My name is Saarah Shivji, and I have been a lawyer for seven years. I currently run my own
law practice in downtown Toronto in the areas of real estate, wills, civil litigation, and
Prior to entering law school, I took some time to get to know myself, my aptitudes, and my
values. I also explored a few different career paths, including politics, journalism, and business.
Eventually I determined that law school was the best fit for me.
As a lawyer and businesswoman, this career allows me to combine my passions for advocacy,
justice, and the spirit of entrepreneurship. Every day, I advise individuals and companies of
their legal rights and obligations. I am grateful that this career gives me ownership over my
income, a flexible schedule, and the freedom to be entrepreneurial in my work.
The accomplishments that mean the most to me are those which I have achieved on behalf of
my clients. Particularly when I win a large settlement for a litigation client who has just lost
their job, receive a letter notifying me that I have successfully garnished a debtor’s bank
account, or negotiate real estate or wills documents that I know will protect my client’s best
interests. Some milestones that I am proud of include being featured nationally by Canadian
Lawyer, speaking at community events, and receiving award nominations for my infographic
blog. These day-to- day wins keep me excited about my work, and give me the satisfying feeling
that I am adding value and making a positive difference for my clients and for the community.
My advice to others is to research and consider the pros and cons of all of the careers you
think you may be interested in, prior to committing to law school. Many aspiring lawyers
romanticize the legal profession without having a real understanding of what it entails,
particularly the work-life balance challenges and high attrition rate for women and women of
colour. If you decide that this is the best career for you, be prepared to work hard and disprove
those who might underestimate you. Explore different areas of practice as well as different
work arrangements, look for a good fit, and customize it to suit you and your style. Carve your
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