Articling is challenging and, for many people, a new and sometimes intimidating experience. Articling students are directly supervised in their work by the assigning lawyer, and students can expect to receive feedback on their progress and the quality of their work from these lawyers.
We augment this direct feedback with a formal system of performance evaluations. Students who have completed articles at the firm have repeatedly credited the formal evaluations for identifying their strong skills as well as areas in which they need further development. With the assistance of the Student Committee, students are able to direct their articling experience so that they get the most out of this singular period of supportive supervision.
Articling students are given a less formal initial evaluation approximately two to three months into their articles. The purpose of this brief evaluation is to reassure students that they are on track with the development of their skills and to provide the early identification of areas in which students feel they require more support. The Committee can then bring the firm’s resources to the assistance of students.
There is a formal performance evaluation following completion of each of the first two rotations. Lawyers provide written evaluations of the work they have supervised, and the students then meet individually with the Student Committee to discuss the results. The evaluations focus on providing assessment of the students’ strengths, areas for improvement and areas to which the students have not had enough exposure. The Committee then works with students to ensure that, by the completion of their term, they have achieved a well-rounded experience and have also been exposed to work that interests them.