"The responsibility is real, the subject matter is interesting, and you learn something new every day."
Monday, July 15, 2013
After a beautiful weekend, I return to the office to begin a brand new week. With my coffee in hand, the first thing I do, (after asking everyone I run into how their weekend was), is check my work email and open Elite (the firm’s electronic docketing program). After replying to some internal emails, I review my To-Do list, prioritize the most urgent and complicated tasks first and start working away! (FYI – good time management skills are essential for survival as a summer student!)
9:30 AM – 1:00 PM
My first assignment is to Draft a Statement of Defence and Cross Claim in a personal injury action. After clarifying instructions with the assigning lawyer, I’m feeling confident. I know all the relevant facts and parties that need to be included, so I’m ready to start writing. Once completed, I give it a final proof for spelling and grammar and I’m happy with the finished product, so I send it off to the assigning lawyer for review. The rest of my morning is spent drafting a settlement offer, drafting a notice of discontinuance and speaking with the court office regarding an upcoming appearance.
Lunch! Time to grab a quick bite in the PATH (for full orientation to the PATH, please refer to my colleague’s past blog!). I head down with a couple of other students to refuel and see how everyone’s Monday is going so far. We chat about recent attendances at small claims court, settlement conferences and how delicious Tim Horton’s Chili is.
After lunch, I come back to my desk. “ASSISTANCE REQUIRED!” reads the RE: line in email that just came into the summer student’s collective email. I’m next on the rotation list, so I send a quick reply email to the lawyer letting her know I am on my way to her office to get instructions. The assignment turns out to be exciting – attend at Newmarket Superior Court for Trial Scheduling Court tomorrow morning. I note this in my calendar, and go back to work. (Post-Appearance note: I got to make submissions before a judge and was successful in resisting opposing counsel’s attempt to set the matter down for trial!)
3:00 – 6:30 PM
The rest of my day is spent doing various tasks for my own Small Claims Court files that I am handling. I respond to emails from clients and adjusters, take telephone calls from opposing counsel, and draft a couple letters to the court. This is the reality of the work you get as a summer student at McCague Borlack. The responsibility is real, the subject matter is interesting, and you learn something new every day. Of course, there is supervision and guidance from great mentors at every step of the way, but for the most part, ‘carriage of the file’ means you (the student) are running the file.
Summerlicious. Need I say more? I finalize my dockets and log off my computer, joining the summer students as we head off to Far Niente just down the street. The collegiality of the summer students transcends the walls of the office and I’m grateful to be part of a team that enjoys spending time together outside of work.
What I’ve come to learn in 7 (very eventful!) weeks at McCague Borlack LLP is that the transition from law school to the practice of law is challenging and at the same time highly rewarding if one has the right guidance and exposure. Although no two days are exactly the same, what does remain consistent at McCague Borlack LLP is the collaborative environment, the support from the lawyers (and fellow students!), and that fact that you can expect to get real, hands-on exposure to exciting cases and the litigation process.