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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.

Robert Gold
Director, Business and Legal Affairs
Toronto International Film Festival

Law is in Robert Gold’s DNA. He hails from a family of lawyers and judges. His wife is a family lawyer, his brother is a criminal lawyer, his dad is a commercial real estate lawyer and his late grandfather was a top jurist who helped steer Canada out of several crises. So just imagine the delicious dinner table conversations in the Gold household. When Gold graduated from law school at the University of Toronto, he thought he might try his hand at litigation. He didn’t know it yet, but he had the perfect skill set to become an entertainment lawyer. He also had a deep passion for television and film. He quickly went from doing private practice commercial litigation at a boutique firm, to being on a team of in-house lawyers at an entertainment company, to being the only in-house lawyer at TIFF.

Robert Gold
Director, Business and Legal Affairs
Toronto International Film Festival

Law is in Robert Gold’s DNA. He hails from a family of lawyers and judges. His wife is a family lawyer, his brother is a criminal lawyer, his dad is a commercial real estate lawyer and his late grandfather was a top jurist who helped steer Canada out of several crises. So just imagine the delicious dinner table conversations in the Gold household. When Gold graduated from law school at the University of Toronto, he thought he might try his hand at litigation. He didn’t know it yet, but he had the perfect skill set to become an entertainment lawyer. He also had a deep passion for television and film. He quickly went from doing private practice commercial litigation at a boutique firm, to being on a team of in-house lawyers at an entertainment company, to being the only in-house lawyer at TIFF.

Robert Gold
Director, Business and Legal Affairs
Toronto International Film Festival

Law is in Robert Gold’s DNA. He hails from a family of lawyers and judges. His wife is a family lawyer, his brother is a criminal lawyer, his dad is a commercial real estate lawyer and his late grandfather was a top jurist who helped steer Canada out of several crises. So just imagine the delicious dinner table conversations in the Gold household. When Gold graduated from law school at the University of Toronto, he thought he might try his hand at litigation. He didn’t know it yet, but he had the perfect skill set to become an entertainment lawyer. He also had a deep passion for television and film. He quickly went from doing private practice commercial litigation at a boutique firm, to being on a team of in-house lawyers at an entertainment company, to being the only in-house lawyer at TIFF.

Robert Gold
Director, Business and Legal Affairs
Toronto International Film Festival

Law is in Robert Gold’s DNA. He hails from a family of lawyers and judges. His wife is a family lawyer, his brother is a criminal lawyer, his dad is a commercial real estate lawyer and his late grandfather was a top jurist who helped steer Canada out of several crises. So just imagine the delicious dinner table conversations in the Gold household. When Gold graduated from law school at the University of Toronto, he thought he might try his hand at litigation. He didn’t know it yet, but he had the perfect skill set to become an entertainment lawyer. He also had a deep passion for television and film. He quickly went from doing private practice commercial litigation at a boutique firm, to being on a team of in-house lawyers at an entertainment company, to being the only in-house lawyer at TIFF.

VC:

TIFF is regarded as the best and most influential festival in the world – tell us about your work with this cultural organization?

RG:

I am the only full-time lawyer with the Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF). I started in September 2015 and two months later my hands were full with my twin boys. I work with different areas of law including entertainment law, commercial contracts, intellectual property, technology, and charity. It’s incredibly rewarding.

VC:

What are some pivotal personal or professional experiences that have particularly influenced your career to date?

RG:

My late grandfather Alan B. Gold was the Chief Justice of the Quebec Superior Court. When I was about 7 years-old he negotiated a settlement between the Quebec and Federal governments and the Mohawk people in the Oka crisis. He was a big influence in my life. He would say, “You can do anything you want but your mind is too good to waste on anything but the law.” This was his pitch and it worked.

VC:

Why entertainment law? What was appealing about this area?

RG:

I remember the feeling I had the first time I ever walked by a film set – I knew I wanted to be part of that world. It’s so exciting to have so many people from different areas of the creative industries working together to create something original – I really enjoy all the moving parts and the process. I made the decision very early on that I wanted to work with creative people. Then when I was summering at Goodmans LLP in 2008 – my interest in the entertainment world increased. I always like good writing and good dialogue and witty use of language. I watched The West Wing when I was too young to understand half of what was going on, but I loved it. I appreciate movies and TV shows that are cinematically beautiful but writing trumps all. The Wire was a favourite and it may have influenced me to be an entertainment lawyer and my brother to be a criminal lawyer.

VC:

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

RG:

I was impressed with the LPP candidate – given his experience – we hired Joseph Cuyegkeng. I liked Joseph from the start. He is smart and efficient. The entertainment realm is small and it’s difficult to land jobs as there aren’t many positions. So, it was important for us to have a candidate that genuinely likes entertainment law.

VC:

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

RG:

We had an exhibition at TIFF and we had 40 contracts that looked very similar. Joseph reviewed them and quickly flagged what was unique to each of them and proposed new language where necessary. I was impressed by his attention to detail.

VC:

How would you compare your own articling experience to the experience the LPP candidates are receiving?

RG:

I articled at a big Bay Street firm. It was a 10-month process and I was in a group of about 15-20 people from different law schools. We did a lot of things together. I like the idea of doing different things and learning different things, which is an experience I hope to have given to Joseph.

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?

RG:

More and more organizations seem to want to have an in-house lawyer. More non-traditional roles are coming up. And unpackaged services are an option for an appetite that isn’t for the standard retainer fees. Outsourcing legal work seems to be increasingly popular. There is a growing demand to explore new legal avenues that are not traditional and there is an increasing push to digitize legal content and use less paper. I think the LPP is keeping up with the changes and staying ahead of the curve.

VC:

What is the best advice you’ve received about the legal profession?

RG:

I remember David Shore, the Canadian writer and former lawyer who created the TV show House. He spoke at my law school graduation at the University of Toronto in 2009 and he talked about the idea of people either thinking that being a lawyer is going to be the perfect job for them or going into law because it’s a transition into other areas – neither of which are always true. David said something like, “There is no such thing as a perfect fit.” He didn’t dislike his role as a municipal lawyer nor does he like everything about being a writer in LA! What he said stayed with me and taught me to explore new avenues, even if they were outside of my comfort zone. At TIFF we are working on new digital initiatives and there is a shift in the way content is being delivered. I am excited to be part of this trend.