The Joy of Mentoring

Within the past few weeks I have had the joy of hearing how two of our former Articling Students have come to realize their “dream positions” and I have been asked to reflect on my personal career path that lead to my life as a Business Trial Lawyer.

I was interviewed by a Grade 10 Student last week regarding my career and the success I have enjoyed through it.  This was a great opportunity to reflect on where I saw myself at that age and where I am today.

As I told my interviewer, I was unusual.  When I was 16 I knew I wanted to be a lawyer.  I envisioned myself driving a Porsche 911, wearing designer suits & taking the world by storm.  As I look back on those goals I am pleased to note that two out of three isn’t bad – sadly,  I recognized at an early age that  a Porsche 911 is not necessarily the most practical vehicle for someone living in Southern Ontario.

Both former Articling Students I heard from were also focused on their goals at a young age.

The first is a criminal lawyer now – she has her own firm & is expanding into two locations doing exactly what she loves: defending those accused of offences.   She knew early on she was meant to represent people and she was right – so happy to see her  doing well.

The second former student is now an entertainment law lawyer.  When this student came to our firm, she had a very focused career path – she was with us to gain litigation experience.  Upon the conclusion of her articles she went “in house” to work for a corporation gaining drafting and business experience.  Now she is in a great position in the field she always wanted to practice and happier than ever.

As a Business Trial Lawyer much of what I do is, as I put it “get paid to pick a fight”.  Therefore, it is nice to balance out the “dark side” with the positive mentoring aspect that being a lawyer with 17 years experience brings.

Regardless of what your career is I hope that you have as much satisfaction in it as I and the two students I have mentioned above do. 

Inga B. Andriessen, J.D.

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