Ottawa FAQs

How many lawyers are with Borden Ladner Gervais?
With more than 750 lawyers, BLG is one of Canada’s largest firms, servicing a diverse range of clients in key practice areas. BLG Ottawa employs approximately 95 lawyers.
How many students do you normally hire?
At BLG Ottawa, we typically hire six summer and articling students for our Litigation and Business groups and two summer and articling students for our IP group.
How does the interview process work?
We conduct your first interview in our offices, where you’ll meet with the Director of Professional Recruitment and two practicing lawyers. At that time, you’ll have an opportunity to tour the Firm and all its departments, to speak with BLG lawyers and current students, and to get a feel for the office culture.
We conduct your second interview either in-firm or in a social setting, such as a lunch or dinner, during which you’ll meet a larger group of associates and partners.
Is it important to have an existing connection to Ottawa?
BLG Ottawa recruits from law schools across Canada with the goal of building our Firm over the long term. Regardless of where you grew up or went to school, if you want to forge your law career in Ottawa, we want to hear from you.
What type of compensation package does BLG Ottawa offer its students?
Our students receive salary and benefits competitive with large Ottawa firms.
When do summer and articling students start work at BLG Ottawa?
Summer students generally start after the Victoria Day weekend in May; they stay for a period of 14 weeks. Articling students start the day after the Civic Holiday in August for a period of 44 weeks (including 10 days of vacation).
What does BLG Ottawa look for in a candidate?
We seek students who:
  • fit well with our office culture and have the potential to grow into associates and then partners
  • offer strong leadership and entrepreneurial skills in addition to strong academic achievements
  • possess sound judgment and excellent oral and written communication skills (bilingualism is an asset, but not a requirement)
  • have exciting, fulfilling interests outside their career ambitions.
In short: we look for exceptional people. We develop exceptional lawyers.
Does BLG Ottawa have a formal mentorship program?
Yes. Each summer and articling student is assigned a mentor; each articling student is also assigned a principal responsible for signing off on your articles. Many students also develop rewarding mentor relationships with other legal professionals within the Firm.
What kind of training will I receive at BLG?
In your first week, you’ll learn about the Firm and become familiar with its systems during an intensive orientation program. As a summer student, you’ll attend weekly seminars led by lawyers in a variety of legal practice areas. Articling students and associates also attend regular professional development training sessions to increase substantive legal knowledge (i.e., preparing for trial, mediations, settlements, etc.) and to improve important practice-related skills (i.e., drafting, business development, practice management, etc.).
What type of work will I be doing as a student?
BLG Ottawa offers a summer program designed to provide students with direct and in-depth involvement in the Business and Litigation departments. BLG summer students undertake much the same work as articling students or junior associates: everything from research to discoveries to court appearances. Our aim is to provide insight, challenging work and an educational experience.
How is student work allocated at BLG Ottawa?
You’ll receive assignments in two ways: electronically via monitored e-mail requests; and directly from lawyers as you develop relationships and specific interests within the Firm. We find this system to be both fair and flexible.
Do students take part in pro bono work?
Yes. BLG professionals volunteer regularly as pro bono counsel for people for whom legal services would otherwise be inaccessible. In fact, BLG was named “Pro Bono Team of the Year” at the 2013 Benchmark Canada Awards. You’ll have the opportunity to work under the guidance of our lawyers on pro bono projects and cases in a variety of practice areas.
How do students receive feedback?
Summer students undergo one formal evaluation during their program at BLG Ottawa; articling students undergo two. You can also ask your mentor and other lawyers for informal feedback at any time during an assignment.
What kind of support and resources are available to students?
Summer students can always rely on their mentors for guidance and support; articling students can turn to both their mentors and principals. The Director of Professional Recruitment meets with all students regularly, both one on one and in groups, to check in, answer questions and monitor work allocation.
BLG Ottawa provides all the office resources of a large national law firm: IT services, corporate and library services, a copy centre and facilities support. 
What types of social events does BLG Ottawa host?
You’ll be invited to a wide variety of social events, some specifically for law students and their mentors and principals, others celebrated Firm-wide such as departmental socials and the annual Holiday Gala. 
What type of diversity initiatives does BLG participate in?
BLG Ottawa’s workforce and clientele reflect the multicultural community in which we operate. The Firm has established:
  • a National Diversity and Inclusion Committee
  • diversity-related training sessions
  • resources for name pronunciation, including audio clips attached to BLG bios
  • affinity groups to foster mutual support for religious, cultural and social communities within BLG
  • monthly diversity bulletins for sharing information
  • a diversity calendar highlighting cultural and religious observances

BLG supports the advancement of female professionals through our Firm-wide Women’s Leadership Development Committee.
 
BLG Ottawa also supports initiatives and organizations such as:

  • the Federation of Asian Canadian Lawyers
  • the Black Law Students’ Association of Canada
  • Pride at Work events
Danielle Laflamme

Contact Us

Professional Recruiting Manager
Ottawa
T 613.787.3578
F 613.230.8842