Derek MacLeod Land

Derek MacLeod Land
Grad Year: 
Political Science
Social Science, Education & Religion
Blackburn English

Derek MacLeod Land works as a lawyer in a small suburban general practice firm in Bedford, Nova Scotia.

“I enjoy the work. Unlike many of my colleagues in larger firms, I have the opportunity to manage my own files, meet with my own clients, and take my practice in whatever direction that I find most rewarding and interesting,” says Derek, who went on to earn his LL.B. from Dalhousie after graduating from UTM.

“Written and verbal communication skills are paramount. Patience, time and stress management are also important.”

Derek assumed a supervisory role in the front office of a Mississauga hotel immediately after graduation—he had worked there throughout his four years at UTM—and in the September following graduation, he found a position with Revenue Canada as a Collection Contact Officer.

“I obtained that position through a competition posted on the UTM Career Centre job board. It was only open to individuals holding degrees. The process actually started during the final few months of my last term at UTM, so I really didn't have a job search beyond that. After 18 months as Collection Contact Officer, I was promoted to Collection Enforcement Officer, a position I held until September of 1999, when I enrolled in Dalhousie Law School,” says Derek, who returned to work at Revenue Canada for the summer following his first year at Dalhousie.

“After my second year at Dalhousie, I joined Cox Hanson O'Reilly Matheson, a large Atlantic Canadian law firm, as a summer student. I articled there for a year after I graduated from Dalhousie and after being called to the Nova Scotia Bar in June of 2003, I started working at Blackburn English, a small firm in Bedford, Nova Scotia. I am grateful for the assistance of the career centre in facilitating my first career.”

Derek, who is a member of the Canadian Bar Association and Nova Scotia Barristers' Society, says a University of Toronto degree is very highly regarded in the Maritimes.

“My University of Toronto degree may have had an impact in my search for an articling position,” he says.

His advice?

“Work hard and play harder.”