Ronald G. Renzini
I first became interested in becoming a lawyer at an early age. There wasn’t any one defining moment. By grade 12 at St. Charles College, I knew I wanted to be a lawyer.
I wanted to get a head start at being a lawyer so after my 3rd year at Law School at the University of Toronto, I obtained a summer job at a law firm.
I recall being in the middle of the secretary’s pool for the summer. I learned to search titles at the Registry Office and file court documents and get a general sense of what being a lawyer was all about.
When I started practicing as a lawyer I sort of fell into litigation as the senior partner was an experienced commercial lawyer who did real estate and corporate work. The other partner was a general practitioner who also did criminal law so I gravitated towards doing the litigation for the senior partner and assisting the other partner in his criminal cases. Over time, I developed a substantial criminal practice on my own together with my civil practice.
My main mentor was the senior partner in the firm. I learned that being a lawyer was a serious responsibility as you were dealing with important matters for your clients. I learned to be professional and careful in your dealings with clients and especially, paying attention to detail in your work as a lawyer.
I also was influenced by my dealings with two lawyers who were members of the Federal and Provincial parliament. One lawyer, James Jerome, eventually became Speaker of the House in Ottawa. The other lawyer / politician was Elmer Sopha, who was a member of the Provincial Parliament.
I would speak to their cases and obtain their adjournments while they were in Parliament.
I believe that a lawyer learns by the example of senior practitioners. You see their professionalism in court and how they interact with their clients.
I recognized at an early stage in my career that the power of one was important and your personality and dealings with clients made a difference.
Most lawyers try to give back to their profession. I was involved in the Sudbury and District Law Association for several years and I was President of the Law Association for one year.
I have been a member of the Legal Aid Committee for many years including acting as Chairman of the Committee. This is a voluntary panel that hears appeals and listens to persons who have been denied legal aid.
I always found this work rewarding and interesting.
In terms of career achievements, I have had several court cases that have been reported in the Ontario Reports, legal publication that is sent to all lawyers in Ontario.
I believe that a lawyer is most proud of achieving the best result for his client and completing the work on behalf of a client.
A lot of times, there is a negotiation and resolution early in the dispute saving the client money and less stress.
In terms of your public image, I would hope to be known as a professional person who is honest and forthright with not only his client but with the other counsel and the court.
I am proud to be a lawyer and I believe that it s an honourable profession.