First of all, congratulations! You made it over yet another hurdle in your legal career. Even if you did not receive an offer on Call Day, you should be proud of all the hard work you put into the process. Preparing an application package, interviewing, and networking with lawyers are skills that everyone in the profession needs to cultivate. And remember there are so many incidents of great lawyers who have experienced similar bumps in the road.
When do I start?
- Most firms will e-mail or write you in advance about your start date. One of the great things about MB is that we start a little bit later in the summer – usually after the Victoria Day weekend. In my 2L summer, the extra time off between school and work allowed me to travel and catch up on some much-needed rest.
- Different firms have different levels of formality when engaging students for the summer. Some firms will send you multi-page contracts to sign, while other firms will simply send a letter confirming your start date and that they are excited to work with you! If you have any questions or concerns, do not be afraid to reach out to the Student Director at your firm. I remember that our own Director was more than happy to answer my questions and help prepare me for my first day!
- Before you start, try a “practice commute” from home to your office. That way, you can see how long it takes you and ensure you arrive on time for your first day. I would also suggest determining in advance what elevator takes you up to your office. Some buildings have multiple banks on different floors (e.g., concourse, main floor), or elevators that only go to certain floors (e.g., odd, even). In-firm interviews are usually such a blur that you sometimes forget these details. For future MB’ers, just remember that we are the second bank of elevators – I’ve made the mistake too many times of going to the first bank and rushing out in a panic before the doors closed!
- Last but not least, your first day can be nerve-wracking. You may be at a firm in a different city, or you may not know anyone else from your school who works there. Do not be afraid to spend some time getting to know the other students! They are probably just as nervous as you but also as eager to make friends! I am grateful that the other summer students at MB (now my articling colleagues) were friendly and outgoing from the start.