Today was another milestone day for me. We were supposed to meet in Richmond in the morning, but it turned out the Richmond matter was not going to go through till the next day. I was already on the bus and on my way to the Richmond court when I got a call from Guillaume saying that we were not going to Richmond anymore. He asked where I was and when I said that I was already on my way to the Sky Train station, he asked if I wanted to make an appearance on his behalf in Port Coquitlam (lovingly called PoCo by lawyers). My answer was “Hell yeah”- well, something along those lines. A grateful Guillaume thanked me and gave me instructions for the adjournment. With that, I changed my course of direction. “PoCo, here I come,” I thought with a grin. This was so exciting. I was about to make an appearance in court, ALL BY MYSELF! WOWZERS!
By the time I got to PoCo, the court was taking its morning break. This allowed me to catch a breath and review Guillaume’s instructions. The transit ride to PoCo had really tired me out. But the idea of making an appearance on my own really energized me. But I could not get too excited. I needed to find the Crown counsel to let her know that I was going to call Guillaume’s matter.
Once the morning break ended, the sheriff allowed me into the room. There I was able to find the Crown counsel. She was extremely welcoming and kind, which meant a lot to a student like me. I nervously introduced myself, told her who I was and what I was going to do, and found a seat in the public sitting area- or the gallery as it is formally called. “Oh no,” the Crown counsel said with a smile. “You can sit here.” She was pointing to the chairs in front- WHERE THE LAWYER SIT! “Really?” I asked with wide eyes. “I can do that?” By now the sheriff was chuckling at me too. As the Justice of the Peace walked onto her bench, and the Crown started calling the days matters, I made myself comfortable- but not for too long because it was my turn.
I believe I presented myself well in court. I spoke with a confident and loud enough voice so that everyone could hear me, as Guillaume had taught me, but I was not yelling. I was also able to answer any questions without hesitation and let the Crown and Justice of Peace know about all the instructions that I had. So far, I have had a lot of fun appearing in court on Guillaume’s behalf and I am getting some very precious and relevant experience from this as well. Most people do not get to appear in court until their articling days begin in law school. However, thanks to Guillaume’s mentorship, I am already getting comfortable with court appearances. I can feel myself become more and more at home in the court with every appearance. This is definitely a very valuable experience. Most people my age only do office work in a lawyer’s office as their part “legal experience.” However, Guillaume is allowing me to really get a sense of what it feels like to be a lawyer. He is allowing me to make appearances, handle trial prep work, and even prepare and interview clients in his presence. This internship has been a blessing thus far.