Blog Post by Lauren Sigouin (formerly Lauren Haberer)
This fall weather has me feeling nostalgic about student life: the excitement of new classes, reuniting with friends, that fresh textbook smell, entire outfits made up of law school swag, the glimmer of hope that perhaps this year your intramural volleyball team will win it all. Nearly three months into my articling term, I’ve come to realize that being an articling student isn’t all that different from the glory days of law school. Sure, mid-day naps are likely a thing of the past, but there are still plenty of similarities. Read on for insight on how the lessons you learn in law school can help you succeed as an articling student.
Stay on top of your calendar
Between moot prep, clinic, law journal, recruitment, student government, tutoring, pub nights and…class, law students have jam-packed schedules. As an articling student, your schedule will be very demanding and often at the mercy of others. Whatever system you used to help keep your life organized during law school will be a great starting point for staying organized as an articling student.
Your colleagues are your teammates, not your competition
Despite some rumours to the contrary, law school is a very collegial and cooperative environment. My classmates were always willing to share notes and course outlines, get together for study groups, and provide assistance on everything from interview prep to organizing fundraisers. This taught me that you’re far better off cooperating with your fellow students than competing with them. At the end of articles you might technically be competing for the same job, but it will be a long 10 months if you see your fellow students as the competition. Articling is difficult and your fellow students are part of your support system – who better to lean on than people who are going through the same experience?
Make time for what you love
Just like in law school, it’s important during articles to take care of your mental well-being by setting aside time in your schedule for yourself. Whether your soul food is playing with puppies, laying in Savasana or hanging out with friends and family, being a successful articling student doesn’t mean you have to neglect all other areas of your life.
Pursue your interests and never stop learning
In law school, there are endless ways to explore and pursue your interests. During articles, you might not have much control over the type of work you are assigned. Sometimes you’ll be fascinated by the work you’re doing, sometimes you’ll just have to get through it. That being said, it’s important to seek out the kinds of opportunities you know you’re interested in. If you don’t know what you’re interested in yet, try to take advantage of every opportunity you can – your interests might lie in the most unexpected place!