The latest hireback numbers suggest it’s getting busy on Bay Street

By: July 19, 2017

At the largest firms in Toronto, first-year hiring is up by 16 percent

Bay Street sign

Nothing delights law students more than news of a prosperous job market. And this year, that’s what we’ve got.

Collectively, the largest 16 firms in downtown Toronto hired back 89 percent of their articling students, according to our annual Bay Street Hireback Ranking. This is the highest overall hireback rate on record. (We started tracking this number in 2009.)

In 2016, those 16 firms hired back 188 of their 255 articling students as first-year associates. But this year, they hired back 218 students out of their 259-articling cohort. This means hiring is up, compared to last year, by 16 percent — a huge increase.

What’s behind the spike? Well, many of the law offices report a busy year. So they need more staff to help them handle the workload.

Here are three of the most striking facts from this year’s hireback data:

  • Four firms (Cassels, Faskens, Osler and Stikeman), as well as the Department of Justice, reported a 100-percent hireback rating.
  • In fact, Stikeman went on a hiring spree. Out of its 24-person articling cohort, it hired back 22 students to start as first-year associates this September — the most the firm has hired back in the past nine years. (The remaining two students opted out.)
  • At McMillan, the hireback rate increased sharply from 60 percent last year to 92 percent.