Canadian attorneys are lawyers who’re licensed to practice law in Canada. Like their American counterparts, Canadian lawyers typically need a bachelor’s degree and a law degree before taking their bar exam. Once they pass the bar exam, they’re licensed to practice law.
Canadian legal fields are divided into public law, such as criminal law, and private law, such as family law. Lawyers choose a legal specialty and provide legal services related to that field of law. Lawyers can help shape national and provincial laws by successfully presenting cases before the Supreme Court of Canada or the Court of Appeal for a province or territory. There are many outstanding Canadian lawyers. Read on to learn about three of the top attorneys in Canada.
1. Malliha Wilson
Attorney Malliha Wilson has multiple legal specialties, including human rights law, Indigenous law, corporate law, and constitutional law. She also presents clients with labor law cases. Lawyers specializing in corporate and labor law can prevent workplace conflicts from occurring. Businesses can hire corporate and labor law specialists to advise them on hiring practices and workplace regulations to ensure they respect the rights of employees.
Labour law attorneys also represent people who’ve faced workplace discrimination or wrongful dismissal. Suppose a person’s up for a promotion, but the promotion’s given to a less qualified applicant because the company’s management disapproves of the qualified employee’s sexual orientation or religion.
Lawyers like Malliha represent those workers to fight for their rights. Malliha draws on over 30 years of experience working for the Ontario Court of Appeal. Malliha’s also appeared before the Supreme Court of Canada and is prepared to take her client’s fight to the highest court in the nation. Malliha studied at McGill University and York University. She graduated from the Osgoode Hall Law School in 1981.
2. Christa Big Canoe
Since June 2021, headlines worldwide have reported on the discoveries of unmarked graves at residential schools in Canada. Indigenous persons maintain that residential schools were part of a government-sanctioned attempt to commit genocide against Indigenous persons residing within Canada’s borders. The discovery of these graves has heightened awareness of Indigenous issues in Canada, including the fight for police reform and government action to protect Indigenous women and girls.
From 2013 to 2016, Christa Big Canoe worked on the National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls (MMIWG) as lead counsel. During her career, Christa has presented cases to local, provincial, and federal courts, including the Supreme Court of Canada.
Today, she’s the legal director for Aboriginal Legal Services in Toronto. She’s represented clients fighting to receive First Nations status and handled sexual discrimination cases. Christa earned her undergraduate degree from the University of Calgary and earned her law degree from the University of Toronto. She’s been practicing law since 2001 and is committed to fighting for justice for Indigenous persons in Canada.
3. Anne McLellan
Anne McLellan is familiar with complex litigation and has years of experience in law and politics. Anne was elected as the Member of Parliament (MP) for Edmonton Northwest in 1993 and served as MP until 2006. During her time in government, Anne served as Canada’s Minister of Justice from 1997 to 2002, when she became the Minister of Health. As the Minister of Justice, Anne helped craft and implement anti-terror laws after the September 11, 2001 attacks on the United States.
Since leaving politics, Anne’s put her degrees from Dalhousie University and Kings College to use in the legal field. Anne works for Bennett Jones law firm in Edmonton, Alberta. She assumed a role as a special advisor to Prime Minister Justin Trudeau in 2019 and has advised Trudeau on western alienation. Anne also worked on the task force for cannabis legalization and regulation in Canada and helped prepare the final report for the government.
Canadian lawyers handle various legal cases, including labor law cases and sexual discrimination cases. They can also develop laws and government policies at the provincial and federal levels. Three of the top lawyers in Canada today include Malliha Wilson, Christa Big Canoe, and Anne McLellan.