Friday 30 August 2013

Passing of the baton...

While it has been an amazing summer filled with new experiences, hard work, and a lot of fun, it is now time for us to return to our last year of law school and pass the student blog "baton" over to the new articling students who have returned to MB - Justin, Alyssa, Emily, David, Kati and Shivaan.

They are a great bunch and we cannot wait to follow their articling adventures over the next 10 months!

In the words of legendary anchorman Ron Burgundy, we sign off with, "Stay Classy" MB followers...

Wednesday 21 August 2013

Summer of 2013 - Memorable Moments

With only a week left, I thought I would give the students a chance to list some of their best memories from this amazing summer for this week's blog.

We have had a lot of laughs and experiences this summer and want to share them with our MB blog readers!

Enjoy!   Sean V.

Q1. What skills have you developed this summer that will help you in your career?

Q2. What is the best assignment you have worked on this summer?

Q3. What was your best "field trip" this summer?

Q4. Sum up your summer experience in one sentence?

Q5. What was your most memorable moment of the summer?

Monday 12 August 2013

A student’s experience - Haiku style

When my time to write the student blog came, I decided to take a different approach than the other students. So  I wrote a number of haiku* [hahy-koo] to document the range of emotions that I felt throughout the summer.

*Haiku was originally developed by Japanese poets – written in 17 syllables, divided into 3 lines of 5, 7 and 5 beats  – use sensory language to capture a feeling or image. They are often inspired by an element of nature, a moment of beauty or a poignant experience.

The Willing Student

Josh, go get this done
Yes sir, I’ll do that motion
Wait… what’s a motion?

Commentary: Thankfully the lawyers will answer all your questions, even if it is “what’s a motion?”

Doing Good Work

You did a great job
I made a couple edits
Rewrote the whole thing

Commentary: Everybody makes mistakes and has their work reviewed.  It should not make you second guess yourself or lose confidence.  Just take the criticism with a grain of salt and learn from your mistakes.

The Impossible Task

I know they’re in there
Look through brief just one more time
Want to tear out eyes!

Commentary: Some tasks may seem impossible.  If you take a step back, rethink your approach and work hard you can do anything, even if it seems impossible.  I eventually did find what I was looking for!

My Greatest Fear (Friday before the long weekend)

Almost finished work
Hey, I need some help with this
Due Tuesday Morning

Commentary: Thankfully my greatest fear never happened.

Getting Better
Finished some research
Expecting to do much more
I’m told it’s perfect

Commentary: Always be confident in your abilities.  More often than not your work is praised, helpful, and it makes a difference.

Support Staff

Don’t know what to do
I wonder who I should ask
Support staff knows all

Commentary: There are so many resources at MB.  Some of the most valuable resources at the firm are the assistants, paralegals, and support staff. 

The Student Assignment Rotation
Up next on the list
Wait in anticipation
Sit in on cool case

Commentary: Being next on the student list can be intimidating because you don’t know what kind of assignment you are going to get next.  At MB, you get a wide variety of assignments that are actually very interesting.

Coming to an end

It happened so quick
I only have 3 weeks left
Work hard and time flies

Commentary: It is unbelievable how quickly time flies when you’re working hard.  I can’t believe the summer is almost over.  I’ve learned so much, had so much fun, and can’t wait to take on the challenge of articling.

I hope that you enjoyed them!
Josh S.

Thursday 8 August 2013

Carriage of my first file

Receiving an email from a senior partner is daunting enough but when I read “You have been assigned this small claims file” I had to do a double-take – Did I really just get a file all my own? I was nervous and excited at the same time for this chance to prove myself, and I was determined not to disappoint.

After reviewing the file, I discovered I would be defending our client in a sewer backup claim. While I was no expert on the subject matter, I was determined to learn everything necessary to properly defend our client’s interests; and luckily for me, there is no shortage of people at the firm whom I could turn to for advice.

"With a solid understanding of the facts and allegations advanced by the plaintiff, I drafted our client’s defence..."

My first order of business was to ensure all deadlines were diarized so I did not miss any on my first file! I then contacted my client and the opposing counsel to advise all future correspondence be directed to my attention as I was now assigned to the file. (Wow!) To be given the opportunity to establish my name in the “legal world” at such an early stage in my budding legal career is pretty amazing!

With a solid understanding of the facts and allegations advanced by the plaintiff, I drafted our client’s defence; which ended up being quite lengthy; however, this was necessary in order to properly defend our client. I also drafted a defendant’s claim to ensure that our client’s interests were protected and all the necessary parties were brought into the claim.

Part of running your own file, even if you are a summer student, is to give the client your assessment of liability and damages along with recommendations for the claim. Thus, I gave the opinion letter my best shot and sent all my draft work to the supervising partner for review. It was a pleasant surprise when he said my opinion was right on track and ready for Superior Court! He also provided me with some more helpful feedback and confirmed I was ready to go ahead and issue, serve and file the pleadings with the Small Claims Court.

The mandatory Settlement Conference has now been scheduled for the end of the month; and while I would selfishly love the opportunity to advocate on my client’s behalf, it looks like a settlement will be reached before that time and an early resolution of the matter is always my first priority.

Irrespective of what happens, I have learnt so much from this experience, and I know that I will be that much more confident on my next file. Hopefully, it’s not too far away!
Brittany S.