The end of an era…or a summer…or 15 weeks of practical experience at a Bay street law firm.
As you’re editing cover letters and assembling application packages, you’re probably also wondering if you will ever be able to tell the difference between the 30 plus firms that you’re applying to. Eventually the firms, and their people, start to distinguish themselves. But how do you figure that out at this stage? Ask a current summer student what it is that made his or her experience so memorable?!
The students at Cassels had no formal rotation for the summer. If you have no idea what type of law interests you, this allows you to try a little bit of everything. If you know exactly what you want to spend your summer doing, it means you can focus on getting work specifically from lawyers in that area.
I came to the firm with a strong desire to work in litigation and I spent the majority of my summer doing just that. Within the world of advocacy, I was exposed to commercial, municipal, employment, product liability, life sciences, and franchise files. The work included conducting research and writing memos, attending mediations, case conferences, and discoveries, analyzing legal arguments for trial, drafting defences, acquiring adjournments at court, and preparing and editing a paper on a substantial area of the law.
The flexibility of our system also meant that I could dabble in the world of financial services and I was pleasantly surprised to find how much I enjoyed the work. I assisted in the drafting of certificates and resolutions, created a corporate search summary, collected and organized documents for closing books, listened in on conference calls, and interacted with clients.
The first student I met at Cassels was Rick. I was happy to find that like me, this guy enjoyed sports, traveling, and good food. It didn’t take too long before I found out that Rick is also always extremely positive, and is the most likely of us all to make an appearance on the “Hills”.
As I met more of the students with whom I would be spending my summer, it become apparent that we had a great group! Laura, upon learning I was new in the city, was instantly full of restaurant recommendations and local hotspots. Eric, after hearing me express some concern about my research findings, offered to spend his afternoon helping me track down case law.
Our student directors, the members of the student committee, and our mentors also helped to make the summer as stress free as possible. Their participation at student events, their patient instructions, and their helpful advice was always welcomed and appreciated.
It all began on Jen’s birthday when the summer students embarked on a night of fun, food, and festivities. Craig told some of his now-famous jokes, Mow talked fashion, and the rest of us consumed more than our usual 2 drink maximum. The entertainment continued at our numerous summer social events. Some of my favourite memories include tracking down a tide-to-go with Tracy in Niagara, driving a golf cart in matching yellow shirts with Micah and golfing in the presence of the “legend” Jon at Diamond Back, organizing a summer student event with Lori, and screaming at horses with Mordy at Woodbine.
But we didn’t have to leave the office to have a good time. It was probably the day to day routines we established that made the summer fly by so fast (especially since most of them involved food). After eight weeks of daily arrowroots with Stefanie on 18, I moved to 22 for chocolate with David. When I wasn’t typing away at my desk, I might have been grabbing booster juice with Chris at four o’clock, eating hotdogs with Jess on a Friday, chirping J.B. about life in the short lane, or debating the lifespan of a stress ball stuck on the roof with Ryan.
My summer has been a combination of hard work and hilarity. If you’re a prospective summer student who gets to go through the “treat” of applications and interviews this year: good luck! I hope you too find a job with a firm that fits!