Ready to make your mark on your community’s legal scene? You can land your dream job by understanding what today’s employers are looking for.
What are the particular hiring strategies, procedures, and philosophies of top Canadian legal employers? How do successful job candidates fit the bill? Recent surveys and research show a very wide range of answers to these questions.
Successful job applicants come from all walks of life, so age, experience, and background are not deciding factors on the legal job market. Whether you consider yourself to be reserved and studious or outspoken and assertive, there is a lawyer somewhere in Canada looking for a paralegal or legal assistant just like you! All in all, a diverse range of employers are looking for a diverse range of candidates—with a few key traits in common.
Here are the 4 most sought-after traits for those pursuing legal assisting careers.
1. The Right Interpersonal Skills for Working in a Legal Team
The traits that make great team members are consistently cited by law professionals as the main traits they are seeking from their new hires, like communication, flexibility, and trust. Lawyers look for paralegals and legal assistants who understand the collaborative nature of legal work.
“We try to take a team approach on many matters,” explains Toronto-based lawyer Sean Dewart. “Trusting those who take carriage of a file when you are away is essential. We need to know that each of us is representing the firm with integrity.”
2. State-of-the-Art Legal Training and Certification
It almost goes without saying, but employers are looking for candidates who are qualified to do the work at hand. That’s why it’s essential to showcase up-to-date legal training on your resume.
In legal college, you’ll master both, the theoretical and practical aspects of the legal profession, ranging from the Canadian constitutional structure to practical approaches for legal research, fact investigation, and writing of legal-related documents. If you train at Academy of Learning College (AOLC), your credentials will act like a seal of approval on your resume, showing employers you have the precise qualifications their ideal candidate needs.
3. A Genuine Interest in the Area of Legal Careers and Law
By finding your way to this blog, you’ve already proven that you have a real interest in pursuing this path. Demonstrating your interest in the legal system and their work in particular is a great way to catch an employer’s attention.
“For students, who often have less work and life experience than candidates at other levels, our focus is on some qualities you cannot train for,” agrees Stephanie Willson, employment officer at Ontario firm McCarthy Tétrault LLP. “We want a demonstrated, genuine interest in the areas in which our firm practises.”
For example, if you apply for a job opening in an environmental law office, it’s smart to tailor your resume to mention your interest in the environment. Are you passionate about sustainability? Have you ever participated in ecological events? Strategic inclusion of experience that suits your employer is always smart.
4. The Ability to Make Sound Ethical Judgements
At its core, our legal system is about determining what is right and what is wrong, and how to help Canadians achieve the justice they deserve. Legal career professionals always need to be able to rely on their workers’ sound judgment and strong ethical foundations.
Consider presenting lawyers and law office employers with evidence of your ethical behaviour. Have you ever done the right thing in a tough situation because of your morals? Have you raised children to be kind and respectful citizens? Have you held any positions where confidentiality was part of your job?
If you can think of examples of your ethics in action, and demonstrate the traits mentioned above, you’ll truly stand out from the rest in any Canadian law office’s job interview process!
Are you interested in launching a law career of your own at a top legal college?
Visit Academy of Learning College to learn how we can help you begin.