Career Profile: Lawyer

Career Profile: Lawyer

by Marianne Stephens
Jobs People Do | JobsPeopleDo.com

If you’re looking towards the future to see if you want to become a lawyer, this can help. The job outlook is very good throughout the country, particularly as there is always a demand for access to the law, not to mention that new types of law are emerging all the time. With the highly specialized educational demands required, the starting wage is approximately $37,000; with a medium being more than $100K per year. But note one very important point: this happens only after a lot of education. First comes high school graduation, then an undergraduate degree in almost anything, passing the LSAT (Law School Admission Test), acceptance into law school;

You need an extensive education to pass the Bar exam; then you can figure out which field of law you would like to practice. There are many different kinds of law, so you have some flexibility. You can work in corporations or the financial services industry. In the public sector, choices are as diverse as charities or government. Types of law are quite varied: environmental, business, family, criminal, housing (or real estate, which is a different thing compared to housing rights), tax (personal, estate and financial), employment, immigration, human rights in regards to health and disability rights in housing, employment and in public interactions; and income assistance.  New fields include cyber-related law, immigration law (especially with more refugees and others seeking citizenship), and entertainment / copyright law.

The Law Society of Ontario (formerly the Law Society of Upper Canada) offers numerous resources to help you figure out if this is a career path you might like to pursue, and outlines the options available to become fully licensed as a lawyer. You can see this information on this webpage: https://www.lsuc.on.ca/licensingprocesslawyer/.

Whatever path you choose to follow, there are ways you can do something you care about (to help the public, financial gain, or society as a whole); and find the purpose that best meets your needs and goals. This can also be a determining factor when you start on an undergraduate degree: find a sector you’re interested in – say, history; you can then focus on the elements you find interesting to follow as a lawyer: going into environment law, employment law, even human rights in regards to discrimination.

In addition, there are several requirements that are commonly seen within the job postings to become a lawyer: attention to detail, communication skills (especially if the type of law you want to practice requires you to be in Court regularly), organizational skills; and a strong work ethic. The rest depends on the sector of the law and the demands of the profession. Law and medicine are very difficult careers: they require a lot of education, time, and self-discipline.  Expect to work long hours in the beginning. They are also very rewarding professions, but make sure of your career goals and the requirements they place on you and your family and friends.

“Job Vacancy and Wage Survey, Second Quarter 2017.” Government of Canada. Government of Canada, 7 Dec. 2011. https://www.jobbank.gc.ca/LMI_bulletin.do. Accessed 06 Jan 2018.

“Lawyer Licensing Process.” Law Society of Ontario. Law Society of Ontario. https://www.lsuc.on.ca/licensingprocesslawyer/. Accessed 06 Jan 2018.

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