Wednesday 23 August 2017

Articling: A Snapshot

Articling is a training period where we can learn, ask questions, and explore areas that pique our interests. It is important to use this ten-month period to absorb as much possible and develop strategies to become competent lawyers.

... we also have the opportunity to seek out work in areas of interest ...


In order to get a varied experience, students receive a bulk of their assignments off the List. The List is a rotation system that determines the order in which students respond to work. This system ensures we get exposure to different types of assignments and avoid staying in our comfort zones. However, we also have the opportunity to seek out work in areas of interest. As a result, we get a truly comprehensive experience.

Field Trips

Students are consistently approached by lawyers asking whether they would like to attend motions, discoveries, settlement conferences, and mediations. These out-of-office experiences are truly valuable since they allow us to observe theory in practice. It is also a great chance to ask the lawyer attending with you any questions you may have about what you observe, in addition to picking up tips on how to develop your own style.


At the start of the articling term, each student was assigned a mentor. Lawyers are committed to helping us grow and become better lawyers. They have an open-door policy and welcome us to ask questions, chat about our experiences, and give us feedback. Although we are encouraged to ask questions, it is important to respect our mentors’ time. Therefore, we write down their explanations and instructions. These meetings with our mentors are a great time to reflect on our strengths, weaknesses, and work together to make our articling term as productive as possible.

Although it has only been two weeks into our articling term, we have already received several tasks we have never been exposed to before. I have had the opportunity to conduct research on an interesting area of law, draft a productions brief and an initial report, and communicate directly with clients. We are excited to see what the next nine months have in store for us. Each day presents new opportunities to develop valuable skills, paving the way for us to become better lawyers.
Taskeen A.

Thursday 10 August 2017

Summer Student in Motion (Court)

My interest in litigation was first sparked by my experiences mooting in law school. So, this summer when I was asked if I would like to personally go to court to bring a motion I was very excited to have the opportunity to experience the “real thing”. In this blog entry, I wanted to highlight some of the takeaways of what was one of the most exciting parts of my summer experience.

Unlike what you see on TV, litigators do not spend all of their time in court.

Putting Pen to Paper
Unlike what you see on TV, litigators do not spend all of their time in court. In fact, some of the most interesting aspects of the litigation process involve formulating arguments and drafting legal documents. So, before I could bring the motion I had the opportunity to actually draft it. Being able to draft the materials I would be submitting to the court was also a very helpful way to prepare.

Getting Ready: Mentorship and Self-Prep
The lawyer supervising me on this task sat down with me to answer my questions and go over what had happened on the file to date, and what I should expect when I went to court. He very kindly answered my dozen or so questions about everything from court decorum to what floor the courtroom would be on.

Even after all of that preparation, I still woke up early on the day to go over all of my materials, make sure I knew where all my documents were located in my binder, and prepare responses to the list of possible questions I’d be asked. I also printed off all of the possible legislation I could be drilled on.
The Big Moment
I arrived early to court and waited for the courtroom to be unlocked, then I filled out the requisite forms and waited for my turn. I was glad that I had participated in so many moots in school because it definitely helped tame my nerves!

When it was my turn to speak I answered the Master’s questions and gave my reasons where necessary. Court, it turns out, at least at this level, was less about the Master trying to trick you with difficult questions (like in moot court) than it was about the Master trying to figure out why you were there. I was still very happy I had spent (so much) time preparing for questions because it made me feel poised and confident!

In the end, our order was signed and I was left with an amazing experience! I can’t wait until the next time I’m able to step up to the podium!
Jessica M.