Stikeman Elliott LLP Articling Interview Questions & Guide

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Stikeman Elliott Firm Overview

Stikeman Elliott is one of Canada’s leading business law firms, recognized globally for its world-class expertise across practice areas like M&A, securities, corporate finance, banking, tax, competition, litigation, and employment. With roots tracing back over 100 years, the firm has grown into an international practice with offices in Toronto, Montreal, Ottawa, Calgary, Vancouver, New York, London, and Sydney.

Stikeman Elliott represents leading multinational corporations, financial institutions, private equity funds, entrepreneurs and governments on their most critical mandates, handling many of Canada’s largest and most complex transactions and cases. The firm is renowned for delivering outstanding client service and facilitating cross-border deals through seamless cross-practice collaboration and a robust global platform. Stikeman fosters a dynamic, entrepreneurial culture that prizes innovation and empowers future leaders.

Stikeman Elliott Articling Program Overview

Stikeman Elliott’s articling program provides unparalleled hands-on training and exposure to cutting-edge business law matters through an immersive rotation model. Students experience two broad rotations – Corporate (including M&A, securities, finance) and LETREC (litigation, employment, tax, real estate, competition). However, the program remains highly customizable – students can focus more deeply in certain areas and explore specific interests within rotations.

A key highlight is Stikeman’s secondment program, allowing select students a unique client-side experience through temporary placements across legal departments spanning finance, technology, consumer goods, and more. Beyond substantial legal work, the program features robust mentorship from partners and associates, plus formal training on core skills and practice areas. An emphasis on career development ensures each student’s professional goals are supported through tailored work assignments and enriching experiences that inspire well-rounded, future-focused lawyers. 

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Stikeman Elliott Sample Application Questions

Stikeman Elliott’s comprehensive articling application features components aimed at identifying top students aligned with the firm’s standards of excellence, preparedness for complex legal work, and commitment to outstanding client service. These may include:


– We advise leading companies and funds on their most high-stakes transactions. What drew you to a career in business/corporate law and what relevant experiences, skills or knowledge would you bring? (200 words)

– Describe your approach and techniques for producing precise, well-crafted legal writing that ensures exceptional work product for our clients. (150 words)

– Discuss a time you had to collaborate extensively within a team and navigate interpersonal challenges or dynamics to meet shared goals. (200 words)

– Why is innovation important in the legal profession? What role should emerging technologies, practice innovations, or new service models play? (150 words)

– Stikeman Elliott has a long history facilitating sophisticated cross-border deals. What experiences have you had operating in international contexts or bridging across different cultures/perspectives? (150 words)


Essay responses allow candidates to showcase crucial skills like communication, entrepreneurial thinking, global mindset and overall preparedness to thrive at the firm.

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Stikeman Elliott Sample Interview Questions

Interviews represent a key opportunity for Stikeman to evaluate candidates’ motivations, judgment and knowledge through questions like:

Legal Analysis and Client Advising:

  • Walk me through your approach to analyzing a complex legal/contractual issue or handling unfamiliar subject matter. How would you advise the client?
  • We often advise clients weighing competing financial, legal and reputational risks. How would you pragmatically evaluate the factors involved?
  • A new client with a major deal contemplates pushing ethical boundaries around financial disclosures. How would you advise them on risks/liabilities?
  • Walk me through your approach to drafting airtight client communications or legal agreements with zero ambiguities.

Problem-Solving and Communication Skills:

  • Describe a difficult professional situation you encountered and how you navigated it through problem-solving, integrity, and strong communication skills.
  • How would you ensure exceptional attention to detail and quality control when handling multiple work streams under tight deadlines?
  • Describe your leadership experience and how you foster a cooperative, supportive team culture.
  • Given our multinational clientele, cross-cultural fluency is key. How have you bridged diverse perspectives/backgrounds?

Career Goals and Fit with the Firm:

  • What practice areas are you most interested in currently and why? How does Stikeman’s expertise in these areas differentiate us?
  • Why are you interested in Stikeman Elliott versus other leading Canadian firms? How do our principles, culture, and service model resonate with your own values?
  • How will you continue developing vital skills like client relationship management, business development, and executive poise?
  • What other areas are important for us to discuss regarding our unique firm, its priorities, or the fit for your own goals?

Innovation and Future Trends in Legal Services:

  • Stikeman Elliott is an innovative, forward-thinking firm. How do you envision legal services transforming, and what excites you about that evolution?
  • We embrace innovation through cutting-edge tech adoption and new service models. How should firms evolve legal delivery approaches?
  • Stikeman is deeply committed to pro bono and access to justice initiatives. What public interest causes resonate with your values?
  • Our work increasingly requires skilled project management and tight coordination across global teams spanning offices/time zones. What experiences do you have collaborating seamlessly in such environments?


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