Friday 14 June 2013

I Don't Know Anything.

This was the cataclysmic mantra racing through my head on day one at McCague Borlack. As I sat in my chair absorbing the ins and outs of litigation, subrogation, compensation and mediation, I felt the newness of everything hit me all at once. Had first-year law school returned to take its revenge? The volume and complexity of the work loomed large.

"seeing your motion materials and legal research (successfully!) put to use in front of a judge is a truly rewarding experience."

But here is the one big difference between class and work: at MB, students have the complete and unequivocal support of the entire firm. As I made my way through the OCI process last year, I was struck by how comfortable I felt during my MB interviews; without fail, every single interviewer was warm, candid and bright. I can’t speak for other firms, but what you see during an MB interview is what you get at the office. Doors are open, help is offered, and support is always available. I have never been turned away or dismissed for asking the most basic of questions. MB is a truly collaborative firm.

At MB, the emphasis is on practical experience. You will draft motion materials. You will attend court proceedings with a mentor. You will communicate directly with clients. And yes, you will carry your very own files, which I guarantee will (1) instill a great sense of pride and responsibility; and (2)result in a noticeable improvement to your upper body strength. The opportunity to learn and contribute is enormous.

A few days ago, I attended a motion with a senior lawyer at the Brampton Courthouse. I can honestly say there is no substitute for actual court experience. As a summer student, learning the little things rank among the most important lessons I have learned to date, including knowing where to park, how to read a motions list, and how to find a courtroom. And of course, seeing your motion materials and legal research (successfully!) put to use in front of a judge is a truly rewarding experience.

As the end of week 3 approaches, I can honestly say that I feel comfortable in my own skin again. In the grand scheme of things, I still know (almost) nothing. Only now, I know exactly who to go to and what to ask.
Ben C.