Friday, November 13, 2009

Busy, busy, busy.

Haven't had much time to update, but articling is swimming along.

I've been so lucky at this job. The hours are tremendous, I'm learning so much, and I'm feeling like everything is going to be OK (although, I could use a few more hours in the day everyday).

I started CPLED last week. I now have one "Competency Demonstrated" under my belt, for the Chambers application exercise. 1 down, 8 to go (sounds intimidating ... 8 to go ... may have to reconsider how I report that until I'm closer to half way).

I have much more to write about, but I just can't muster the energy right now. Fridays are so hard (even though Wednesday was a day off). I'll try and muster some energy tomorrow morning (i.e. my munchkin and I will go for a walk tomorrow morning and grab Mommy a Starbucks), and relate all of the exciting things that I have to tell you.

Wednesday, September 09, 2009

Learning to Multi-Task - Again

First of all, where the heck did the last week go? Wow.

Long weekends ... sigh. Awesome. We entertained my sister who came to visit for the weekend, and got to make it out to the In-Laws for a visit and to do some awesomely-fun-muddy-quadding.

Back to work yesterday, though. Wasn't too bad. The new office coffee maker really helps out with the Monday-or-Tuesday-After-A-Long-Weekend-Blues. Mmmmm ... coffee.

This week, it seems that my lot in articling life is to re-learn the meaning of multi-task.

I swear, the Admitting Department at Foothills Hospital was wonderful training grounds for this Articling position. In Admitting, we had tons of things thrown at us all the time, where everything was a number one priority. We were put into extreme situations with extremely emotional people, and we were part of a very clear hierarchy, where orders and organization came through the proper channels.

Now, when I look at my desk at work, I'm always reminded of Admitting, and how I learned to keep my cool when there were important tasks piling up, with time running out.

Luckily, since I really have been EASED into the whole articling experience, there hasn't been an overwhelmed feeling of too much work, but I can see how lawyers really must perfect the fine dance of keeping on top of many files. I can see, as well, that my inefficient processes will hopefully soon be refined. As things become clearer, I'm more comfortable mixing tasks together ... today I had about three files open, and as I was waiting for something to come through for one file, I'd putter away at another, etc.

Ah ... the multi-task.

And now ... to bed. So. Tired. Good. Night.

Tuesday, September 01, 2009

Ah The Life of an Articling Student

It's like being a brand- new law student all over again, wandering around in a fog of confusion, except this time things sound vaguely familiar. I've had some amazing experiences so far, which makes me so thankful, yet again, for the job opportunity that I landed. I've drafted some actual court documents, I've written a real memo answering a question of law (hee), I've seen quite a few matters attended to at court, and I've even seen parts of a preliminary hearing ... all very exciting for someone that has never seen these things before.

By the end of the day, I'm exhausted. Just enough energy to properly tickle and bounce my daughter around, eat some dinner, wrestle her through her bath and bedtime routine, and then slunk into a stupor of chill for a couple of hours before wrestling myself to bed. Must work on the energy scenario. Sleeping at night would help, but I'm not going to count my chickens before they hatch (teething has put a real CRAZY SPIN on our nights, waking up every hour on the hour hasn't been great, but the last few nights have been decent ... I'm sure it isn't a pattern yet, though, and I don't want to jinx it).

Anyhoo - with September 1st being today, it felt weird not preparing to go back to school. While I know that CPLED will be school-ish, my CPLED session doesn't start until November, so that still seems years away.

And now, to figure out a way to work on my law lingo ... so that I don't sound like a complete dunce when I'm let loose from the office. Ooooh - and must remember to make a dentist appointment (yay for having benefits again ... woot woot).

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

I'm Loving It

Articling, so far, has been great. My principal is really easing me in. I've been doing actual drafting of various court documents, I've used my Notary Seal, and I'm learning the ins and outs of the office - oh - and I'm also trying to soak up as many of the stories that my principal doles out as I can. He has an amazing memory, and is the best storyteller ever.

Got to have lunch today with a fellow U of S alum, which was very nice ... especially in a town where it feels like all the local law school peeps know each other, and I don't know any of them.

The heel is healing ... heh ... and I think the cute dress shoes will be back on the menu in no time.

As for the suit wearing, it's a far cry from the Lululemons that I'm so used to wearing. I still feel like I'm playing dress-up when I walk around downtown in the suit. Maybe one day I'll feel like it suits me ... ahahahha. Sorry, so tired.

I'm sitting in the loft, watching some crazy lightning outside, which is reflected in the office towers around our building ... pretty spectacular ... and trying to decide if 8:42 is too early to go to bed. Grrr.

I think I'll wait a bit longer. Don't want to wake up too early in the morning.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

One Day Left in the First Week

I'm still feeling a little lost, and like I'm swimming in vagueness. Similar, amazingly enough, to how I felt at the beginning of law school. I figured out the law school thing, so I'm hoping that this too shall become more clear.

Amazingly, I'm looking back at my years working in Admitting in a hospital in Calgary with gratitude. My multi-tasking skills are coming to a forefront again, and while I'm being eased into the fold with a more than manageable stack of files, I can see how it all becomes a juggling act. ESPECIALLY when I look at my principal, a master juggler if I've ever seen one. Thank goodness for post-it notes, which I LURVE to use to organize files sitting on my desk.

Oh - and I am still LOOOOVVVVIIIINNNG my "I am not a paper cup". Best purchase ever. Starbucks lattes are so cheap in it! It's equivalent for a tall, so it's $2 and change. YIPPEEEEE!

Oh - AND I went to my first bar call ceremony today. They are still individual here in Alberta, and they're so personal and intimate. It was so special (although I didn't know the person being called to the bar ... I went with my fellow articling student who knew her), and I can't believe that just one year from now it will be me going through the same thing ... EEP!

Also, today is my baby's 8-MONTH birthday! Aurgh! She's such a big girl! I can't believe how much she can do now (stand up on her own, with support, thank you very much). The time has gone by so fast, and they grow so fast, and all that jazz.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Day 2 And ...

... my feet, accustomed to wearing flip-flops, Uggs, or sneakers everyday for the last ... oh ... 3 years, have begun to reject dress shoes already. I suppose it's my fault for putting my bare feet into the shoes, with nary a sock or nylon in sight, but I still can't believe that day 2 is already resulting in blisters.

I suppose my treks back and forth to the court house didn't help either. Yup ... got to sit in on some court action today. Made me feel like a real growed-up law student.

Also got the news today that I am officially a "Student-at-Law". My paperwork all cleared last week, and the Law Society is mailing my "Student-at-Law" card to me this week. Exciting. That means that I'm a Notary now. I have my notary seal, guess I better learn how to use it.

Did I mention the treat that I bought myself for my first day of articling? It thrills me in the mornings. The "I am not a paper cup.... " ceramic mug, which I picked up at Chapters:

I love it so much it hurts.

Monday, August 17, 2009

The First Day of Phase 2

I know.

Forever and a day.

But ... I'm back. With a looooooong story.

Today was the first day of my articling job. Thank goodness. The economy, it's not doing so great (did you hear, ha), and articling jobs have been less than plentiful. I've been super lucky to secure work at a general litigation practice. My principal appears to be hugely into mentoring, and has a vast array of experience and knowledge. I'm stoked. The $$$ isn't great, but the hours are incredible (9-5, Monday to Friday, generally) which is SOOOO IMPORTANT for me, so that I can spend as much time with my Husband and Daughter as possible.

Oh. Did I mention? I had a baby in my third year of law school. Ahahahahahahaha.

If you know me in real life, that is no shock to you, but if you know me only through my blog, I kept the baby news under wraps so as to secure articling work without any prejudice towards my new Mom status.

So ... back to April 2008, found out I was pregnant. Due date was December 29th. The blog enteries weren't plentiful during my first trimester, the three months of nausea that I endured. Sitting at the computer wasn't a great position for me, actually, only lying on the couch was, when I think back.

Came back to school with a little baby bump, and sat through my first semester behind a growing belly, and a mountain of healthy snacks to keep me going. Luckily, as a student, when I wasn't in class, I could be at home napping and studying. Made the final trimester a dream.

All of the Faculty at U of S were beyond supportive. My profs were great, always accomodating of the preggo in the room, asking about how my pregnancy was going, offering their own parenting stories. When it came time for exams, I was essentially 9 months pregnant, and operating on a very active bladder. I was able to secure exam accomodation, which meant that I could take up to an hour in bathroom breaks without penalty to my writing time. This was amazing considering that I did have to go to the bathroom, and that getting up to walk once every hour and a half was crucial to minimize the feet swelling that plagued the final stages of my pregnancy.

Previously, we had found out that the little spud was breech, and so we booked a c-section for December 20th, 3 days after my last final exam in the winter semester. I wrote my last exam on December 17th, flew home the next day (yup, Westjet will fly any pregnant woman with a Doctor's note), hung out the day after that while Jason drove home, and then Saturday morning, we booked it to the hospital to have our baby.

I had just about two weeks to recover, then we drove back to Saskatoon, with our baby in tow, as well as my Mom, and I went back to classes full time. My Mom stayed for a week, and was then replaced by my Mother-in-Law for 3 weeks, which meant for the first 6 weeks (crucial recovery time for a c-section), we had an extra set of loving hands to help with our little bundle'o'joy.

After that, the semester was a fog of going to class, hauling a breast-pump with me, and sleepless nights. My Husband was beyond supportive, and was home with the baby while I was at class and while I was studying.

I finished up the semester and even ended up getting more than decent grades.

So ... it can be done.

You can have a baby in law school. Having proper support in place, though, is crucial if not essential.

As for my articling job, with the baby on the way, and with previous experiences hob-nobbing with bigger firms, I had decided that the big firm way of life was not for me. I had been told that smaller firms frequently hired in April/May, and so when I finished school, I religiously tracked both the U of C (as an alumni, I have access), and the U of S career listings for articling jobs. There just really wasn't much coming up for this year, only jobs for next year. I began to send out resumes to law firms, with a cover letter, looking for work for this year. I'm sure I sent out close to 80 resumes (conservative estimate), with nary a positive response.

Panic set in.

Finally, in July, there was a posting on the U of S job board for an Articling job, but it wasn't in Calgary.

I applied. I got the position. We moved. Now I'm working, am totally grateful for the opportunity, and my Husband and baby are looking forward to exploring this new city and carving out a little niche for themselves here.


Now that you're all caught up ... ahahahahahaha.

My first day was pretty awesome. I had so many questions and uncertainties flying around my head before I walked into the office this morning. What should I wear? What should I bring? What am I going to be expected to know? Do I look alert and awake enough (the baby decided to BARELY sleep last night)? They were all answered fairly quickly, and I was eased into the flow of the office. Hopefully it felt as natural to everyone else as it did to me. I'll be working with another articling student, which is awesome, so that I'll feel like I have a shoulder to cry on when I'm feeling overwhelmed.

As for the classes that I'm thankful for so far ... Civil Procedure. Thank goodness for you. To a lesser extent, Contracts (though it seems so long ago that I took you).

I received my stamp with "Student-at-Law" below my name, and my Notary seal, and my business cards are on their way.

Hopefully, I'll be able to continue this blog over the next year, highlighting some of my experiences and advice about being an articling student. We'll see how much time I have ... I am a new Mom you know. Ahahahahahahaha.

Friday, April 10, 2009

Three Down, Two to Go

I wrote Civil Procedure on Thursday, so I'm down three exams, have two left to write. That means that I'm 93% done law school. Hard to believe.

I'm sort of still in a stunned state right now. Can't wrap my head around being done.


Exams Left:
Monday - Family Law II
Friday - Intellectual Property II

Then it's over.

I need time to reflect on how to convey this experience in a blog post.

Tuesday, April 07, 2009

Two Down, Three to Go

Finished Admin. law this morning. Sigh. Three more exams, but at least now they're a little more spaced out.

Monday, April 06, 2009

3rd Year Apathy ...

... it'll getcha!

Wrote my first final today, out of 5 total. 4 exams left ... possibly EVER. Unreal. Can't believe I'm so close to the end.

I'd love to write a bunch more, but I have back-to-back finals. Next one is tomorrow morning, so I'm off to study my face off.

Will hopefully be back to do an update on Wednesday, but seeing how my blogging effort has been lately, I make no guarantees!

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Wow ... I'm Neglecting the Blog

But ... I'm only doing so because I'm NOT neglecting everything else in life, so I suppose that's a good thing.

Colour me unimpressed with the weather this AM:

Our friggin truck has been giving us grief with starting in this cold, so I'm crossing my fingers today that it will start today.

School is swimming along nicely. Not much time left, which is both exhilarating and terrifying. I've had my grad portraits taken (looking to pick up the proofs today), we do the voting for our valedictorian this week ... it's all coming on fast.

We've had a few guest speakers over the last few weeks in our classes, which has been pretty awesome. I attended the Heald Lecture where Mr. Justice John Evans, from the Federal Court of Appeal, gave the lecture “The Standard of Judicial Review, Post-Dunsmuir”. I love going to talks given by Judges, they're always such great speakers and writers. Makes for a somewhat entertaining delivery of material that could easily turn dry.

I've got to go try and get the truck started now, but I'll try and be a little more diligent with the blog writing.

Friday, February 06, 2009

I blame Nancy for having this in my head:

Tuesday, February 03, 2009

I'm Always Worse ...

... at posting in the 2nd semester. I'll try and do better.

Well ... the silly groundhogs are predicting 6 more weeks of winter ... bah. Luckily, I have it on good authority from a classmate (in fact, I got some kind of guarantee), that winter is on it's way out. I honestly am so ready for the spring. It doesn't help to see all of the spring-like weather that Calgary is getting ... soon ... soon I'll be moving home.

In the meantime, school is trucking along. There seems to be a consensus among all of us 3rd years that motivation is at an all time low. It is so hard to keep trucking with the end so close at hand. Sigh.

My classes are alright, although a little dry (which makes me feel kind of bad saying that, since I've basically loved everything up to this point). The highlight of my week is Family II. Super interesting, and super relevant class discussions that incite controversy and critical thinking about the way that we organize ourselves.

My goal for this week ... get organized about my paper writing. I still haven't really gotten focused with that yet ... this week is the week.

Also ... write a cover letter to start sending out with the resume that I edited last week. Time to put the job search into full throttle. Anyone need an articling student?

Tuesday, January 27, 2009


It's been crazy in my world.

Routines have gone out the window and chaos has moved into the house here ... but I'm fighting my way to being back on track.

Must pick out paper topics and refine out a thesis for each, and do some work on outlines.

Must do civ pro assignment at some point, before deadline next week.

Should probably do some readings for some classes.

Have a few things to do on a personal level, as well, which will also take some time.

Need a few more hours in every day, and quite possibly a few more days in every week.

AND ... need more sleep.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

I've Decided

I'm going to go ahead and try to write two major papers this semester. One in Family Law II, and one in Intellectual Property II. I already have a start on the ideas for Family Law II, I'll just need to complete some research to refine my thesis. For Intellectual Property II, I want to be a little more cautious in picking my topic; I wrote a paper for Intellectual Property I, so I want to make sure that this paper is quite different from that paper, also, I want to make sure that I relate the topic back to my background in technology. So ... we'll see what I end up with for a topic.

Classes seem to be going relatively well so far ... nothing surprising or shocking. My schedule has my toughest day as Mondays, so my long day is over first thing in each week, which is really great. This weekend, my plan is to get organized for the long haul. I'll have three days to really get on track, and then hopefully I can stay there all semester.

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Well ...

... the marks are in and it looks like I passed all my courses ... so onto my last semester of law school unhindered. I'm finally thinking that I actually have a chance at getting through (haha)!

As for my trip to the bookstore last week - unnecessary. 4/5 of my courses are providing material online. Awesome. The last class (Admin) does require a textbook, but I already purchased it before Christmas (the vendor came to the student lounge to sell it). So ... I'm set. What a treat for my very last semester, no bookstore chaos.

I still can't believe that this is the last start to classes in law school that I'll get to experience. It's such a bittersweet feeling. I'm so ready to move onto the next phase ... it will be nice to be earning a paycheque again, and I am so excited to see how the practice of law differs from the study of it. On the other hand, I go to school with a pretty great group of people, and it will be hard to be so scattered from them. I'm thinking we'll have to schedule get-togethers once in awhile ... we'll see. Also, I've really loved the law school experience. The faculty at U of S are so amazing and so supportive, and for the first time I've felt myself in an academic environment where I can really explore things that I find interesting and riveting; it's a feeling that I'll really miss ... especially since it allows me to be truly (academically speaking) self-indulgent.


Now, to decide if I'm going to try and write a couple more major papers. Two of my classes seem to be offering the option. That means I'd only have 3 exams to write again, which is a very compelling idea to consider ... especially since that means I'd be done April 9th instead of April 17th. Looking at my marks from last term, I seem to perform better in paper classes ... which ... all things considered shows how far I've come. Last year, academic paper writing was most definitely NOT an area of strength for me (what with the technical background and all). I made it a goal and priority to do better in that area, and it would seem that I'm finally getting it. BUT ... I've never done TWO major papers in one semester ... can I do it? Can I be organized enough? I must deliberate, hopefully wisely.

Tuesday, January 06, 2009

Back in the Saddle ...

... ah 2009. The beginning of my last semester of law school. The Christmas break went by entirely too fast (as per usual), and we're back in Saskatoon after a wonderful time in Calgary visiting with friends and family.

Our semester started yesterday, and I have the following classes lined up this time around: Administrative Law, Municipal Law, Intellectual Property II, Family Law II, and Civil Procedure.

I don't quite feel organized yet, for a variety of reasons, but I'm getting there.

Now ... to plan my trip to the bookstore ... the most dreaded event of each semester's beginning.