Rob’s Placement as an Agent of Good

This is a guest post from our placement student, Rob Stefanelli.  He has been working at White Macgillivray Lester since January.  He completes his placement this week and then will graduate law school.  After that, he’ll be working for us for a couple of months before heading off to practice law in the big city (sad face).  

The Bora Laskin Faculty of Law at Lakehead University provides a unique opportunity for students in their third and final year of the law program. Instead of regular classes and exams, students are paired with a law firm and supervising lawyer, and spend an entire semester working full time with that law firm.

Unsure which area of law I wanted to practice, I applied to do a placement at White Macgillivray Lester based on a number of (admittedly weak) connections to the Partners at the firm – Peter White had a reputation as the coolest man at my gym. Duncan Macgillivray was the funny Insurance Law professor sharing many of the same insights you see on Instagram for Free Legal Info Fridays. And Dan Lester was the one skating circles around the players in our hockey league.

After selling the Partners on these connections in my placement interview, I was selected to complete my placement with the firm under the supervision of Duncan Macgillivray for the 2021 winter semester. Writing this in my last week as a placement student, I could not have had a better experience to complete my final semester of law school. Despite the challenges of an ongoing pandemic, everyone at the firm reached out to me and made sure I felt welcomed and part of the team from day one.

When I started my placement, the lawyers asked me about my legal interests and throughout the last four months have made an effort to involve me whenever their work aligned with my interests. I helped draft a variety of legal documents, conducted legal research into emergent areas of tort law, attended Zoom court proceedings for motions and pre-trial hearings, observed dispute resolution mechanisms such as mediations, and met with many inspiring clients to determine the best way to resolve their legal matters. It was a fantastic experience and I feel much more prepared to enter the world of civil litigation having completed my placement and learning from the lawyers and staff here.

Whether you are a Bora Laskin Faculty of Law student in search of a great placement opportunity for your third year, or a Northern Ontarian with a legal issue in need of resolution, I cannot recommend the lawyers and staff at White Macgillivray Lester enough. They are good people, good lawyers, and genuinely want to help.


(End Note: We did not pay Rob to say any of this.  But, we gave him a golf shirt, golf balls and pucks…. see photo.)