Vanessa Narsingh never imagined that real-estate law could be fun. In her mind, the lawyers who worked in the practice area spent most of their time on the same boring task: paperwork. Not so exciting.
But Narsingh has come to realize that her first impression was dead wrong. After she graduated from law school, she enrolled in the Law Practice Program (LPP), the new path to licensing offered at Ryerson University. In the first four months of the program, she worked in a virtual law firm and handled mock files in seven practice areas: administrative, corporate, civil, criminal, family, estates and — you guessed it — real estate. “Working in so many areas allowed me to discover what I enjoyed,” says Narsingh. “I saw that real-estate law isn’t just about legal documentation. It’s also about working with clients to meet their needs.”
That light-bulb moment led her to pursue a career in the area. Three years have passed. And Narsingh is now an associate at Cohen LLP, a real-estate firm in Toronto. Here, she explains how the LPP helped her launch a successful legal career.
During the first half of the Law Practice Program, you worked through mock files in a wide array of practice areas. How did that experience inspire you to work in real-estate law?
“It helped me understand what real-estate law is all about: you are helping people who have, in all likelihood, just made the biggest purchase of their lives. At one point in the program, I had to simulate a real-estate closing. This can be a really intimidating process, but I learned how to walk a client through it all.”
What legal skills did you acquire as you completed the training?
“The curriculum was really impressive. I learned how to handle files from start to finish. I interviewed clients, took detailed notes and conducted cross-examinations. And I even made a business plan.”
In the second half of the program, candidates complete a four-month work placement. Where did you land?
“I worked at GA Law Professional Corporation, which is a real-estate law firm in Toronto. I was able to hit the ground running. I immediately felt comfortable meeting with clients and could handle landlord-tenant matters.
“Thanks to my training, I had a lot of confidence. When I started to work, I wasn’t a scared child in the playground. I was ready to take over the playground.”
What would you say to law students who might want to enrol in the Law Practice Program?
“You’ll learn about the day-to-day practice of law and have the opportunity to learn from practising lawyers. It turned out to be one of the best decisions of my life.”
The Law Practice Program at Ryerson University is a rigorous eight-month training program that equips law-school graduates with the practical skills they need to become great lawyers. To learn more, visit ryerson.ca/lpp.
This story is from our Spring 2019 Issue.