Monday, 15 July 2013

Half-Time Recap!

I started just over a month ago with the Ottawa office of MB and I have just over a month left. Yikes! Where did the time go? So I thought this would be a perfect time to provide my half–time commentary on how things are going from the perspective of a student (me!), and my game plan to conquer the second half of my summer with MB.

It seems like just yesterday when I was gearing up and excited for orientation. I wouldn’t consider myself the best athlete – okay, maybe not an athlete at all – but I was ready to begin and hit the ground running.

"You’ll experience a rush when you find that perfect case that matches the fact scenario that you’re dealing with."

Right out of the gate, I couldn’t believe that I was working directly with partners and senior counsel. Of course, I felt intimidated at first. While I would consider myself to be a naturally confident person, I was hoping for a few practice runs before being thrown in with the big leagues. However, I have quickly realized that, despite the wealth of knowledge and experience possessed by these individuals, at the end of the day, we are all on the same team. I just have to trust my abilities and put my best foot forward.

There will, of course, be days where you feel that you’ve had a solid performance and not once was the red pen used for corrections busted out for you. You’ll even experience a rush when you find that perfect case that matches the fact scenario that you’re dealing with. There will also be days where two cups of coffee and three drafts later, you wish you could have shined a bit brighter. I guess after all, as students, we’re hardest on ourselves. However, I’ve learned that if you keep yourself benched, you won’t learn from the sidelines. This is the benefit of being a student at MB, you get out there quickly and you’re given considerable opportunities to explore what areas of the law you like and what areas you may grow to like. In addition, just like my colleagues have reiterated, there is tons of support and direction provided to you by people at MB, including the associates, assistants and law clerks. People are always willing to provide guidance and tips on how to tackle what can sometimes feel like a daunting task.

Finally, as one of the two students in Ottawa, I feel like it’s my duty to represent my hometown turf and shed light on my specific experience as a student in the Ottawa office of MB. I’ve experienced impromptu pizza parties, where the lawyers, assistants and students will have their lunch in the boardroom to break some cheesy bread together and discuss non-work-related things. I’ve also been able to form strong bonds with the same lawyers I get to work with day in and day out.

As for my game plan to conquer the second half of the summer and things I’ve learned along the way, here it is: first, don’t forget to breathe; second, remain confident and; third, always be game for everything that’s thrown at you. Yes, admittedly, this is a very simple strategy, yet not only have I learned tons with this mentality, but I’ve also had fun along the way!
Sammy M.