A Day in the Life of an Articling Student
Written by: Tesia Doblanko

“What did you do at work” is a question that I am asked weekly, even daily, by my friends and family. While this may seem like a simple question, it is challenging to answer as each and every day as an articling student is different. So, if you’ll indulge me, I am going to try my best to describe what a typical day as an articling student at Parlee McLaws looks like.

Day to day, the first thing I do in the morning is pretty routine: I prepare my morning tea, check my email and calendar, and write down a list of tasks I would like to accomplish during the day. Soon after, I try to check off smaller tasks on my to-do list which may include contacting a client, emailing opposing counsel on a file I am assisting with, or proofreading an assignment before sending it to the lawyer I am assisting.

By 9:00 AM I am ready to put my mind to the larger assignments on my to-do list. This may include appearing in morning Chambers in the Court of King’s Bench to make a without-notice application, diving into a new area of the law to conduct legal research, drafting documents for the Land Titles Office, or observing a mediation or questioning. Some days I am able to fully focus on my assigned tasks without interruption. However, those days seem to be infrequent as something new and interesting often comes up which requires me to quickly pivot and turn my mind to a new assignment.

During my mornings, I always look forward to my (almost) daily lunch with my fellow articling students, where we meet in the library to eat and chat about our days, any new assignments we may have, and really anything that is on our minds. I am incredibly grateful for my three fellow articling students as they are always willing to help and provide their opinions on a wide range of issues from how to start researching a unique area of the law to how we can keep our articling pet (Sally, a Tamagotchi) alive for more than 24 hours.

In the afternoon, I return to working on items on my to-do list. This may include continuing my legal research from the morning, reviewing an affidavit of records, drafting a legal brief, drafting a notice opinion for an employment file, or running documents over to the courthouse for filing. No afternoon would be complete without a quick break to grab a coffee (or doughnuts) from one of the local coffee shops downtown with my fellow articling students (and anyone who wants to join us).

By the end of each day, I have usually crossed off a few things from my to-do list, but I always seem to have added a few more new items to work on in the coming days. No two days of my articles have been the same, and everyday I come across an assignment or issue that challenges me to learn a new area of the law. I have also come to learn that the degree of collegiality, mentorship, and respect within the profession is admirable. Starting out as an articling student in a highly nuanced profession is no easy feat. However, I know I can count on the incredible lawyers and staff at Parlee to provide guidance on any question that I may have. These are the people that put a smile on my face everyday and make me excited to return to the office each day.