Friday, 28 August 2015

Lawyers’ Advice For Your Last Year Of School

It is now the final week of McCague Borlack’s 2015 Summer Student Program. All of the students can agree that we have had an excellent summer here. Not only did we meet and work with many great people, we also learned quite a bit.

...take courses that matter!

With only a few weeks left before we have to hit the books again, I decided to consult some lawyers at the firm to ask what they hope for students to gain in their final year of school before the begin their articles.

A major theme in the advice I received, understandably so, was to take courses that matter! This means, take something that you will utilize. It was highly recommended that students take the time to learn the Rules of Civil Procedure. However, this does not mean you should shy away from courses you are interested in. One lawyer said; take the opportunity to “broaden your analytical horizon” and to figure out what you are interested in. Another lawyer suggested that getting involved in a clinic during the school year was a good way of gaining hands on experience and “perspective”.

Another piece of advice was that students should work on their time management by getting involved in extracurricular activities, maintaining a social life, and keeping ties to the community, on top of their course loads. The rationale behind this is that the skills you gain from managing your time are transferrable to your work when you begin articling.

free digital photos from jscreationzs
A final piece of advice given was to remember that, “it is a marathon not a sprint”. Meaning, do not forget to have fun outside of school and keep up with your hobbies/sports, as this will make you well-rounded. One lawyer eloquently stated that the last year of school is about setting yourself up for the next stage of life and that “your ‘career’ stage is longer than any other we have yet faced. Accordingly, this lawyer suggested that students in their final year take the time to figure out what it is they really want out of a long and happy career.

As the final week comes to end, we are saddened that the summer flew by. At the same time, we are excited that we will soon come back to article at MB. During this final year we will be sure to follow the advice given to us by the lawyers at the firm.

Tuesday, 11 August 2015

A Summer for the Books: Practical Legal Skills Acquired

It’s hard to imagine, but our stint as summer students is almost up. Looking back, in terms of our legal education, this has been one of our most rewarding and enriching experiences we have had thus far. Each of us have had the opportunity to attend mediations, examinations for discoveries, and court for various legal matters. We also further refined our skills by conducting research on everything from issues affecting cross-border transportation to properly serving legal documents internationally.

Summer Student feedback on legal skills acquired at MB...

To paint a more complete picture, I have asked the group to provide feedback on practical legal skills acquired at MB.

Karen: Form and draft legal opinions on liability, damages, and recommended settlement figures, for client consideration.

Cassandra: Various aspects of examination of discovery, including the art of forming direct and substantive questions.

Marla: Enforcing a writ of seizure intra-provincially.

Victoria: Best practices for mediation, including the art of preparing persuasive briefs that make it likely that the matter will settle favorably.

Shayan: Various facets of trial preparation, including preparing documents that highlight and apportion liability.

Tiffany: Draft motion records to amend a Statement of Claim, for production from a non-party with leave, to dismiss an action and to set aside a noting in default.

Mahdi: Various aspects of preparation for regulatory hearings, including researching the extent of liability of professional actors.

We have no doubt that the legal skills that we have acquired this past summer will serve us well when we return to the firm as articling students.