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Osler, Hoskin & Harcourt LLP Articling Interview Questions & Guide

Articling Application Specialists

Osler Firm Overview

Osler, Hoskin & Harcourt LLP is one of Canada’s pre-eminent full-service business law firms. With a history spanning over 150 years, Osler has grown into an international practice providing strategic legal counsel across practice areas like corporate, litigation, tax, real estate, risk management, intellectual property and more. The firm boasts unrivaled depth, with over 450 lawyers across offices in Toronto, Montréal, Calgary, Ottawa, Vancouver and New York.

Osler consistently represents leading public and private companies, investment funds, entrepreneurs and sovereign entities on their highest-stakes mandates – handling many of Canada’s largest, most complex deals and precedent-setting cases across industries. The firm’s reputation for excellence is built on its lawyers’ superior skill, business acumen and unwavering commitment to delivering exceptional client service. Osler fosters a collegial, team-oriented culture that empowers future leaders.

Osler Articling Program Overview

Osler’s articling program provides students unparalleled practical training alongside some of Canada’s foremost legal minds, engaging in the same substantive work as the firm’s top lawyers. Through an immersive rotation system spanning Osler’s diverse practice areas, students gain exposure to sophisticated, business-critical matters in areas like corporate, M&A, finance, litigation, tax, and beyond. Under low student-to-associate ratios, students receive hands-on mentorship and take on significant responsibilities like drafting, legal research, due diligence, client interaction and attending negotiations, closings and court appearances. 

Osler takes a personalized approach, ensuring each student attorney’s evolving interests and career goals are supported through tailored work assignments and development opportunities. The program is anchored by robust formal training on substantive legal knowledge, professional skills and the firm’s commitment to delivering unparalleled client service. A highly collegial culture fosters collaboration and integration through mentorship and social events.

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Osler Sample Application Questions

To identify top candidates aligned with the firm’s culture of excellence, innovation and outstanding client service, Osler’s comprehensive articling application process features components like:

 

– What experiences best prepared you for thriving in a fast-paced, demanding environment while juggling multiple deadlines/priorities? Provide examples. (200 words)

– We place a premium on exceptional written and oral advocacy abilities. Discuss a complex legal or academic project that showcased your skills in these areas. (200 words)

– Describe your approach to developing trusted relationships and providing responsive client service, especially amid challenging circumstances. (150 words)

– Our work spans all aspects of high-stakes business law. Why are you interested in this field and what commercial awareness or relevant background would you bring? (150 words)

– Osler embraces innovation in legal service delivery models. What role should technologies like AI, data analytics and process automation play? (150 words)

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Osler Sample Interview Questions

Interviews represent a critical opportunity for Osler to delve deeper into candidates’ motivations, judgment and fit through questions like:

Legal Knowledge and Analytical Skills:

  • We often advise clients weighing competing financial, legal and reputational risks amid ambiguity. How would you evaluate the factors and provide pragmatic counsel?
  • Walk me through your approach to a complex legal research or due diligence assignment in an unfamiliar area of law/industry.
  • A prospective client with a major deal contemplates aggressive financial reporting tactics. How would you advise them on risks/liabilities?
  • Describe your approach to legal writing/drafting documents to ensure exceptional work product.

Interpersonal Skills and Teamwork:

  • Describe a situation where you had to collaborate extensively on a group project and how you navigated challenges or friction between stakeholders.
  • How would you ensure quality control and precision amid tight time constraints while balancing multiple work streams?
  • Describe your leadership experience and how you helped foster a collaborative, supportive team dynamic.
  • Our global platform and cross-border matters require coordinating across time zones and cultures frequently. What experiences do you have bridging such divides?


Career Goals and Fit with the Firm:

  • What practice areas are you most interested in currently and why do they appeal to you? How does Osler’s expertise in those areas differentiate us?
  • Why are you interested in Osler versus other top Canadian firms? How do our values, culture and service model align with your own goals?
  • How do you plan to continue developing skills like client communication, business development and management abilities?
  • What questions do you have about our articling program, unique firm culture or other areas of importance to you?


Innovation and Future Trends in Legal Services:

  • We are an innovative, forward-thinking firm. How do you envision legal services transforming and what impact will emergent technologies have?
  • What role should innovation and deploying cutting-edge technologies play in delivering modern legal services efficiently?
  • Our litigators handle many high-profile commercial disputes and class actions. What unique considerations arise in this context?
  • We are deeply committed to pro bono work and access to justice. What causes align with your values?

 

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