This is the fourth post in our series "How I Became a Freelance Lawyer" by our Flex Lawyers. Today's post is by Laura Chaves Paz:
After finishing law school in Canada, I started looking for opportunities to work in international law with clients seeking advice on how to navigate the challenges of moving across different legal jurisdictions. I wanted to use my skills, and my personal experience, as a multicultural lawyer, to help others in an increasingly globalized world.
I am not a typical lawyer. I have a law degree from Argentina, a LLM from the US and a civil law degree and common law degree from McGill in Canada. You might say my legal career spans from the South to the North Pole. My focus has been diverse, including labour law, criminal law, constitutional law, international law, and immigration law. I have had the opportunity to live in many countries and experience different cultures and languages.
I have experience working with clients from different parts of the world and also from different legal systems. This includes drafting legal norms for the legislative branch in Bosnia & Herzegovina, working with grassroots organization to create new criminal laws on trafficking in Latin America, and advising clients on labour issues in Argentina and Canada.
With such broad interests and experiences, it was difficult finding a job that allowed me to combine these skills with the flexibility to work on a variety of topics. I first started as a consultant for organizations in Canada and around the world and in that capacity experienced the freedom that comes with being a freelance lawyer. I quickly realized that I could use my unique legal background and experiences to assist other lawyers and law firms.
Every day brings new challenges. To navigate those challenges, I not only get to use my legal skills but also my creative, business, and networking skills. I love the variety of legal issues I work on and the people I meet on any given day – from an employment contract to helping a family sponsor a refugee.
Managing my own freelance lawyer practice also allows me to embrace my other passions in life like art and design and allows me to balance family life and friends with work.