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.