Bay Street Hireback Ranking

Since 2009, Precedent has tracked the number of articling students Toronto law firms have hired back as first-year associates — and called it the Hireback Watch.

In the interactive chart below, we’ve ranked the firms that have historically taken on the largest crop of students. You can toggle between the past nine years and sort the hireback data in each column. And if you click on any firm names, you’ll see its numbers from over the years.

See below the chart to find out how we calculate the data and how we have handled law-firm mergers over the years.

For a broader look at the articling job market, you can browse through our full list of Toronto-wide hireback numbers.

Note: The Toronto-wide Hireback Watch and Bay Street Ranking usually include Goodmans LLP. This year, however, Goodmans did not respond to PrecedentJD’s repeated requests for their 2020 hireback data. The firm has been left out of this year’s ranking as a result.

Scroll
Rank Firm Articling
Students
Students
Hired Back
Number of
opt outs
Hireback Rate*
12 Heenan Blaikie 12 7 0 58%
4 Fasken 19 13 1 72%
17 Gowling WLG 19 5 1 28%
6 Goodmans 14 10 0 71%
11 Bennett Jones 16 9 1 50%
14 Borden Ladner Gervais 21 10 1 43%
8 Stikeman Elliott 33 21 1 66%
9 Davies Ward Phillips & Vineberg 22 11 5 65%
10 McCarthy Tétrault 28 18 0 64%
7 McMillan 15 10 0 67%
3 Cassels Brock & Blackwell 19 11 5 79%
1 Department of Justice 11 11 0 100%
1 Osler, Hoskin & Harcourt 33 33 0 100%
5 Torys 18 13 0 72%
2 Blake, Cassels & Graydon 29 22 2 81%
15 Dentons 15 7 0 47%
13 Norton Rose Fulbright 13 7 0 54%
  TOTAL 337 218 17 68%

*Before calculating each hireback rate, we subtracted the opt-outs from each firm's total number of articling students.

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Notes on the data

  • Our data for each year before 2013 refers to the numbers for FMC, which merged with Dentons in March 2013.
  • Our data for each year before 2012 refers to Ogilvy Renault, which merged with Norton Rose in July 2011.
  • Our data for each year before 2016 refers to Gowling Lafleur Henderson, which merged with UK-based Wragge Lawrence Graham to form Gowling WLG in February 2016.
  • Our data for each year before 2015 refers to Davis LLP, which merged with DLA Piper in April 2015.