Monday, 1 December 2014

Entering the Workforce – A Whole New Learning Experience

This year has been one of the most eye opening years of my life. It is the first time that I have been a full time member of the workforce. It is very different than school and very exciting. In this post I try to address some differences between work and school life that have stood out to me over the past four months.

I've learned more working at MB for four months than I had in my past 2 years of university (no offence, Western).

First, as a student, you are very much on your own. Trying to understand complex concepts and issues in school is usually an individual endeavour. Sure, professors are there, but they can only help you so much. There are also other students, but they are all in the same boat as you. In the working world, there are so many different people that are available to give their assistance. This includes lawyers at all different levels, clerks, assistants, and paralegals. Even outside the firm, librarians at the great library, staff at the court, as well as Judges and Masters are all willing to lend a helping hand and help you succeed.

Second, I have also been very surprised by how much the learning process continues once you enter the work force. On its face, one would assume that more learning would be accomplished at school than work due to the fact that the whole point of school is, of course, education. However, I learn something new at work every day. It also feels like the things I am learning at work are very practical and useful, unlike some of the things learned in a classroom. I can actually see myself becoming better at my job and developing my skills as my articling career progresses. In all, I feel like I've learned more working at MB for four months than I had in my past 2 years of university (no offence, Western).

Third, and this applies more specifically to the legal profession, I cannot believe how different it is to practice law than learn law in a classroom. Of course, theory learned in the classroom is very important. However, all of the things learned in the classroom play such a small role in the litigation process. It is unbelievable how many integral aspects of the day-to-day practice of law are not even addressed in school. It has really made me realize why the articling process is so important and appreciate the opportunity that MB has provided to me.

In conclusion, I am thrilled to be on the other side of the school/work divide. I am relieved by the fact that there is so much help to be given in the working world and that the learning process continues. Articling has been a great experience thus far and I expect that the positive experience will continue. I can’t wait to see what I learn next.

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