Thursday, 15 June 2023

Avoid tipping the scales of justice

Everyone warned me about maintaining a good work-life balance when entering a career in law. How easy it can be to get so caught up that you dive in and don’t realize when you have lost that balance. I am lucky to work at a firm that wants its students and lawyers to have a life outside of work. But admittedly, I can see myself falling into the trap of loving work so much that it becomes my hobby.

So, with my whopping two weeks of summer student experience, I'm here to tell all you readers the one way I found to make sure I didn’t get lost in my work.

“I use my colleague’s interests as a way to get out and try new things.”

In my case, the opportunity rolled through my inbox in early January. One of the firm associates started a McCague Borlack team for the Baycrest Ride for Brain Health. At the time, I had accepted a summer student position and only knew one other person at the firm, a fellow student. The idea of meeting a bunch of my future colleagues (and superiors) was a bit daunting. However, my comfort spaces were always in a gym or volunteering so how bad could a charity bike ride go?

The plot thickened when deciding on the course route (25, 50, or 75km). I decided to throw myself in and signed up for the 75K. Because how, as a former high-level athlete, could I sign up for the shortest distance? (Editor’s note: Angela was a Pro Basketball player in Denmark!) I wasn’t sure if I was shooting myself in the foot, but my family tends to live by the saying ‘go big or stay home’.

This new goal added a ton of fun training on my own throughout the remainder of the school semester and before I knew it, I was starting at the firm. I still hadn’t met anyone I would be riding with but every night after work, I would hop on my bike to train. I looked forward to the upcoming event itself and meeting everyone, but my daily training was still fun and exciting. I was motivated to do well at the event, and the training didn’t involve factum writing or drafting documents (not that I don’t love those as well).

On the day of the event, I got on my bike with my water bottle and emergency granola bar and got cycling! I had a ton of fun getting to bike on the DVP (closed for riders only!) and was contributing to a great cause, and at the end getting to meet a few more colleagues! 

 Overall, it was a 10 out of 10 experience! (Editor’s Note: Angela finished in just under 3 hours!) And to get back to the point of this whole piece, I learned about an awesome experience through the firm that made sure I didn’t get too absorbed in my work. While I am not in a position to give advice, seeing as I am as fresh as it gets to working in a law firm, I can say with confidence that one way I will remain a well-rounded individual will be to stay open to opportunities, career or otherwise, that fall in my lap along the way.

by Angela R.