Making a plan, Stan

As I sit to write this issue’s editorial, articling student hopefuls in Toronto are checking their phone batteries and trying not to vibrate out of their chairs while waiting for the “interview day” phone calls from prospective employers. This step is just one of the many nerve-racking experiences in the life of a law student, who unlike students in many other areas (not the professions, of course) have their career paths often planned out years in advance.


Summer articles, overseas internships, articling, first-year associate jobs, and beyond are frequently organized years before the jobs even begin. It boggles the minds of those who live in a world where getting a job may or may not have any relationship to when you graduate from your chosen program of study. Be that as it may, private practice does tend to have somewhat of a predictable path for most people. It begins with summering and, frequently but not always, ends up with becoming a partner in a law firm. So while you’re trying to decide where you want to spend your first summer working in the law, why not also do some long-term planning. There are lots of little details along the way that can make or break your plans, sometimes you may not even know what those will be. Well, our cover story, “The path to partnership” (page 16), is here to help. Have no fear, the answers are near.

If part of your master career plan includes, as mentioned above, an international internship, we’ve got some helpful hints on getting one of those as well in “Going abroad.” You never know if going somewhere will really take you somewhere, but there’s lots of fun in trying.

There’s even more career advice from leaders in the profession in our regular “Tips from the top” and “Pros and cons” features. And through all of this, as University of Victoria student Steve Parr discusses on the Student’s Page, remember to keep your head on straight and not get too bogged down with it all.

As always, 4Students wants to hear from law students across the country with your story ideas, comments, and other ideas. We post new stories each week on our web site and welcome (and pay for) contributions!

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