Davies Ward Phillips & Vineberg Articling Interview Questions & Guide

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Davies Ward Phillips & Vineberg Firm Overview

Davies Ward Phillips & Vineberg LLP is a prestigious Canadian law firm recognized globally for its outstanding professionals, client service and value. With expertise across virtually every area of business law, the firm takes a practical, entrepreneurial approach to complex matters for leading companies, financial institutions and government entities. Davies has built its reputation by bringing together talented lawyers with a shared commitment to excellence and an innovative, solution-oriented mindset. 

Though mid-sized, Davies is consistently involved in many of Canada’s largest transactions and most prominent litigation cases. The firm punches above its weight class due to its lawyers’ experience, skillful advocacy and deep industry knowledge. Davies fosters an open and collaborative culture where the best minds work together to achieve optimal results for clients.

Davies Ward Phillips & Vineberg Articling Overview

Davies is lauded for its articling program that allows students to gain meaningful experience across diverse practice areas from day one. Unlike some firms where students are siloed, Davies articling students benefit from a generalist approach that provides maximum flexibility to explore their interests. Through hands-on learning, mentorship, and exposure to high-caliber work, students build unparalleled skill sets.

The program’s emphasis on mentoring and professional development ensures students acquire not just substantive legal knowledge, but hone crucial skills like problem-solving, client communication and business acumen. Davies’ culture prizes collaboration and collegiality – students integrate seamlessly into deal teams and case work alongside leading lawyers. With a focus on merit and growth potential rather than metrics like billable hours targets, Davies nurtures well-rounded associates prepared for successful careers.

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Davies Ward Phillips & Vineberg Sample Application Questions

Prospective Davies articling students can expect application materials to include questions like:

  • What experiences during law school have best prepared you to thrive in a fast-paced environment like Davies? (200 words)
  • We pride ourselves on creative, entrepreneurial approaches to complex problems. Describe a challenge you faced and the innovative solution you developed. (150 words)
  • Why are you interested in remaining a generalist at this stage versus specializing in a certain practice area? (100 words) 
  • Davies is committed to pro bono service – discuss an access to justice issue that is important to you. (150 words)
  • Please discuss a business/legal news issue you’ve been following and the implications you see arising. (200 words)

Essays, personal statements and other written components will likely assess qualities Davies values like intellectual curiosity, strong communication abilities, problem-solving acumen and commitment to exceptional client service.

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Davies Ward Phillips & Vineberg Sample Interview Questions

Interviews for Davies articling positions are known to be thorough and probe candidates’ motivations, skillsets and preparedness for top-tier legal work through questions like:

Legal Analysis and Research:

  • Walk me through your approach to analyzing a complex legal/regulatory issue.
  • Many of our files involve complex financial/accounting analysis – how would you ensure you understood this technical context?
  • Describe a time you had to juggle multiple deadlines and priorities. How did you manage?
  • Discuss an unfamiliar area of law you had to quickly get up to speed on. How did you tackle it?

Professionalism and Ethics:

  • How would you counsel a client struggling with an ethical/reputation management dilemma?
  • What role do you think pro bono service should play in a lawyer’s career?
  • How would you handle a situation where you disagreed with the approach a senior colleague wanted to take?
  • How would you define exemplary client service? Provide an example of how you’ve embodied this.

Writing and Attention to Detail:

  • What steps do you take to ensure your written work product is error-free and polished?
  • How would you craft innovative fee structures for clients? Provide examples of alternative pricing models.
  • What excited you most about the legal profession when you first decided to pursue this path?
  • What experiences with public speaking or presentations have prepared you for high-stakes client interactions?

Collaboration and Firm Fit:

  • We often collaborate across practice areas – what’s your experience working in team settings?
  • Describe your leadership experience and how you’d add value to Davies’ culture.
  • What draws you to Davies’ sector focus versus a more specialized firm?
  • Our work spans industries – how do you stay up-to-date on business trends across sectors?

Industry Trends and Technology:

  • How do you envision the legal industry evolving, and what role will technology/automation play?
  • If negotiating a high-stakes deal hit an impasse, how would you proceed?


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