Unfortunately, the world isn’t perfect yet. Wouldn’t it be great to wake up and discover that world peace had been achieved, hunger and disease eradicated, and the climate crisis solved? It would be wonderful to rest easy, knowing that human rights had been granted to all, regardless of creed and origin, and that people are defaulting to kindness instead of violence. Those utopias, however, are far from our current reality.
In truth, we still need plenty of modern-day heroes to champion causes like human rights and climate justice. There have to be people out there standing up for things like the right to vote and education as a basic right. While the Eden described above may be far, it’s not out of reach, and there are people out there fighting the good fight every day.
One very potent way to enact change is to change the laws on the books. A clever enough litigator can bring cases before high courts, like the Supreme Court of Canada, and get unjust laws repealed. The same is true for a litigator outside Canada, presenting before the Supreme Court of the United States or any other country. So how does all this work? Let’s take a look at some specifics.
Labour Law and Human Rights Litigation
Two realms in which we can see a great number of notable cases that impact the lives of regular folks are labour law and human rights litigation. If one is looking to put their law degree to good use, there’s hardly a better area of the law in which to work. Granted, this type of work is bound to be complex litigation. Nevertheless, the fulfillment that comes with knowing that real people have more rights and can live their lives with dignity is worth all the complex litigation in the world. To see how this plays out in the real world, look no further than the storied career of Malliha Wilson, an impressive litigator who was the first visible minority to serve as Assistant Deputy Attorney General to the Ontario Government before launching and serving as Senior Counsel at her own law firm, Nava Wilson LLP. Malliha’s work in the realm of human rights and labour law earned her a Distinguished Career Award from the South Asian Bar Association, and for good reason.
Real Estate Law and Emerging Markets
There’s more than one way to have an impressive career as a lawyer, though. Suppose you’re not interested in contending with the Ministry of Labour or fighting for International human rights. In that case, you can use your extensive experience as an attorney of note to support emerging markets and entrepreneurs. Think about it—entrepreneurs in second- or third-world countries need a certain amount of income to boost their production and, therefore, their economy. Someone like David Lindahl understands the legal ins and outs of executing real estate deals within emerging markets that help local entrepreneurs make smart investments to ensure bright futures. Even a single-family home can go a long way to getting someone on the road to making a lot of money without much time invested as a property manager. One great resource for those looking to get into change-making on the world stage is the example provided by the likes of Lindahl.
There are plenty of opportunities to make the world a better place, regardless of your particular area of passion. Plus, there are some great role models out there who can show the way to do so. If you want to help people in your local region, there is a way to do so. If you want to take on the whole world, well, there’s a way to do that as well. Young lawyers would do well to take note of the impressive careers their predecessors have had.