Course aux stages 2020

Key Dates

This year's Course aux stages will take place from August 12th to August 21st, 2020. We invite you to review the detailed calendar below for all the important dates to come. We look forward to meeting you soon!

 Course aux stage 2020 - EN Calendar 

Interview Process

Below you will find important resources and information to help you prepare for the Course aux stages. We invite you to read them in advance to ensure a successful virtual interview.

Checklist to Connect to Your Virtual Interview


Get To Know Us Virtually

Virtual Tour

Life at Stikeman Elliott

This is us outside the office


General Q&A

Q&A – Questions pertaining to the COVID-19 pandemic

Q: What are the main practice areas of the Montreal office?

  • Corporate/commercial law, including securities, mergers and acquisitions, financing and real estate (about 58% of our lawyers)
  • Litigation (about 21% of our lawyers)
  • Tax (about 12% of our lawyers)
  • Employment (about 9% of our lawyers) 

Q: How would you describe the firm’s culture?

  • Entrepreneurial culture
  • Absence of a hierarchy
  • True collegiality
  • Diversity and eclecticism: there is no mold you need to fit in
  • Openness to change and innovation
  • Team of motivated, efficient and creative people all sharing excellence as a common goal

Q: What kind of work are students and stagiaires expected to do?

  • Drafting contracts and related documents
  • Helping with the organization and closing of corporate transactions
  • Conducting due diligence reviews in the context of transactions
  • Doing legal research and analysis
  • Drafting procedures, briefs and opinions
  • Preparation and/or writing of articles, publications and presentations

Q: How are mandates and files assigned to students and stagiaires?

We do not have an assignment system for mandates. Students and stagiaires must themselves seek their mandates from lawyers in their assigned practice area. This ensures they are quickly integrated into the work teams.


Q: What level of responsibility do students and stagiaires have at the firm? 

Summer students are assigned to a practice area throughout the summer, while part-time students are not assigned to a specific area. As for the professional internship of the Bar, it consists of two rotations of three months where the stagiaires works in two different practice areas of their choice.

Q: Is there a rotation system in place for the firm's students and stagiaires?

We give our students and stagiaires a very high degree of individual responsibility. We are convinced that this will allow for their sense of initiative, their maturity and their professional know-how to develop more quickly.

Although we allow our students and stagiaires to take initiative, they are nevertheless always supervised, whether in terms of training and evaluations, or by their mentor and the Legal Talent team.


Q: What are the development opportunities for students and stagiaires?

To provide the most rewarding work experience, we offer: 

  • Comprehensive and intensive practical and theoretical training sessions on all practice areas of the firm, given during the summer or the stage periods
  • The opportunity to participate in weekly meetings of the various practice areas
  • A leading skills management and continuing legal education program
  • Language courses 

Q: How do you give feedback to your students and stagiaires? 

Feedback is a very important part of the learning process of our students and stagiaires. It is given on a regular basis, both officially and unofficially. Students are invited to two meetings during the summer where a full evaluation is completed. Stagiaires get official evaluations at the end of each rotation.

Q: Do you have a mentoring program?

Yes. We have put together a comprehensive and well-rounded mentoring program to support our existing and future lawyers at any point in their careers

  • Students: Pairing with a buddy during the summer
  • Stagiaires: Pairing with two different mentors for each rotation
  • Associates: Pairing with a buddy during the 1st year, after which they get to choose a senior mentor for the next three years

Q: What are the firm's pro bono initiatives in which students and stagiaires can participate?

We offer a pro bono internship program that allows our students to assist certain organizations during the summer, on the basis of half a day to a full day per week. The firm also offers a matching donation program to all employees whereas a donation is made by the firm for each hour of volunteer work done with an organization

Q: What steps is the firm taking to promote well-being at the firm?

The firm cares about the mental health and well-being of all and makes it a top priority. The National Wellness & Mental Health Committee which is made up of Board members, associates and directors from all SE offices has implemented various initiatives including:

  • Mental health awareness workshops offered by mental health professionals
  • Training sessions and workshops on stress management
  • Enhanced social benefits related to well-being and mental health Seminars on nutrition, sleep and optimization of cognitive abilities
  • Organization of sports leagues, lunchtime yoga classes, mindfulness sessions, a summer running club, subsidized gym memberships as well as other activities.

Q: Will the firm be hosting any in-person recruiting events or activities this summer?

Unfortunately, no. All our recruitment activities for the Course aux stages 2020 will take place virtually.


Q: When do you foresee a physical return to the office?

For the return to the office to take place under the best possible conditions, it is imperative that the de-confinement process be initiated in a cautious and measured manner, at a pace that we feel is right and appropriate. We are currently considering a phased return to the office this fall, and given the constraints and uncertainties created by the COVID-19 pandemic, management will adjust their plans as they arise.

All decisions we make to deal with the current situation are intended to be flexible and reflect our desire to respect the health and safety of our people as much as possible. 

Q: How did the firm’s transition to working remotely go?

Thanks to the colossal efforts and the impressive innovation system deployed by the different stakeholders of the firm, we have succeeded in moving to a 100% virtual environment in a relatively short time while continuing to serve our clients, both at the external than internal levels.

The key factors that made this transition so successful were above all the incredible adaptability of our people, our modern and robust technological infrastructure, as well as the advice and continued support provided by the firm (numerous resources, communications, tips and guides sent by management) to help our lawyers adapt to the newly virtual and dispersed teams in an efficient and productive manner.

Q: How many stagiaires does the firm recruit? Will the pandemic affect your hiring decisions for this year?

On average, we recruit 10 to 15 stagiaires per year and at this time, nothing suggests that there will be any change in this regard as we are recruiting stagiaires who will complete their stage in 2022. We are proud to have maintained all the start dates for all of our stagiaires this year, so the arrival of our future cohorts will not be delayed. Also, you can rest assured that our hiring guarantee policy as well as the conditions of employment and remuneration remain unchanged.

Q: What qualities do you most look for in your candidates? Which ones have become even more crucial since the start of the pandemic?

We value perseverance, self-confidence, communication skills, flexibility, a sense of initiative, autonomy and teamwork. In the current situation, the skills that will constitute added value in our teams are above all the ability to adapt and react as well as good collaboration. Working remotely also requires autonomy, discipline and maturity. The current circumstances have forced us to demonstrate creativity in unprecedented situations as well as unparalleled team spirit (listening, helping one another, being flexible).

Q: In light of remote working and social distancing, what practices does the firm have in place to support employees?

Because of its sudden and unprecedented nature, the pandemic crisis certainly created a great deal of uncertainty and insecurity, but it also revealed the best of the Stikeman Elliott community: ingenuity, support and solidarity.


While remaining transparent and attentive, the firm has spared no effort to provide ongoing support to all its members through office updates; communications to stay connected; the launch of a new microsite consolidating all information and advice relevant to COVID-19; messages of encouragement; announcements of new initiatives by the Chair and our Managing Partner; tips and strategies to work better remotely; mental health seminars organized by the Wellness & Mental Health Steering Committee; not to mention the entertaining weekly emails from the Legal Talent team, and more!

Q: While the current situation remains uncertain, what are the main priorities of the firm for the coming months?

We are very proud of our community, which has quickly adapted to today's challenges, and it is with optimism and pragmatism that we look to the future. However, our optimism is tempered by a good dose of caution and moderation. The health, safety and well-being of all members of the Stikeman Elliott community remain our top priorities. In the meantime, we have all the technological infrastructure necessary at our disposal to ensure the continuity of our services and meet the needs of our clients remotely, while taking our responsibilities as a company and as citizens. 

Q: In the age of the coronavirus, many businesses are rethinking the future of their operations. Is the firm considering adopting a new way of working for the future?

It's still hard to predict what our new 'normal' will look like, but one thing is for sure, we are at our best when we can interact, learn and work together side by side. Given the dynamic and social nature of our profession, culture and people, direct and close communication and collaboration are essential. It's fair to say that we all look forward to the day when we can resume our more normal activities at the office. 

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