Written By: Brandon L. Webb

I arrive for work in the morning, and I greet my fellow fantastic summer students Mackenzie and Tyler with whom I share an office. To get the brain juices flowing, each morning begins with an ultra-competitive Wordle game between the three of us and I am thrilled to announce that I am the reigning champion. After Wordle, we’ll have a conversation about what we are each doing during the day. While we all have our own individual assignments, we also have a collaborative approach to our work, and I am thankful for the opportunity to bounce ideas off one another.

Our morning takes a surprise turn when one of the articling students stops by to invite us to watch him make an application at the courthouse. We all eagerly accept, and I throw on the emergency tie that I keep in my desk. After reaching the lobby, we discover we may not have been so quick to agree had we known it was pouring rain outside. The court doesn’t stop for a little ole water, however, so we grab some umbrellas and make the trek over. The three of us sit in the back while we watch Isaac do his thing at the courthouse. While I frankly have little idea what he is talking about (lots of big words), going to court to watch our colleague is a great way to learn about the process and get comfortable in the formal environment.

Back at our desks, it’s time to tackle the summer students’ bread and butter: research memos. While maybe not the most glamorous of assignments, research memos are integral to many practice areas and give us exposure to a wide variety of legal issues. These memos also give us lots of practice with the different online legal databases which I am extremely thankful for; let’s just say the memo I submitted during my first year of law school was not quite up to snuff. I am currently working on an interesting memo for a partner about civil contempt and the penalties associated with defying a court order.

Lunch is a daily highlight as it usually consists of a gathering of all the articling students and the summer students. We meet in the library to talk about our day and trade stories. Today, I was able to get some helpful advice about memo structure as well as plan out the next ten years of Edmonton Oilers Stanley Cup runs.

In the afternoon, I am working on an assignment consisting of drafting an originating application, proposed form of order, and an affidavit regarding a life insurance claim. I am having some difficulty with the drafts, so I send Nancy (the associate that gave me the assignment) a quick Teams message. I have found that all of the firm’s lawyers and staff are happy to answer our questions and show a genuine interest in making sure we understand the legal principles behind our work. I meet with Nancy for a few minutes and walk out of her office feeling much more confident.

The day wraps up with a few quick emails, a review of the day’s timekeeping, and a chat with my fellow summer students about our evening plans. Even though I have only been at the firm for a little over a month, I have learned that each day at Parlee McLaws has something different in store. I am grateful to have met so many wonderful people while gaining some real-life experience in the field of law and I look forward to what the rest of the summer brings.