Canadians can study law in Australia and come home to practise

Andra Enescu is one of a growing number of Toronto lawyers trained at Bond University
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Andra Enescu

Andra Enescu
Cassels Brock & Blackwell LLP
Securities Group
Year of Call: 2014

In the winter of 2009, Andra Enescu hopped on a plane in Toronto and took off for Australia to start law school at Bond University. She still remembers the day she landed in the stunning Gold Coast. “If I’m going to do something as hard as law school,” thought the then-23-year-old, “at least I’ll be in the best place ever.”

And look at Enescu now: as an associate in the securities group at Cassels Brock & Blackwell LLP, she’s a legal dynamo, working on high-end business deals and pitching the firm to potential corporate clients.

It’s a top-shelf job that requires skills that can’t be faked. “Securities is not easy,” she says. “If you have a poor legal foundation you’ll fall apart.” Fortunately, Enescu has always felt ahead of the curve — thanks in large part to her education Down Under. In particular, she credits the practical-skills training at the core of Bond’s curriculum. In almost every course, Bond students learn how to draft legal documents, interview clients and negotiate with opposing counsel. Enescu says she uses those skills every day: “It really did mimic real life.”

Beyond the first-class education, Enescu says studying abroad helped her stand out as a junior lawyer. Law firms, after all, need more international expertise than ever. Her firm, for instance, has clients across the globe, including some in the United States, China and Australia. “To have people that have even a general sense of how things work in those places is a great assistance to us,” says Jennifer Campbell, a partner at Cassels and Enescu’s mentor. “It’s only a good thing.”

Andra EnescuBond has picked up on this trend. The school arranges clerkships at law firms in Australia as well as two-week placements at firms in Malaysia. “We know the Canadian job market is hyper-competitive,” says Kathy Atkins, associate dean at Bond. “Equipping students with on-the-ground global experience gives them a leg-up on the competition.”

With more than 150 Canadian law students in any given year, the university’s ties to Canada run deep. Bond students can take four classes in Canadian law (including constitutional and criminal law). And the patriotic Canadian Law Students Association throws annual, campus-wide parties for Thanksgiving and Halloween.

Better still, the law school runs three semesters a year, so students can earn a Juris Doctor in just two years. But there’s more. If students stick around for one more semester, they can pick up a Master of Laws and, at the same time, write the equivalency exams needed to accredit their degree in Canada. All on Bond’s idyllic, 125-acre campus.

If all this sounds overwhelming, it shouldn’t, says Enescu. “The teachers and staff are there to help you,” she says. Plus, she made friends who “felt like family” and who made living on the other side of the world easy. “I moved there alone at just 23, and I loved the experience. It helped me become the well-rounded person I am today.”

Moot camp

How Bond takes mooting to the next level

Mooting.jpgThe trophy case at Bond is full to the brim, jampacked with more than 50 prizes its students have won at mooting contests around the world. The accolades make a statement: Bond students boast nearly unrivalled advocacy skills.

And it’s no accident. The faculty at Bond makes a special effort to get students courtroom-ready. Throughout the year, the school flies students to compete in more than a dozen moots. This past year, students did battle at the Wilson Moot Competition in Toronto, giving Canadian Bondies a chance to go toe-to-toe with law schools from back home. The team placed third, behind students from the University of Toronto and McGill University — not bad for the only foreign participants in the competition.

Bond sits between the Pacific Ocean and a tropical rainforest, but the best views might be right outside the classroom door.

This content was paid for by Bond University. Learn more about Bond at