Step up for the challenge. Step up your career.

Application and Interview Guide

Hallmarks of a Successful Candidate

  • Active Intelligence: You should have curiosity, insight and the ability to be analytical.
  • Engagement: Demonstrate enthusiasm, drive, and perseverance.
  • People Skills: The traits of integrity, respect and teamwork are especially helpful for our lawyers.

You'll find it beneficial if you can demonstrate some of these traits in your resume, cover letter and through the interview process. Here are some suggestions.

Cover Letter Tips


Please research this and any firm before considering your approach. Recruiters can detect your level of interest based on the tone and language used in the letter. This is why it's to your advantage to visit our site, read promotional material, and best of all, speak with students already working here. This will give you a good feel for who we are and if we're right for you.

Your Cover Letter

Your cover letter demonstrates your ability to think and write clearly. It should be short, concise, fit on one page, and ideally, be similar in appearance to your resume in terms of font style and size, margins, etc. Please tailor the letter to the firm. If you have a particular interest in us or a specific reason for approaching us, say so. If you know someone who works at the firm or is an alumnus, and who you are certain will speak well of you, feel free to include that. If there's a particular area of law practiced at the firm that's of particular interest to you, let us know.

General Cover Letter Tips

  • Take the time and care to include the addressee, and spell both their name and the firm name correctly.
  • Triple check your cover letter for typographical and grammatical errors. Do not rely on spell-check.
  • Have someone proofread all your application material.

Your Resume

A professional legal resume includes your name, where and how you can be contacted, education, awards, employment experience, and extra-curricular activities-usually in that order.

Your name, along with where and how you can be contacted, should be on the header of the first page of your resume. You may consider putting your name on the top of each subsequent page. This helps remind the reader of who you are and can be helpful if the pages of your resume become separated. Please include area codes with your phone numbers, and use a professional e-mail address instead of one that includes a nickname or that might be construed less professionally.

Your educational background is best presented in reverse chronological order beginning with post-secondary degrees and institutions. You should include academic prizes, scholarships, papers or special research projects.

Use the "Employment Experience" portion of your resume to let your personality come through. Job titles and responsibilities should be listed in reverse chronological order. If any of your work helped support you through university, please say so. If any of your work was highly technical, involved teamwork, travel or training, you might wish to include how these factors gave you further insight or increased your knowledge. Use accurate and descriptive active verbs to describe your responsibilities.

When describing "Extracurricular Activities" you might want to highlight your interests such as volunteering, learning languages, involvement in arts, sports, or travel. This is where you can include comments of a more personal nature such as coping skills learned as a result of some of the challenges you've experienced, significant amounts of time spent in other countries, etc.

General Resume Tips

  • Keep your resume to two pages in length.
  • Use headings, a simple font style, and white space to help your resume look clean and organized.
  • Refrain from gimmicks and including personal information such as height/weight, marital status, dependants, photos, or health.
  • Triple-check your resume for facts, dates, typographical and grammatical errors. Do not rely on spell-check.
  • Have someone proofread everything!


On-Campus Interviews

A number of law schools participate in the on-campus interview (OCI) process. Our Toronto office conducts OCI's at all of the Ontario law schools as well as Dalhousie, UNB and McGill.

Your Career Development Office will let you know how many OCI's you've been invited to. The interview venue is usually a hotel or conference centre near the school, with interviews taking place in one large room with each firm using a curtained booth. There is usually a bell or announcement at the beginning and end of each interview, which lasts 17 minutes.

The interview is a relaxed, but business-like meeting with the interviewer spending the first part of your time together learning more about you. It's very likely that you'll be asked to go into more detail about information on your resume, so you should be prepared to speak about topics ranging from school to elaborating on your extracurricular interests.

The second part of the interview is your turn. This gives you an opportunity to find out more about us, and we welcome any question.

Call Day for Toronto Summer Positions

The LSUC permits scheduling of interviews on and after a specified day known as "call day." We can and will advise you in advance of call day if we intend to phone you to schedule a November interview.

Firms can begin making calls at 8:00 am. Be prepared! These calls will be quick and to the point, as you'll have other calls coming in and we'll be calling all the students we hope to see. On call day, it's advisable that you disconnect any answering devise and disable call waiting. Most firms, us included, prefer to get a busy signal so we know to call you back and don't worry, we'll call until we get you in person. We'll follow up by sending you a letter confirming the details of the interview. You should be aware that some firms, us included, only schedule first interviews for Monday and Tuesday morning.

It's a safe bet that you'll be able to comfortably do four interviews a day. A good rule of thumb is to schedule interviews in two hour increments. This leaves time in between to gather your thoughts, and to travel and prepare for your next interview. You want to keep Tuesday afternoon and Wednesday open to revisit those firms of greatest interest to you.

The In-Firm Interview

This is your opportunity to see us in our office environment, meet lots of our people, and find out for sure if we are a good match.

These tips might help you get the most out of the experience.

  • Scope out the locations ahead of time and plan your route. Knowing exactly where you're going and how to get there will minimize your stress.
  • Make sure your shoes are business-like and comfortable.
  • Dress in appropriate business attire and glance in a mirror before each interview to make sure everything is in place.
  • Ensure cell phones/blackberries are turned off during all interviews and/or dinners or lunches with firms.
  • Arrive five-10 minutes early so that you have time to compose yourself before the interview.
  • Ask for business cards from those you meet and take notes after each interview so that later you can distinguish one firm from another.


Offers go out on a pre-determined date and time - check with your Career Services Office or the LSUC website for details - you'll want to be near your phone. We will have already asked you for a contact number to be able to reach you at that time.

  • If you receive an offer from your first-choice firm, accept it. If you've decided that your first-choice firm really is the place for you, don't worry about being over-eager by accepting on the spot.
  • If you need time to consider, take it but let the firm know your decision as soon as possible.
  • If you receive an offer from a firm that's not of interest to you, turn it down quickly, but graciously. This will save time for you and the firm, and possibly create an opening for one of your colleagues.
  • Finally, the best advice is for you to be prepared-then relax and be yourself. Enjoy this process. We do, and we look forward to meeting you!
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