The Legal field is somewhat self-descriptive; it comprises all the professionals that work with everything related to laws and legal systems. The most common and well-known position in this field is perhaps that of a Lawyer, but there are many other professionals working in this field besides them, including Paralegals, Notaries Public, Law Clerks, Judges, and some others.
What all these professions have in common is the type of work they do; serving justice to all. They do this by adhering to the applicable law and the corresponding legal system. Professionals in this field are the ones who defend, uphold, maintain, and write the laws that affect the lives of citizens across the country.
The Canadian legal system is very unique in the sense that it incorporates common law and civil law. The first is used in most provinces and it works on a basis of precedents. Laws in this system are created out of the outcome of trials, meaning that existing laws are the results of experiences of the past and may be used as references for future cases. The second system is used only in Quebec and it is based on a pre-existing set of laws that can be referenced to via a codex or a constitution. In civil law systems, the outcome of trials don’t modify new laws, but are a direct result of the pre-established normative by which justice is executed.
Law professionals are usually responsible for the following:
- Representing citizens in provincial or federal courts of law.
- Preparing cases, testimonies, evidence, and witnesses prior to entering the court room.
- Writing and filing documents for court and other legal procedures.
- Representing clients or negotiating terms in civil disputes, such as divorces and wills.
- Writing legal documents and contracts on behalf of their client.
- Conferring with colleagues with other specializations in matters that may go beyond their area of expertise.
- Advising and counselling their clients on legal matters.
- Researching and analyzing legal issues.
- Understanding and interpreting complex legal documents and files.
All professionals working in the Legal field usually share the same characteristics, which include, but are not limited to:
- Possessing excellent communication skills, including listening and negotiating skills.
- Having enough tact to deal with sensitive situations.
- Having strong mediation skills with high levels of integrity, morality, and honesty.
- Displaying outstanding problem-solving, analytical, and organizational skills.
- Being capable of adapting quickly to changing deadlines.
- Being able to pay close attention to details.
- Possessing good memory to recall complex terms, laws, and ideas.
All professionals in this field are required to possess a degree in order to receive the licences and certifications necessary to practice law. Most Legal professionals are only allowed to practice law in their respective provinces, unless they have the proper permissions and post-graduate studies to work in other provinces or in federal courts.
Most legal professionals may find employment in law firms, provincial or federal courts, and in government institutions. A common misconception people have about these professionals’ daily life is that they spend most of their time in and out of a courtroom. In reality, only a very small part of these professionals’ job involves actually being in a courtroom. Most of them spend their time doing research, interviewing clients, and preparing legal documents.
Most professionals in this field work on a 9 to 5 base, but it is not uncommon for them to work extra hours due to the great amount of work that they sometimes have to go through. They are also expected to memorize, analyze, and interpret large sums of information and data.