Being a lawyer is not like being on Suits. This was a statement that everyone could agree on this past summer when Precedent assembled seven Bay Street associates for a roundtable discussion about life as a big-firm lawyer.
So if you are a fan of the show, be warned: when you begin your career, it’s unlikely you’ll work in family, criminal and corporate law simultaneously (although the Suits lawyers somehow manage to juggle all three on the show). Nor will you be sitting in glass offices telling people off all day (another thing they do with ease), and you probably won’t be wearing a dress so tight you can’t sit down (Jessica makes it look so easy). Nope. Real-life law is not how it looks on TV. As young litigator Chantelle Spagnola put it at the roundtable: “I didn’t know there would be so many binders.”
Indeed. There are binders and long hours and probably less time in court than you hoped for. But, all things considered, it’s still a pretty awesome field in which to build your career.
All the women we spoke to love their jobs. Their work is exciting and intellectually challenging. And they find their colleagues to be smart and great to work with. Listening to these lawyers trade stories, it was clear that law, for them, is not anything like it is on TV. Law in real life is better.
Okay, I’ve really talked that up. Now you probably want to land a plum law job more than ever. No worries — we can help. This 2015 edition of the Precedent Student Issue will be your guide on everything related to job-getting. We’ve got insider tips on the recruitment process from the recruiters themselves, articling advice from Precedent’s career columnist and a lot more.
And if you do land a job on Bay Street — keep an eye out for Harvey Specter. Although set in New York, Suits is filmed in Toronto and the Bay Adelaide Centre is where you’ll find the set for Pearson Specter (or Pearson Hardman or Pearson Darby Specter or Pearson Specter Litt, depending on which season you’re on). So, when you bump into Harvey, maybe you can tell him a thing or two about what law’s really like.
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