This month’s spotlight shines on Andrew Schafer of Norton Rose Fulbright Canada LLP.
How did you first get involved with CLEBC?
I first became involved with CLEBC in 2008 as a co-author of Employment Standards in British Columbia: Annotated Legislation and Commentary. I am proud to still be involved with that publication because it is such a useful text for practitioners.
What are you currently working on (or have most recently worked on) with CLEBC?
I am currently the author of Employment Standards in British Columbia: Annotated Legislation and Commentary.
You practice in the area of labour and employment. What lead you to specialize in this area?
I articled at a large firm (Bull Housser & Tupper which is now Norton, Rose Fulbright) and the beauty of a full-service firm is that I got to try a number of practice areas. What set labour and employment apart for me was two things. First, I loved the people in my group from day one. Second, I enjoyed the personal aspect of the area. Work is a part of everyone’s life and I enjoy that every problem I help with has an element of relatability because I am helping real people in real-life scenarios.
What do you enjoy most about being a lawyer?
I like that no two days are the same. It really is a job that is great if you want a job that is not repetitive. I also like how interactive it is. Whether it is working with other lawyers in my office, or meeting with clients, so much of what we do is just communicating with people. To me, that makes work fun.
What is the most valuable piece of advice you have received?
The most valuable piece of advice I received is to be confident. Lawyers are very hard on themselves. That is part of what drives them to succeed. But it is always what places a great deal of strain on their mental health. Have confidence that if you put in an honest effort then you have the tools to succeed. Also, don’t beat yourself up about mistakes. That is the only way to learn.
Other than law, what are you passionate about?
My main passion is my family which consists of my wife (also a lawyer), two kids (six and four), and our cat. As for other interests I enjoy reading about history (if I wasn’t a lawyer I would want to be a history teacher) and watching sports, especially the Vancouver Canadians baseball team.
Anything you’d like to shamelessly promote? (favourite charity, social cause, etc.)
I would just say that in the past few years tensions have clearly been running high in all facets of our world for various reasons, COVID being one. I hope that when the world reopens we all step back and make a point to be nicer to one another and share a drink (I leave it to parties to decide what drink it is) from time to time.