When Brandon Montour applied to four top law firms, he did it mostly to challenge himself.
As a first-year student of the Faculty of Law at McGill University in Montreal, Montour wasn’t expecting much. To his surprise, the 23-year-old was offered positions at all offices.
Between the ministry of the Attorney General, the ministry of Indigenous Affairs, and the Dionne Schulze law firm, Montour’s heart already belonged to McCarthy Tétrault. The Toronto-based company is recognized for being a leading law firm in Canada, committed to reconciliation, diversity and inclusion in their workplace.
“To say that I was excited would be an understatement,” said Montour.
Montour’s contract goes from May to August – the duration of summer vacation for law students. Every summer, they are expected to work in the field as a way to gain experience. Montour explained that the entire hiring process left him on the edge of his seat. He said offers of employment rolled out last Thursday, March 4, starting at 5 p.m. sharp.
“It’s a highly-regulated process,” said Montour. “At 5 p.m., I was on the phone with the ministry of the Attorney General, who offered me a job, and during that call, McCarthy was beeping in, and I knew what it was about. I had to cut that call short and quickly answer McCarthy’s. I accepted immediately and have been incredibly happy ever since!”
Montour explained that he would be working with upper-year students and associate lawyers on numerous files, as he will be rotating throughout different practice areas to get a better understanding of the law covered at the firm.
“The great thing though is since I was offered employment in my first year, I am invited back to work there in the future,” said Montour. “They are really invested in your professional growth and development, so once you’re in, you’re in.”
With an estimated revenue of more than US$460 million, McCarthy’s firm is among the top players on Bay Street – the hub of the legal world in Canada. However, Montour won’t be moving to the renowned neighbourhood just yet. As of now, he will be working remotely, taking short trips here and there to Toronto, hoping to network and experience life on Bay Street.
For Montour, immersing himself in new groups has never been a challenge. Although, he explained that the greatest obstacle of all was being the only Onkwehón:we man in the 180 cohort of students at McGill University.
“Despite this, I have been immersing myself in different groups, such as the Indigenous Law Association, to meet other Indigenous law students in upper years, so that I can relate to others. This is something that is very difficult in law school, where the majority of students come from privileged backgrounds,” said Montour.
Montour added that Onkwehón:we representation in legal firms is something that not only preoccupies him, but motivates him to pursue his dreams. Beyond becoming a lawyer, the ambitious young man’s desire is to serve and represent Kahnawake.
“One way or another,” he concluded.