Are there too many lawyers in Canada? It’s a good question. I recently read an article that some law students or NCA students cannot find articling positions.
A top business person in Canada said that there are too many lawyers in Canada. There are tons of people that go to school and get their bachelors degrees.
The students still don’t know what they want to do next. Therefore, they apply for law school. Assuming they got good grades and can do a decent job on the LSAT, they are on their way to becoming lawyers.
Others skip the LSAT, go to law school in England or Australia, and then become NCA students back in Canada.
The top business person said that the trades have tons of work, but not enough people signing up for school.
The Legal Profession Job Market
The legal industry doesn’t have enough work, and people keep signing up for law school. If you are good with your hands, you should think about trades school instead of law school.
It’s not just about how much you can make per hour. It’s about how many hours you can get paid for.
If you make $85/hour in trades, but you can work 60 hour weeks, that’s better than getting paid $300/hour but not making much money because work so few hours.
Be careful of what law schools and the Law Societies tell you about job prospects. I highly recommend speaking to a lawyer before applying for law school.
Law schools and the Law Societies/ State Bars make money off people becoming lawyers and attorneys.
Law Schools Cost A Lot Of Money
Some young lawyers carry massive debt loads. With that debt, many lawyers then have to go open a law practice. They don’t even have enough money to spend on marketing.
Further, there are ongoing legal education fees and law society fees. These costs add up and add to your law practices debt load.
The job market is not good for lawyers and attorneys right now.
The funny thing is that at the same time, there is a problem with access to justice. Many people have a hard time finding a lawyer. You should Google “Adapting to the times National Magazine” to learn more.
Some call it the access to justice crisis. It’s worth looking into.
You can read other articles from Alistair Vigier below:
How Many Lawyers Are There In Canada?
There are 130,000 lawyers in Canada. That is a lot of lawyers for the population of the country.
Ontario has also added over 10,000 paralegals, who can do simple legal work (including some court work.) It is likely that other provinces will give rights to paralegals at some point as well.
In the United States, there are 1,300,000 attorneys practising. Given that the USA has 10X the population of Canada, the ratios of lawyers are around the same.
We highly recommend looking at other options besides law school. There is also currently a shortage of doctors in places like BC and Alberta. It is possible that other provinces are also desperate for doctors.
Canada is actually offering permanent residency to attract doctors from other countries. Hospitals have recruiting campaigns in places like Australia, England, and New Zealand.
If you think you could be a doctor instead of an attorney, you should consider it. Again, you should also think about the trades.
There are also a lot of jobs in engineering, especially when it comes to coding. Even if you become an attorney, many give up after a few years.
Being a lawyer, especially dealing with lawsuits and divorce, is super stressful!
Articling positions Canada | Too Many Lawyers In Canada?
My personal feeling is that if you cannot convince a managing partner to hire you as cheap labour, you will not be able to convince the judge of things either. Perhaps its a sign that litigation is not for you.
Even being a solicitor comes with having to be assertive. You will always have to deal with difficult people (sometimes your clients) as a solicitor.
If you are a law student or NCA student, you should consider writing articles for ClearWay Law (or submit your best work from law school.) This can help you get articles.
In conclusion, you should think about the things below before applying to become a lawyer in Canada. Do more research into each of them.
- the legal profession job market
- young lawyers debt load
- law societies fees
- how hard is it to get an articling position?
- legal education costs
- law schools cost
- the access to justice crisis
Author: Alistair Vigier. You can reach out to him on Linkedin.