Starting a new job in the midst of a global pandemic in a virtual “work” world was daunting. How would I be productive or form relationships with colleagues while working from home?
"To give you a feel for how it’s going, here is my
"virtual” work day in the life of a summer student."
7:00am –Early bird gets the worm! I set my alarm early to give my brain time to wake up. (Caveat: I hit snooze two times before getting out of bed!)
7:30am – Workout First – to give me the push I need to get through the day and free up my evenings. This usually consists of a 30-minute cycling class on my Peloton bike (Fave = Kendall Toole).
8:30am – Breakfast - the most important meal of the day!
9:00am – Work start - First I check email for new assignments. Then, I review my excel spreadsheet where I track assignments and due dates. I call this document “my bible” as it is crucial in keeping me on track.
9:15am – Call with Student Director - Three times per week, the summer students participate in a Zoom call with the Student Director. We chat about how the week is going, what assignments we’re working on, and ask any questions, all in a comfortable setting. Without these weekly check-ins, we could go days without seeing each other. We all enjoy this checkpoint for the social interactions and to get perspectives on any tough assignments.
9:45am – 12:30pm – Time to get busy! – Today, I start off by working on an affidavit of documents for a subrogation file. I submitted it yesterday, and was asked to make some revisions to it and finalize the document for sending to opposing counsel. Once finished, I switched gears onto an accident benefits file to prepare a summary of the client’s documentation.
12:30 – 1:00pm Lunch Break
1:00pm – Call with a Lawyer - I had expressed an interest in working in family law, so an associate called to discuss an assignment. The lawyer gave me an overview of the custody dispute and asked that I research the caselaw on parents obtaining custody of their children in a scenario specific to the case at hand, and then write up my findings in a memorandum.
1:30 – 5:00pm – Productivity Zoom Call – Because staying focused after lunch can be difficult, the students all join in on a Zoom call while working independently. The idea is to keep the video on but microphones muted. This keeps us on track with our assignments and minimizes afternoon breaks. Plus someone is easily accessible to bounce ideas off of or ask questions that come up while we work (which can be frequent). Not only does this with productivity, it also provides some social interaction that would normally be available when working in an office.
During this time, I finish and submit the document summary for the accident benefits file that I was working on this morning. Then I switch gears and work on a research assignment for a professional negligence file.
To end the productivity call, we have a final chat about work assignments, any last questions, and then share a final laugh before going our separate ways. Calls like this have built the group’s camaraderie during our virtual experience. The silver lining of this virtual experience is that the Toronto students have had a lot of interaction with the Ottawa students, which we likely would not have had if it wasn’t for Zoom.
5:00 – 6:00pm – End of Day - As a lighthearted and easy way to end my day on a high note, I write this blog. Then, with nothing else pressing to finish for today, I submit my daily dockets and log off.
Evening Activity! – I met one of my fellow students (also in the GTA) in person for a coffee for the first time! Although, we wish the rest of our student group could join us, we look forward to the end of the Pandemic so we can all meet in person.
11:00pm – Bedtime
by Rebecca F.