Monday, January 28, 2008

The Average Law Student...After Law School

I am amazed at how many lateral moves amongst former classmates that I have witnessed since graduating from law school. There seem to be very few of them who have remained at their original summer or articling firm. A few have gone overseas. Others have gone in-house. Many others have switched firms, or even gone solo. This after only 3 years! I had expected that many of them would have remained stuck in their articling firm, climbing the partnership ladder. This was the line that we were fed throughout law school, and this was the prevailing attitude during bar admission courses.

I think we are seeing a breakthrough in those prevailing attitudes, with new expectations. I'm not talking about the cliche Generation X or Generation Y attitudes. I am talking about expectations attached to opportunity. Opportunities about, and nobody seems to want to be left behind. A Canadian Law School degree is more than just a road towards a partnership at a major Canadian law firm. The borders are opening up, the 0pportunities to use a legal education in business, government, non-profit, military, and elsewhere are abundant.

Most of my friends are becoming their own man/woman. Law can be a pretty solitary career. There's lots of time to brood about greener pastures. I am letting go of that old addage that says that you should chew your cudd in one field until you can tell whether you like the cudd. That's not to say that I am ready to jump ship. For me, it's about focussing my practice areas, and broadening my skillset to include such things as mediation and arbitration. I am also remembering how much I love to build businesses, and am enjoying those amazing opportunities in running a law firm, a publishing business and an alternate dispute resolution business. It's really fun to grow.

What are you doing with your law degree?

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