Transitioning to lead counsel: How junior lawyers can make the leapThe first few years of legal practice are tough. But once you’ve got a handle on the job, the next step is to transition to more senior roles. This transition can be summarized in two key steps: 1) Build hard skills; and 2) Earn your employer and/or client’s trust to take on lead counsel roles.
Published in Web exclusive content
Monday, 31 October 2016 09:00

Life after corporate law

Life after corporate lawAt the end of summer 2013, I decided to leave my career as a New York City corporate lawyer behind.
While there were many reasons for why I chose to leave practice, the most important one was my dream of becoming a writer. Three years later, I may finally be on my way.
Published in Web exclusive content
Monday, 03 October 2016 09:00

A second chance

Photo: Dustin Rabin
Photo: Dustin Rabin
Candy Palmater says she learned some valuable lessons in her journey from practising law to being a high-profile comedienne
Published in Departments
Monday, 01 August 2016 09:00

Guiding principles

Illustration: Dushan Milic
Illustration: Dushan Milic
Almost all Canadian law students intend to practise law when they get out of law school. It’s different in some other jurisdictions. In Europe, for example, a law degree often leads to government service, or a business career, or a job in journalism. Europeans think the study of the law develops analytical skills that can be put to general use. But in Canada a law faculty is considered a trade school and its denizens single-mindedly look forward to setting up legal shop as soon as possible. They are anxious to graduate with everything they need to begin practising. One of the things they require but may not have is a moral lodestar. If you are entering the practice of law you should believe — you need to believe — in some guiding principles. Without them you’re more likely to mess up your life and career.
Published in Commentary
Monday, 18 April 2016 09:00

Should I stay or should I go?

Should I stay or should I go?While we know the perils of believing that the grass is greener on the other side, we also know that the times of staying with one employer for the entire length of one’s career is very much over. Today, people expect to change employers numerous times throughout their careers. In fact, it is very common to use each new job as an opportunity to obtain promotions and increases in your salary greater than the average 3 per cent annual salary increase people get for staying with the same employer.
Published in Latest News
Monday, 18 January 2016 09:00

Time for a change?

Time for a change?

Time for a change?

Humans are creatures of habit. We are prone to getting comfortable quickly and tend to like maintaining the status quo, especially when it comes to our jobs. Making a change requires a lot of ground work, it involves meeting new work colleagues, learning a new role, new processes, new reporting structures, sometimes a new industry and, most importantly, moving away from your comfort zone.

Published in Latest News
Monday, 12 October 2015 09:00

Opportunity is knocking

Opportunity is knockingDuring my term representing the Ontario Bar Association, I met many individuals keen on the possibility of working in a sole and small firm, and willing to relocate to do so. There were law and articling students, lawyers wanting to leave a big firm, and others lawyers moving to Canada. But few knew how to proceed other than by following up on the few job ads posted.
Published in Web exclusive content
1Ls and 2Ls with aspirations: don’t squander your summer!This time last year, I returned home to Ontario dazed and confused after a strenuous first year of law school. But before I could nap and Netflix my summer away, filing the occasional Ab Initio column, UNB’s career services director suggested I start hustling Bay Street if I hoped to land there in my summer after 2L.
Published in Latest News
Monday, 20 April 2015 08:00

LAPs and managing stress

A few weekends ago, I joined about 78 Legal Assistance Plan volunteers from across British Columbia at the annual LAPBC volunteer’s training retreat in Harrison Lake. Our profession is fortunate to be served by so many caring people willing to help colleagues facing challenges. We all know our job can be stressful and collectively, we need to face some of the negative ways that stress manifests itself in our profession.
Published in Web exclusive content
Monday, 23 March 2015 08:00

Looking to stretch the business muscle

One of the first in-house lawyers I spoke with when I landed in this job more than three years ago was the former general counsel of the Forzani Group, Evan Johnston, after the company was acquired by Canadian Tire. He had recently taken up the role as the first GC for Calgary-based construction company The Churchill Corp. He joined Churchill as vice president and GC and reported directly to the CEO. The lead director at Forzani happened to also be chairman at Churchill and he called Johnston and asked him what he was going to do.
Published in Issue Archive
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