Monday, 25 November 2019

Family Matters

Articling is not only about academic learning. It is also about learning about people; how to be a part of a team, how to be inclusive, and how to remain positive, even during stressful times.

"While in trial for four weeks, my learning of the above expanded ten-fold."


Walking to court each morning, you can never really know what to expect for the day, especially as an articling student. All you can expect is a long day. After spending 7 hours in court each day, we would come back to the office, ready to complete any work necessary for the next day in court, which usually involved late nights, early mornings, and plenty of coffee. Weekends were not safe and too much pizza was consumed. Usually, under these circumstances, people would succumb to the pressure and long hours and begin to feel defeated. I can honestly say though that this was not my experience.

Working with Charlene Kavanagh and Christopher Macaulay was such a pleasure. They included me in everything they could to contribute to my learning and created such invaluable learning opportunities for me, even when they had their own insurmountable workloads (I even sat at the Counsel’s table up front). We always made sure to check in with each other, fill in for each other when required, and get in those necessary laughs to lift us back up. Most importantly, we trusted each other. It really felt like a “we leave no person behind” kind of team. I could not have asked for more during my first trial experience and I have to say that this experience solidifies for me why McCague is such a great firm to work at as a student.

Kyle, Carly & Brittany are all smiles after coming
back from the Supreme Court of Canada
While they created these learning opportunities for me, Carly and I paid it forward to a partner’s son. During a "take your kid to work day", Carly and I took James Brown’s son, Kyle, to the Supreme Court of Canada while Uber Technologies Inc., et al. v. David Heller (Ontario) was being heard; a very topical case for the time. He had a great time learning about the law and at the Supreme Court of Canada, no less. This reminded me of the time I visited the Brampton Superior Court of Justice while taking a law course in high school. That experience, among others, helped steer me towards law.

Ultimately, I decided to write this blog to stress how important it is to treat the people you work with as a family and how that mindset affects the way you work together, your productivity and your success as a firm. McCague has that recipe for success. They know that family matters.