The selection of a law firm for articling or summering is one of the most important choices that you will make in the early phases of your legal career. At Oyen Wiggs, students are an integral part of our professional team and a key source of our firm’s ongoing growth. We are looking to recruit motivated and entrepreneurial candidates with a keen interest in intellectual property law who will be part of our team and, eventually, partners in our firm.
We provide a flexible and hands-on articling experience that exposes students to all aspects of intellectual property law practice. While students are assigned a principal, they work closely with all of our lawyers over the course of their articles. We do not have a structured rotation system, but ensure all our students have a well-rounded articling experience. Every effort is made to accommodate specialized interests. Secondments may be arranged for students who desire some exposure to legal work outside the intellectual property field.
You may already know some of our lawyers, since many teach intellectual property law courses and seminars at both the University of British Columbia and the University of Victoria. Most of our lawyers articled at Oyen Wiggs.
As an articling or summer student with our Canadian intellectual property firm, you can expect to be involved in:
- preparing and prosecuting patent, trademark, and industrial design applications for Canada, the United States and beyond;
- obtaining copyright and domain name registrations and considering copyright and Internet-law related issues;
- drafting assignments, license agreements, technology transfer agreements and other contracts relating to intellectual property;
- assisting in litigation relating to the enforcement or defence of intellectual property rights; and,
- conducting legal research and preparing opinions on various intellectual property related matters.
Our lawyers appear before the Supreme Court of British Columbia, the British Columbia Court of Appeal, the Federal Court Trial Division and the Federal Court of Appeal. We also represent clients before the Trademarks Opposition Board and the Patent Appeal Board.
As an articling or summer student at Oyen Wiggs, you will be asked to contribute to the development of legal arguments and strategies for our lawyers. You will also have close contact with clients and meaningful input into the management of files. Our client base is diverse, ranging from individual inventors and entrepreneurs through to universities and large multi-national corporations. We also act on behalf of a large number of Canadian and foreign law firms. As such, you will have the opportunity to interact with many different types of clients over the course of your articles. Our practice also encompasses many different technologies, including a wide spectrum of high-tech sectors (including telecommunications and optics), mechanical and chemical engineering, medical devices and biotechnology. You will have an opportunity to work on files that relate to your technical background, as well as being exposed to a variety of basic mechanical inventions that will enable you to understand the fundamental principles of patent law.
Our firm is committed to providing opportunities for our summer students, articled students, and junior associates to train and gain the experience that will allow them to qualify as registered patent agents. Trainees at our firm have a track record of success on the patent agent qualifying examinations, and many pass all four exams on their first try. Five of our lawyers or former trainees have received the J. Edward Maybee Memorial Prize for achieving the highest overall mark on the exams, and two of them also received the Marie F. Morency Memorial prize for the highest mark on the patent drafting paper.
Our practice is demanding and challenging, and our intellectual property lawyers have extensive technical expertise in fields outside law. This includes electrical engineering, chemical engineering, physics, chemistry, and biotechnology.
Ideal articling and summering candidates typically have these qualifications:
- a degree in engineering, science or other relevant technical experience;
- a strong interest in the practice of intellectual property law, and in particular patent law;
- strong analytical and legal skills;
- the ability to communicate clearly and effectively, both orally and in writing, on both technical and legal subject matter; and,
- the ability to work effectively with others.
For more information on our articling program – or on the experience of practicing at Oyen Wiggs or within the intellectual property field generally – please contact Todd Rattray or any of our other lawyers, including our former articling students: George Kondor, Q.C., Craig Ash, Jennifer Marles, David Takagawa, Amy Fong, Stephanie Melynchuk, Roni Jones, Christina Kwok, Alex Buonassisi or Jayde Wood.
Salary and Benefits
We offer salary and benefits that are competitive with those provided at other downtown Vancouver firms. Salaries are paid during the full articling year, including the time spent at the Professional Legal Training Course. We also pay PLTC and call fees. Students receive two weeks vacation and are covered by our firm’s benefits package (extended medical and dental, life and long-term disability insurance).
Application Process and Deadlines
Applications for summer or articling positions should be sent to:
Todd A. Rattray
Oyen Wiggs Green & Mutala LLP
480 – 601 West Cordova Street
Vancouver, BC V6B 1G1
Please include a short cover letter, resume, and undergraduate and law-school transcripts.
You should submit your application as early as possible, and preferably no later than July 1 for articles commencing in the next calendar year. We usually conduct articling interviews both prior to and during the Vancouver Bar Association’s interview week.