Tuesday, 25 June 2019

Weird Projects, Field Trips & RAAAPTORS!

After orientation, an email that came through for me on the file assignment list was ambiguously phrased,  “Who in Toronto wants to take on a weird project?” A thrill of both anticipation and slight apprehension ran through me. This sounded like a challenge, which only made me more excited as I collected my pen and notebook to discuss the file with the assigning partner. We chatted about the matter, which turned out to be a research assignment pertaining to an overseas John Doe who had fraudulently stolen a client’s funds through online hacking.

I was asked to determine the best way to move forward in order to recover our client’s losses and was given wide latitude in ascertaining what that might be.

This freely given trust and responsibility were exactly why I had admired MB’s student program. Excited, I sped back to my desk. Time to research!

Week 2: Spontaneous Field Trips

My first field trip was a contested motion in Superior Court, where I watched the negotiation process unfold between two lawyers outside the courtroom in a bid to save their client's costs by settling the matter early. In law school, we learn more theoretical and black letter law concepts, and therefore it was interesting to see how the law operates on an everyday, practical basis. Before this, I didn’t realize how much of a legal outcome relies on pragmatic and measured negotiation prior to actually speaking in front of a judge.

Then later an email came in off the list requesting that a student partakes in an examination for discovery. So I spent the next two days observing a multi-faceted examination where various parties were questioned by many different sets of counsel. I was responsible for transcribing all of the evidence and returned to the office with a deepened understanding of effective examination strategies. I also got to prepare undertakings charts based on my notes for all the parties who were examined! In-depth involvement in files such as this allows you to feel like, even as a summer student, you are doing practical and valuable work on a file.

Summer Students 2019: Jennifer and Chelsea 
Week 3: Accomplishments

On Monday, the whole firm celebrated the recent Raptor’s NBA Championship win! We had been told the week before to wear our favourite Raptor’s regalia to work, and a firm-wide email was sent out encouraging everyone to go see the parade. There was also a viewing party complete with pizza in one of our boardrooms, and everyone at the firm came together to enjoy the wave of excitement that was sweeping Canada.

The energy in the city carried me through the rest of the day, and I speedily started preparing motion materials for my previous John Doe assignment. The assigning Partner had wholeheartedly agreed with my recommendations for further action and told me to prepare a novel motion that our firm had never fully brought before. Again, the same familiar frisson of excitement tinged with a sliver of self-doubt; Can I do this? Did I really get my research right earlier?

The answers to the above questions are yes! I have just submitted my draft motion materials, and am looking forward to moving the file along further and keeping up with its future developments. Being involved with strategic decisions and taking charge of the next steps for the forward movement of a file is a heady feeling for a student who has just finished her second year of law school. I am excited for more opportunities to expand my capabilities in the future with MB!

by Chelsea D.