Friday 21 June 2024

Survey Says...

image from khan.zein554159

On Monday morning Ashley, the Student Director, emailed each of the eight summer students: “Please complete the attached questionnaire and send it back to me.”

The questionnaire was a survey with a list of tasks such as “drafted statement of claim”, and “worked on a personal injury claim, etc.,” with the option to select “yes” or “no” upon completion of the task.

Monday marked four weeks since we began working as summer students at MB, the time flew by, which wasn’t surprising. What was surprising, however, was the multitude of tasks we had been exposed to in those four short weeks. I filled in “Yes” to nearly half of the survey.

During OCI’s and In Firm Interviews last September, everyone in the interviews boasted about MB’s summer program and the hands-on experience the summer students receive. I’ll admit I was skeptical. How could such a program be possible? I had always been told that summer students -- especially those at downtown firms in Toronto -- would be tasked with nothing more than file production, research, and memo writing. Pre-OCIs, I expected my summer to be spent on Westlaw.

Then, in November, when I first visited MB in person, I was elated to learn that the summer students are exposed to meaningful litigation experiences during their term. While still skeptical, the MB articling students, outside of the interview, really drilled in the notion that things are different here.

In fact, Ashley has made it her mission to ensure that every single summer student attended both a mediation and an ED in their first few weeks. I was taken aback by this commitment. I thought I would be lucky if I attended a single ED all summer; I had no idea that exposing the summer students to these proceedings was the expectation, not the hope.

While not all work can be as exciting as attending a heated mediation, I’ve found that even the more “tedious” tasks -- i.e. drafting damages briefs or affidavits of documents -- are stepping stones to learning about the entire litigation process. The best way to learn about the development of a case is to analyze every single relevant document. I now have a much greater understanding of the way a file progresses, and how and why certain steps in the litigation process are taken.

Drafting statements of claim, statements of defence, mediation briefs, and initial reports has kept me engaged in client files. These tasks all serve their own unique purpose in the development of a case, which is why I am grateful for the opportunity to work on them.

After four weeks at MB, I am delighted at how many meaningful tasks we have been allowed to work on. Come August, I’m certain I’ll be able to complete Ashley’s survey to nearly 100%.

By Jordan J