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SME1010

Advice for students going into their summer jobs in June on Bay Street

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With many 2L summer jobs having been pushed back until June, many students are gearing up to begin their summer positions soon.

I was wondering what advice those of you that have already had a summer 2L position can give to students that are beginning work next month? For many of us it will be our first times working in a law firm. Any advice specifically for Bay street summer positions would be particularly helpful! 

 

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Posted (edited)
6 hours ago, SME1010 said:

With many 2L summer jobs having been pushed back until June, many students are gearing up to begin their summer positions soon.

I was wondering what advice those of you that have already had a summer 2L position can give to students that are beginning work next month? For many of us it will be our first times working in a law firm. Any advice specifically for Bay street summer positions would be particularly helpful! 

 

Be available and responsive. People will reach out to you and give you work, especially given these circumstances. If you don't have enough work, speak to your mentors / student coordinator or start reaching out to those in your section. Careful not to do that too much, because a lot of work can come in at once and then you'll have to say no to people.

Use the resources available to you. Your assistant, the library, the research lawyers, student coordinator, professional development team, etc., are all very valuable. If you have a question about anything, don't hesitate to reach out to them. Everyone is more than willing to help - they've been in your shoes. Even if they don't know the answer, they'll guide you in the direction of someone who does.

Edited by georgecostanzajr
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There are quite a few threads that can give you general advice on what a summer student’s typical experience may be like. What will be different this year is for those working remotely rather than in office. Not at a big firm but from a lawyer’s perspective, while we’re working remotely, I’m inclined to try and book phone calls with students to answer questions they have about an assignment rather than just relying on email. I find chatting with them will often give me a better sense of what they do and don’t understand. So something to consider is if it could be useful to set up a call with the assigning lawyer once you’ve reviewed the assignment and have figured out what questions you have. To be clear, I’m not suggesting you request a call for every question. Just like when in the office, try and ask as many of your questions at one time rather than popping in and out for each one.

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To add to this excellent advice, I suggest setting up video chats (FaceTime, Zoom, etc.) with your assigned mentors and fellow students, to the extend possible - kind of like the equivalent of a "coffee" break. Face to face interactions (even if just virtual) will help foster relationships with new people much quicker than phone calls alone.  And you will need to feel close to these people (and them to you) because you will be leaning on them quite heavily as a new summer student. 

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10 hours ago, Lawyering5678 said:

To add to this excellent advice, I suggest setting up video chats (FaceTime, Zoom, etc.) with your assigned mentors and fellow students, to the extend possible - kind of like the equivalent of a "coffee" break. Face to face interactions (even if just virtual) will help foster relationships with new people much quicker than phone calls alone.  And you will need to feel close to these people (and them to you) because you will be leaning on them quite heavily as a new summer student. 

This may be just be me, but I’m not a big fan of the video chats as a regular or expected thing *with most people*. It’s annoying. I have to do my hair, possibly my make up, put on acceptable clothes...all for a 30 min chat. The suggestion here of trying it with fellow students and mentors is good and makes sense; just gauge the need to extend it to others. If you’re interested in trying to get the face time, maybe phrase it as asking the lawyer for their availability for a phone or video call, leaving it up to them to decide. 

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Hey everyone, sorry for hijacking this thread but I'm just wondering if it'd be appropriate to send some kind of virtual gift (5$ Starbucks card or something) alongside a request for a zoom chat? 

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11 minutes ago, connorsimon said:

I'm just wondering if it'd be appropriate to send some kind of virtual gift (5$ Starbucks card or something)

 

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15 minutes ago, connorsimon said:

Hey everyone, sorry for hijacking this thread but I'm just wondering if it'd be appropriate to send some kind of virtual gift (5$ Starbucks card or something) alongside a request for a zoom chat? 

To a lawyer in the firm you are working at? No, Absolutely not.

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12 minutes ago, connorsimon said:

Hey everyone, sorry for hijacking this thread but I'm just wondering if it'd be appropriate to send some kind of virtual gift (5$ Starbucks card or something) alongside a request for a zoom chat? 

Seems like a really bad idea. MAYBE if it's a summer/articling student? But even then, I wouldn't do it.

If you're talking about lawyers at the firm you already work for (which I think this thread is regarding), then good lord no.

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3 minutes ago, wakawaka said:

To a lawyer in the firm you are working at? No, Absolutely not.

 

2 minutes ago, chaboywb said:

Seems like a really bad idea. MAYBE if it's a summer/articling student? But even then, I wouldn't do it.

If you're talking about lawyers at the firm you already work for (which I think this thread is regarding), then good lord no.

The user you’re replying to is 0L if that helps shed light on their intentions.

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Don’t do it. I understand the gesture you are trying to make, but it would come off as weird and awkward. 

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Carry a note pad with you everywhere you go. 

Why? Things like: you'll be getting a coffee someday and someone will start talking to you and it will turn into a work assignment, or you were the only person who thought to take notes on a call and later the partner needed to know what someone said about a certain topic.

I'm probably too old to be a "junior lawyer", but I still carry a note pad to every meeting and call. (I don't worry about ppl giving me work in the hallways anymore...I just tell them to email me the details now...)

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Students who are going to be working remotely/virtually (or working at an office where many/most lawyers are working remotely) will, I think, need to be a lot more proactive if they want to make a good impression and set a good foundation for articling/beyond. Typically, you can get to know lawyers just from being around the office - as a student, I got on my best files, and built relationships with excellent lawyers, because we were chatting in the firm lounge and I had the opportunity to express interest in a cool file they were talking about, or they needed something urgently and I happened to be in my office at the right time, or I walked around and popped into the office of a lawyer I wanted to work with. Those opportunities just aren't as present when you're working remotely. Students need to be ready to be direct and proactive in emailing or scheduling calls with lawyers they want to work with and asking for work / expressing their interests, and generally creating opportunities that would more readily/naturally be available when everyone is working in the office.

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28 minutes ago, conge said:

Carry a note pad with you everywhere you go. 

 

*picturing students scurrying from their bedroom to their bathroom then their kitchen with a legal pad*

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14 minutes ago, barelylegal said:

Students who are going to be working remotely/virtually (or working at an office where many/most lawyers are working remotely) will, I think, need to be a lot more proactive if they want to make a good impression and set a good foundation for articling/beyond. Typically, you can get to know lawyers just from being around the office - as a student, I got on my best files, and built relationships with excellent lawyers, because we were chatting in the firm lounge and I had the opportunity to express interest in a cool file they were talking about, or they needed something urgently and I happened to be in my office at the right time, or I walked around and popped into the office of a lawyer I wanted to work with. Those opportunities just aren't as present when you're working remotely. Students need to be ready to be direct and proactive in emailing or scheduling calls with lawyers they want to work with and asking for work / expressing their interests, and generally creating opportunities that would more readily/naturally be available when everyone is working in the office.

I'm not sure all mentors would do this, but mine has been great in setting up virtual meet and greets with lawyers in my areas of interest, and it has often turned into me receiving work directly from them. Having a third party there helps ease any initial meeting awkwardness as well.

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On 7/6/2020 at 3:21 PM, BlockedQuebecois said:

*picturing students scurrying from their bedroom to their bathroom then their kitchen with a legal pad*

Right, I forgot everyone is going to be wfh in TO for the foreseeable future. Out east, ppl have started returning to work places. 

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Especially in the big towers. I read a national post article today saying they estimate it would take up to 4 hours to get your full workforce up to their floors if you're limited to 4 people in an elevator.

https://nationalpost.com/news/reopening-canada/office-towers-face-tall-order-to-be-as-productive-as-before-the-pandemic/wcm/65e47a8b-a392-4edc-9c90-01f265739e99/

Quote

The estimate for the time it will take to populate a tall building to full occupancy with limited elevator capacity ranges between 90 minutes to four hours. Many returning employees might receive a scheduled boarding time for their ride up and down the elevator. 

 

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29 minutes ago, Jaggers said:

Especially in the big towers. I read a national post article today saying they estimate it would take up to 4 hours to get your full workforce up to their floors if you're limited to 4 people in an elevator.

https://nationalpost.com/news/reopening-canada/office-towers-face-tall-order-to-be-as-productive-as-before-the-pandemic/wcm/65e47a8b-a392-4edc-9c90-01f265739e99/

 

Some of the towers are only letting two people in each time....

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On 7/6/2020 at 12:50 PM, connorsimon said:

Hey everyone, sorry for hijacking this thread but I'm just wondering if it'd be appropriate to send some kind of virtual gift (5$ Starbucks card or something) alongside a request for a zoom chat? 

Lawyers are still human beings, you know. You’re not going to have to bribe (most of) them into talking to you, a student who they are investing a lot of resources into. 

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Posted (edited)
4 hours ago, Jaggers said:

Especially in the big towers. I read a national post article today saying they estimate it would take up to 4 hours to get your full workforce up to their floors if you're limited to 4 people in an elevator.

https://nationalpost.com/news/reopening-canada/office-towers-face-tall-order-to-be-as-productive-as-before-the-pandemic/wcm/65e47a8b-a392-4edc-9c90-01f265739e99/

 

They have set up really long roped off queues in some buildings. My question is: why would that many people ever line up to get into the building? Some of the lines I’ve seen would take like at least an hour to clear. Waiting in an hour long queue to get into your job sounds like shit, especially after a long commute. 

Edited by wtamow
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