Let me tell you about the time I almost, by accident, made out with a senior lawyer from the CBC. In public.
My first year in media law, I saw a male colleague at a professional conference and crossed the room to greet him. I reached out to shake his hand and leaned in for a faux kiss. He took my hand and started to give me a French-style double kiss (he did work for our national, bilingual media corporation after all). As I pulled away from my one-cheek air kiss, he was on his way to the other side of my face. I’m not exactly sure where his lips landed — but man, was it awkward.
I wouldn’t wish this scenario upon any of you. But I will be honest and say that you will surely encounter your own uncomfortable situations as you make the transition from student to lawyer. I remember how much I wanted to look and act the part of an accomplished young professional, but felt I had nowhere to turn for advice.
In fact, I wanted this advice so badly, I ended up leaving my legal career to start Precedent in 2007. The goal was to make a magazine that was not only about law, but also about the lifestyle of being a lawyer.
This year, I decided that we could do even better for students. I wanted to create a magazine that would help you navigate the tricky and often intimidating world of getting a job in law and acing the role once you land it. This inaugural Student Issue of Precedent does just that.
Read on to learn about how to build your wardrobe, sound like you know a thing or two about golf and tackle difficult foods when dining with people you are trying to impress. We’ll also delve into the nitty gritty of the hireback numbers at Bay Street’s biggest firms and teach you how to talk like a lawyer. We can deliver the stuff you need to know about law that you’ll never learn in class because we’ve been there.
As for the handshake/hug/one kiss/ two kiss conundrum? A decade later I’m still perplexed so I turned to Precedent’s resident etiquette columnist, Sandra Rosier. “I’ve seen headbutts and ears torn off,” she told me. “If you don’t know what to do, stand still and allow yourself to be the kissee.” Sounds like it could look a little awkward, but nothing compares to the awkwardness of an accidental make-out session.
I wish you much success and little embarrassment as you launch your legal career.