Thursday, 2 June 2016

Hit the Ground Running

It is our second week at MB as summer students and if I could describe the experience so far, it would certainly be to say we have hit the ground running. During our first week, we immersed ourselves in learning about the various practice areas the firm specializes in, the art of docketing, file management, research skills, and getting to know many wonderful and talented people. This week, it was time for us to put theory behind us and begin the real work.

it is always exciting to find out what our tasks are for the day...

At MB, work is mainly assigned through 'The List'. Students are placed on this List alphabetically and respond to assignments in that order. So far, it seems to be a great system that equally provides everyone with varied opportunities. We do not get to cherry pick assignments or decide who we want to work with in terms of the assignments that come off the List, so it is always exciting to find out what our tasks are for the day and with whom we will be working with. In just two days, I have had the pleasure of working with two partners in conducting research for a file, drafting an Affidavit of Documents, and a Damages Brief. My peers have also received several interesting assignments, including drafting a Notice of Motion and a statement of claim. In addition to the List, we can always seek out work in areas that particularly interest us or from lawyers we are eager to work with.

Although we are very excited to begin our journey as summer students at MB and gain all the practical skills of lawyering, the learning curve is steep. There is a world of a difference in learning the theory behind drafting a particular type of document versus actually doing it. The key to success in this program is to work hard, take initiative, have a positive attitude, and be open to trying new things and understanding that you might not get it right the first time (or the second). My first Affidavit of Documents required multiple drafts and revisions, and entailed several hours of pouring over thousands of pages of documents, determining which of them were relevant, and then sorting them into the appropriate schedules. It is important to stay motivated and avoid focusing on mistakes. Making mistakes and asking lots of questions is an important learning tool. It also helps that the lawyers here are all more than willing to help and it is clear they want to see us succeed.

Also, the summer students have quickly bonded with one another and have formed great friendships. MB encourages collegiality, teamwork, and cooperation. Rather than focusing on competing against one another, we focus on pushing ourselves to learn as much as possible. We know we can always lean on one another for support and motivation should we need it. We are all looking forward to seeing what new experiences the weeks ahead of us are going to bring!

Taskeen A.