All firm sites can be the same – you must have your own questions – let us help you make the decision to continue your education and begin your legal career with RBS. If you don’t see an answer below that satisfies your curiosity – send us your own question and we’ll do our best to answer it for you. You might also find our Student News page of interest.
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Who is on the student committee?
Joe Chan, Aneez Devji, Nicole Mangan, Angela Spanjers, Ray Pollard,
Susan Van Dyke and Cindy Hildebrandt make up our student recruitment committee. However, because choosing the right individual is important to everyone at the firm, other members assist during the interview process, as well as at formal presentations and events.
Can I talk to current students at the firm?
Absolutely, in fact we encourage it! Click here to meet our current students.
What does RBS look for in a student?
When we hire our students, we look for a well-rounded education and employment history. Although grades are important, we seek students who maintain a healthy balance in life, with activities outside the field of law.
How many students does the firm hire?
RBS traditionally hires 2-3 summer students per year, with the hopes that these individuals will return to complete their articles with the firm following third year.
What is the student salary?
Salaries are reviewed annually and are competitive with downtown Vancouver rates.
Will the salary be paid during my rotation at PLTC?
Definitely. Benefits are also paid during this time as are law society dues and CBA memberships.
What benefits are provided to students?
Click here to see a complete list of benefits. Medical, dental and vision benefits are provided, as are a full range of legal memberships. In addition, firm members have access to a full gym at no cost.
What is the partner/associate ratio at the firm?
Approximately 20 to 24 is the ratio of partners to associates.
How many lawyers at the firm are women?
15 lawyers at our firm are women, including five partners.
How many support members are there?
There are between 60 and 75 support members in the firm at any given time. This includes our registered trade-mark agents, legal assistants, paralegals, administration and office services.
What is the role of my principal?
Your principal is expected to ensure that you fulfill the Law Society’s requirements for completion of your articles. In addition, your principal is also a resource for you. They can provide guidance, offer advice and support, and help with the development of your legal career at this early stage.
What can I expect my first day?
Your first day will be the start of a 3-day orientation and training program. Generally, you’ll be in systems training most of the day with a lunch scheduled with either your principal or lawyer(s) from the firm. Among other programs, our firm uses MS Windows, Outlook and Word.
Who can I expect to receive work from?
The articling student program at RBS is based on a rotation system, allowing each individual to experience various areas of law for a set period of time. During rotations you can expect to receive work from the lawyers of that practice area and obtain an exposure to a broad variety of subject matters. We do not expect you to drop a file that you have worked extensively on because that rotation is over; in fact we encourage our students to get involved and really take control of files that really appeal to them – get their fingerprints all over files that excited them.
How is work performance evaluated?
Articling students are evaluated and provided feedback after each rotation. Summer students are evaluated and provided feedback once over the summer. Lawyers are also encouraged to provide feedback on any projects or files that the student has assisted with. However, we encourage the student to also actively seek feedback on their own.
What kind of social activities are there?
RBS holds a number of social activities and gatherings on a weekly basis and throughout the year. In addition to a summer social and a winter party for all firm members, the lawyers gather for pizza or sushi on a weekly basis, the associates meet as a group six to eight times a year for business development sessions, and a group of firm members volunteer at the food bank on a monthly basis. We also have an active social committee that organizes food drives, bake sales, running groups, and other “friendly” competitions around the office at various times throughout the year. While attendance is encouraged, it is not expected that you attend all events unless you would like to.
How do I apply for a student position with RBS?
RBS hires between 2-3 summer students per year, with the hope that these individuals return to complete their articles with the firm following third year. To apply for a student position with Richards Buell Sutton LLP, send your cover letter, resume and school transcripts (law and undergrad) to us through the VIDesktop Portal.
What can I expect during the interview process?
Prospective candidates can expect a conversational interview process with Ray Pollard, Director of Associate Development. During the interview, the candidate is asked about their education, work history, extracurricular activities and potential interest areas for the practice of law. There may also be some situational questions if time permits. Candidates will be encouraged to ask any questions they have pertaining to the firm, its culture and the practice of law generally. We place great importance in assessing a candidate’s suitability to both integrating into and enhancing the firm’s existing culture. A guided tour of the firm, conducted by a current student, will usually follow any interview that is conducted in our offices. After the tour, the candidate will have the opportunity to speak with the current student about the student’s experience at the firm.
An On Campus or a less formal early interview at the firm may also be scheduled. We don’t have a rigid student process and are not confined by the Vancouver Bar Association Guidelines. Apply early to give us the best chance to meet you.
What is the hire-back ratio?
At RBS we pride ourselves on attracting talented students who want to develop their careers with us. As a result, we have made offers to the majority of our students. What we are particularly proud of is the number of long term employees we have and the number of returning employees (both staff and lawyers) who have looked for greener pastures and returned to BC’s Oldest Law Firm. Check out some of the testimonials.