I’m looking for advice from the practicing (or not) lawyers on the forum. Thanks for the advice in advance! :)
Will Employee Relations experience be a hindrance when making the jump into a legal career? What can I do to mitigate that, if anything?
Given that I want to focus on employment/labour law (eventually going out on my own) what experiences (even if they are outside of where I want to practice) should I try to have?
Will the school I choose matter if I don’t care about being on Bay Street and could probably article with my current employer’s legal team?
29/F, Accepted into two law schools (Windsor, Ryerson) and waiting on other schools including UofM.
Education-wise: BA (hons) Sociology (uofw), Master of Industrial Relations (Queen’s), Certified Workplace Investigator, Sexual Harassment Investigation Training.
Working on: AML certificate and a Digital Forensics certificate.
Career-wise: I work in Employee Relations (management-level) and have unionized/non-union experience and have worked within Canadian Federally and Provincially regulated environments as well as UK, US (NYC) and Singapore.
My main focus is human rights investigations (start to finish w/o counsel) and other serious misconduct investigations (theft, fraud, sexual misconduct) and I also provide day-to-day advice on terminations, restructures etc...to executive level (director-level and above).
Previous to this I worked as a Human Rights Consultant. Before that I had a project focused ER role.
Industry-wise: My roles have been in Banking, Transportation, Retail and Cyber Security.
In about 5-6 years I would like to open my own consulting firm that offers employee relations services with the ability to also give advice as a lawyer. (employer side exclusively.) I think this fits into that plan.
I’m not heading into this thinking I’m going to get rich. I work in HR I see what the lawyers make and I know there are higher paid careers with lower bars of entry. But my intention has been since
my early 20’s to go to law school which I put on hold due to my mothers diagnosis and eventual death from a terminal illness. So I have the time and space to go...now.