Friday 19 June 2015

The List: The Real Work has begun

Student work at the firm is distributed through a rotation system commonly referred to as “The List”.

It is our third week at the firm as summer students; the articling students have left and the “real work” has begun. Student work at the firm is distributed through a rotation system commonly referred to as “The List”.

The nature of The List means that on any given day, you may be asked to assist a lawyer with a motion record, an accident and benefit claim, a subrogation file, or even a damages brief. This is exciting since you are not aware of what interesting file awaits you when you arrive in the morning, also it means we have to practice excellent time management in order to keep up with all work assigned.

The strategy we have developed as a group -- and thank you to the articling students for this tip -- is to work together as a team on all new assignments. For example, due to the nature of The List, one summer student was able to complete a number of damages briefs. This is a complicated but essential document for any pending litigation and settlement discussions. If for instance, a damages brief appears on my desk tomorrow, and I have a few incidental questions, I know that I can always stick my head over to the next cubicle and the other student will not hesitate to assist me and pass on any suggestions that might be helpful. Beyond assisting each other on files, we have committed to regularly having lunch as a group to share helpful tips and best practices.

photo by cuteimage from freedigitalphotos
In addition to assigning work, The List also determines which student gets to accompany a senior lawyer on discoveries or motions. Last week, I had the distinct pleasure of attending a lengthy motion with a Partner and witnessed her zealously advocate for one of our clients on a very fine point of law. I left the courthouse with a better sense of what was expected of us as future members of the firm, and most importantly, I left with a greater appreciation for exemplary oral advocacy.

‘Til next time,

Mahdi H.