We try to connect our graduate students with members of the profession in many ways.

Career development panel discussions and networking sessions

In designing our programs, we consider how we can accomplish this goal.  We run a number of programs  intended to provide students with an opportunity to meet and connect with lawyers working in various areas of the law.  We try to invite professionals from different practice areas and industries to these sessions to talk about their current work and their career path.  We then invite students to speak with them and ask questions in a very informal setting.  This format is helpful in providing opportunities for students to expand their professional network and to connect with members of the profession in a more informal way, as well as to put in practice their networking and informational interviewing skills.  We also see this as an opportunity to present various career options to students. 

Graduate program alumni directory

Another important networking tool that our current graduate students have access to is a directory of alumni of the graduate program. Through this resource, graduate students are able to gain and retain close connections with alumni in order to foster a legal community that extends beyong graduation.  Many have used this network to gain valuable insight into different legal sectors to support their career planning efforts.

Theory and Practice Program

In initiating "Theory and Practice - Promoting LL.M. Research to the Profession", our goal was to promote networking and provide educational opportunities for both LL.M. students and lawyers at partnering organizations.  The CDO offers this program to LL.M. students in collaboration with McMillan LLP, Blakes, Cassels & Graydon LLP,  Norton Rose Fulbright LLP, Gilbert’s LLP, and the Ontario Ministry of the Attorney General (MAG). The program represents an excellent opportunity for LL.M. students to network with lawyers at all levels of experience, to receive practical insight into their research, and to promote a specific topic that they are currently writing about.

The program brings together U of T LL.M. students and lawyers from both the public and private sector. Students are asked to do a short presentation to a small group of lawyers in individual one hour discussion meetings. The discussion meetings are held from May through July each year. 

Lawyers from a wide range of practice areas and all levels of experience can participate in this program and can share valuable practical experience and perspectives.  Students bring fresh new ideas and are often able to promote innovative academic ideas that are relevant in practice. International students also bring knowledge of foreign jurisdictions and business cultures. The response to the program has been very positive and enthusiastic from both sides.

"I really appreciated having the opportunity to meet with and present my thesis topic to practitioners in my area of study.  Primarily, they confirmed the importance and usefulness of my thesis research, something many graduate students are concerned about. Secondly, they provided me with many great insights, resources to turn to and ideas to look into.  Finally, this program gave me the opportunity to meet some of the top practitioners in my area.  Overall, it was a rewarding and worthwhile experience and I recommend that other students also make use of this great opportunity."
Carrie Vanderveen, LLM 2006