With final reviews and offers to come, I find myself looking back on how far I have come since I started here in August. Back then, everything seemed very foreign. Pleadings sounded like a desert and summarizing thousands of pages of productions sounded like a daunting task.
Looking at my assignment worksheet on excel (which every articling student likely has an iteration of) it looks like I have completed roughly 270 unique assignments to date. These assignments differ in complexity, length of time required to complete, and how interesting they were. In reviewing the list, I would say that there are probably seven categories of assignments that I have worked on:
- Pleadings (i.e., Statements of Defence, Claim, Third Party Claims, Defences, etc.);
- Summaries (i.e., summarize affidavits of documents or undertakings productions);
- Review and Compile’ (i.e., affidavits of documents, books of authority, etc.);
- Motion Materials (i.e., affidavits, notices of motion, motion records, etc.);
- Written Advocacy (i.e., mediation briefs, pre-trial briefs, factums, etc.); and,
- Oral advocacy (i.e., speaking to a motion).
While any list is necessarily over or under-inclusive, and your mileage may vary, I would say that the list is a fair representation of an articling student’s life at a civil litigation firm.
Looking back, I am proud of how far I have come, and how much I have learned. When I interviewed with the firm, I was told something to the effect of ‘we train litigators’, and I can confidently say that that promise has been fulfilled. The firm has allowed me to be involved in each and every step of the litigation process, from the pleading stage to the execution stage, and for that, I am very grateful.
There’s no real takeaway here, but if one is required, I would say it is amazing just how much you can learn in the right setting.
by Conner S.