Monday 25 February 2013

Dear Future Candidates...

My last couple of weeks have been incredibly busy: I came back from vacation (yes, articling students do get time off) and was immediately immersed in the Ottawa summer student recruitment process. Fortunately, I can always rely on my fellow students at the Toronto office to back me up. They have been incredibly understanding and supportive and have voluntarily taken on tasks so that I can actively take part in interview week.

Being involved in the student recruitment process has been a great experience. I have really enjoyed meeting/speaking with all of the candidates and have really been impressed by their outstanding achievements.

Today, I thought I would use this opportunity to answer the most common question that I was asked during the interview process:  what do we, as articling students, do?

My answer is — what don’t we do?! The spectrum of our involvement in the litigation process is only limited by our own desire, time management skills and, of course, the Law Society of Upper Canada. 

My articling experience thus far has allowed me to take on a myriad of roles from being 'Sherlock Holmes’ and conducting fact investigations on several cases, to working on business development projects, to arguing motions and attending settlement conferences — I've done it all.

Just yesterday, I worked on a few fascinating research projects and came up with a strategy for enforcing a court order that I had recently obtained on one of 'MY' files. Tomorrow, I will be going to court to argue an 'express' motion with materials I drafted earlier this week.

One of the greatest benefits of being an articling student at MB is the support system ("safety net") that students can rely on. While students are given a great level of responsibility and independence, they still remain under the caring supervision of their mentors, which helps to eliminate potentially harmful mistakes (and yes, as a student you will inevitably make some).  Also, the guidance and support that you receive as a student from everyone at the firm are truly amazing. No matter who I am doing an assignment for, I am able to and feel comfortable approaching anyone (whether in the Toronto or Ottawa office) for assistance and/or advice. This week’s interview process has made me appreciate my mentor even more. He once told me that I could never be too prepared for court and I believe this to be absolutely true and applicable to interviews as well...

Dear Future Candidates, it is important to recognize how much time and effort is expended during the recruitment process to get to know YOU! From the meticulous review of your application package to the efforts made in creating a welcoming atmosphere; appreciate these efforts by conducting your due diligence. Get to know us and make sure that MB practice matches your interests. During my interview process with MB (which was not too long ago), I spoke to a number of associates and students at the firm in order to get a real sense of what working at MB was like. I remember my initial hesitation in picking up the phone and cold calling these MB'ers, however, I quickly realized the benefits from calling far outweighed my nervousness as I gained such valuable insight and information. So, follow my advice — don’t hesitate, please call!