Lawyer (Episode 45)

Lawyer (Episode 45)


Eventually, everyone needs help
navigating the legal system and when they do,
they turn to today’s featured career: the lawyer. Hi. I’m Viviana. Hi. Charlotte Salomon. Nice to meet you. Likewise. Welcome to our office.
Let me show you around. Thank you. Great. I have two types of practices. I have a litigation practice,
where I deal with clients who are involved in disputes, and I usually have to go to court for that. And the second type of clients
that I service need a lawyer to purchase a house, write a will,
sell a business or lease a car, perhaps. And that’s called solicitors’ work. Charlotte, here we are at your office. How much time do you actually spend here
versus the courtroom? This is where I spend most of my time because I prepare for court in my office and I also visit with clients in my office. My typical day starts at about 8 o’clock and then I generally work through
right till about 7 o’clock in the evening. I work six days a week, too. I do work one day on the weekends, but usually that’s only a half day
until about 4 o’clock. Clients come in and sit where you’re sitting right now and explain to me the legal problem
and then I will send them away, do a draft of what they need
and they’ll review the draft and come in another day and sign it. My sister inspired me to become a lawyer. And when she became a lawyer
I was very interested in it, but I wanted to be more than a lawyer. I wanted to be a judge. So my sister told me I had to go through
law school first and be a lawyer. To become a lawyer, first of all, obviously
a high school graduation is imperative. The second thing is that most law schools require you to have an undergraduate degree. and then you apply to a law school, but you have to write a test known as the LSAT. It’s like the SATs, but more on logic than anything else. But there’s no math in it. After going to law school for three years, you have to do the bar admissions course,
and that is about a 12-week course. And after the course you have to write a couple exams to make sure that you pass the bar exams. In addition to that,
at some point you have to article. The articling period takes about a year. It is done in a law firm with someone who is a principal to the articled student. And the law firm has to be able
to provide this articled student with a really broad-based education and do several types of law,
just so you can get a broad range of experience. That is what the Law Society is looking
for in all their new lawyers. When you graduate from law school, you don’t graduate with
a specialty in any area of law. There is a huge choice that one can practice. Areas include criminal law, family law, general civil litigation,
commercial litigation, environmental law, which is growing in British Columbia. Also there are people who specialize in Aboriginal law. Being a lawyer involves a lot of social skills. A lawyer who goes to court,
who is called a litigator, is someone who has to be able to debate. Also, when dealing with clients on a solicitor’s level, you have to have good communication skills to be able to figure out what your clients need. So, the level of communication is really high. You have to be confident in your writing and your writing has to come across as clear, concise, and putting forward
the message that you intend. When I get in in the morning, obviously,
the first thing I do is check my emails and check my voicemails
and check my calendars. All these things are computer-based, so a good knowledge of computers is a huge asset. The other parts of the day when you may need to use a computer is for legal research. Do you ever go out into the community
and interview people for your cases? I do. Quite often I have to find witnesses. I don’t want to be the one to interview them. I want to send a private investigator, an independent adjuster to interview them so I’m not a witness in my own case. When I get a resume on my desk
and the cover letter has an error, either a grammatical error or a spelling error, I don’t look any further. So, that would be a big piece of advice, is to make sure you don’t have any errors. Because as lawyers,
you have to communicate effectively, and this is your first chance to show me if you would be able to do that. The best part of the day is whenever
I can truly help people. And I feel that I am actually helping out society in becoming a bit closer to justice. I like to see things made right. Charlotte, thank you so much for demystifying
the lawyer for me. Well, it was nice meeting you.
I would love to talk more, but I have to get off to court. Sounds good.

Take care. Bye. Once again, this is Career Trek and I’m Viviana, reminding you that this career could be yours. We’ll see you next time.

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