Lawyers and Quebec notaries (NOC 4112)

About this job

Lawyers and Quebec notaries advise clients on legal matters, draft legal documents and represent clients before courts, tribunals and administrative bodies.

See what a day in the life of this job is like—watch WorkBC’s Career Trek video about this occupation.

Source: WorkBC’s Career Trek

People in this occupation:

  • conduct prosecutions
  • plead cases
  • represent clients before tribunals and conduct prosecutions in courts of law
  • Quebec notaries are employed in notary offices
  • work in law firms and prosecutor's offices
  • work for federal, provincial and municipal governments and various business establishments or they may be self-employed
  • need strong verbal abilities to communicate with clients and represent them in legal matters
  • draft legal documents and provide legal advice
  • should have an interest in negotiating the settlement of disputes, applying the principles of law, researching legal precedents and gathering evidence

Articling students are included in this group.

Common job titles
  • adviser / counsel, legislative
  • adviser, legal / law and corporate affairs
  • attorney / attorney-at-law
  • lawyer / counsel, immigration
  • lawyer / counsel, in-house / staff counsel
  • lawyer / counsel, insurance
  • adviser / counsel, legislative
  • adviser, legal / law and corporate affairs
  • attorney / attorney-at-law
  • attorney, claim
  • attorney, Crown / prosecutor
  • attorney, regional / county

Earnings

Annual provincial median salary

$106,638

Source: 2011 National Household Survey (Full-time full-year median employment income)

Provincial hourly rate

  • High
  • Median
  • Low

N/A - Data not available

Source: 2016 Job Bank Wage Report

Duties

Lawyers:

  • tell clients about their legal rights and all matters related to law
  • research legal precedents and gather evidence
  • argue clients' cases before courts of law, tribunals and administrative bodies
  • draft legal documents such as real estate transactions, wills, divorces and contracts and prepare statements of legal opinions
  • Negotiate settlements of civil disputes (lawyers only)
  • do management tasks related to the practice of law
  • may act as mediator, conciliator or arbitrator
  • may act as executor, trustee or guardian in estate and family law matters

Special duties

Lawyers and Quebec notaries may specialize in specific areas of the law such as:

  • criminal law (lawyers only), corporate law, contract law, taxation law, administrative law, international law, commercial law, real estate law, family and estate law, intellectual property law and labour law

Work environment

Lawyers typically work in offices, courthouses or law libraries, however, travel is often necessary to attend meetings, do research, gather evidence or appear before courts, administrative bodies or tribunals.

Work hours in law firms are often very long, and these professionals can be under significant pressure, particularly when they are preparing to appear before a court, administrative body or tribunal. Lawyers working in government or businesses may have more regular work schedules.

Job requirements

Education, training & qualifications

Lawyers in most provinces and territories must have at least two to three years of undergraduate studies (in Quebec they must have completed a college program) and a bachelor's degree from a recognized law school. Other requirements include:

  • completion of the bar examinations administered by a provincial or territorial law society and a period of articling
  • membership in the Law Society of British Columbia in order to practice law in the province

As of July 1, 2017 when the Canadian Free Trade Agreement (CFTA) came into force, you will not need significant additional training, experience, testing or assessment if your qualifications or certificates are recognized by a Canadian regulatory authority. This applies whether you were trained in Canada or internationally. Learn about labour mobility at www.workersmobility.ca. For information about labour mobility and foreign qualifications recognition, contact the B.C. regulator for your occupation.

Skills

  • Directive
  • Social
  • Manual Dexterity
  • Detail-Oriented
  • Clerical Ability
  • Verbal & Written Comprehension
View skills definitions

Education programs in B.C.

The following program areas are related to this occupation:
  • Law

For more information about programs offered specifically for this career, visit EducationPlannerBC.

Select a region to view regional outlook
Vancouver Island / Coast Mainland / Southwest Thompson-Okanagan Kootenay Cariboo Northeast North Coast & Nechako
Cariboo
Employment in 2016:
150
Average annual employment growth:
1.9%
Expected number of job openings:
80
Kootenay
Employment in 2016:
70
Average annual employment growth:
N/A
Expected number of job openings:
N/A
Mainland / Southwest
Employment in 2016:
7,790
Average annual employment growth:
1.3%
Expected number of job openings:
2,810
North Coast & Nechako
Employment in 2016:
40
Average annual employment growth:
N/A
Expected number of job openings:
N/A
Northeast
Employment in 2016:
0
Average annual employment growth:
N/A
Expected number of job openings:
N/A
Thompson-Okanagan
Employment in 2016:
620
Average annual employment growth:
1.0%
Expected number of job openings:
210
Vancouver Island / Coast
Employment in 2016:
1,450
Average annual employment growth:
0.4%
Expected number of job openings:
460

N/A - Data not available

Source: B.C. Labour Market Outlook

Insights from industry

The Mainland/Southwest region has a sufficient or a potential oversupply of lawyers. A willingness to relocate outside this area, particularly to other urban areas, may increase the chance of work or having a successful law practice in B.C.

There is also a need for lawyers with a specialization in areas such as Aboriginal rights, international law, intellectual property, patents and trademarks, environmental law, internet law, entertainment law, immigration law, construction law and mediation.

Lawyers can be affected by downturns in the economy, which may cause a decline in demand for some optional legal services such as estate planning and real estate transactions. High grades from a recognized law school will improve job prospects for new lawyers.

Career paths and resources

Career paths

Recent graduates may find positions as associate lawyers. With experience, lawyers may become partners in law firms.

Lawyers trained in alternate dispute resolution may expand their practices to include mediation services, which are becoming more popular in response to the costs and delay associated with court cases.

Additional resources