The best advice is often borne from years of experience and that probably holds doubly true for litigators. As such, Canadian Lawyer 4Students gets some excellent counsel from some of the country’s best-known litigators, who have taken the time to mull over the following trying questions:
1. What is the most important thing a law school student should know about being a litigator?
2. Who inspired you?
3. How do you balance your professional commitments with family and social life?
4. What class did you enjoy most in law school?
5. What are you currently reading?
Alison Hopkins nervously walked into the session. As part of her internship with the Asia Foundation, she would for three days educate 100 male imams in Bangladesh on the importance of child and civics education. Her task wasn’t easy: as a young, female student in a highly patriarchal society, it would be difficult to gain the imams’ respect. “I sat down and they sat as far away from me as possible,” says Hopkins, an articling student at Blake Cassels & Graydon LLP in Ottawa. “I was so uncomfortable.”
As I sit to write this issue’s editorial, articling student hopefuls in Toronto are checking their phone batteries and trying not to vibrate out of their chairs while waiting for the “interview day” phone calls from prospective employers. This step is just one of the many nerve-racking experiences in the life of a law student, who unlike students in many other areas (not the professions, of course) have their career paths often planned out years in advance.