6 Strategies for Transitioning from Student-At-Law to Lawyer

  • August 30, 2021
  • Oksana Romanov

“Try to find something that would make you happy, although we want the job immediately.

- Yadesha Satheaswaran, Court of Appeal for Ontario

While intently listening to the panelists at a recent OBA program on Navigating the Transition: From Student-At-Law to Lawyer (an illuminating online session jointly hosted by the Student Section and Young Lawyers Division), I could not help myself but think about the great metaphor of the metamorphosis. Read, “The caterpillar transforms into the butterfly.” Think, “The student-at-law transforms into the lawyer!” 

Although I am just entering 2L this fall, I found this event extremely timely and enlightening. Akin to a hungry caterpillar, I am currently applying for 2L summer internships. In addition to munching through the digital application paperwork, as a law student at Lincoln Alexander School of Law, I must secure a 15-week professional placement in the 5th semester in 3L because of the Integrated Practice Curriculum and associated licensing requirements. So, for me, the time to start thinking like a student-at-law or even a junior lawyer is now. 

In a nutshell and mindful of the pandemic-influenced environment we find ourselves in, this program offered the following tips and associated strategies for a successful transition from academia to law practice.