1L Indigenous Law Student Program

Miller Thomson is a national law firm dedicated to fostering Diversity and Inclusion in the communities in which we operate. Miller Thomson prides itself on the quality of services provided to clients and our ability to attract and retain top legal talent. We deliver dynamic solutions in all facets of business law and are uniquely pan-Canadian, offering legal services in more cities than any other national firm. We are proud to lead the way with our committal to the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada‘s call to action to advance the reconciliation process.

Our Indigenous Law Student Program is the first of its kind in the country, providing participants with:

  • work experience at a leading national law firm;
  • exposure to a variety of practice areas; and
  • the opportunity to expand professional networks.

Students will be with the firm for approximately 12-16 weeks, starting in May. The program offers one paid position, in one of our offices. Applicants must be an Indigenous student in their first year of study at a Canadian law school and be able to demonstrate strong ties to their Indigenous community. In 2023, the 1L Indigenous Law Student position will be based in our Vancouver office.

Read more: Creating Space in BigLaw for Indigenous Law Students, NALP Bulletin (December 2017)

Meet our 2023 Summer Law Student

Vanessa Rosteski is Red River Métis from Manitoba and is pursuing her law degree at the University of British Columbia.

Prior to law school, Vanessa obtained a Bachelor of Arts degree in Psychology at the University of British Columbia Okanagan. During her undergrad, Vanessa was as an Indigenous Peer Mentor to first year Indigenous students. Vanessa also participated in the UBC Okanagan Indigenous Research Mentorship program where she gained valuable research experience. Vanessa developed her communication, interpersonal and teamwork skills while working for two federal government departments.

In her spare time, Vanessa enjoys bird watching, going for walks and travelling.

Past Students

Summer 2023 (Vancouver)

  • Vanessa Rosteski (University of British Columbia)

Summer 2022 (Calgary)

  • Trevor McGowan (University of Calgary)

Summer 2021 (Toronto)

  • Aleshia Johnson (York University)

Summer 2020 (Saskatoon)

  • Carter Bezugly (University of Saskatoon)

Summer 2019 (Calgary)

  • Jared Knott (University of British Columbia)

Summer 2018 (Vancouver)

  • Derek Odgers (University of British Columbia)
  • Julia Thielmann (University of British Columbia)

Summer 2017 (Toronto and Vancouver)

  • Jeremie Lachance (University of Toronto)
  • Shawnee Monchalin (University of British Columbia)

Student Testimonials

Trevor McGowan, Calgary
“What drew me to Miller Thomson is the people. I wanted to ensure that when I began my legal career as a summer law student, I would have the proper supports and mentorship that would set solid foundations for my future. Having the opportunity to work with a group of genuine people who were interested in seeing me succeed made me happy to be a part of the Miller Thomson team.”


Carter Bezugly, Saskatoon
“I greatly enjoyed my summer student position with Miller Thomson. I learned so much about various applications of the law, in a number of practice areas. It was a rewarding experience to work so closely with the lawyers. I was able to contribute to many exciting projects throughout my work term, leaving me with a great sense of fulfillment.

The mentorship and guidance that I received from associates, partners, students, and staff made the work environment extremely welcoming. They provided me with all the tools I needed and genuinely wanted me to succeed. I feel very fortunate to have been a part of the amazing team in the Saskatoon office.”


Julia Thielmann, Vancouver
“Summering at Miller Thomson has been an incredible experience. I had the opportunity to work in a broad range of practice areas such as environmental law, real estate, employment, Aboriginal law, securities, and corporate law. Further, I had the unique opportunity to work with a First Nation community on a secondment. This experience was invaluable to my personal and professional growth. I feel fortunate to have worked on interesting and challenging projects that were important to me as a summer student.

I learned so much with the resources and guidance provided at Miller Thomson. Along with national training, the mentorship from lawyers, students, and staff made it easy to integrate into the office and build relationships. I am grateful to be a part of the amazing work that is done here.”


Derek Odgers, Vancouver
“Working at Miller Thomson has been an incredible learning experience. It helped me understand the applications of the law in a huge range of practice areas. I have been able to work on projects related to Aboriginal law, real estate, torts, corporate law, and securities, just to name a few. The guidance and resources provided have made every assignment feel accessible and interesting. The mentorship given to me also made my transition into the work environment easy.

I have loved working with my cohort over this summer, and getting to know the other associates, partners, students and staff. The people I have been able to work with have made it all that extra bit more special. Even at this early stage in my career Miller Thomson has already given me the chance to work on projects that I have felt were important to me and my community.”


Shawnee Monchalin, Vancouver
“As a first year law student, Miller Thomson provided me with a background of vast practice areas such as Aboriginal law, real estate, securities, economic development, and commercial litigation. As a member of a national firm, there are so many resources available to you in order to learn and grow as a student and a professional and I am grateful to have an opportunity to explore them all.

My favourite part about the Vancouver office has been the people I get to work with everyday. The mentorship from the partners, associates, students and staff is truly invaluable. Their support has really pushed me to further my legal career in more ways than I expected of myself.”

Student Program

Our students handle a variety of assignments for all our practice groups during their summer term at Miller Thomson. Students will have the opportunity to work within the areas of Administrative Law, Business, Litigation, Real Estate and Tax. Students are also encouraged to be entrepreneurial, and seek work and experiences of interest to them.

Training

Students receive an office-specific orientation and participate in the national summer student orientation program. This program provides training sessions on firm organization, practice management tips, communication, legal writing and research and substantive overviews of our practice areas. Throughout the summer, students continue their professional development by attending firm-wide and practice-specific continuing legal education seminars presented both locally and nationally.

Mentorship

Our Indigenous law students will have multiple resources for mentorship and guidance to support their progress and integration throughout the summer.

All summer students will be paired with an associate mentor who can assist with adjusting to life within a law firm environment. Depending on local Law Society requirements, summer students may also be assigned to a more senior lawyer who will serve as their principal.

Feedback

Our summer students will receive a formal performance evaluation. In addition to the formal process, ongoing developmental check-ins are scheduled throughout the summer to provide real-time feedback, including ways to focus on personal strengths, improving skillsets and curating an individualized summer experience.

Salary

The Indigenous law students will be paid the same salary as the other summer students in their office. Miller Thomson student salaries are in line with the respective markets. If a successful candidate does not already live in the city where they will be working, they will be provided with an additional stipend to off-set travel and living expenses.

How to apply

2023 1L Indigenous Summer Law Student (Vancouver)

Miller Thomson invites Indigenous law students in their first year of study to apply to our 1L Indigenous Law Student Program in Vancouver.  Applications will be accepted through the viDesktop portal, which will open on January 18, 2023 and close on February  3, 2023 at 11:59 pm PST.

Applicants must be an Indigenous student in their first year of study at a Canadian law school and be able to demonstrate ties to their Indigenous community.

This position is based in our Vancouver office. If the successful does not already live in the Vancouver or Lower Mainland area, they will be provided with an additional stipend to off-set travel and living expenses.

Visit 1L Indigenous Summer Law Student Program and Vancouver Summer Student Program for more information about our summer program.

First year Indigenous law school students should apply with the following documents:

  • cover letter
  • resume
  • undergraduate and law school transcripts (scanned/PDF copies accepted)
  • list of midterm or interim law grades if final first semester law grades are not available

Applicants may address their materials to:

David Buxton-Forman
Director, Legal Talent
Miller Thomson LLP
700 West Georgia Street, Suite 2200
Vancouver, BC V7Y 1K8

Applications will be accepted through the viRecruit portal from January 18, 2023 – February 3, 2023.

INTERVIEWS:

After the application deadline, shortlisted students will be contacted to schedule an interview. Interviews will be held in-person at our Vancouver office. Virtual interviews will be offered to candidates who require an accommodation and to those who are attending law school outside of Vancouver.

Miller Thomson will provide accommodations on request throughout the recruitment, selection and/or assessment process for applicants with disabilities.  If you require accommodations, please inform Elisa Coelho at ecoelho@millerthomson.com of the nature of accommodations that you may require, to ensure your equal participation.