Benefits abound when a law firm hires an intern. Lysenko Law’s four lawyers aid people in many ways, from helping them with wills and real estate transactions, to performing litigation and family law. Started in 2013 by owner Lilina Lysenko and based out of Rossland, with a newly opened Kimberley branch, the firm has experienced increased demand.
To maintain its commitment to high quality services and continue to thrive, in May 2021 it hired an intern: Kyrri Stewart, who had just graduated from the Legal Administrative Assistant program at Capilano University and had already fulfilled a two week practicum at the office. To bring her on full-time, the Trust’s career internship wage subsidy was vital. Without it, “We probably wouldn’t have hired her, and if we did, it might have only been part-time or casual,” says Elaine Seto, Office Manager.
Stewart’s duties include providing legal administration support for the lawyers, doing courthouse filings and preparing initial drafts of legal documents. She’s gaining experience while making an income, both of which will help her continue on her path to becoming a full fledged lawyer. “I am improving my ability to read cases and analyze facts, and I am learning how the law applies, which are important skills to have for law school,” says Stewart, who is currently finishing an undergraduate degree, a requirement for applying to law school, in environmental practice at Royal Roads University, alongside her job at Lysenko. “Working in a law firm also has provided me with practical and procedural knowledge that law school doesn’t necessarily provide, for example, drafting pleadings and the process for filing documents at the court registry, which is a great advantage.”
Lysenko Law also benefits. It gets the hands-on help it requires right now, plus it will hopefully have a new lawyer on the team when Stewart passes her bar. “She’s still a few years away from practising law,” Seto says, “but this opportunity gives us additional staff at a much needed time and gives her the experience she needs to continue a career in law.”
It’s also a win for the region. People have told the Trust that having a diverse and resilient economy is extremely important, one that’s supported by strong businesses, a trained workforce and sufficient job opportunities. This wage subsidy helps address all these aspects by enabling employers to create full-time, career focused positions that lead to permanent employment. “An internship is a great way to gain experience in my chosen field and learn from a great team,” says Stewart. “Plus, in this case it led to full-time, permanent employment for me, which I am thrilled about.”
Columbia Basin Trust