Brendan Dawes first joined Singleton Reynolds as a summer student in 2014. He continued the following year as an Articling Student and then most recently in 2016 Brendan became an Associate. Here are Brendan’s own words to describe his Articling experience at Singleton Reynolds.

From articling student to associate - the journey of a lawyer

What kind of learning and mentoring opportunities have you experienced?

From the outset of my student experience at Singleton Reynolds, I was presented with opportunities to sharpen the skills I was developing in law school, including in the areas of legal writing, critical thinking and client interaction. Constructive feedback was the norm during my tenure as a student, and by the time I transitioned into my current role as a junior associate, I already had experience as second chair at trial, I had attended several mediations, and I even had experience conducting cross examination. In other words I was simultaneously learning how to be a lawyer while also making real contributions to the files I was working on.

With respect to the mentorship program at Singleton Reynolds, throughout my time as a student I was supported by both my associate mentor and my principal. The mentoring support took a number of forms—there were regular lunch meetings scheduled, during which I had an opportunity to discuss my development as a student, and to address any questions that may have come up during my time as a student. There was also more informal support offered around the office by my mentors, and I always felt as though I had an avenue available to me to ask the questions that I needed to in order to get the most out of my student experience.

Describe a typical day

It may be cliché, but it has been my experience that there really is no such thing as a typical day working at a law firm. Even as a student, my days were incredibly varied—on any given day, my time could be divided between researching a point of law, attending a chambers application, or drafting a release, as just a few examples. Because Singleton Reynolds doesn’t have a formal articling rotation as a component of the student program, not only did the tasks I was involved with vary from day to day, but so did the areas of practice that I was engaging in.

As a result, at the end of my student experience at Singleton Reynolds, the broad exposure I had to different areas of law, together with the diverse set of skills I was developing as a result, gave me the confidence I needed to start to make decisions about how I wanted to develop my own practice.

What is the most exciting file you worked on as a student?

During my student experience, I was second chair at the trial of a case where the plaintiff alleged a novel duty of care in the context of a claim for insurance coverage. Every law student knows that they will be examined on their understanding of the Anns/Kamloops framework in first-year torts class, but I was lucky enough to see that new knowledge incorporated into submissions for trial, which was both incredibly exciting and rewarding.

How would you describe the culture at Singleton Reynolds?

Singleton Reynolds’ culture is one that fosters collaboration between students, lawyers and across practice areas. It also rewards an entrepreneurial spirit—students that have a genuine curiosity about the law and demonstrate real engagement in the files they are working on will find Singleton Reynolds an easy fit.

Why did you choose to article at Singleton Reynolds?

When I joined Singleton Reynolds, I knew I wanted to build my practice in the Vancouver area and that I was looking for a frim with strong ties to the community and a reputation for very high quality work. I was also drawn to the idea of a mid-size firm, but one that would grow with me as my practice developed. Singleton Reynolds fit the bill, and over the last several years, we have expanded into the Toronto market, while still maintaining the culture and workplace atmosphere that attracted me to Singleton Reynolds in the first place.