Procedures Governing the Recruitment of Students for Summer 2017 Positions in the City of Toronto

Preamble


These Procedures are binding on all students and lawyers who participate in the recruitment of students for Summer 2017 positions in the City of Toronto. These Procedures are to be followed in spirit as well as in letter.

The purposes of these Procedures are to:

  1. provide an orderly recruitment process that promotes fair dealings between students and firms and among firms, and

  2. reduce interference with students’ studies and pressures on students.

Participants are reminded that compliance with these Procedures is required under rule 6.2-1 of the Law Society’s Rules of Professional Conduct. Deliberate breach or circumvention of these Procedures by a lawyer may result in a charge of Professional Misconduct against the lawyer who participates in or authorizes the circumvention. Deliberate breach or circumvention of these Procedures by a student may result in an Admissions Hearing to determine if the student meets the Good Character requirement for call to the bar and admission as a licensee of the Law Society.

It is the responsibility of all participants in the recruitment of summer students in the City of Toronto to ensure its integrity through compliance with these Procedures. Breach or circumvention of these Procedures should be reported in writing to the Law Society of Upper Canada, by email to articling@lsuc.on.ca, or by mail/fax to the attention of the Team Manager, Articling Program, Law Society of Upper Canada.

The dates in these Procedures will be adjusted each year. Comments with respect to these Procedures may be submitted for consideration by the Law Society of Upper Canada at the end of the recruitment cycle. Comments must be submitted in writing, by email to articling@lsuc.on.ca, or by mail/fax to the attention of the Team Manager, Articling Program, Law Society of Upper Canada.

These Procedures are organized as follows:

A – Definitions
B – General Procedures
C – Second Year Students
D – First Year Students

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A. Definitions


The following definitions are provided for clarity:

early offer” means an offer of a Summer 2017 position made by a firm to a student who is or has previously been employed and/or hired as a first year summer student with that firm.

February 21 Interview Week” means the interview week which starts at 8:00 a.m. on Tuesday, February 21, 2017.

“firm(s)” means an employer of students for Summer 2017 positions and includes a law firm, sole practitioner, company or non-profit organization legal department, government department or ministry, and legal clinic.

“first year student” means a student enrolled in a law school or registered with the National Committee on Accreditation who reasonably expects and is scheduled to commence articling in 2019 or later.

“on-campus interview” means an interview conducted in person on the premises of a law school or at another location to be determined by a law school, or remotely by telephone, videoconference, or other remote online communication platform, that takes place after August 22, 2016 and before October 28, 2016. Students apply directly to the firms in which they are interested. These interviews cannot last longer than 20 minutes each and students may interview only once with any firm.

“recruitment activity” means open houses, firm tours, and similar activities held for students, as well as any activity originated by a firm and directed toward specific individuals or targeted groups for the purpose of encouraging employment with that firm, including but not limited to the conducting of interviews and the making of offers of employment. 
Commentary: Activities which are not considered recruitment activities include but are not limited to participation in law school orientation, job fair and mooting events; dinners held for prize-winners; and seminars and other educational opportunities provided to students, participation in which is open to a recognized law school student group (or groups).

“November 7 Interview Week” means the interview week which starts at 8:00 a.m. on Monday, November 7, 2016.

“second year student” means a student enrolled in a law school or registered with the National Committee on Accreditation who reasonably expects and is scheduled to commence articling in 2018.

“time” means the time in Toronto, Canada.

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 B. General Procedures


Part B of these Procedures applies to both Parts C and D.

  1. Any firm, either within or outside of the City of Toronto, seeking to recruit a student who will spend a significant portion of Summer 2017 with the City of Toronto office of the firm shall be governed by these Procedures with respect to the recruitment of that student.
  2. Firms must not participate in the recruitment of students unless they are confident that they will be able to offer a position to a qualified student.
  3. Interviews may be conducted in person on the premises of the interviewing firm or at another location, or remotely by telephone, videoconference, or other remote online communication platform. The location of interviews and the method(s) by which interviews are conducted are within the discretion of the interviewing firm (except with respect to on-campus interviews). Interviews conducted remotely are subject to the same requirements and guidelines that apply to interviews conducted in person.
    Commentary: In scheduling their interviews, students are to allow for interview lengths of at least 90 minutes. Students who are interviewing in person should also allow for travel times between premises when scheduling their interviews. 
  4. Offers of employment shall not be made at any time on terms or in circumstances that do not give students a proper opportunity to consider the offer before deciding. Offers which are conditional upon the position still being available when the acceptance is received shall not be made.
    Commentary: When making offers and early offers, firms may communicate any relevant information about the terms of employment, including the position’s anticipated start date, compensation, and benefits.
  5. Throughout the recruitment process, firms shall not put undue pressure on students to accept an offer of employment, or to reveal their intention to do so.
    Commentary: Students may voluntarily communicate their intention to accept a prospective offer from a firm if such an offer were made. However, attempts by firms to solicit these intentions, however veiled or indirect such communications by firms might be, are considered inappropriate.
  6. Students shall deal with offers received as expeditiously as possible regardless of the stipulated time that the offer shall be allowed to remain open.
    Commentary: Failure to communicate a rejection of an offer as soon as a decision to reject is made prejudices not only the offering firm but also fellow students to whom an offer may next be made.
  7. Students who accept an offer shall immediately notify firms from whom they have an outstanding offer or with whom they have scheduled interviews. Students who accept an offer shall honour the undertaking thus given, regardless of what offers are subsequently received, and shall not thereafter participate in interviews with other firms. A student’s verbal acceptance of an offer constitutes a binding agreement between the student and the firm that may not be terminated unilaterally by either party.
  8. Firms shall not knowingly make an offer to a student who has already accepted a position at another firm.

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C. Second Year Students


Part C of these Procedures applies to the recruitment of second year students.

  1. Student applications for interviews received by 5:00 p.m. on Monday, August 22, 2016 shall be treated without regard for the date of receipt.
    Commentary: In considering whether or not an interview will be granted and the time and date of such interview, the date of receipt of an application shall not be a factor if the application is received by 5:00 p.m. on Monday, August 22, 2016.
  2. Firms may conduct on-campus interviews of candidates for Summer 2017 positions. The organization of on-campus interviews, including the notification of students, the location of on-campus interviews, and the method(s) by which on-campus interviews are conducted, is within the discretion of each individual law school. An in person on-campus interview may not be conducted at any individual firm’s office, unless the law school agrees otherwise in order to accommodate any candidates who would be otherwise unable to participate fully as a result of a factor or condition listed as a ground in the Human Rights Code, R.S.O. 1990, c. H.19. Interviews conducted remotely are subject to the same requirements that apply to interviews conducted in person.
  3. There shall be no recruitment activities for second year students between 5:00 p.m. on Monday, August 22, 2016 and 8:00 a.m. on Monday, November 7, 2016, except for the conducting of on-campus interviews and the scheduling of interviews and of any other recruitment activities to be conducted during the November 7 Interview Week. During the November 7 Interview Week, interviews shall only be conducted between 8:00 a.m. on Monday, November 7, 2016 and 5:00 p.m. on Wednesday, November 9, 2016. Between 5:00 p.m. on Wednesday, November 9, 2016 and 8:00 a.m. on Thursday, November 10, 2016, firms are prohibited from contacting students and students are prohibited from contacting firms. Recruitment activities are not restricted at other times. 
  4. The time and date of interviews and other recruitment activities to be scheduled for the November 7 Interview Week shall not be communicated in any way until 8:00 a.m. on Friday, October 28, 2016.
    Commentary: A firm may communicate, at any time after the student’s on-campus interview if the firm has conducted an on-campus interview or at any time after 5:00 p.m. on Monday, August 22, 2016 if the firm does not conducted on-campus interviews, (a) that it will or will not be interviewing a student during the November 7 Interview Week, (b) that the interviewing will be conducted in accordance with these Procedures, and (c) that it will or will not be inviting that student to a meal, reception or similar event during the November 7 Interview Week. However, the firm shall not suggest the specific date or time of the expected interview prior to 8:00 a.m. on Friday, October 28, 2016, nor may students participate in the making of such appointments before that time. Firms may, however, advise students, in advance but only after the student’s on-campus interview, of dates and times of events to which all interviewees will be invited.
  5. Firms shall not communicate their intention to interview a student and subsequently not do so.
  6. With the exception of on-campus interviews, no interviews for Summer 2017 positions in the City of Toronto shall be conducted by firms prior to the November 7 Interview Week. This rule applies both to firms conducting on-campus interviews and to those not conducting on-campus interviews.
    Commentary: Firms wishing to interview students from out of province law schools may attend at an out of province law school on a date or dates specified by the school for summer recruitment and interviews for summer positions. In exceptional circumstances, the Law Society will allow students who are unable to attend for interviews during the November 7 Interview Week permission to attend for interviews prior to the November 7 Interview Week. Applications for exemption should be made in writing to the Law Society of Upper Canada, by email to articling@lsuc.on.ca, or by mail/fax to the attention of the Team Manager, Articling Program, Law Society of Upper Canada. Such exemptions apply only to the date(s) for interviewing; all firms and students are bound by these Procedures as to the date on which offers of employment may be made.
  7. No communication of offers of employment shall be made prior to 8:00 a.m. on Thursday, November 10, 2016, subject to the exception in Section C.8. All offers made at or after 8:00 a.m. on Thursday, November 10, 2016 shall be allowed to remain open until at least 4:00 p.m. on Thursday, November 10, 2016. Any offers made at or after 4:00 p.m. on Thursday, November 10, 2016 shall be allowed to remain open for a reasonable period of time. The period during which an offer shall be allowed to remain open must be communicated by a firm making an offer to a student at the time the offer is made.
  8. (a) Firms may make an early offer of a Summer 2017 position, in accordance with these Procedures, to any student who is or has previously been employed and/or hired as a first year summer student with that firm, at any time prior to the earliest time after which communications of offers of employment may otherwise be made by that firm.
    (b) A student who receives an early offer must respond within two business days by notifying the firm that the student either accepts, rejects, or is holding the offer.
    (c) Accepting an early offer constitutes a binding agreement between the student and the firm.
    (d) Rejecting an early offer immediately releases the firm from any obligations to the student with respect to the recruitment process for Summer 2017 positions in the City of Toronto, and allows the firm to consider other applicants for the position.
    (e) Holding an early offer means that the offer remains valid and binding until the earlier of either the student notifying the firm of acceptance or rejection or the earliest time until which offers of employment must be allowed to remain open.
    (f) Firms shall not put undue pressure on students to communicate an acceptance or rejection of an early offer.
    Commentary: If a firm makes an early offer to a student(s), which has been initially held by the student(s) and then subsequently accepted after the firm has already scheduled interviews with other students for the position(s) that is or are no longer available, then the firm must contact those other students to cancel those interviews as expeditiously as possible.

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 D. First Year Students


Part D of these Procedures applies to the recruitment of first year students.

  1. Student applications for interviews received by 5:00 p.m. on Wednesday, January 25, 2017 shall be treated without regard for the date of receipt.
    Commentary: In considering whether or not an interview will be granted and the time and date of such interview, the date of receipt of an application shall not be a factor if the application is received by 5:00 p.m. on Wednesday, January 25, 2017.
  2. There shall be no recruitment activities for first year students between 5:00 p.m. on Wednesday, January 25, 2017 and 8:00 a.m. on Tuesday, February 21, 2017, except for the scheduling of interviews and of any other recruitment activities to be conducted during the February 21 Interview Week. During the February 21 Interview Week, interviews shall only be conducted between 8:00 a.m. on Tuesday, February 21, 2017 and 5:00 p.m. on Thursday, February 23, 2017. Between 5:00 p.m. on Thursday, February 23, 2017 and 8:00 a.m. on Friday, February 24, 2017, firms are prohibited from contacting students and students are prohibited from contacting firms. Recruitment activities are not restricted at other times.
  3. The time and date of interviews and other recruitment activities to be scheduled for the February 21 Interview Week shall not be communicated in any way until 8:00 a.m. on Friday, February 10, 2017.
    Commentary: A firm may communicate, at any time after January 25, 2017, (a) that it will or will not be interviewing a student during the February 21 Interview Week, (b) that the interviewing will be conducted in accordance with these Procedures, and (c) that it will or will not be inviting that student to a meal, reception or similar event during the February 21 Interview Week. However, the firm shall not suggest the specific date or time of the expected interview prior to 8:00 a.m. on Friday, February 10, 2017, nor may students participate in the making of such appointments before that time. Firms may, however, advise students, in advance, of dates and times of events to which all interviewees will be invited.
  4. Firms shall not communicate their intention to interview a student and subsequently not do so.
  5. Interviews shall not be conducted prior to 8:00 a.m. on Tuesday, February 21, 2017.
    Commentary: Firms wishing to interview students from out of province law schools may attend at an out of province law school on a date or dates specified by the school for summer recruitment and interviews for summer positions. In exceptional circumstances, the Law Society will allow students who are unable to attend for interviews during the February 21 Interview Week permission to attend for interviews prior to the February 21 Interview Week. Applications for exemption should be made in writing to the Law Society of Upper Canada, by email to articling@lsuc.on.ca, or by mail/fax to the attention of the Team Manager, Articling Program, Law Society of Upper Canada. Such exemptions apply only to the date(s) for interviewing; all firms and students are bound by these Procedures as to the date on which offers of employment may be made.
  6. No communication of offers of employment shall be made prior to 8:00 a.m. on Friday, February 24, 2017.
  7. All offers made at or after 8:00 a.m. on Friday, February 24, 2017 shall be allowed to remain open until 4:00 p.m. on Friday, February 24, 2017. Offers made on or after Friday, February 24, 2017 shall be allowed to remain open for a reasonable period of time. The period during which an offer shall be allowed to remain open must be communicated by a firm making an offer to a student at the time the offer is made.

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