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Articling students-walk us through a day!

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Keeping it honest, can current articling students share what their day is like? I don't need much in my day, getting up, fitting a workout in, and heading to work is really ok with me. Just want to see how it is for everyone else.

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7:15 wake up

 

7:20 actually get out of bed

 

7:20-7:45 wash up, dress, eat breakfast

 

7:50-8:15 bus to work

 

8:30: check email for new assignments, continue working on whatever you were working on the last day

 

5:15: start thinking about leaving, maybe finish something up.

 

5:30: actually leave, get on bus to head home

 

6:00: make/eat dinner

 

7:00-11:30: go to gym/hang out with friends/play video games/do whatever

 

Maybe I'm just at a super chill firm, but overall, the hours don't live up to the hype in my experience. It's not a 9-5 job, but it's closer to that than you would think. There will be days when there's a tight deadline and I'll have to stay later, but those days are the exception, not the rule. More often than not, I can get all assigned work done during relatively normal business hours without turning down any work or playing it close with any deadlines. The key is to actually work 9-5 without getting distracted. If you learn to do that, you should have plenty of work-life balance.

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This is going to vary from employer to employer, and even, to some extent, from student to student.

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I'm at work usually by 8:15, I work steadily until 6 or 6:30pm. I take a few 10-15 minute breaks (that includes a lunch break) but usually don't have time to go out for lunch for an hour or anything. I go to the gym after work, thankfully it's very close to the office. Home by 7:30, eat dinner, and repeat. So far I've only had to do work once at night, not on the weekend yet. But I just started and I'm sure things will pick up.

 

It really does vary though, some days I'm pretty much done all my work at 5:30, others I was at the office until 7:30. I would say I'm at the office on average 10 hours a day. 

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The Day of an Articling Student: A Rope of Sand

 

Get in for 9/915 (I'm not a morning person).

Check e-mails real quick and "plan out" how I want to tackle my tasks throughout the day. Generally, I like to do the more boring readings in th morning and then move to more creative writing and thinking work in the afternoon.

If I have to speak with anyone/have any questions about an assignment, I get it done around 10:30/11. Grab lunch at 12/12:30 with a half hour walk. Next few hours work ramps up till I either get bored or hit a barrier. I also like to leave any hard copy editing till the end of the day then submit anything right when I leave so that way it's ready for the lawyers as soon as they come in the next day. Normally I leave 5:15 or so though super flexible with this (eg. if I'm on a roll or really having fun [not being sarcastic here!] on a project I'll stay late) sometimes I'll leave early because I finished a product at 4:45 and honestly nothing of substance is going to be done in the next fifteen to 30 minutes so I might spend that time organizing what things will get done the next day. Last 5 minutes before I leave I clean-up my office/organize any papers.

As for actually work: most of it is just reading, taking down notes then sitting back and organizing the info either on paper or in my mind. It's really cool to actually get paid to sit and think. Sometimes I'll just stare out the window for 5 minutes pondering something.

Afternoons have so far been a split between studying for the bar or going out with friends but mostly just dying from this summer heat and waiting till work tomorrow when I will have that sweet sweet a/c.

 

Edited by Myrand

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As someone said, this'll drastically vary by employer, by student, and even day to day or by department.

 

In my litigation rotation this summer (so while courts were closed), I was typically at the office at 8:00 AM, took an hour for lunch (with a few other short breaks for coffee, socializing, etc.), and left around 6:00-6:30 PM. Didn't work much, if ever on the weekends.

 

In my corp rotation, the last four weeks have been pretty hectic. Get in to the office around 8:00 AM, take 30 mins or so for lunch (with a few other short breaks for coffee, socializing, etc.), and 30 mins for dinner. Leave the office between 9:00 and 11:00 PM. Work most weekends, but not too many hours (anywhere from 2 hours to 8 hours).

 

Things are dying down a little bit now, so the next few days should be calmer (evidenced by the fact that I'm writing this post at the moment), but it's pretty unpredictable.

 

The work itself varies day to day as well.

 

Cheers,

Edited by he4dhuntr

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A lot of people seem to have normal-ish work hours. Lucky you. Judging by my summer experience, I will come nowhere close to that when I article. So yes, it varies by firm.

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In work a bit before 8, mostly because of the bus schedule. When I arrive I sit down and plug away at what I'm doing, I'm currently in a rotation that's memorandum heavy and litigation light so as long as I'm being productive (for the most part) I will get my work done. I'm out of the office at 5, head to the gym for an hour and then I'm home a little before 7.

 

It's not bad, I work only on the rarest of weekends and for the most part that's just due to poor planning/research skills on my part. The government is good for getting advice and help from people and my work usually starts off anywhere from 1/4 to 4/5th done for me because there's so much precedents going around, though some of the other articling students take the "reinvent the wheel" approach which keeps them in the office longer. I prefer to just make sure the wheel isn't broken, or that a newer wheel isn't available before taking it and just working on the rest of the car.

 

Overall, as long as you're not working in a big, full-service firm in a big city you should be able to have a somewhat decent work-life balance.

Edited by DowntownCrown

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