It is now the third week of articling and the “floodgates” have been open for almost two weeks. When sitting at my desk I hear either keyboards clicking or phones ringing…everyone is busy. All of the articling students have received a variety of assignments from various lawyers at the firm.
Even though we feel comfortable, having been summer students at the firm, having the title as “articling student” can feel overwhelming at times. Howard Borlack, the managing partner at the firm, gave us advice during training week that has stuck with me and been helpful in the past few weeks:
As articling students, we were advised to pace ourselves with accepting assignments and avoid burning out at the beginning of the articling term.
This advice is similar to what I was told in my first year of law school. As many people know, the first year is very competitive, but it cannot be treated as a sprint because students should not be burnt out for their final exams. Similarly, although it is tempting to use all of our energy right away, we were reminded to spread out our hard work and assure that we are improving throughout the term and maintaining our hard work.
“Maintain a work-life balance.”
We were fortunate to be reminded that it is important to maintain a work-life balance during articling.
Although we will need to meet deadlines, we were advised to still make time for the family, friends, gym, or things we enjoy doing during our free time. This helps combat feelings of being burned out, stressed, and overwhelmed.
“Articling is a time to learn from your mistakes.”
We were advised to take advantage of this opportunity to learn and have lawyers advise us on ways to improve as “baby lawyers”.
We were reminded that we have the benefit of learning as much as we want to and are able to in the next 10 months. So far, the supervising lawyers on my assignments have been extremely helpful in answering questions I have had and explaining why I was wrong when I made a mistake.
With that being said, I look forward to the next 10 months of being a sponge for knowledge; making mistakes, but learning from them.