Median Salary: $79,996 Change in salary (2006–2012): +14%
Total employees: 50,800
Once upon a time, lawyers fell into two groups: criminal and corporate. Today, the profession features a multitude of specializations, from tax and competition law to pensions and intellectual-property law.
How to qualify: Law students are increasingly combining the traditional law school degree with another more specialized degree, such as an MBA, to be able to better apply the law to a specialized niche.
Money: According to Canadian Lawyer’s 2012 salary survey, compensation for law firm associates and in-house counsel ranged from $72,500 to $108,000.
Opportunity: In Ontario, new grads are facing an articling bottleneck—last year, hundreds were unable to get the 10-month apprenticeship they need to become licensed. But the industry is exploring alternative ways for lawyers to get called to the bar. Overall, legal hiring is picking up in Toronto, according to a report by staffing agency Robert Half, especially for those with backgrounds in litigation and corporate law, and energy-sector employment remains high.
What it’s like: Mitch Frazer, a partner at Torys LLP in Toronto, says the first year of being a lawyer is the worst. “There’s never a distinction between a lawyer that’s been practising for a minute or 20 years—you’re expected to step up and do the job. You’ll learn more in that year than you will in your entire career—but I’d never want to be a first-year lawyer again.”