“The success of our Firm and our clients largely depends on our ability to attract and retain quality students. As such, Mathews Dinsdale’s Student Program is designed to ensure that students receive a rewarding and well-rounded educational experience. Students will work with a variety of lawyers, many of whom are leaders in their fields, and will be provided with comprehensive training in all areas of our practice.”
– Student Committee
Leading firm – Our Firm is frequently recognized as an industry leader in the area of workplace law. Mathews Dinsdale been chosen as a Go-To Law Firm® in a recent survey of the Fortune 500® by Corporate Counsel Magazine. We have also been identified as a “Preferred Firm” in the areas of Management-Side Labour Relations and Construction Sector Labour Relations by the Canadian Legal Lexpert Directory.
Opportunities for personal growth – Our Firm is committed to educating and immersing students in all aspects of workplace law. In addition to conducting legal research and preparing legal memos, students interview witnesses, confer with employers and individuals practising in the areas of human and labour relations, and draft pleadings, arguments and workplace policies. Our goal is to attract talented law students who will contribute to the success of the Firm and that of our clients.
In-depth exposure to practice areas – Because Mathews Dinsdale is a tightly-knit boutique law firm, summer and articling students work closely with lawyers on a regular basis by preparing for and attending collective bargaining, and assisting in the preparation of cases for grievance-arbitration, mediation, trial and workplace tribunals. Our students are encouraged to attend hearings with lawyers as much as possible in order to gain valuable insight into the area of workplace law. We firmly believe that this degree of exposure provides our students with an unparalleled experience.
Culture of collaboration and teamwork – Mathews Dinsdale takes pride in its culture of collaboration and teamwork. Students and lawyers communicate with each other directly and frequently, creating a dialogue in which students gain exposure to the psychology and strategy behind each practice area while contributing their own fresh perspective. As a student at Mathews Dinsdale, you will be treated as a professional and valued member of the team.
Rich history – Since being founded in 1956 as Canada’s first labour and employment law firm, Mathews Dinsdale has been dedicated to helping employers manage the increasingly complex laws of the workplace. The Firm’s history can be traced to 1937, when Norman Mathews and Beatrice Lyons, one of the first women in Canada to become a partner in a law practice, formed a law partnership. In 1956, Bea Lyons and Norm Mathews, now married, entered into partnership with Stanley Dinsdale and Allan Clark. That year, the Firm of Mathews, Dinsdale & Clark was created, becoming the first law firm in Canada – and one of the first in North America – to dedicate its practice to representing employers in workplace law matters.
Constant exposure – Unlike at full-service law firms where students might work in a labour relations or employment law department for a limited period in a rotation, our students are exposed to workplace law on an intensive basis throughout the student term.
Opportunities for advocacy – Few areas of law require practitioners to appear as advocates as frequently as is required in the area of workplace law. Disputes between employers and their employees are usually referred to any one of a number of specialized tribunals such as the Human Rights Tribunal of Ontario, the Ontario Labour Relations Board and the Workplace Safety and Insurance Board, or through a private grievance-arbitration process.
Diverse practice – A specialized practice in workplace law exposes students to a broad range of sub-specialty fields, including human rights, construction sector labour relations, occupational health and safety, and employment standards and immigration, to name only a few. Intensive and repeated exposure to these sub-specialty fields helps students effectively navigate through the complex and ever-evolving field of workplace law.
We select students principally on the basis of their academic achievement, their desire to become involved as an advocate on behalf of employers, their demonstrated interest in the area of workplace law and their past legal and non-legal work experience. We also look for students with dynamic personalities, and those who will be able to interact well with our diverse group of lawyers, legal support staff and clients.
We encourage students to participate in our National Labour Arbitration Competition (click here to read more about Mathews Dinsdale’s National Labour Arbitration Competition).
At Mathews Dinsdale, we are committed to developing and growing our legal practice by retaining summer and articling students that progress through our Student Program. Our objective is to hire students who will aspire to become associates and, eventually, partners at the Firm. We are very proud that the overwhelming majority of our partners and associates began their legal careers as students in our Student Program.
Mathews Dinsdale is committed to supporting our students in their continued professional development. We offer in-house seminars covering a broad range of topics, including legal research and memo writing, occupational health and safety, human rights and construction sector labour relations, to name only a few. Students are invited to make proposals for future seminar topics. Students also regularly participate in external seminars such as Lancaster House audio conferences, which deal with new and exciting developments in the area of workplace law.
In addition to the professional aspects of our Student Program, a variety of social events are planned throughout the year to round out the student experience. Popular social events include our annual inter-firm ball hockey tournament in support of Sick Kids Hospital and Family Day.
Students are encouraged to giveback to their communities. In past years, the Firm has participated in initiatives such as the Yonge Street Mission’s Winter Hope Clothing Drive and the Daily Bread Food Drive Challenge.
Mathews Dinsdale’s Student Program operates on a committee structure, rather than a formal mentor structure. The backbone of our Student Program is communication. Students are encouraged to discuss any aspect of their student experience with the Student Committee, their principals and other lawyers in the Firm, to seek constructive feedback on their professional development, and to discuss whether the Firm is providing them with the work and experience consistent with their expectations. Student workloads and the variety of each student’s assignments are reviewed weekly by the Student Committee.
How many students are hired at Mathews Dinsdale?
We traditionally hire three to four articling and summer students.
Does Mathews Dinsdale have a rotation system?
Articling students participate in a rotation system, in which the articling term is divided into two rotations. Articling students spend two-thirds of their articling period working with lawyers in the Labour Relations Practice Group, and one-third of their articling period working with lawyers in the Employment Law and Litigation Practice Group.
Given the more limited summer period, the Firm’s summer students work with lawyers in both the Labour Relations and Employment Law and Litigation Practice Groups for the entirety of their summer term. Our informal approach enables students to work with many lawyers across both practice groups in their respective area(s) of specialty.
What is the typical workload for students?
Mathews Dinsdale does not have set hours targets for students. Our focus, instead, is to ensure that our students receive the best educational experience possible.
What sets Mathews Dinsdale apart?
We take particular pride in our informal and collaborative atmosphere, which promotes effective teamwork and a comfortable working relationship between our lawyers and students.