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With the benefit of experience

With the benefit of experience

By Chavala Kobluk

Previous career skills make later lawyers an asset to firms. In 2012 at the age of 35, after years away from university, I decided to return to complete my undergraduate degree. I lived in residence full-time and (unlike the typical student) did not leave during the summer months. I noticed that the rent would fluctuate each semester and seemed to increase. I questioned this numerous times with the director with no success. I decided to research my rights as a tenant. I soon discovered the residence had been overcharging me and many others for years. After months of documenting information and arguing back and forth with lawyers, the residence was forced to rewrite their contracts for one-bedroom apartments as well as reimburse the amount overpaid. This win was based on my passion for respecting the law but also helped by my previous career experience as a communications and international public relations professional which gave me an advantage over younger residents to see it to the end. I knew immediately that I had discovered my purpose – to practise law. Now, at 41, I will be completing my first year of law school. Don’t underrate life experience Experience and maturity is an advantage that younger lawyers starting out simply cannot match. Here are four skills that later lawyers have: a drive and tenacity to work much harder – we have left the security of our previous careers, potentially putting pressure on lifestyle and family

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