sponsored content: How this Bay Street partner became a top constitutional lawyer

Ranjan Agarwal, Bennett Jones

Ranjan Agarwal
Partner at Bennett Jones LLP
Osgoode LLM: Constitutional law, 2011
Year of call: 2004

Ranjan Agarwal was frustrated. He was a fifth-year associate at Bennett Jones LLP and he wanted to work on a big constitutional case. That was the reason he went to law school in the first place.

But he had a problem: his firm didn’t have a constitutional practice group. Which meant that a case was never going to fall in his lap. “I had no way to master the subject matter,” says Agarwal. “Without experience, I wouldn’t be able to market myself.”

So he decided to be proactive. He signed up for the constitutional law specialization of the Osgoode Professional LLM. And, over the next two years, he completed the rigorous graduate program on a part-time basis.

When Agarwal graduated, in 2011, he had acquired the know-how and the credentials to reach out to both clients and fellow lawyers to let them know he was ready to take on constitutional files. “The LLM gave me the confidence to pick up the phone,” he says. “Over the course of the program, I had also published several papers. That made it easier to demonstrate that I had expertise in the area.” It worked. Now a partner, Agarwal is his firm’s leading lawyer in constitutional law. He’s been to the Supreme Court of Canada 17 times. “The program helped me build the career I have.”


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 Fall 2018 Issue.

sponsored content: How this in-house counsel mastered the basics of business law

Sara Diament, PepsiCo Canada

Sara Diament
Legal director at PepsiCo Canada ULC
Osgoode LLM: Business law, 2014
Year of call: 2007

As legal director at PepsiCo Canada, and one of only three in-house lawyers on staff, Sara Diament’s legal skill set needs to run the gamut. “On one day, I might be advising on employee-pension matters,” she says. “On another, I could be drafting commercial contracts, guiding management on litigation or handling risk-management questions.”

Welcome to the world of an elite in-house counsel. The legal questions come at you, like a flood, all day long. And you’d better have the answers. Diament’s initiation into this world took place in 2010, when she left private practice as a commercial litigator and moved in-house to Tim Hortons. In short order, she realized that in-house lawyers need a wide range of legal knowledge at their fingertips.

So she enrolled in the business law specialization of the Osgoode Professional LLM, a rigorous two-year graduate program that she could complete on a part-time basis. In 2014, Diament finished the program and, in February 2015, moved to PepsiCo — ready to take on any legal challenge. “The program gave me a really well-rounded scope of business law,” she says. “It helped me feel more confident in providing legal advice as it relates to the organization. It definitely makes me unique.”

 


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.


Precedent 12.2 Summer IssueThis story is from our Summer 2018 Issue.

sponsored content: Hitting the books is good for business

Paula Trattner OPD web

Paula Trattner
Partner at Osler, Hoskin & Harcourt LLP
Osgoode LLM: Health law, 2014
Year of call: 1999

In 2012, Paula Trattner signed up for the Osgoode Professional LLM — a two-year graduate program that working lawyers can complete part-time — hoping to fine-tune her expertise so she could better serve clients. And, without a doubt, that happened. But the program also connected her to a new set of industry contacts and helped her land business.

Trattner, a partner at Osler, Hoskin & Harcourt LLP, completed the program’s health-law specialization in order to bolster her practice, which focusses on the health-care industry. In class, she studied alongside doctors, nurses and health-care administrators. “I really connected with some of my classmates,” she says. “These were people with the ability to hire legal counsel and they got to see me in action first-hand throughout the course. I actually gained clients.”

Having an LLM on her resumé has also strengthened her reputation. “When clients introduce me, they always mention it so I know it impresses them,” says Trattner. “It’s a confirmation that I’ve kept current. Clients appreciate that.”

Other professionals who took the program have also become lasting connections. “We still reach out to each other for advice on work-related questions more than three years later.”

 


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.


Spring 2018 cover webThis story is from our Spring 2018 Issue.

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

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.


Precedent Magazine winter issue 2017 coverThis story is from our Winter 2017 Issue.