Friday, 15 July 2016

Sherlock Holmes of the Legal Profession

As law students, we learn the importance of research in the legal field. Law school is designed to teach us to think like lawyers and equip us to learn and adapt to the ever-changing common law. As such, Principles of Legal Research is one of the mandatory classes law students must take in their first year of law school. We learn about the many legal research resources. The websites. The books. The famous McGill Guide.

...research is a key aspect of practicing law.

The first half of my time as part of the MB summer program has taught me that what my law school professors have stressed throughout the past three years of my education is correct: research is a key aspect of practicing law.

Yes, I have done research regarding case law, statutes, regulations, the ever-famous Rules of Civil Procedure and how legal principles apply to different cases and situations of fact. However, I did not expect to become the legal Sherlock Holmes.

On more than one occasion, the research I have done as a summer law student involved contacting individual courthouses to determine their own procedures and customs. I have tracked down documents and exhibits. I even determined the date of death of an individual in order to subsequently identify their executor.

These are not the kind of investigations that law school prepared me for. However, they are the kind of assignments that develop the skills required to become the kind of lawyer I hope to become: a resourceful individual who identifies the information needed to successfully represent her clients; an individual capable of finding answers whether they are easily accessible or not.

Jessica M.