Student Program

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Join as a student. Retire as a partner.

Founded in 1871, Richards Buell Sutton is one of the oldest law firms in British Columbia. Today, we’ve benefited from more than 150 years of practising law, developing our knowledge and gaining experience, and by earning the loyalty of long-term clients, from institutions and corporations to individuals.

By Canadian law firm standards, we sit neatly and intentionally in the mid-sized law firm space with offices in Vancouver and Surrey. Our lawyers number in the 50’s, we have more than two dozen paralegals, and are supported by many long-term staff, as well as a loyal hard-working and diverse management team.

We are a diverse, respectful and collegial workplace. It is our firm belief that diversity both strengthens RBS and enhances our ability to represent our broad base of clients.

Click on the below headings to take you through our program. If you have additional questions, please email us at Our partners, associates, students and administrators take the time to get to know you.

Student Programs
What We Look for in Students
How to Apply
Salary & Benefits
Current Students
Student Committee
Our Lawyers Who Articled at RBS
Student News

Student Programs

Congratulations on planning for the early stages of your legal career! We are pleased to be among your potential choices of firms and appreciate your interest in RBS.

RBS offers both a summer program and an articling program.

Summer Program

Second year law students have the opportunity to work in a legal environment in preparation for their third year of law school and, beyond that, their articles. There is no formal rotation for our summer students and they are encouraged to be proactive in seeking out work and to be open to experiencing various types of work.

Articling Program

Our hope is to hire articling students who become our associates and, eventually, partners in the firm. Articling students rotate through corporate/commercial and litigation programs. During rotations you can expect to receive work from lawyers in 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 – getting their fingerprints all over files that excite them.

Whether in the summer or articling program at RBS, highlights of our student program include:

Hands-on experience in a variety of practice areas
Students have assisted in all facets of this busy and dynamic legal practice, including meeting with clients, negotiating settlements, preparing documents, assisting in trial preparation, attending at chambers applications, conducting small claims court trials, reviewing and drafting contracts, preparing commercial leases, assisting with property development, dealing with intellectual property matters and conducting legal research.
Students are encouraged to explore their interests and develop their skills in that area by reaching out to our lawyers and attending practice group meetings and continuing education courses. Our areas of expertise are divided into several practice groups:

Asia Pacific
Business Services
Business Transactions
Employment & Human Rights
Estate & Wealth Advisory
Litigation & Dispute Resolution
Personal Injury
Personal Services
Real Estate
South Asian
Technology & Innovation

Students take part in our firm orientation and training program. From technology and systems training, to research, writing, practice management and professional development, they cover all aspects of working in a law firm.

Feedback & Evaluations
Summer students are evaluated and provided feedback once over the summer. Articling students are evaluated and provided feedback after each rotation. Lawyers are also encouraged to provide feedback on any projects or files with which the student has assisted. We also encourage students to actively seek feedback on their own.

In addition to being assigned a principal and mentor who will provide guidance and advice, you will receive support from our Director of Professional Development in the growth and advancement of your legal career. We have an open-door policy which allows students to benefit and learn from the well-respected and experienced litigators and business lawyers at RBS.

Social activities
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 and sushi regularly, and the associates meet as a group for social activities and professional and business development sessions. We also have an active social committee that organizes food drives, events, wellness initiatives, 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.

What We Look for in Students

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.

Salary & Benefits

Our students receive a salary and benefits competitive in the downtown Vancouver market. Highlights include:

  • Summer students who return to article with RBS receive a third-year tuition bonus.
  • Articling students are paid their salary during PLTC, a full range of legal memberships are covered, and they receive a comprehensive benefits package. For more information visit Teams with Benefits.
  • All firm members have access to a full gym at no cost.


How to Apply

In recent years we have hired three summer students with the hope that these individuals return to complete their articles with the firm following their third year of law school, and ultimately become associates, and future partners.

To apply for a summer student position, please send your cover letter, resume and school transcripts (law and undergrad) to us through the viLawPortal.

Applications should be addressed to Morgan Fowler, Director of Professional Development.

Successful applicants will be contacted for an interview, typically beginning with an on campus interview (OCI).

Prospective candidates can expect a conversational interview process covering topics such as education, work history, extracurricular activities and potential interest areas for the practice of law. Candidates are encouraged to ask any questions they have about RBS or the practice of law generally. For any interviews that are conducted at our office, there will also be a guided tour of the firm conducted by a current student and an opportunity to speak about the student’s experience at the firm.

Current Students

Meet our current students. We invite you to contact them for further information about the RBS student program. Learning first-hand about their experience can benefit and assist you when making this important decision.