Wednesday, 27 July 2016

Reality Check: With OCIs around the corner...

I thought I would take the time to write a blog that touches on my OCI experience and give you a glimpse of reality now that I am midway through the summer. I still get chills reminiscing about all of the stress and excitement during the summer and fall of 2015.

I wanted an experience where I was able to work hands-on with files and gain exposure to different areas of law.


During applications for OCIs, I read, for what seemed like days, about all of the opportunities that firms are willing to offer their summers students. I learned very quickly from past summer students that not all of these touted opportunities are a reality. Many students spoke of doing one single task for the entire summer, whether it was endless research or summarizing records all day long. I did not want this to happen to me. I wanted an experience where I was able to work hands-on with files and gain exposure to different areas of law. Without sending caution to the wind, I spoke further with some students who expressed their array of learning experiences at one firm, in particular, McCague Borlack, and I thought to myself, 'this firm sounds like a perfect fit for me!'

Needleless to say, after 7.5 weeks I can confirm that the student experience and opportunities that MB promotes for its summer students, is bang on. In less than two months, not only have I had the opportunity to work closely with partners on files, but I have also had carriage of my own small claims court files and even became published! How is this possible in only 7.5 weeks? The key is the firm’s teamwork mentality; working closely with lawyers has given me the opportunity to have real responsibility. The firm really does promote a “learn through experience” environment.

Throughout the summer I have been assigned an assortment of tasks, some with tight deadlines and some with deadlines that will outlive my summer here. I have been able to attend court proceedings and watch my work be put into action. I’ve even performed some delivery law, which provides students with the opportunity to familiarize themselves with the court system.

The atmosphere at McCague Borlack definitely centres on training students and giving us the tools we need to prepare for articling. I can see why MB prides themselves on the work quality of their young lawyers since they are not only shown the ropes but also given the opportunity to test them out.

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