“Why did you decide to become a lawyer?”
It is a question that lawyers will be asked many times throughout their careers.
For me, the decision to become a lawyer was initially sparked by chance. In high-school, I enrolled in a law class simply to fill out my academic schedule. Happily, I found the course material to be much more engaging and interesting than that of my other classes.
Soon after, it was time to apply to universities and colleges for those students wishing to pursue higher education. Having enjoyed my high-school law class immensely, I decided to continue on with the pursuit of law at the university level. I subsequently enrolled in an undergraduate program in law with a co-operative education option at Carleton University.
At Carleton, I not only continued to enjoy the law on an academic level, but marveled at the everyday realities of being a lawyer as I observed counsel in action during my co-op placements. Below are just a handful of the reasons why I decided to become a lawyer.
- Being a lawyer is intellectually stimulating
Unlike many other occupations, being a lawyer gives you the chance to use your brain all day. Whether researching case law to draft an opinion letter, applying the law to facts to craft compelling legal arguments, or quickly identifying and refusing improper questions posed to your clients at discovery, the law is a cerebral profession. It is a privilege to have a career that is so intellectually stimulating and promotes lifelong learning.
- Being a lawyer gives you the opportunity to help others
Few things feel as good as helping a person in need. As a personal injury lawyer, I have the honour of representing accident victims every day, helping them to secure compensation for their injuries. A career in law also provides many other opportunities to help people. Criminal defence lawyers advocate for wrongfully accused persons. Employment lawyers advocate for individuals that have been wrongfully dismissed. The opportunities to help others are endless in a legal career, even before one considers the pro bono opportunities that exist for lawyers.
- Being a lawyer is never dull
It is rare that any two days will be exactly the same for a lawyer. Some days will consist of conducting legal research. Other days will consisting of preparing a witness for trial, resolving a case at mediation, or arguing a contested motion at the courthouse. The daily variety that a career in law brings keeps things fun. Being a lawyer is never boring.
- Being a lawyer gives you the opportunity to meet fascinating people
As a lawyer, you will have the privilege of meeting many fascinating people. Law is a client-facing industry. In the course of serving your clients, you will meet people with all sorts of different personalities, backgrounds, and livelihoods. Every client has a story. Hearing about them all is fascinating. Moreover, learning how to connect with people from different backgrounds is an important life skill. Similarly, while networking with other legal professionals, you will encounter many accomplished and impressive persons. From senior counsel to lawyers-turned-politicians, meeting these people will motivate you to achieve more in your own career.
The above is a brief and non-exhaustive list of the reasons why I decided to become a lawyer. The reasons are equally applicable, however, to why I enjoy practising law today. Being a lawyer is a privilege. I look forward to continuing to help accident victims in the years to come.