I’m a 0L and in true type-A, insecure-overachiever form, I’m already thinking about my future career path (you can tell I already have the lawyer personality down).
Call me a quixotic fool, but I’m a mature student and decided to quit my cushy, well-paying job to attend law school in order to chase this vague notion of “making a difference in the world.”
I did my undergrad in business and genuinely find finance/ economics interesting. I already read securities filings on my spare time and enjoy building models in Excel. I would love to practice law in a field that deals with these types of concepts. The thing is, I don’t want to sell my soul to big law and work for the “bad guys.” I already know a bunch miserable corporate lawyers and I get the sense that I would not enjoy the lifestyle.
My dream job would be working at something like the SEC or the Antitrust division of the DOJ (Alas, I cannot work at these places because I’m a Canadian citizen).
That said, it seems like the Canadian equivalents of these organizations are watered-down and neutered. I’ve been doing some research, and it just seems like Canada seems to go very easy on white collar criminals. I was reading the OSC’s recent news releases and all I see are posts extolling how they “are removing the regulatory burdens for corporations and making it easier for companies to do business here!”
I was also reading an interview with the ex-chief of the Canada Competition Bureau and he claims that the Canadian government tends to encourage the formation of corporate monopolies . When was the last time the DOJ launched a major antitrust case against a company here in Canada?
Finally, it seems like our government seems to promote our terribly opaque banking laws. I read somewhere that Canada is considered one of the world’s eminent money-laundering hubs, which makes sense given the proliferation of numbered corporations and lax disclosure laws (who do you think is buying up all those condos in downtown Toronto/ Vancouver?) It also seems like white collar crime isn’t prosecuted by DA/ Crown attorney offices to the same degree as it is in certain jurisdictions in the US (like the SDNY).
All in all, this is to say that I don’t think a legal career at the OSC or the Competition Bureau would satisfy my yearning to “make a difference in the world.”
My question: would any of the already-lawyers on this forum agree with my characterization? Am I completely wrong (I hope so)? Are there any good legal career options that deal extensively with economics/ finance AND are on the side of the “good guys” here in Canada? Is a soul crushing career in big law the only way to get exposure to the intersection of law and finance?