Lawyers and Quebec notaries (NOC 4112)

High opportunity occupation

About this job

Lawyers advise clients on legal matters in negotiations and mediations. They also draft legal documents and represent clients before courts of law, tribunals and administrative bodies.

Watch the video below to see what a day in the life of a lawyer is like.

Common job titles
  • adviser / counsel, legislative
  • adviser, legal / law and corporate affairs
  • attorney / attorney-at-law
  • attorney, claim
  • attorney, Crown / prosecutor
  • attorney, regional / county

Duties

In general, lawyers:

  • Offer legal advice to clients
  • Research legal precedents and gather evidence
  • Argue clients' cases
  • Negotiate business transactions and civil dispute settlements
  • Draft legal documents such as wills, contracts, real estate and divorce papers
  • Prepare statements of legal opinions
  • Do managerial tasks

Lawyers can also act as mediators, conciliators or arbitrators. In estate matters, they act as executors or trustees.

Lawyers can specialize in areas such as:

  • Administrative law
  • Commercial law
  • Contract law
  • Corporate law
  • Criminal law
  • Family law
  • Indigenous law
  • Intellectual property law
  • International law
  • Labour law
  • Real estate law
  • Taxation law
  • Will and estate law

Work environment

Lawyers usually work in offices and courthouses. They may travel to meet clients, attend meetings, conduct research and gather evidence.

In law firms, the hours are often very long. The work can be stressful, particularly when facing deadlines or preparing for court. Lawyers working in government or businesses may have more regular schedules.

Insights from industry

New lawyers with high grades and related experience have better job prospects. Those willing to relocate to urban areas outside of the Lower Mainland will also find more opportunities.

Certain areas of law have higher demand. These include family, international, environmental, internet, entertainment, immigration and construction law. Openings are also available in Aboriginal rights, mediation, and intellectual property, patents and trademarks.

Downturns in the economy can mean less demand for optional legal services such as estate planning and real estate transactions.

Career paths and resources

Career paths

Lawyers can work as in-house counsel for businesses. With additional training and experience, they may become general counsel or vice-president of the company.

Lawyers can also work for government. They can advise and represent the government and prosecute criminal and regulatory cases.

Lawyers with additional training may expand their practices to include mediation or legal coaching services.

Additional resources