Written By: Ethan Hopkins

It is a Thursday in July 2023. My day begins like every other day with a quick walk through downtown Calgary to get to work. Once I get to the office, I pass by my fellow summer students on my way to get a coffee.  We chat about what we are working on for the day and catch up on anything interesting that has happened this week.

Fortunately, today I have the opportunity to accompany an associate in volunteering at the courthouse with the Amicus program. Amicus means an impartial advisor and the Amicus volunteer helps self-representatives communicate in court by speaking on their behalf. As I am a summer student, I am mostly there to observe and take notes. The associate, however, was able to help three self-representatives communicate their position and navigate the court process.

After about two and a half hours, all the self-representatives are gone and I can ask the associate questions about court, practice areas, and their own experiences. I appreciate this time as I am able to clarify any questions I have about the world of law.

It is now lunchtime, we head back to the firm, which is about a 3-minute walk away and I head to the lounge. Here, I get to spend time with the other summer students and the lawyers who are in the lounge that day. While there is a convenient food court connected to our building, it is much more fun to spend time with co-workers and hear about their day.

This afternoon, I am working on updating a client’s Will and Personal Directive. I have had little experience in this area so far but have enjoyed the work I have been able to do! Throughout this process, I have regular communication with the associate who assigned me the project and they answer any questions I have about this particular practice area.

After working for a couple of hours on this assignment, I realize that I am starving once again and go get a snack from the kitchen. As I walk over, one of the other students joins me. In the Calgary office, we have an ax-throwing game set up in the kitchen, and we have some fun throwing axes before heading back to work.

After this exciting episode, I now move on to my next assignment, which is to draft a civil claim. Again, I have regular communication with the assigning lawyer and I am able to ask them questions and get more comfortable in the task.

That is it for the day! I collect my things, say goodbye to whoever is still around, and walk back through downtown toward home.