Doing an internship because you have to is hardly the right motivation.
Articling for the sake of articling, that is hardly the right motivation. We’re looking for talented individuals who are confident in their opinions and have strong personalities capable of defending their ideas and taking initiative. That’s what it means to be a lawyer at Spiegel Sohmer and that’s what we hope you will be when you work here.
Just because you are an intern does not mean we will tuck you away in a corner. You will quickly be asked to exercise your talents alongside our lawyers, whether that means meeting with clients, pleading a case in front of a court, drafting a contract or taking part in negotiations. You will interact with colleagues from diverse backgrounds who will broaden your field of expertise in an open and collegial atmosphere.
At Spiegel Sohmer, there is no formal rotation between areas of law; you will manage your own work alongside lawyers who work in the fields that most interest you. You will be supervised, of course, but you will be largely in control of the success of your internship. You will have to learn to manage your time and you will have a target of 1,600 billable hours per year.
Spiegel Sohmer offers a number of advantages seldom seen in other Montreal firms. Here are a few:
Being a lawyer involves presenting one’s opinion and then defending it. That’s why we look for interns who know how to make and justify a decision. In return, we listen to your ideas and weigh them on their merits, no matter your age or number of years of experience. Here is what we think makes a great intern:
Most of our interns are selected during the winter recruiting campaign among second-year university students. We also accept students after their first year of studies, or “latecomers” if their qualifications are exceptional. In addition to academic results, we are interested in your activities (travel, interests, employment history) and anything that might demonstrate how your personality is a good match for our values.
Don’t overdo it, but don’t underdo it either. Your CV should present your accomplishments without becoming an epic novel. Your letter must be written in a clear, concise style. We receive many CVs every year, so do your best to highlight those aspects of your profile that will get our attention. We are looking for signs of personal initiative, open-mindedness, thirst for adventure and ability to handle stress.
We invite about 40 students to individual interviews with our lawyers. The goal: to gauge your ability to express yourself, to provide clear, cohesive answers, and to defend your opinions on a variety of subjects.
Be prepared to provide further details on anything mentioned in your CV. Reflect on why you really want to become a lawyer (we’ve heard all the clichés!). Do some research on our firm to demonstrate your interest to your interviewer. Know what is going on in the world and be able to discuss current affairs. Most of all, feel free to express your opinions, no matter what they might be.
We invite the very best candidates to meet a number of the firm’s shareholders. At this stage, we know you’ll make a great intern, but we want to make sure you’re the one that will flourish here. Will you have the enthusiasm and self-assurance to be a great fit for our team?
Be yourself! Don’t try to tailor your answers to what you think we want to hear. Finally, ask questions that are on your mind (salary, types of clients, how we assign work, etc.). This is an important step in your career; it’s time to give it your all!
To apply, send your cover letter, CV and a copy of your latest academic transcripts to:
Director, talent, culture and organizational development
1255 Peel Street
Spiegel Sohmer offers its interns a competitive salary linked to performance. Our employment policy excludes all discrimination based on race or ethnicity, gender, age, sexual orientation, marital status and all other forms of illegal discrimination.
That’s certainly our goal. We’re proud to be able to offer employment to the vast majority of our interns.
Spiegel Sohmer’s policy is to offer competitive salaries to students, interns and lawyers. However, we hope that salary is not the only criteria used to select a firm for your internship and future career. In 2016, our annual compensation was $50,000 for students and $60,000 for interns. These salaries are reviewed annually to reflect evolution in the market. We also pay our future interns’ Bar school tuition.
Our starting salary is $80,000 with some variation. It takes into account a target of 1,600 billable hours per year, which is more than reasonable (compare and you’ll see!). At Spiegel Sohmer, this is an objective that most lawyers achieve, but not all. And unlike other firms, we have no “official” target which we then disregard completely in favour of a much higher number. Lawyers who choose to work a substantial number of hours more than this target will see their remuneration adjusted proportionately. In short, taking workload into account, our salaries are at the high end of the scale. For example, if you work the 2,000 hours required by many larger firms, you will be paid $100,000 (2,000/1,600 x $80,000). There’s more! Lawyers who demonstrate ability in client development will be rewarded. Lawyers can earn, over and above their base salary, 15% of fees billed to their clients. We also offer group insurance that covers most dental and medical needs. Lawyers receive 4 weeks paid vacation annually. Finally, the firm assumes all expenses for ongoing professional development.
Salary increases are done on an annual basis. They take into account each lawyer’s individual performance and the evolution of their capabilities. There is no pre-established salary according to the number of years before the Bar. We also take into account market realities to maintain our competitive price advantage.
There is no mathematical formula. At Spiegel Sohmer, lawyers become shareholders based on three criteria (not exhaustive): specific knowledge of an area of law, efficiency and productivity, and volume of business generated.
Definitely! French-speaking lawyers make up about half the firm. As for the others, they all speak French.
English is the global language of business. If your English is average, that is not a huge concern as long as you demonstrate you have a basic capacity and you are willing to put in the necessary effort to improve it.
Of course, this is of tremendous help to us!