Although I was initially apprehensive about starting a new job online, I have nothing but positive memories of my virtual summer at Goodmans. While working from home certainly came with some challenges, everyone at the firm went above and beyond to ensure that the students felt comfortable and well-supported. Despite the online format, I was immediately integrated into interesting files and provided with challenging, meaningful work. Lawyers always made sure to connect with me by phone or by videoconference when assigning new tasks, both to introduce themselves and to ensure that I had an opportunity to ask questions. I am particularly grateful for the support of my mentors, who met with me every week to discuss my progress and connect me with interesting opportunities at the firm.
As a student in the litigation department, my day-to-day work typically revolved around conducting legal research and assisting with the preparation of various court documents. Since we did not have physical access to the firm’s library, I relied heavily on the support of the librarians, who facilitated access to online textbooks and provided chapter scans of hardcopy books when necessary. In addition to working on client files, I also drafted multiple blog posts for the Goodmans website and helped to update some of the firm’s internal resources. Despite the pandemic, I even had the opportunity to watch a number of arbitrations, discoveries and court hearings, all of which were conducted either online or by phone.
Perhaps the most memorable part of my online summer experience however was getting to know the other members of the firm. Although connecting with new people over videoconferencing can sometimes be challenging, the firm organized a number of online social events that helped the summer students feel like part of the team. In addition to online lunches and receptions, we participated in a number of creative events such as cooking classes, trivia nights and video game competitions. By the end of the summer, the students all felt like old friends, despite the fact that many of us had never met in person.
Author: Brittni Tee, 2020 Summer Student and McGill Law student