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RJar

0L Looking for some input?

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For the last 2 years I've been consumed with the idea of getting into law school that I lost track of what practicing law actually entails. I've always been interested in very niche areas of law, but I understand that during interviews etc it is important to show a wide interest and a eagerness to learn. 

So I have 2 questions: 

1. What type of law do you practice vs. what type of law did you think you were going to practice? ( I'm mainly interested in seeing the various options practicing lawyers have) 

Through the forum I also read a lot of comments of people saying they had to go "find" new clients. I am a very reserved person, and the idea of me going out and actively contacting strangers to see if they need legal help terrifies me (My apologies if this is not how it actually works, any insight would be great). For reference I do well in social settings, and have never had a problem socializing at work with people, I just don't enjoy doing it. But this brings me to my second question

2. Will I survive as a lawyer if I am not extremely social? 

Thanks!

 

 

 

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On 6/5/2020 at 9:02 AM, RJar said:

1. What type of law do you practice vs. what type of law did you think you were going to practice? ( I'm mainly interested in seeing the various options practicing lawyers have) 

Ok so I just graduated, but my close relative has been practicing for several years. She went into law school with a degree in conservation biology fully intending to practice environmental law. Then she learned how niche of a practice area that was. Then she learned that a vast majority of the "environmental law" work was on behalf of the resource extraction companies. She articled in a family law firm and never looked back.

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On 6/5/2020 at 12:02 PM, RJar said:

Through the forum I also read a lot of comments of people saying they had to go "find" new clients. I am a very reserved person, and the idea of me going out and actively contacting strangers to see if they need legal help terrifies me (My apologies if this is not how it actually works, any insight would be great). For reference I do well in social settings, and have never had a problem socializing at work with people, I just don't enjoy doing it. But this brings me to my second question

2. Will I survive as a lawyer if I am not extremely social? 

#1: That is not the case at large or mid-sized firms during the first few years of your career (at minimum). Even for smaller firms, where you may feel that pressure, you probably would not need to bring in business until you're at least called.

#2: You certainly don't need to be extremely social, but you do need basic interpersonal skills. It's not a high bar; as long as you can carry a conversation you will be fine.

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Going to "find new clients" doesn't necessarily involve randomly contacting strangers. When I left my Bay Street firm, I was starting to find new clients and work for the firm, and it mostly came from:

  • Speaking at a conference and being approached afterwards (either in person there, or by email later).
  • Writing blog posts, email newsletters, etc. and being contacted by someone who read them.
  • Talking to existing clients and generating new work by identifying opportunities for them.

These are opportunities you create through your work and can be supported by the firm you work for. You can easily improve your skill at all of them with a little practice and mentoring. It's not just going out, introducing yourself to people and asking them to give you work.

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1. I was interested in criminal law, and in fact did the best on my crim law exams/classes. I now practice in wills/estates/trusts, civil lit and family law, which are my areas of interest.

2. I am not an overly social person myself, but I can make connections with people quite well. You have to have solid interpersonal skills to build your client base. My client base is decent and certainly enough to meet my targets

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