Starting My Journey in the Midst of a Pandemic

  • February 24, 2021
  • Masha Brar, barrister and solicitor

I don’t often set targets; but when I do, I achieve them. We came to Canada in October 2017 and in June 2018, I set out with the aim to get licensed as a lawyer in Ontario by June 2020. As June 2020 approached we were hit by COVID-19 and things started changing.  As we all worked from home, I had more time to introspect about what I wanted to do once I was licensed. I decided I will start my own practice.

On June 13, 2020 I woke up to the much-anticipated email announcing that I had been called to the Bar. I was elated. Not just because it was the day I got my call letter, but also because it came on my birthday! Once the celebrations ended, came the task of getting down to work. What should I do? What area or areas of law was I going to focus on? Should I start off as a sole proprietor or should I incorporate? So many decisions. Why had I not made these decisions before my call? Was I just enjoying my time off? Well, sort of, but I also had my plate full. I finished my work placement for LPP and became a full-time mom of an active 5-year old. Nevertheless, I did find time to attend quite a few trainings, seminars, and short courses. All things considered, until I got my license, things were relatively still fun and play.

While I knew that setting up my own law firm from scratch meant that I would have to deal with numerous challenges; the first and most crucial one, was to decide on the areas of law I wanted to practice. Several possibilities whirled around my head. Having worked as a family law advocate for 8 years in India, I naturally gravitated towards that area of law. Then again, I had garnered experience working in immigration law and found it interesting. Therefore, it was an obvious choice. In addition, I had enjoyed working on the Wills & Estate file during the LPP and that became another choice.