Lane Perry | Smithers
Aug 15 2019 - My name is Lane Perry, and I am heading into my third and final year of law school in September. Currently, however, I am working at Perry & Company in Smithers. Perry & Company is particularly special to me. My grandfather started the firm in 1951, and my dad currently practices at the firm. Having the opportunity to work with and learn from my dad was something that I have been looking forward to for a long time, and it has been a great experience.
During this summer, I had the opportunity to immerse myself into the practice of law. There has been a healthy balance struck between having some independence as a temporary articled student while still having the confidence to trust that I can call upon the partners if I am unsure of anything. My principal, Sean Rowell, always has his office door open and is receptive to all questions. He makes sure that I have a sturdy understanding of the task at hand before I start on any assignment. Gail Cole, Ingrid Dykstra and the other legal support staff at the office have proven to be excellent resources to assist me in all matters, and I have gained a deep appreciation for all their hard work and knowledge.
I consider myself fortunate to have had exposure to such diverse areas of practice. Subjects of law that I have worked in this summer has included civil litigation, wills and estates, family law, contract law, employment, insurance, real estate and commercial transactions. I have already learned a lot, and I am thankful for the opportunity to get such a diverse set of experience this summer.
Smithers, for those who do not know (and no judgement if so), is a small community nestled in northern British Columbia. It has a population of approximately 5,500 people, but there are many families that live outside of Smithers who rely on the town for groceries, schools, hospital, etc. It has everything one needs to survive while also being able to satisfy many of the “wants” people may have. There includes a large amount of tourist activities that attract people to Smithers. These activities include fishing (fly fishing, lure fishing, ice fishing in the winter), boating, floating, kayaking, hiking, camping, mountain biking, cycling, snowboarding, skiing (cross-country, downhill and backcountry), golf, hockey, soccer and many other activities. It is a town of all seasons that provides opportunity for adventure year-round.
My activities outside of work have kept me busy this summer. Because of the healthy work-life balance available in Smithers, I have been able to say “yes” to opportunities for adventure many times this summer. I travelled to Alaska to fish in the Pacific Ocean, successfully bringing home some fresh Chinook Salmon. More locally, I fished both the Skeena river and Bulkley river, and Babine Lake. These trips involved spotting grizzly bears, black bears, cinnamon bears, deer, moose, eagles, porpoises, whales, seals and other wildlife that makes British Columbia beautiful and wild.
I also participated in a soccer tournament in Prince Rupert, helping the local Smithers team place first during Prince Rupert’s annual Seafest Festival. Last, I was also able to take advantage of the countryside by helping my family with farming activities such as fencing, haying, tending to chickens and watering large gardens. These kinds of activities are unique to living in the north, but are all activities that make the north so special.
The community of Smithers is full of opportunity. It offers everything anyone would ever need and more. There are cafes, restaurants, breweries and all kinds of other shops that leave you not needing to leave Smithers to buy anything you may otherwise want. Smithers, for me, was “home” before university, and will be “home” after university. I encourage anyone who is considering the REAL program to trust that it is a valuable experience that can provide opportunity for true, genuine and full exposure into what life is like as a practicing lawyer in rural areas of British Columbia. There is a need for lawyers in the north, and the REAL program is an excellent way to get exposure without the need for any serious commitment.