Prominent Sudbury Lawyer Tells Radio Audience, “Everything You Read Will Be Useful To You Sometime”

Edward James Conroy took on his first case in 1954. Today, after a 54 year career, he is still considered one of Sudbury ’s most respected criminal and civil litigation lawyers as a partner in the firm of Conroy Trebb Scott Hurtubise LLB.

“Ted” Conroy was the special guest on “Inside Education”, a local talk show on CKLU 96.7 FM that is broadcast live every Monday evening at 6 p.m.from Laurentian University. Robert Kirwan, an Independent Education & Career Development Specialist who operates a private practice called The Greater Sudbury Learning Clinic, is the creator and host of the program which consists of an engaging conversation with a person from a different career field each week. The purpose of the show is to provide listeners with some valuable down-to-earth insight and information which may prove helpful for those who are considering following a similar career path.

“Law is not as comfortable a place in terms of a career choice today. The business side of the profession is taking over more and more of our time than it did in the past. But I can think of nothing else I would rather do. I still get up each morning to go to work with the same excitement and passion I had 54 years ago and I intend to continue to practice law as long as I am having fun and enjoy what I am doing,” explained Conroy who was wearing a tie that was given to him by a former client. “This tie was given to me by a man I once represented in a trial. He appreciated the work I had done for him and said he wanted to give me something that expressed what he felt was my greatest strength. It says ‘Concern For People’ and it really hit home. I think that is one of the most important things you must have if you are going to be a successful lawyer, a concern for people.”

Conroy, who was born in Kirkland Lake , moved to Sudbury early in his life when his father took up employment in the mining industry. He recalled how he first became interested in law. “Back when I was attending what is now known as Sudbury Secondary School I didn’t know anything about law. This was in the days before television glorified the profession. But one of my teachers told me that I would be a good lawyer because I had a ‘love of words’ and a ‘love of reading’. So I would skip school once in a while and go over to the courthouse on Elm Street to watch some of the trials. I liked what the lawyers were doing and I thought I might be good at it myself. That’s where the fire was lit and where it all started: from skipping school to go to the courthouse to watch lawyers in action.”

In fact, both Conroy and Kirwan are strong advocates of “job shadowing” and encourage young people to get out and see people actually performing the work involved in any career in which they may have an interest. It is the best way to determine if the career is really what you want for yourself. Watch others perform and see all that has to be done during a day or two. Only then will you see what is actually involved in a particular field.

Over the years Conroy has been involved in just about every area of law you can imagine, from teaching at the university level to real estate and wills, but his true passion lies in representing people in criminal and civil litigation cases that often go to trial. “It’s all about being able to look at all sides of a problem, understand the facts, and then communicating your side of the story to a judge in order to have a decision that favours your client. You must become an expert at reading, listening and then presenting your case clearly and effectively orally in a style and manner which will be understood and convincing. Usually, by the time you actually get into court you know what the decision will likely be, so it is merely a matter of summarizing your position and affecting the most positive outcome for your client.”

“There is one very important thing every young person should remember. No matter what career you get into, there is nothing you will ever learn or read that doesn’t help you in some way. Nothing you read is useless.” He gave the example of a case he once handled where he had to go to trial to defend a client who was involved in a motor vehicle accident. Prior to the trial date, Conroy was in the waiting room at his dentist’s office and was browsing through some of the old magazines. He came across an article that was about Datsun vehicles and the fact that they were notorious for having throttles that would stick in cold weather. His client happened to be driving a Datsun at the time of the accident. “During the trial I brought in a mechanic as an expert witness and asked him if Datsun’s had a problem with throttles sticking in cold weather. He said yes and the trial judge dropped the charges against my client. So I always say that you should read everything you can get your hands on and you should always be looking for an opportunity to learn something new because you never know when it will come in handy. I can honestly tell you that nothing you ever learn will be useless. You will use it at some point in your life.”

Conroy encourages young people to consider pursuing a career in law. “The world is becoming so very complex today. New laws are being passed all the time and it takes a great deal of effort to keep up to date. Even if you don’t become a lawyer, there are a lot of supporting careers as law clerks, legal assistants and paralegals that allow you to get into the field and play a huge role in the success of a firm. We have about nineteen people in our office. Only six of us are lawyers and we have two students who are apprenticing, but everyone in the office is part of the team and we all depend upon each other for support. It is a team effort today because it is impossible to be an expert in everything.”

He made a point of informing his listeners that he has learned over the years that “everybody is an expert at something”. He has called upon “expert witnesses” from time to time during trials from just about every area you can imagine. “The key to having a successful career is to find something you are good at and that you enjoy and then make it your goal to become the best you can be. Whether it is in law, teaching, medicine, business, technology or anything you can think of, make sure it is what you want and then make it your passion. You will be successful if you are prepared to work hard. There is a place for everyone.”

Conroy concluded his interview by reiterating the fact that a love of learning must be instilled within every child from a very early age. “Communication is the key to everything. You must be in love with reading. It doesn’t matter whether you are reading comic books, reading articles on the computer, in magazines or in books. Just get into the habit of reading everything you can get your hands on. Also learn to listen carefully to other people because about 90% of our time is spent listening. You must then be able to draw upon all the information you have gathered by from reading and listening to speak with clarity in order to communicate your ideas to others. There is no point in having all of this knowledge if you can’t tell others about it. I once heard a story about Winston Churchill who was asked to give a five minute speech. He told the person that it would take him three hours to prepare. When asked why it would take so long he stated that if he had longer to prepare he could make the speech shorter.”
            Edward James Conroy: a tribute to his profession. Mr. Conroy promised that he would take time to come back again as a guest at some time during the upcoming year to once again speak to the youth of the community. For a complete list of guests who have already been booked up until the end of June, you can visit the web site at Inside Education is broadcast live every Monday at 6 p.m. on CKLU 96.7 FM.


The Learning Clinic is The Private Practice of
Robert Kirwan, B.A. (Math), M.A. (Education), OCT
4456 Noel Crescent, Val Therese, ON P3P 1S8
Phone: (705) 969-7215    Email:

Copyright © 2010 All Rights Reserved by
Infocom Canada Business Consultants Inc.