Today is a big day for me. The moment I press the “publish post” button, I will leave my former, primordial soup-like world behind and become a blogger. Or, more appropriately, a blawgger (pronounced: blaw–jer). From what I am told, blawgs are the new newspapers- much like green is the new pink, and wheat is the new oil, and Battlestar Galactica is the new Star Trek. This is very ‘state of the edge’ kind of stuff.
The first step in a successful blawg is to let the readers know who they are reading about. This allows them to sympathize with the author. The author can later use that sympathy to exploit the reader for campaign contributions, or to coax them to sign up for his latest multi-level marketing scheme (details forthcoming).
I was born and raised on the stony eastern shore of Newfoundland, in the picturesque town of Mt. Pearl. It was here that I learned to master the English language, and where I built up my tolerance for sideways freezing rain. But enough about me, how are you? Good. Back to me.
Like every Newfoundlander ever, I later moved to Alberta. While my original intention was to simply steal jobs from fat cat Albertans, I diverged and ended up enrolling in the University of Alberta, where I eventually earned a bachelor of science. Then I said ‘what the Hades, I’ll just go to law school!’ Fast forward to the first week of second year: everyone was talking about something called OCIs. Having just returned from a 50-odd day bicycle trip, I was in no mood for acronyms. I wanted to know what this stood for, and I wanted to know now. Fast forward: I am now sitting in my cushy office on Bay Street, fully sated from the free lunch provided daily by The Firm.
My orientation experience was much the same as described in the previous entries, as was the OCI experience: Wonderful and stressful, respectively.
This blawg is about giving people a taste of what it is like to be a summer student at a fancy pants Bay Street law firm. What will it taste like, you’re probably wondering? It could be raw. It could be spicy. It could very well be bland. The fact is, I don’t know. Only time will tell. But I invite you, the reader, to taste along with me. Let me be your salt lick. Let me be that box of Christmas chocolates without the guide (the ones where you have to take a bite to see what it is). Let me be the tiny sip of wine the waiter pours in your glass, while you pretend to be able to taste the difference between a crappy wine and a good one. Let me be a more appropriate analogy.
Hopefully this blawg, with its differing viewpoints, backgrounds and approaches, will help you decide if this is the life for you. Please leave comments, and I will use my unfettered blogging power to decided if they are appropriate enough to be posted or answered. I would prefer to have unmoderated comments, however, a blog, much like Russia, is a democracy, and I am a minority on that issue.
In closing, I would like to leave you with a quote which has been falsely attributed to Benjamin Franklin:
“Judge a man not by the size of his hat, but by the angle of its tilt.”
Think about that.
So what is being a summer student at Cassels Brock really like? So far it has been amazing! Orientation week was a wonderful chance to get acquainted with the people in the firm and to learn how to operate all of the firm’s technology. I had no idea how complex computers could be (as evidenced by my poor office mate wandering up and down the halls one night after training trying to figure out which printer to use and how to make it work)! Luckily, we have very patient support staff and computer experts only a phone call away. Because starting a new job is always overwhelming, I really appreciated having a whole week of orientation training.
Socially, orientation week was a blast (although at some point they really do need to stop feeding us so well)! Some of the events included a firm cocktail party in our honour, mini-hamburgers and drinks at Reds, lunch at the National Club, a tour of the Great Library, and a Jays game complete with cotton candy. My favourite part of the week was bonding with the other 17 fantastic summer students! We talk about everything from shoes, purses, and “The Hills” to world issues, politics, and the latest books we have read. Now that orientation week is over and we’re not together every day, we find time to bond by meeting for lunch and going for drinks after work.
I am excited for what the summer will bring. In the last four days I have already been to court and started legal research on several projects. I think it is safe to say my summer is going to be busy and rewarding!
Welcome to our Blawg! The four of us are very excited to be the first team of summer students to ever write a blawg about our experiences on Bay Street.
I’m a small town girl from Owen Sound who left “The Sound” to complete a Bachelor of Science Honours degree in Psychology at Queen’s University. I loved my experience at Queen’s so much that I decided to stay for law school!
Law school has been filled with challenges, but the most bizarre thing I have encountered in my last two years is the “OCI”. I think the OCI process is something you have to experience to explain! It starts with the filling out of applications, the endless research about firms, and the emails to articling and summer students to get the “dirt” on their experiences. Next, comes the on-campus interview which I like to compare to speed dating (although I’ve never tried it). You would be amazed how quickly, or how slowly, 15 minutes can go by! It is exciting, exhausting, and definitely entertaining! The good news is that you will find a firm that “fits” and you will meet lawyers with whom you instantly develop a bond. For me those relationships began at my OCI with Cassels Brock in October, were strengthened at my in-firm interview in November, and are continuing to develop now that I am officially a part of the Cassels Brock team!