First-year students get surprise gift card from Osler

Shuli Rodal

Nov 27, 2014

David Dias, Law Feeds Blog, Canadian Lawyer

(Recap)

First-year law students across Canada, who are right now stressing out about exams, got an early gift this week and a much-needed break courtesy of a big law firm coming off a mammoth deal.

On Monday, law schools across the country started distributing Tim Hortons gift cards worth $15 each to thousands of first-year law students. Approximately 4,000 have received them.

And who was their magnanimous benefactor? None other than Osler Hoskin & Harcourt LLP, which advised Tim Hortons on the innovative tax-inversion deal struck with Burger King in August.

Enclosed with the gift card was a note from the firm’s vice chairman, Clay Horner, expressing his pride in the firm’s work on the deal — which made use of a novel structure while managing sensitive cultural and political factors — and offering students a coffee break on them.

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The inspiration for the idea came out of Osler’s students committee. In late September — about a month after the Tim’s deal was announced — committee chairman Shuli Rodal called Horner with an idea for a branding initiative.

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“So much of what you’re doing in recruitment is very targeted. This was something we wanted to do for everybody. . . . We were trying to do something nice at what was a modest cost, maybe get a little bit of buzz going around the law schools, and just feeling good about it.”

With the e-mails pouring in, Horner must be feeling even better now. “One of the e-mails I had this morning was from a first-year student at the University of Calgary who said, you know, I really am feeling a lot of stress and this is a great way to take a break and, frankly, 15 bucks makes a difference to me right now.”

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