Tuesday, 14 June 2016

Bridging the Gap: Who Wants to Play 21 Questions?

Although it’s only week two of the summer program at MB, I’ve quickly come to realize how important it is to ask questions when receiving new assignments. Despite receiving an excellent legal education at the University of Ottawa, I have never had the opportunity to draft damage briefs or affidavits of documents, let alone draft motion records and book motions at the Superior Court.

...bridge the gap between theoretical knowledge and practical legal work...

In order to bridge the gap between theoretical knowledge of the law and the experience required for practical legal work, it is imperative to ask questions. Asking questions not only allows you to provide the best work product but also helps with the learning curve and provides a sense of confidence when attempting something new. That being said, it is always best to make an attempt at any assignment or problem on your own first. Although the lawyers at MB are approachable and friendly, they like to see that you’ve thought about the issue before coming to them with questions, plus you want to show that you at least learned a few things at law school, between all that “socializing”.

Bottom line: don’t be afraid to play 21 questions with the lawyers that you are working for. More often than not they will guide you in the right direction and you will quickly learn that no question is a stupid question. As summer students, it’s important to approach problems confidently but also realize how much more there is to know before we become excellent lawyers.

Last but not least, don’t forget to bring some paper and a pen when going to ask questions. You’ll feel like a private eye but at least you won’t miss any of that important information.
Mark B.