What does it take (and what it’s like) to be a lawyer?
Ever wondered what it would be like working as a lawyer? Wonder no more. We spoke to Elyse Sunshine and Lonny Rosen, partners at Rosen Sunshine LLP for the inside scoop on what it takes (and what it’s like) to be a lawyer.
Workopolis: What sort or law do you practice?
SR: We specialize in health law, and provide advice and representation to:
- Health professionals
- Healthcare clinics, facilities, owners, and staff
- Healthcare organizations and associations
- Healthcare agencies and institutions
- Regulatory bodies
- Individuals and businesses
Our practice covers healthcare law, legislation, and policies. We also defend and represent clients, particularly healthcare professionals, in a wide range of civil and administrative proceedings.
What is an average day like for you?
The practice of law in our area is never routine, and a typical day can vary dramatically. It can include: representing healthcare professionals before their governing bodies; attending hearings; providing independent legal counsel to discipline committee panels; meeting with clients about a business venture in healthcare; advocating for professionals in disputes or helping them respond to complaints, drafting documents, or visiting clients’ offices to help them prepare for an inspection, etc.
Would you say that it’s a very stressful career?
It depends, but in general, the practice of law can be very stressful. Our clients are entrusting us with matters that are extremely important to them, and in many cases, their entire livelihood may be at risk. There is a lot riding on every file.
Is it good for intro- or extroverts?
It depends. In our practice, people skills are a must as we are primarily dealing with individuals who are health professionals or involved in the business or regulation of health care. So litigation tends to attract extroverts. But much of our work involves written advocacy, creatively crafting responses or solutions to problems, which are in an introvert’s comfort zone.
Are the hours long?
Yes. Law is not a 9-to-5 job, and our clients often need advice or our assistance at all hours. Preparing for hearings often requires long nights and weekend work. It comes with the territory
What’s the pay like?
We are fortunate in that area, but we earn it every day through hard work. We are extremely dedicated to our clients. According to Payscale, the median salary for lawyers in Canada is $72,429.
What education do you need?
Lawyers wishing to practice in our area must excel in law school, obtain articles at a good firm and need to be called to the Bar.
What job experience do you need?
All lawyers go through an articling process. Each employer will look for specific things from an applicant depending upon the position being sought.
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