Thursday 25 April 2013

Lessons learned...

I can't believe that my articling term will soon come to an end! I can vividly remember those early days in August and wondering to myself how I was going to survive 10 months! Despite those early doubts, I have somehow made it to the finish line. I've come a long way since that first day, for example, I remember attending my first motion way back when and I was sweating, nervous and my throat had never been so dry. Today, I attended a contested motion and I managed not to sweat through my shirt and shake like a leaf! I was confident and ready to go.

When I returned to the office I was reminiscing with all the students about how far each of us has come. With that in mind, I thought it would be helpful to compile and impart some collective wisdom. Here are some of the lessons learned this year:

Try to make it to the gym... it's important to sweat for something other than a deadline.

  1. Always carry a pen. You never know when a lawyer may ask you to do an assignment, and if you don't write it down, trust me you will forget by the time you get back to your desk. Now that I think about it - you will want to throw a notepad in there too.
  1. Always leave a spare blazer at the office. It will surprise you how many times you will be sent to court without a ton of notice!
  1. Stay in touch with people outside of the legal profession—sometimes it's quite relaxing to discuss something other than hire back…
  1. Try to make it to the gym. It will get busy, but it's important to sweat for something other than a deadline. 
  1. Make time for the things you love, whether it's making yourself a nice meal or curling up with a good book, it's important to make time for yourself.
  1. View every challenge as an opportunity to become a better lawyer. Not all of your assignments will be glamorous but keep a positive attitude and you will continue to learn.
  1. Even when you get busy, it's still important to go watch motions, mediations and discoveries. You will be doing these types of tasks sooner than you know and it's important to be prepared.
  1. Ladies, always have a pair of flats in your drawer. The day you pull out the 5-inch heels will be the day you're sent to deliver something far far away.
  1. Make friends with your colleagues! You will inevitably find yourself in a jam which only a fellow student can help get you out of. Not only are your colleague's potential lifesavers, but mine are some of my closest friends.
  1. Go for meals/drinks with your colleagues! This will help you with tip number 9. In all seriousness, it is important to let loose and discuss things other than the Rules of Civil Procedure with your workmates. I'm pretty sure the students at MB have this tip down pat.
Now that I've divulged all those pearls of wisdom (you're welcome), I will sign off for now. Gotta get back to work - my articles aren't done yet...