Top

LPP Experience

Ryerson’s Law Practice Program (LPP) is fast becoming the cutting-edge program where creativity and innovation intersect at the highest levels, providing a competitive and rigorous experience. The LPP inspires candidates and employers to explore new trends and perspectives of practising law. The program gives qualified licensing Candidates the opportunity to get Called to the Ontario Bar. The LPP is designed to maximize opportunities. It recognizes where people come from and prepares them for where they are going.

Journalist Veronica Chail, brings together LPP candidates and employers to share their personal stories.

Alexa Abiscott
General Counsel and Corporate Secretary
Sheridan College

Alexa Abiscott has masterfully used her role as General Counsel and Corporate Secretary at Sheridan College to showcase that brainpower is the currency of success. As a founding member of the Women’s General Counsel Chapter (WGCC) of the Women’s Law Association of Ontario, Alexa is an agent of change and sees the future in the faces of Sheridan students.

Alexa Abiscott
General Counsel and Corporate Secretary
Sheridan College

Alexa Abiscott has masterfully used her role as General Counsel and Corporate Secretary at Sheridan College to showcase that brainpower is the currency of success. As a founding member of the Women’s General Counsel Chapter (WGCC) of the Women’s Law Association of Ontario, Alexa is an agent of change and sees the future in the faces of Sheridan students.

Alexa Abiscott
General Counsel and Corporate Secretary
Sheridan College

Alexa Abiscott has masterfully used her role as General Counsel and Corporate Secretary at Sheridan College to showcase that brainpower is the currency of success. As a founding member of the Women’s General Counsel Chapter (WGCC) of the Women’s Law Association of Ontario, Alexa is an agent of change and sees the future in the faces of Sheridan students.

Alexa Abiscott
General Counsel and Corporate Secretary
Sheridan College

Alexa Abiscott has masterfully used her role as General Counsel and Corporate Secretary at Sheridan College to showcase that brainpower is the currency of success. As a founding member of the Women’s General Counsel Chapter (WGCC) of the Women’s Law Association of Ontario, Alexa is an agent of change and sees the future in the faces of Sheridan students.

VC:

Tell us a little about your practice/organization:

AA:

I joined Sheridan in October 2012. The role was originally designed to deal with contracts and privacy matters; however, over the years, it has expanded significantly to include advising on strategic matters that involve the entire institution. Sheridan is a college that is transitioning to become a university. The Office of General Counsel supports the Board of Governors, myriad stakeholders and risk management. Every day is a different day. It is challenging, varied, at times unpredictable, and very rewarding.

VC:

Please share some pivotal personal or professional experiences that have particularly influenced your career to date:

AA:

During my high school law class, my best friend and I would often joke that we would be judges one day. Ironically, I did become the first lawyer in my family. I attended the Claude Watson School for the Arts in Toronto. It provided an environment of creativity, flexibility and versatility – this allowed me the foundation to cultivate my individuality and intellectual freedom. My mom is a child psychologist and my dad a stockbroker. They always encouraged my brother and me to be creative and independent.

During my undergraduate years, I studied anthropology at McGill University. I was an anthropologist-in-training and I had been accepted into a Master’s program. One of my colleagues came back from a field trip and shared some poignant experiences. He said the world did not need another anthropologist, but rather a social worker. It got me thinking. I decided to defer the Master’s program. Instead, I ended up working at the University of Montreal for a law professor who encouraged me to go to law school.

Prior to joining the Sheridan team – I was a litigator – where I had exposure to diverse, challenging and interesting civil matters. I was fortunate to work as a lawyer at a Bay Street law firm for 8 years. I was trained by excellent litigators and mentors who have high standards and records of success. Being a litigator was a great foundation for the transition to a general counsel position.

VC:

Tell us about your experience with the LPP, in particular during the work placement with your candidate:

AA:

I had heard about the possible program before it was finalized by the Law Society and I put in a letter of support for the LPP. As we foster a culture of creativity and innovation at Sheridan, the LPP was the right fit for my office. In the Office of General Counsel at Sheridan, we look for candidates who can hit the ground running. We are a growing law department and there is a heavy volume of work that covers diverse issues and topics. I think the virtual backdrop for the LPP gives candidates a competitive edge. I have been consistently impressed with the caliber of individuals that we have trained through the LLP. We look forward to hosting another candidate in January.

VC:

Is there a particularly memorable moment/story that stands out for you during the work placement?

AA:

It was fantastic to watch our LPP candidates consistently rise to the occasion. Most recently, I was impressed by our current candidate’s capabilities and work ethic. As it was the right timing, and he was the right fit, we have offered him a position to join our Office of General Counsel team and are thrilled that he has accepted the position.

VC:

How would you compare your own articling experience to the experience the LPP candidates are receiving? Please share any specific stories or anecdotes that come to mind.

AA:

It was a completely different experience. I went through 4 rotations and I articled for a year to complete my articling experience at a firm on Bay Street. I think it is a testament to the program that LPP candidates can be exposed to an intense placement experience in 4 months. In my office, we have a significant and demanding work flow. It is also a fast-paced environment. As a result, I think the LLP experience is one that is truly enriched, as compared to a traditional law firm experience. I think it is beneficial for candidates to be in an in-house environment where there is exposure to real time problem solving, stakeholder engagement and understanding the impact of a lawyer’s role on operational and policy matters.

VC:

During your career, what changes have you seen in the legal profession? What are your thoughts about the LPP and how the program fits with these changes? Do you see expanded opportunities as a result, within the profession?

AA:

When I was first in law school, we were definitely encouraged to join the Bay Street “conveyer belt”. Now, there seems to be more recognition and appreciation for the value of innovation and emphasis on other possible non-traditional avenues for success in the legal profession. The paradigm of billable hourly fees is definitely shifting and alternative services models are being more commonly used. At the end of the day, I value practicality and value for service and that is why the LPP resonates with me and the work we do at Sheridan. The LPP is innovative, versatile and, in our case, has truly proven to open doors to a rewarding legal career for our candidates.