How a Professional LLM turbo-charged this lawyer’s career

“It’s like I was taking an extra dose of vitamins”
John Sorensen
Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on linkedin
Share on print
Portrait of John Sorensen

John Sorensen

Partner and leader of the national tax group at Gowling WLG
Osgoode LLM: Tax, 2011
Year of call: 2006

When John Sorensen started as an associate in the tax group at Gowling WLG, he saw the long road ahead. “I realized pretty quickly,” he recalls, “that it would take about 10 years until I knew what I was doing.”

He didn’t want to wait that long. After all, he understood what it takes to succeed in law. “You need to offer the best advice, faster than anyone else,” says Sorensen. “If you consistently deliver the goods, more people will want to work with you. That’s how you get the support of colleagues and develop loyal clients.”

So he went looking for a shortcut to that future — and he found it in the Osgoode Professional LLM, a rigorous two-year graduate program that he could complete on a part-time basis without scaling back his practice. As a third-year associate, he signed up for the tax specialization and started to attend evening classes. Over time, as he wrote papers and received feedback from instructors, his legal work for clients sharpened. “I started to perform above my year of call. It’s like I was taking an extra dose of vitamins.”

In two years, he completed the program. Four years later, he made partner. And, shortly after that, he became the national leader of the firm’s tax group. “The LLM at Osgoode,” says Sorensen, “made an important contribution to my development as a professional.”

Fast facts about the Osgoode Professional LLM

1. Flexible: The program is designed for professionals. Evening and weekend classes let you earn a degree while working.

2. Specialized: Dive deep into one of 14 areas of specialization, including tax, securities, constitutional, criminal, labour, and dispute resolution.

3. Rigorous: Throughout the program, you’ll complete detailed papers on a complex area of law, honing your legal writing and analytical skills.

Osgoode’s Professional LLM is designed with the working lawyer in mind. To learn more, visit the program’s website or call (416) 673-4670.

This story is from our Winter 2017 Issue.