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Our law firm. Your questions.*

We want you to choose the best place to work, and we believe that asking hard questions is a good way to learn the truth.

Category

Roles

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How can I mentally prepare myself to start working at Counter?

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I hear a lot of stories and see things in the media that make me think that legal practice is intimidating. Should I expect Counter to be that cutthroat?

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What surprised you the most about Counter?

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If you could change one thing about Counter, what would you change?

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If you could change one thing about Counter, what would you change?

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If you could change one thing about Counter, what would you change?

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Are the law students and lawyers in your office engaged in pro bono work?

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Are you comforted by other law firm’s lack of progress?

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Can I see court faster, and become a leader faster, at Counter than other places?

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What are the challenges that someone can expect to face in the role?

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How much vacation is considered normal?

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Is it correct to assume you use TaxNetPro, Quicklaw, etc.?

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How does automation and saving clients money benefit me personally at the end of the day? Is it a tool to help me bring in business?

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How many lawyers do you expect to have in 5 and 10 years?

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If I join Counter, how much can I use the associates to help me with work that I bring in?

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If you could design a law firm from scratch, what would it look like?

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Do you invest in R&D, technology, process improvement, etc.? If so, what percentage of your annual fee income is invested in the R&D budget?

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I think I'll like working at Counter better, but I'm really close to the people on my current team. Will I like the Counter team just as much?

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Every law firm claims to have an amazing culture. Is everything that I read and hear about Counter actually real or is it just more law firm marketing?

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What were the questions and factors that you considered before leaving KMPG Tax Law to work at Counter?

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How’s the coffee?

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What else should I know about working at Counter?

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What other non-technological resources do you offer that other firms don’t have?

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Would I be taking a risk by joining Counter?

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How difficult is it to learn to use Counter’s technology?

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Isn’t it distracting to work in an open-concept office?

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What is it like not having a designated office?

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What's another thing I would miss out on working with Counter over a Seven Sister [or the Big Four]?

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What are the advantages to summering/articling with Counter over a BigLaw firm?

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Why should I choose to work for Counter Tax Lawyers over a Seven Sister, national, global, or other boutique firm? People know you’re doing something different, but no one really knows what that is. More importantly, they don’t know how what you’re doing makes your lawyers’ lives/careers better.

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What can you tell me about Counter’s file quality versus Boutique Competitor X or BigLaw Competitor Y? I can’t imagine the work would be any better.

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What kind of files are you working on?

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What does a [3rd-year] lawyer do in a typical day at Counter?

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How does Counter attract and retain clients in the large Toronto market?

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Can I build my own book of business and personal reputation while I work for Counter?

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What is your technology / how does your technology (e.g., CounterMeasure) change what you do day to day?

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Do you offer any signing incentives or payment toward the bar exam, robes, etc.?

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If I accept a 2L position, what can I can do at law school this year to proactively prepare myself for a smooth transition to summer student work at Counter and enhance my contribution to the firm?

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Do you have flexible hours or more stringent requirements?

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A summer internship is a short amount of time, but is there still an opportunity for students to work on litigation cases?

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What are my chances of getting hired back?

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Do you have requirements for what courses I take in my second/third year?

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Do you provide the requisite technology you expect me to use (BlackBerry, laptop, etc.)?

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How much do you pay 2Ls and articling students?

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What’s the benefit of articling within a specialized practice rather than rotating through a full-service firm?

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Would I be part of a group of students, and if so, how does your firm maintain a collaborative mentality rather than a competitive one?

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What’s your firm’s hireback history?

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Do summer students get a chance to work with clients or sit in on client meetings?

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What kind of writing does Counter do with Thomson Reuters and do students have input on what kind of articles they pursue?

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How much supervision vs. independence can summer students expect to have?

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What do I do if I feel like I’m not receiving the training I need?

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Is there a chance for me to work with CounterMeasure?

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Can I be involved in Counter’s social media presence and things like BNL and CTI?

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Can you please give me an example of an assignment given to a summer/articling student in the past?

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What type of work assignments can I expect to receive during my summer and then as an articling student?

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What is it like litigating and being a lawyer at Counter Tax?

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Do tax lawyers plan their tax liability better than other lawyers?

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If it can be disclosed, what is the craziest case Counter Tax Lawyers have ever dealt with?

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Do you collaborate with lawyers from other law firms or is Counter Tax self-sufficient?

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Is working at Counter easier than working at more traditional law firms?

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Some Bay Street firms only assign BlackBerries in articling, reducing the on-call time of summer students; what is your firm’s expectations for after-hours reachability?

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Does everyone have billable targets?

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Do you expect me to talk to clients?

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Who are your clients? Where do you get them? What does the typical client look like for Counter?

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Counter is big on incorporating tax and legal technology. How has Counter’s practice changed with the advent of legal technology such as Tax Foresight by Blue J Legal?

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When will I be expected to start bringing in clients?

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What competitive advantage does Counter Tax have?

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Is there a dress code?

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What new challenges do the recent tax reforms bring for Counter clients?

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Is this position opening in response to an upcoming project or goal, higher volumes of incoming work, or recent departures?

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Currently, you have an articling student, you hired another this summer, and now you are hiring a summer student. Can Counter really sustain this kind of growth?

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Can I bring a dog to work?

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Are there snacks?

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Will my compensation be discretionary or tied to quantifiable measures, such as billables or firm profits?

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What sort of benefits package does Counter Tax provide?

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Should I blindly trust that what you present me or tell me during the interview process and believe it is an accurate representation of the firm?

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What is the future of this firm? How do I play a role in it?

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A lot of smaller law firms are threatened by the Big Four and Seven Sisters. What would be something specific to Counter that would impede on Counter’s success?

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Do you foresee any internal or external factors that may impede the continued progress and success of Counter?

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In five years, does Counter see itself remaining a small boutique? Or does it see itself rapidly growing and expanding its employee and client base?

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Is the firm planning on expanding and growing in the next few years?

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How long is lunch?

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What’s your policy on flexible hours?

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Can I work from home?

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Who (which partners, especially) should I be avoiding at the firm?

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What is the work culture? Are you collaborative, or do people work in silos?

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What is the most common reason that someone does not get hired?

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What is the most unique thing about working at Counter Tax Lawyers as opposed to working at other law firms (or tax law firms)?

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What resounding trait is common in your team?

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Do you normally eat lunch together?

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What are the inner workings or culture of the firm like?

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How often do you give feedback to employees?

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Who will train me?

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Do you support further relevant education (CPA, mini MBA, etc.)?

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Will I be encouraged to speak at conferences or client events?

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Is there room in the partnership for me down the line? What is the year at which associates are considered for partnership or equity sharing? When will I make partner?

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Some Bay Street firms have an unspoken policy that vacation is not limited so long as billable targets are met; how does your firm allocate vacation time?

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What impresses you?

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If you managed to automate my job, would you fire me?

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Are you all crazy? 

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What do you believe are Counter’s greatest strengths?

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Do you plan career advancement? If so, is it based on the employee’s interests or the firm’s needs?

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What are the opportunities for growth?

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Why do you look so young? You look like you have been here for 6 months. I was expecting a senior manager.

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Would you rather hire a new law clerk graduate who is brand new to the field, but with a right attitude and have the high potential to grow to a 5-star law clerk or an experienced individual who doesn't need training at all, but might quit the job anytime when he/she finds a better niche?

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How do you train a software engineer to understand the law? It is an important aspect to make a perfect software solution to understand the domain.

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What would be the biggest challenge that Counter faces?

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What are the major duties of a law clerk or junior accountant in your firm?

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You guys are really focused on technology, right?

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What do you think is the most essential qualification for this job?

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How do you hold each other accountable?

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How do I know that Counter will be a good fit for me?

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What made you choose this career?

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How do you feel when you get home after a long day at work

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What is your background, and how did you end up working at Counter?

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How do you view paralegals?

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Do you really need to hire a law clerk or paralegal? I feel like my law firm hired me because the lawyers wanted an accessory to get them coffee and make them look more important.

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How do you enforce the culture at Counter?

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I am interested in the associate lawyer position. I just want to know if you would consider someone like me - commercial litigation background with an interest in tax law and tax litigation. I don't have experience in tax law or tax litigation, but it's an area of interest for me, hence the question. I like your firm's website and think I would fit well within your work culture. Thanks for considering my question.

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* Initially, we crowd-sourced a bunch of questions and published our answers in a blog article. We launched this page so that you could more easily access the questions and answers (slash, because we have a lot of fun building cool web pages). But because we love tough questions, and we love thinking about the answers, we got a little addicted to the whole thing, so we started collecting and adding more questions from the internet, books, etc. We try not to change the questions, so if they're badly written, don’t blame us. You can take solace in the fact that we probably won’t hire anyone that sends badly written questions. If an *answer* is badly written or contains a mistake, send an email to join@countertax.ca so that we can put a tally under the Jessica's Grammar Mistakes column (she considers herself a grammar know-it-all, and it's very satisfying when she makes a mistake).

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