A Day in Court, and other Mid-Summer Musings

Hello loyal readers!

Firstly, let me apologize on behalf of our blogging crew for the dearth of posting over the last little bit. We are now in the heart of our summer terms and are being kept busy by a wide variety of engaging and challenging work, so blogging time has been a little scarce.

In the end, that’s probably a good thing. Each of us entered into this summer term with a fair amount of naiveté regarding what it’s like to a work at a large Toronto law firm. There is no doubt that is still mostly the case, and my Google search history might suggest I’ve been sleeping through the last two years of school. Some of my prouder moments include: “What is a rights offering?”… “Define: right of first refusal”…you get the idea. The resources here have been truly great. I want to give particular praise to  the fabulous support staff at CBB and thank them for their enduring patience!

Despite my occasional bouts of cluelessness, each file or assignment offers an opportunity to learn something new and contemplate what a career practising different types of law might look like. There is infinitely more to learn, but thanks to the approach CBB takes in giving students legitimate responsibility over our work and the ability to ask the rudimentary questions without hesitation, progress is being made.

One such example of a cool summer experience I’d like to share is the opportunity I had last week to observe proceedings at the Ontario Court of Appeal. I had done some last minute, time sensitive work with one of our senior Litigation Associates previously and used the opportunity to express an interest in following him to Court if anything particularly interesting came up. He didn’t forget about me, and I jumped at the opportunity to tag along when it arose.

I’ve done my share of mooting in law school, but it was a great learning experience to see it done live, with real-life consequences for the parties involved. I was amazed to observe how the three judges, amongst the thousands of pages of briefs before them, rapidly zeroed in on the issue that would decide the matter. They swiftly and relentlessly redirected any tangential oral arguments back “on point”. The lesson, for me, was a reminder of the importance of brevity and clarity in advocacy. I’m not sure at this point if I’ll be a litigator someday, but the challenge of responding to an active bench and the strategizing involved in the preparation stage does have certain appeal. When the Court ruled from the bench in our favour, the inner competitor from my athletic background loved that little hint of adrenaline and the subequent satisfaction. I’m sure that feeling would only grow having actually put in work on the file!

That’s all for now folks. Future student applicants: stay tuned to the blog over the next couple of weeks for some prudent information and tips on the application process soon to begin!  Until next time.

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