Thursday 13 June 2024

My First Assignment and Other (Not-So) Scary Things

The first day of work is always daunting, there’s no way around it. Thanks to the orientation program at McCague Borlack, I felt as well prepared as I possibly could be. But of course, I was nervous when that email went out announcing:

"The Summer Students are available to take on assignments." 

So many questions ran through my mind – What if I don’t know where to start? What if I take too long to complete my tasks? What if I can’t keep up with the workload?

The Summer Student program works off of a list system for assigning tasks -- a.k.a. "The List". A lawyer's work request comes through a group email account and is assigned to whichever student is next on the list. Within the first few days, I realized how useful this system is. It ensures that no one works exclusively with one lawyer or in one area of law and that we experience different types of work and working styles. It also ensures students aren't competing for assignments, making it much easier to work as a team.

Back to that first assignment

When the list came around to me, I was incredibly nervous for my first meeting with the assigning lawyer. Luckily, everyone at MB is supportive and understands that this is likely our first time doing this type of work. I felt comfortable asking questions and was given useful precedents to get me started.

I was also surprised at how nervous I was when handing in my first assignment. A new set of questions ran through my mind – What if it’s not what they wanted? What if I did it wrong? What if they don’t check my work and an error slips through the cracks? Again, these worries were unwarranted. The assigning lawyer thoroughly checked my work and discussed changes with me so I understood what was needed for next time.

After a few weeks in

The nerves wear down with each new assignment that comes in, and I've found MB truly has a great support system where no question or concern is left to fester. With these first few weeks on the books, I realize what an amazing team I get to be part of, and I’m grateful for the opportunity to learn in a supportive environment.

by Emily O.