After all, it's not everyday your legal career starts!
Our first week was fully dedicated to training. We sat in a boardroom overlooking the high-rise buildings of downtown Toronto. Our training was focused on not only administrative and procedural aspects of the firm, but also substantive information on different practice areas within the firm, such as Accident Benefit and Subrogation. We also had a crash course on civil procedure which was great.
Having received a training of this nature at the outset provided us with a much needed overview of the type of files we would be exposed to. This enabled us to confidently tackle the tasks that have been assigned to us. Oh and the training was pretty tech-savvy. A rotational camera and a big-screen TV were used to connect live to our Ottawa office.
Many firms talk about having a collegial environment, but MB holds this very close to its heart and takes proactive steps in order to foster this attitude amongst colleagues.
The firm’s policy regarding how summer students receive work is a great example of this. Work is mostly distributed amongst students based on an alpha-order rotational system, which prevents students from cherry-picking the best assignments for themselves. This method reduces tension and encourages healthy competition. Furthermore, MB’s exceptional hire back rate allows students to focus their full energy on mastering their lawyering skills in order to help MB in the future.
Getting Students Involved
What I like about MB is that students are given significant responsibility very early on. Each student takes ownership of over a dozen small claims files. While students report to the supervising lawyer, they are mainly in charge of all aspects of these files. In addition, lawyers who are working on larger files give students tasks. Such tasks include, but are not limited to, drafting affidavit of documents and motions, including motion to strike, conducting research, as well as attending court and discoveries.
Amazing Support System
Fortunately, MB provides a great support system to help summer students with the significant responsibilities that are given to them. Many lawyers stop by our desks to introduce themselves and ask us not to shy from going to them for help. As well, the support provided by the Articling Students have been exceptional. They have each gone above and beyond to provide us with genuine advice and guidance and have become our good friends in such short period of time. If this is what my summer experience has been like thus, far, I can’t wait to see what is to come. Read my next blog and I will tell you all about it.