Professional Development

Get the training and support you need to achieve your ambitions

We are invested in your success at every stage of your career

At Stikeman Elliott, we want you to achieve your full potential. We believe the continuous development and education of our lawyers is best achieved by a combination of hands-on experience and formal training, as well as strong formal and informal mentoring relationships. If you want to advance your professional skills, you will find the tools you need here.

Learning is an ongoing commitment

Not only do we provide you with real work experiences to promote on-the-job learning, we also take a bespoke approach to training and career development, tailored to your experience level. At the outset of your career, we put the emphasis on developing a well-rounded skill set with a formal program of substantive knowledge. Then, as you progress, you will drive the growth of your practice and the development of your areas of expertise. We work with our associates to advance their careers by building client service, business development and leadership skills at every level, all the way through to partnership.

Our broad and comprehensive formal Continuing Legal Education (CLE) program is delivered in a variety of formats. Our powerful learning culture ensures that lawyers are always on top of new developments in the law. We also schedule regular practice group meetings for lawyers throughout the year. On top of our CLE offering, lawyers can progress with different programs adapted to their career level. Opportunities abound — from a comprehensive junior associate training curriculum specifically designed for the Business Law and Litigation Groups, to a ground breaking mini-MBA program with HEC Montréal for senior associates, to more advanced management and leadership programs for partners at Harvard.

Practice group lunches and junior practice group lunches are very well attended and allow lawyers to enhance their practical skills and share experiences relevant to their specific practice areas. We also offer tailored business language classes to enable lawyers to navigate fluently in today’s competitive business environment.

Mentorship is a key element of our culture

We believe that mentoring not only supports professional development, it ensures that young associates and new hires alike are fully integrated into the fabric of the firm and navigate their careers successfully. Our formal mentoring program is led by a multidisciplinary group of lawyers who oversee the program as a whole, counsel mentor pairings and coordinate activities. They also work in collaboration with both Associates and Students Committees. The informal mentoring, which occurs on a daily basis, is also an integral part of your progression, as all lawyers are committed to investing in talent development within the firm.

Evaluations and feedback contribute to your growth

Associates receive one formal year-end performance evaluation and first-year and second-year associates also receive a mid-year review. The goal of our performance evaluations is to provide associates with formal feedback and offer suggestions on your development as you progress at the firm. In addition to the formal review process, we encourage associates to seek out feedback directly from colleagues throughout the year, whether after a specific assignment or at completion of a transaction or litigation.

Associates also benefit from the support of a Senior Director, Legal Talent as well as a Director, Professional Development and Training, both members of the professional resources team. They are responsible for recruiting lawyers, ensuring their integration within the firm and implementing a number of programs and activities with a view to ensuring lawyers enjoy rewarding careers. To support your growth at every level, the professional resources team works in close collaboration with the Associates Committee, which meets on a regular basis to ensure associates have a broad range of exposure to different files and partners. The Associates Committee also oversees the performance evaluation process.

The latest technology helps us use our time and resources well

Everyone’s time is precious – our extensive resources facilitate an efficient and effective practice. We invest in innovative technologies that allow us to be efficient and flexible in our professional lives while also respecting commitments we make in our personal lives. For example, our workSMART initiative is a firm-wide program designed to continually optimize the way we practise law by leveraging cutting edge technologies and the best observed practices to elevate efficiency. 

However, no one solution fits all needs. Accordingly, Stikeman Elliott associates receive a technology grant, renewable every four years, to purchase devices and tools that will be of the greatest use to you in your practice and to optimize your ability to work remotely.

Knowledge Management is a key element of our vision

Stikeman Elliott has made significant strategic investments in a dedicated Knowledge Management (KM) team as well as KM systems. This group consolidates and disseminates the insights of individual lawyers and deal teams, and captures and develops leading-edge intellectual capital, making it accessible firm-wide. STELLA KM is our leading enterprise search platform. Stikeman Elliott lawyers and students use it to gain powerful access to our rich KM collection (precedents, legal research and CLE), closing books, internal experts and body of expertise by context as well as organized by practice group, legal topic and industry. This bilingual tool is so evolutionary, it was shortlisted for the 2016 Innovative Project of the Year by ILTA. These state of the art systems support efficient research, collaboration and information delivery while KM lawyers and our professional library team help lawyers and students make the most of the firm’s resources.