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Lawyer - Environmental Non-Profit

"I represent clients in criminal and civil litigation and other legal proceedings, draw up legal documents, and manage or advise clients on legal transactions. To do this well, I must be an exceptional researcher and systematic thinker. I need to examine precedents and diverse legal documentation and engage different people from colleagues to clients to experts. However, to succeed I need to translate evidence into a compelling and evidence-based story, both in text and orally."

Salary Range:

$80,000 - $180,000

The Tip

Today the core skills of communication are increasing in demand. The ability to persuade people through evidence-based storytelling is foundational for any senior professional’s success.

Priority Knowledge & Skills
Evidence-based Decision Making
  • Select appropriate legal strategies based on research and best practices

  • Provide appropriate resources to help educate my clients on their legal options

  • Provide sound assessment and guidance for my clients based on past legal decisions

Advanced Research & Analysis Skills
  • Critically analyze case law

  • Synthesize key themes from multiple sources/jurisdictions

Knowledge of Human Behaviour
  • Able to relate to a wide range of individuals

  • Broad expertise in current events, especially those related to environmental issues

  • Guide exploration of difficult topics

Sensitivity to how behaviours are shaped by circumstances, privilege, experience & attitudes

Advanced Communication Skills
  • Sensitivity to how communication is shaped by circumstances, authorship and intended audience

  • Formulate and defend positions

  • Apply written vocabulary to legal matters


Inter-personal Skills
  • Work with diverse populations

  • Verbally formulate and defend positions for my client with other legal professionals

  • Empathetic

Intra-personal Skills
  • Manage stress and remain calm during a crisis

  • Self-aware and able to manage bias

  • Control emotions when dealing with difficult clients and lawyers


Additional Skills
  • Strong organizational skills

  • Intentional curiosity and thoughtful creativity

  • Self-motivated, independent, hardworking

Strong time management skills

Building Block Experiences
Education & Learning:
  • Bachelor of Arts (Psychology–Honours)

  • J.D. (law degree)

  • Understand the science of human decision-making and motivation by reading books like Daniel Kahneman’s Thinking Fast and Slow and Dan Ariely’s Predictably Irrational

  • Attend conferences, workshops and training seminars each year to improve my skills and legal knowledge


I never intended to study law, but my major in psychology introduced me to the importance of research and rigour and this led to my interest in law. Psychology proved to be a very logical bridge to a career in law.


Employment Experiences:
  • Residence leader at university

  • Worked as a research assistant for a lawyer who was looking for a student to do research on eyewitness testimony and how it relates to the environment in oil and gas issues. My course in human memory helped in this regard.

  • Was the vice-president of our Psychology Student Society

  • Worked three summers at a global environmental nonprofit. I mentored under their regional in-house counsel.

  • Volunteered on a crisis phone line providing support to the public


I learned how to be flexible and thrive within ambiguity. I learned how to rely on others and to be relied upon. I got comfortable in a fast-paced environment with high potential for the unexpected. My experience allows me to control my emotions, so stressful situations don’t escalate. I always practice the best ways to check in with people and how to defuse tension.


Community Experiences:
  • Local charity event coordinator. I have been involved in events like local runs to support breast and prostate cancer research and fun runs to support the development of local wetlands.

  • I have also volunteered at local events to assist immigrants acclimatize to our Canadian culture and systems


I manage a team of volunteers when I am organizing a local charity event. From this, I learned how to get tasks done with individuals who aren’t acting under traditional rewards or penalties.


Contextual Experiences:
  • I was a varsity track and field athlete in university

  • Moving to a different university to do my law degree was an asset— different schools exposed me to different points of view regarding social and legal issues that will affect my law practice.


I developed a strong work ethic and a reputation for getting things done no matter what. The discipline required in a high-performance team sport taught me the importance of coordination and leadership.


  • I sought to foster good working relationships with all the people I became dependent upon for deliverables. They need to know me well enough to understand my intentions.


I understand motivation and how or why people do what they do. I need to know how to read people and know who’s having a bad day and how to deal with that, so I always get the best out of them.

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