For those of you who don’t know, the Law Practice Program (LPP) is created by the Law Society in partnership with Ryerson University and the University of Ottawa that offer curriculum in English and French, respectively. It is designed to provide a licensing pathway to becoming a lawyer without having to article. This program is a pilot project that started in 2014, and was scheduled to run for three years before the Law Society of Upper Canada (LSUC) evaluated the success of the program.
I am a young lawyer but the past year of managing my own law practice has confirmed what everyone already knows: justice is not only blind but it is also deaf and mute. I remember growing up with my mother telling me that if artful thieves exist and can target me, I must also be artful in protecting myself. I now somehow entangled this notion as a metaphor in the calculation of what it takes to achieve justice as a lawyer.
“The lawyer must not be crossed because she knows everything about everything. There are conceptual monograms embedded in her very core that cannot ever be decoded. Her brain can process information in ways we cannot understand. If we catch her gaze, this automatically inaugurates an analytical process causing her to discover our hidden truths. This is how she attains success – she solves the puzzle by spotting the secret to the client’s problem."
I read an article on Vox.com recently, entitled “7 Reasons you shouldn’t go to law school (unless you really, really want to be a lawyer)” by Amanda Taub. You should most definitely take a read; it’s excellent and completely on-point in describing many of our experiences in making the decision to attend law school and become a lawyer.
I want to extend congratulations to my colleagues Andreas and Roxana for doing something that is truly inspiring to me. They have taken a case on a contingency fee basis, which means, no retainer upfront - despite get the money upfront being the cardinal rule of being in business for yourself as a lawyer. Instead, they will be in it for the long haul, and will spend many hours of unpaid work on this file before ever seeing a dime.
I began law school with hope, excitement, a little anxiety and a lot to learn. This was typical of all my colleagues. The beginning consisted of new friendships, some of which turned into life-long bonds. We shared stories about our journeys to receiving that long-awaited and prestigious acceptance. We were thankful to our loved ones but, most of all, for the first time in our lives, we were truly proud of our achievement. I, for one, knew exactly the end goal – I wanted to start my own practice and, in doing so, achieve a happy career.