The following tips have helped me avoid nose-diving while articling...
Most law students imagine horrific accounts of what their articling experience could entail – crashing overnight at the office, on-call duties dictated by a boss aspiring to be Meryl Streep in Devil Wears Prada, and never-ending mountains of paperwork one could only hope to see the top of…. However, if you’re expecting a recount of a personal “training from hell” articling experience, you are reading the wrong blog. I have only been articling at McCague Borlack for a month and a half but I am certain I will not be subjected to an allergic reaction anytime soon.
The lawyers at our firm have been kind and patient in volunteering their time to impart useful skills and knowledge, making the learning curve much more manageable. However, articling also involves a great deal of personal learning. Transitioning from being a summer to an articling student meant continuing to develop better organizational and work habits in order to better manage my time and take on more responsibility. As the volume and complexity of work has increased, I am slowly beginning to understand the importance of endurance which in the end will help me ‘survive’ a career in law.
The following tips have helped me avoid nose-diving while articling:
- Do not promise an earlier deadline than you can deliver;
- Save final work products so you never make the same mistake twice;
- Buy a large Moleskine notebook and bring it to lawyers’ offices to make detailed notes of assigned tasks;
- Organize your emails into folders and sub-folders for different lawyers and client files for easy access to information; and
- Find a few favourite spots in the Path for snack and coffee breaks!