TRURO – More than 40 Grade 12 students at Cobequid Educational Centre learned what it’s like to be a lawyer on Wednesday.
Two representatives from Patterson Law visited the school during the Canadian Bar Association initiative titled Law Day.
The day coincides with the anniversary of Canada’s Charter of Rights and Freedoms, which is turning 31 this year.
This is the first year the Truro high school has participated in the initiative, and CEC law teacher Suzanne Fougere said it’s a major benefit to students.
“It’s one thing to hear teachers teach (but) it’s quite another thing,” to bring in actual lawyers,” she said.
Fougere’s class teamed up with Kevin Hayden’s Sociology 12 class to listen to Sandra McCulloch and Jeremy Smith talk to students about a host of issues, from ethics to income to how they got into the practice.
“I went into law school because I want to help people,” McCulloch told the class. “I know it sounds idealistic, but it’s really true.”
Smith told that class that “he decided fairly early on” that law was the career for him.
“I was always a newshound,” he said. “I was always interested in the interaction between people and the government.”
McCulloch practices family, estate and civil litigation. Smith practices civil litigation and commercial disputes.
McCulloch and Smith answered a submitted list of questions from students and later opened it up for more questions.
One student asked whether being a lawyer allows them to travel, a question McCulloch answered, “I just got back from a conference in Toronto last night.”
Another student asked where in Canada the best job opportunities can be found.
Smith explained that articling positions can be hard to come by, “which is a problem, because you need to article before you can become a lawyer.”
McCulloch added she has friends who have gone to big cities like Toronto, or to places like the Northwest Territories to find work.
Ty Borden took a lot of valuable information from the talk because he wants to be a lawyer. He is familiar with Patterson Law because he works in a co-op position there in the summer.
He says he specifically wants to practice criminal law.
“I think it would be harder to be a defense lawyer (than a prosecutor) but it would be more fun,” he said. “I like to argue.”