Student Research Training

The research lawyers here are in the middle of our summer student/clerk Boot Camp training, so it’s uppermost on my mind. These are students that have completed either 1 or 2 years of law school, and will be given less complex research assignments during the 4 months here at the firm. We’ve developed a week long training schedule, that I will share with you as follows (if anyone is interested in the detailed schedule, I can send it via email):

*Introduction to the firm’s expectations, internal processes (submitting memos for review, etc.);
*creating and recording a research plan/trail; research guides; organizing your research;
*library resources and library tour;
*intranet ( searching intranet and internet searching; tips and cautions;
*organization, analysis and writing of BJ memos;
* corporate precedents: data bank, and searching of;
*Canadian Abridgement & CED: print and electronic version: searching (Carswell’s rep does this);
*MLB index system: using, searching online
*internal memo bank: how it’s indexed; how to search;
*how to search periodical databases;
*BJ oil & gas precedents: use of and searching;
*how to do client specific research, analysis and memoranda;
*research, writing of quantum memos;
*QL databases, pricing and searching;
*Statute research: finding, updating, judicial consideration (librarians teach this).

Our systems people also do training during the week, so the students are pretty much overwhelmed by the end of the week! Somehow they manage to retain a fair bit of this content. The same training is given to our articling students, in two or three sessions as they arrive, with some modifications.
Comments or other’s experiences with student training are welcome!


  1. Funny. Since I’m teaching our new students tomorrow, I thought that I’d assemble some tips.
    Only to remember that Ed Akkawi, Lenie Ott, Stephanie Willson, Ricki Anderson and I already did that at my old firm – see

    No use reinventing a good (if slightly dated) wheel.