Wednesday 14 January 2015

In-between Files

Reflecting at the midway point of our articling term a couple things stand out to me. One is the odd phenomenon that even though we are all given a full workload, articling students are always seeking out more work. It could be that we are given such a range of potential assignments and are just curious about what’s next. Aside from work, what stands out to me is what goes on in between files - specifically the social events that tie our firm together.

...our mid-size firm is our own community which makes learning ... that much more enjoyable.

It's been about a month, and I think it's safe to say that the embarrassment (all done in good fun) from the Christmas skit has died down. This was one of many firm-wide gatherings where we all would break bread and share a laugh together. It just so happened that this firm tradition came at a pivotal time for our articling group.

Stresses had started to spike as we all got a taste of what the end of the year rush entailed, but having an excuse to get together and remind ourselves that we are in this journey together solidified the truly congenial atmosphere that we work in, both firm wide and within our own articling group. We all rallied together to clear our desks to offer a little light hearted fun as as we said goodbye to 2014.

Ahead in our social calendar, we have our Christmas in January gathering, a range of events lined up as we continue to celebrate the firm’s 20th anniversary, amongst others. In between files, our mid-size firm is our own community which makes learning the practical side of the legal world that much more enjoyable. From an articling students' perspective, this is the jackpot. We are not only entrusted with virtually managing our own files, but the firm often encourages us to get involved in social events or attend file-related matters.

Charity Social Event 
Pie in the Face

This really does create an atmosphere where there is never a dull moment. Once overcoming the unknown hurdle in a file that you didn't even know existed on any particular morning, you have a quick trip to the kitchen to refill your coffee before putting your brain to the next unknown that waits.

I'm not solely speaking of new files, research memos, or trying to know what I'm talking about while on the phone with a seasoned opposing counsel - here at MB we are an active and collegial group who makes coming to the office with an open mind a necessity. This applies to both producing quality work and taking a moment to enjoy what goes on in between files… time permitting, of course.
Michael V.

Monday 5 January 2015

A New Year & the halfway point check-in

As we say goodbye to 2014 and welcome in the New Year, I realize that January not only signifies a fresh start, but also the halfway point in the 10-month articling journey.

I’m lucky to have had the opportunity to attend motions, assist on complex cases and run a Small Claims Court trial on my own...

Within the past 5 months, I’m grateful to say that my articling experience has been very challenging, exciting and rewarding. I’m lucky to have had the opportunity to attend motions, assist on complex cases and run a Small Claims Court trial on my own back in October! (NB: the trial was adjourned to continue for a second day this coming February!)

The beginning of a New Year is a great opportunity to reflect and resolve to do better. The first 5 months of articling were all about surviving, learning the ropes and absorbing as much legal knowledge as possible. The remaining 5 months of articling will be focused on thriving as an advocate by fine-tuning my legal skills and continuing to make a valuable contribution to the MB team on a daily basis.

In keeping with the tradition of setting New Year's resolutions, I resolve to do better as an articling student in 2015 by striving to learn something new every day (which is not difficult at MB), helping out my fellow colleagues whenever I can, and mastering work-life balance.

It is safe to say that articling is no walk in the park. (It’s more like a very brisk jog or a full-out sprint.) And with lots of support and mentorship from the great lawyers at MB along the way, I have no doubt that I will be able to rise to any challenges that come my way for the remainder of my articling experience and stick to my resolutions.

Happy New Year Everyone!
Irina S.