sponsored content: Bond grads on a mission

One of the best things about being a lawyer is having the ability to help people. But to truly assist clients in a tough spot, you need more than a head full of theory and caselaw. You need a toolbox of hands-on skills.

Bond University in Australia equips its students with the practical expertise they’ll need to make a difference in the lives of their clients. Meet two Bond grads who practise law in Toronto — and work hard every day to help their clients access justice.

Coming to the rescue

Bond-web-Daniel-Fenwick

Daniel Fenwick
Bond Class: 2011

Nothing makes Daniel Fenwick happier than when he can ease the stress of his clients. The 34-year-old civil litigator focusses on personal-injury law at the Toronto-based boutique firm Brauti Thorning Zibarras LLP. And his clients often come to him in moments of crisis.

Consider, for example, the 65-year-old man from Oshawa with cerebral palsy, who was hit by a car while on his motorized wheelchair. “He had been on government assistance throughout his life and doesn’t have a lot of money,” says Fenwick. “The accident was extremely devastating. I’m happy that I was able to be his backbone and alleviate his stress. We got a good amount of money to help him, too. We still talk all the time.”

Fenwick says the practical training he received at Bond — in the form of mock trials and written assignments, such as legal memos — was incredibly valuable. “To this day,” he says, “I still complete some legal documents in the same format as I did for those assignments.”

Living on Australia’s picturesque Gold Coast was also a dream come true for the self-described adventure seeker. “I would get up at 6 a.m. for a twirl on the surfboard, then put on my flip-flops and go to class,” says Fenwick, who took advantage of school breaks to travel to nearby Vietnam, Bali and Thailand.

More importantly, his education at Bond allowed him to forge lifelong connections. “One of my friends from school is working with me on Bay Street — and I have a text-message group with a nice community of successful Bondies.”

Saving the day

Allison-Pyper-bond

Allison Pyper
Bond Class: 2010

Allison Pyper makes no bones about it. “I went into law because I wanted to help people,” says the 36-year-old, who runs a small litigation firm in Toronto, specializing in criminal, immigration, refugee and mental-health law. Her practice predominantly serves marginalized communities: many of her clients struggle with mental-health issues or don’t speak English. “These are people that the system has thrown aside.”

Pyper recently represented a 24-year-old woman from Pakistan, who came to Canada in an arranged marriage. Her husband had become abusive, so she left him, but he was also her sponsor. Once she moved out, she faced deportation. Thankfully, Pyper persuaded the Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada that her client was a victim who acted in good faith and should be allowed to stay in the country.

Less than a decade into her career, Pyper has built a successful small firm. And the skills she acquired at Bond are the foundation she has built on over the years. “The practical legal training I received was excellent,” she says, citing the school’s focus on legal research and drafting.

Through a program offered at Bond, Pyper was also able to earn course credit by working with a pro bono legal clinic, which served people who couldn’t afford a private lawyer but were ineligible for legal aid. “By second semester I was already working for the disenfranchised.”

The transition to working in Toronto was seamless, in part because Bond offers several courses in Canadian law. “I’m proud of where I went to law school,” she says. “And I’m proud of the lawyer I’ve become.”


Heroes in training

How Bond’s hands-on legal education empowers its students to fight for social justice

Allison-Pyper-web-2

No one learned how to practise law by reading textbooks alone. This is why Bond University in Australia offers its law students ample opportunities to escape the classroom and take on real-life cases.

One program, for instance, allows students to earn course credit by working one day a week at a local family-law firm. Over the course of a semester, students meet with clients and draft legal documents under the supervision of a senior lawyer.

All year round, students can also volunteer at one of the school’s two on-campus legal clinics. The first clinic provides basic legal advice to small businesses on everything from contracts to trademark law. At the second clinic, students practise immigration law. On one day, they might assist a refugee seeking asylum; on another, they might help an immigrant submit a visa application.

“These programs allow students to put the theory of law into practice,” says Kathy Atkins, an associate professor and an associate dean at Bond. “We want our students to appreciate the importance of pro bono work. Our clinics provide them with the opportunity to give back to the community and promote social justice.”


This content was paid for by Bond University. To find out how Bond can work for you, visit bond.edu.au/lawcanada or call 416-558-5353.


This story is from our Fall 2018 Issue.

sponsored content: Innovation at Bond University

In the coming decade, technology and globalization will continue to reshape society — and the practice of law.

That’s why Bond University in Australia has designed an innovative curriculum that, at its root, equips law students with the skills they need to meet the challenge. Meet two Bond grads who returned to Canada to build legal careers that are as innovative as the school that trained them.

The techie

Yovan Grulovic

Yovan Grulovic
Bond Class: 2010

Yovan Grulovic has a near-constant thirst for innovation. Case in point: two years after graduating from law school at Bond University, on Australia’s Gold Coast, he co-founded a tech startup. The company, GoFidel, built an app that allowed consumers to monitor all their loyalty-reward programs in one place. Grulovic also acted as the general counsel: he secured the intellectual-property rights and the software-license agreements. These days, he works in-house at the Globe & Mail in Toronto, where he helps the newspaper licence and implement new technology.

How did Grulovic build such a great career? It all started at Bond. As a student in Australia, he picked up practical legal skills, such as legal research and drafting, that he still uses today. And, upon graduation, his international degree helped him land a job as in-house counsel at a Toronto-based global software company. “In an increasingly international world,” he says, “my company wanted someone with international experience.”

Grulovic is one of many Bond grads who completed his degree in two years. This is possible because the school runs 12 months a year. “If you can get through such an intense workload, you’re prepared for life as a lawyer.” For Grulovic, who grew up in Mississauga, Bond was no second choice. “I saw it as an adventure and a chance to add international experience to my resumé.”

The high-flier

Ashleigh Tomlinson

Ashleigh Tomlinson
Bond Class: 2012

Eight years ago, Ashleigh Tomlinson made a big decision. She took a leave of absence from her job as a flight attendant with Air Canada and went to law school at Bond University in Australia. Since graduating, she has built a career that merges her experience in the airline industry with her newfound legal skills.

Her post-Bond resumé includes a stint as an aviation-safety consultant at an agency within the United Nations. After doing that job for a year, she landed at Rohmer & Fenn, a Richmond Hill-based law firm that specializes in, among other things, aviation law.

It’s a dream job, and it wouldn’t have been possible without Bond. The law school’s practical approach to teaching, coupled with its small class sizes, equipped her with the skills that allowed her to thrive in her early years of practice. “In class, we would go over real-life legal scenarios,” says Tomlinson. “To see what the application of law really looks like was invaluable. I learned what really mattered.”

As a student, she also fell in love with the school’s state-of-the-art facilities. “The campus is pristine and new,” she says. “None of the computers are outdated and the buildings feel like a place you should be learning in.”

And the view from campus were stunning, which made the occasional all-nighters bearable. “It’s easier to shrug off stress when you have a beautiful view waiting for you right outside your window.”

Game transformer

At Bond University in Australia, law students receive the tools they need to launch innovative careers after graduation.

Innovation in law is more important than ever. That’s why Bond University in Australia wants to give its law students an advantage by offering them the opportunity to complete the university’s Transformer Program.

Students who take this elective work on an ambitious project of their choosing. That could involve developing a business plan for an access-to-justice practice or designing software to streamline a field of law. As students progress, Bond connects them to experts, from venture capitalists to industry leaders. “This is an unparalleled opportunity,” says associate professor Kathy Atkins, an associate dean at Bond. “We want our students to drive change in the legal profession.”


This content was paid for by Bond University. To find out how Bond can work for you, visit bond.edu.au/lawcanada or call 416-558-5353.


Fall 2017 CoverThis story is from our 10th anniversary issue, published in Fall 2017.

sponsor content: Four reasons to study law abroad

When deciding where to attend law school, most would-be lawyers only consider the few options in Canada. That’s a real shame, since there’s a sea of excellent law schools around the planet. And studying law overseas has a ton of perks, from developing a global network of connections to experiencing the culture of another country. But that’s not all. Here are four reasons why it’s a great idea to go to law school abroad.

1. Law firms want lawyers with international experience

The pace of globalization in the corporate world shows no signs of slowing, which means most law firms have more international businesses as clients than ever. When Canadians study law abroad, then, they’re one step ahead of the game once they start practising. “More and more, law firms are looking for young lawyers who can connect with clients from around the world,” says Kathy Atkins, an associate dean at Bond. “A global degree has never been more advantageous, especially in corporate law.”

2. Classmates become future business connections

Jordan Assaraf, lawyer, Bond University

Jordan Assaraf, Bond University Faculty of Law, Class of 2012

“After I left Bond and started working in Toronto, I realized the network it had opened up for me,” says Jordan Assaraf, a 2012 graduate and third-year associate at Gluckstein Personal Injury Lawyers. He knows lawyers across Canada, who he went to school with. The number one perk of a large network: referrals.

3. Living abroad is a great life experience

Moving away from home to get an undergraduate degree is one thing: there’s no more Mom and Dad to help with groceries and laundry. But going to law school in a different country is quite another: students meet people from all over the globe, experience a new culture and broaden their worldview. “I was able to make a life for myself on my own for two years,” says Liana Rossi, a 2013 Bond graduate and third-year associate at Baker & Company. “It was an amazing experience.”

4. Travel opportunities galore!

When living in another country, vacation hotspots that aren’t easily accessible from Canada are suddenly within reasonable travel distance — and much cheaper to get to. With a home base in Australia, for example, jetting off to places like Malaysia, Thailand or Indonesia is easy. Those are just some of the places Assaraf, Rossi and Wadhwa went to while completing their JD in the land Down Under. Because let’s be real: no law student should spend the entire school year with their head buried in textbooks.


This content was paid for by Bond University. Learn more about Bond at bond.edu.au/canada

sponsor content: After Canadians study law in Australia, they come home to a great legal career

Jordan Assaraf, Lawyer

Jordan Assaraf
Gluckstein Personal Injury Lawyers
Year of Call: 2013

For Jordan Assaraf, going to law school at Australia’s Bond University was a no-brainer. “I’m a hands-on learner,” he says. “So when I learned that Bond offers small tutorials and practical-skills training, I thought, What a fit! That’s the law school I want to go to.”

Such a reaction is well deserved. Bondies like Assaraf don’t just learn about the law — they learn how to be lawyers. Once they arrive at the school’s picturesque Gold Coast campus, they’re taught more than the latest legal theory. They learn how to research for a case, conduct client interviews and argue in court (in front of real judges). The school takes courtroom experience seriously, so it’s no surprise that Bond regularly fields world-class mooting teams. (The school often wins the top prize at competitions around the world.)

After Assaraf graduated, in 2012, he landed an articling position at Gluckstein Personal Injury Lawyers. Since getting hired back, it’s been smooth sailing. Assaraf credits his success to the top-notch training he received Down Under. “Bond taught me to anticipate the questions judges like to ask,” he says. “When prepping me for court, our founding partner gave me the same advice.”

Liana Rossi, Lawyer

Liana Rossi
Baker & Company
Year of Call: 2014

That’s a common experience for Bond grads. “I acquired advanced research skills a lot of people don’t have when starting out,” says Liana Rossi, a 2013 graduate and third-year associate at Baker & Company, a corporate boutique in Toronto. “I felt so confident, as if I’d been litigating for years.”

But a Bond degree can also take students to surprising places after graduation. “The knowledge and skills acquired when studying law are useful in a range of careers,” says Kathy Atkins, an associate dean at Bond. Take Cristina Wadhwa, who graduated from the law school in 2011. Today, she works for member of Parliament and Parliamentary Secretary, Omar Alghabra. One of her central job duties is to prep him for constituent meetings. “Bond taught me how to analyze complex problems by giving me a formula to break them down,” says Wadhwa. “I use it every day.”

And because Bond offers classes year-round, students can squeeze three semesters into a year. That means they can earn a J.D. in just two years.

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Cristina Wadhwa
Parliament of Canada
Year of Call: 2015

But beyond the training, the degree is easy to accredit in Canada. If students spend just one more semester at Bond, after finishing their law degree, they can sit for their Canadian equivalency exams and, at the same time, earn a master of laws. “Bond allowed me to fast-track my degree,” says Rossi, who, after returning home, began articling immediately.

Two and a half years away from home might feel long, but with technology like Skype and FaceTime, distance isn’t an issue. Meanwhile, with over 150 Canadian law students at the school, home doesn’t feel so far away.

And no, the Gold Coast isn’t a snake- and spider-ridden death trap. “I didn’t come across snakes once,” says Rossi. “And the spiders I saw were no different than in Canada. We weren’t in the outback.”

The biggest perk, though? The life-changing experience of living in a new place. “Studying abroad lets you learn about who you are,” says Rossi. “It changed the way I look at life.”


The price is right

When it comes to tuition, Bond is an affordable choice

It’s not as expensive as you might think to study law on the other side of the globe. The total tuition costs to earn a degree at Bond are about $106,000 CAD — a pretty reasonable price tag that’s about half the cost of many American law schools. And Bond costs only a bit more than the law school at the University of Toronto, whose tuition fees over three years are about $100,000 CAD.

“Better still, since Bond students can finish in just two years, that’s a full year they aren’t paying rent, groceries and other living costs,” says Atkins. “And that means they can start their careers, and start collecting paycheques, one year earlier. That adds up to a lot of money.”


When the bell rings

For three sweet weeks in between every semester, Bond students are officially on vacation. Here are four popular spots they jet off to

Sydney

“Sydney has great food and nightlife,” says Rossi, who made sure to visit Australia’s most popular city. “The atmosphere is vibrant. I visited the Sydney Harbour Bridge and the Opera House.”

Flight time from Bond: 1.5 hours
Cost of round-trip flight: $250
Best time to go: Australian spring or fall

Bangkok

“Staying in Thailand is very cheap,” says Assaraf. He made it to the country’s capital, plus almost all of the country’s islands. “I visited the most gorgeous cove, went on a boat ride and fed monkeys. Oh, and did I ever eat a lot of Thai food.”

Flight time from Bond: 12 hours
Cost of round-trip flight: $600
Best time to go: November to January

Kuala Lumpur

“I found a cheap ticket, so I did a four-day trip here,” says Wadhwa. “I explored the downtown markets and historic sites, such as Buddhist temples.”

Flight time from Bond: 9 hours
Cost of round-trip flight: $650
Best time to go: May through July

Bali

This utopic island in Indonesia is, quite simply, stunning. “The scenery was magnificent,” says Assaraf. The aquatic scene, chock-full of breathtaking coral reefs, is a must-see. “I surfed and went snorkelling.”

Flight time from Bond: 15 hours
Cost of round-trip flight: $850
Best time to go: May to September (dry season)


This content was paid for by Bond University. Learn more about Bond at bond.edu.au/lawcanada

Opinion: Why the LPP should be made permanent

I almost didn’t become a lawyer. In 2011, as my last year of law school at Bond University in Australia ended, I expected to head home to Toronto and find an articling job. But my career took a detour. While studying for the bar exam, I found out that my partner’s family business, a skating and hockey centre in Florida, had been defrauded by management and was on the verge of collapse. My partner, armed with an MBA, stepped in to help save the 50-employee business.

Soon after, he asked me to join the effort because of my legal knowledge and lifelong passion for hockey. I accepted. Over the next three years, we turned the business into one of the fastest-growing skating, figure-skating and hockey programs in Florida. It was incredible, but with less than a year left on the project, I was ready to become a lawyer.

And that’s something I’ve always wanted to do. I love reading and writing. I keep up with the latest legal and political news. And, above all, I want to help people at the moment they need it most.

But when I decided to restart my legal career, in 2014, it was hard to find an articling gig from abroad. That’s when I heard about the Law Practice Program (LPP), the alternative to articling, at Ryerson University, which was about to start its first year. It was the perfect fit: the eight-month program began with about four months of online coursework (which includes three weeks of on-campus training), so I could complete most of it from Florida. This meant I could get called to the bar without the strain of moving home with no articling job. I immediately enrolled.

Uncommon practice, LPP

The training in the LPP was top-notch. In the first half of the program, I worked in a simulated law firm with four peers. Under the guidance of a practising lawyer — who assigned work and offered advice over email and Google Hangouts — we worked on files in key practice areas, from family to business to criminal. Going through mock files prepared me for the next half of the program, a four-month work placement at Eunice Kim & Associate Professional Corporation. In my first week, I drafted a will, interviewed a client and worked on a real estate closing.

Since launching, the LPP has helped about 400 law graduates become lawyers, and secured each one a work placement. To create that many placements — most of which are paid positions — out of thin air is an enormous accomplishment.

But the LPP’s future is uncertain. For now, it’s just a pilot project. (In August, it enters its third and final year.) In the fall, the Law Society of Upper Canada will decide whether to extend the pilot project for two years or make it permanent. It should make it permanent. The public only benefits from a legal profession whose members have a range of life experiences.

I can attest to that. In Florida, I got an on-the-ground look at the inner workings of a small business. I worked with outside counsel to draft contracts for hockey coaches, designed sport-specific waivers and negotiated licensing deals with music companies. All this will make me a better lawyer.

I also had countless peers in the LPP from unique backgrounds. Some came from outside Canada (Russia and India, just to name two) and boasted a global mindset. Others were parents of young children who needed to be at home for the first half of the program. They will all make great lawyers.

In September 2015, I was called to the bar, and have moved back to Toronto with my partner. I work part-time for Omar Alghabra, a member of Parliament for Mississauga Centre, but am on the lookout for a job in sports law. And without the LPP, this might never have happened.


Lawyer Christina Wadhwa

Cristina Wadhwa is a Toronto lawyer and a graduate of Ryerson University’s Law Practice Program. She is also a member of the Sports Lawyers Association.

 

 


Cover of the Summer Issue of Precedent Magazine

This story is from our Summer 2016 issue.

 

 

 


Illustration by Mike Ellis

sponsor content: Canadians can study law in Australia and come home to practise

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 bond.edu.au/faculties/law