Thursday, 18 September 2014

Take Advantage of the Quiet Moments

...many of the lawyers at MB speak of the need to balance both your work and your life.

As an articling student at a busy firm, it’s easy to get overwhelmed when juggling different types of work for a range of lawyers who have different expectations. Therefore, in our short time here, we have all learned the importance of taking advantage of the quiet moments at MB. Taking this time to step away — from the world of filing motions, updating affidavits of documents, drafting briefing letters and mediation memorandums — to pursue our various interests or hobbies, and explore what Toronto has to offer. Not only is this a great way to keep your mind fresh, but it is also necessary.

When one becomes overwhelmed, it is easy to get sucked into an assignment and nitpick over the smallest of details. Even seemingly inconsequential punctuation choices in the middle of a 15-page briefing letter can be torturous to the addled minds of an articling student. “Would a semicolon better capture what I am trying to say here? Or would that be the job of a comma? Or do I live on the edge and forego both?” From the outside, these can seem like relatively trivial questions but more than once these questions have been asked either by me or by my fellow articling students. However, I have found that taking advantage of the quiet moments in the office to refresh my mind allows me to work more efficiently and deal with these small issues more effectively without holding a poll in the office asking who sides with the semicolon vs. the comma.

What’s there to do?

What is there to do in Toronto? The question should be what isn’t there to do? Whether it be taking in a Blue Jays game, going to the gym, taking in a movie at the Toronto International Film Festival (as an aside, I would like to state that stars leaving events outside of my apartment to screams of paparazzi and fans is not conducive to good sleep), spending that hard-earned salary at the stores on Queen West or Bloor Street, grabbing a drink with friends, or going for a walk along the lakeshore — Toronto offers something to do for anyone and everyone. Personally, I have made it my mission to visit as many food trucks in Toronto that my wallet, and waistline, will allow.

"Keep Balance" by jesadaphorn  - freedigitalphotos.netThe other day a lawyer stopped by to ask how we were all doing and spoke of the importance of taking time away from the office to enjoy life. In fact, many of the lawyers at MB speak of the need to balance both your work and your life. After my short time here, I would wholeheartedly agree with their sentiments. There is always a time to do work, but as Jack said in The Shining, “all work and no play makes an articling student a dull person.” Or something like that anyway.

Garett H.