Top female associates dish on life in Big Law

Sept 1, 2015

Daniel Fish, Precedent


Precedent sits down with star associates from seven of the top firms in Toronto to find out what it takes to make it on Bay Street – and what Big Law life is really like. Osler’s Victoria Au joins the conversation.

Day-to-day life on Bay Street

Daniel: How often do you work on weekends?

Victoria: I work about half a day every weekend. And I use that time to clear out non-urgent work: commenting on documents or reviewing agreements that aren’t urgent. This prevents my upcoming week from being crazy.

How to thrive at the firm

Daniel: How do you get up to speed once you start working?

Victoria: Getting thrown into unknown situations again and again is really what helps you develop as a lawyer.

Daniel: Do any of you feel pressure to bring in clients?

Victoria: I don’t feel any pressure, but I keep it in the back of my mind. One of my friends, for instance, is the COO at a mid-size company and they’re looking to change counsel. So over dinner, I said, ‘Oh, you need commercial contracts reviewed? We can set up a plan for that. I’m happy to talk further or put you in touch with partners.’

Keeping your head above water

Daniel: How does everyone else deal with stress?

Victoria: I get the most stressed when I let work take over my life. For example, I play on three softball teams. So, even if I’m swamped, I’ll try to make it to my game and return to work when it’s over. If I skip the game, I’m going to feel more down on myself.

Read the full article in Precedent’s 2015 Student Issue.