-year summer recruitment process.

How is work allocated?

Students receive work directly from the lawyers in their assigned practice groups. Additionally, to ensure they get the most out of each assignment, we encourage students to actively seek out the work in which they have a particular interest. The Director of Professional Resources monitors student workload on a regular basis and we utilize an online workload availability tool to profile our students’ desired work opportunities and to facilitate the distribution of work amongst our student group.

Do students have offices?

Yes, either private or shared offices. The McCarthy Tétrault student offices are spacious, bright and strategically located in corner locations.

Do students have access to computers and mobile devices?

Yes, each student has a personal laptop, dual 22” screens and wireless headset. 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.