"A law degree opens so many doors."

We hear this all the time, but what exactly does it mean? Where do those doors lead? What sorts of career opportunities become possible with a JD?

Our alumni are the best evidence of this "promise". Just look at how many of our graduates have used their JDs to do incredible things and forge amazingly diverse career paths.

"Lawyers Doing Cool Things With Their Law Degrees" is a series of conversations with alumni about their cool jobs, the important issues they are tackling and how their law degrees got them there. We are intentionally focusing on alumni who are moving the dial on important issues.

Winter 2022

 



Amma Anaman, JD/MBA 2012

Career profile: Amma is currently Associate General Counsel and Legal Relationship Manager for U.S. Listings at Nasdaq, Inc. She advises current and prospective Nasdaq-listed companies on Nasdaq’s listing rules and corporate governance standards, supports Nasdaq’s public policy initiatives with Congress and the SEC, and advises Nasdaq’s corporate communications team on media relations. She is also Corporate Secretary for the Nasdaq Foundation, whose mission is to advance diversity in investor engagement.

Prior to joining Nasdaq in 2018, Amma was in private practice at the New York offices of Sullivan & Cromwell and Osler, Hoskin & Harcourt where she advised public and private companies on corporate governance matters, securities laws and cross-border equity and debt offerings. She also practiced at the Baltimore office of Miles & Stockbridge, where she advised companies on SEC reporting obligations and M&A transactions.

Amma received her Bachelor of Commerce from the University of Saskatchewan in 2008 and her JD/MBA from the University of Toronto in 2012. While studying at U of T, Amma was Assistant Editor, Law Review (Business Law Group); Co-Chair of the Black Law Students Association; a soup kitchen server with Lawyers Feed the Hungry; played intramural volleyball; danced in Law Follies; and tutored high school students with LAWS.

Monday, January 17  |  12:40 - 1:50 p.m. 

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Kat Owens, JD 2015

Career profile: Kat Owens is the project director for the Feminist Strategic Litigation Project at the Women’s Legal Education and Action Fund (LEAF). Her work focuses on strategic planning, and contributing to the development and management of LEAF’s litigation and law reform work. Kat has worked as a staff lawyer at the Long-Term Care Homes Public Inquiry, as an Assistant Crown Attorney at College Park, and as a law clerk at the Court of Appeal for Ontario. She holds a J.D. from the University of Toronto and an LL.M. in International Legal Studies from New York University.  

Monday, January 24  |  12:40 - 1:50 p.m. 

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Alykhan Kurji, JD 2009

Career profile: Alykhan works at Google in New York and is the Head of Strategic Partnerships for Pixel and Nest. Alykhan graduated from UofT law school in 2009. Upon graduating, he worked for one year at the Permanent Court of Arbitration in The Hague before moving to New York where he worked as an M&A and Project Finance associate at White & Case and as an IP transactions associate at Shearman & Sterling. Alykhan joined Google in 2014 in the Bay Area as a commercial attorney working in Google's ads organization, advising clients across Google Shopping, Travel, Waze, and Google Ads. Alykhan eventually moved into Business Development under Google One in late 2018 before moving to his current role. Alykhan grew up in Calgary and studied Bioengineering at UC Berkeley and obtained a Masters in Biotechnology from the University of Pennsylvania.  

Monday, January 31  |  12:40 - 1:50 p.m. 

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William Goldbloom, JD 2015

Career profile:  William Goldbloom, principal and founder of WG Resolutions, is an experienced workplace investigator, trainer, and mediator. He provides clients with effective and affordable resolutions to workplace conflict and misconduct. He balances his innate curiosity about how people work together with neutrality and humility.

William has conducted investigations for clients in various industries including tech, media, healthcare, non-profits, municipalities, manufacturing, shipping, and education. In 2021, William was appointed to the Government of Canada’s national roster of workplace harassment and violence prevention investigators.

He has provided training on preventing workplace harassment and conducting investigations across Canada. He is an engaging presenter for a range of learners. He has trained executives, high school students, farmers, and medical professionals.

William is a Qualified Mediator with the ADR Institute of Canada and received training in workplace restoration by the International Institute of Restorative Practices.

Prior to founding WG Resolutions, William was a workplace investigator and trainer at a renowned workplace investigation law firm. He started his law practice as an employment and labour lawyer at an international law firm.

Monday, February 7  |  12:40 - 1:50 p.m. 

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Noam Pratzer, JD 2014

Career profile:  After summering at Davies in Toronto, Noam went on to clerk at Israel's Supreme Court and then enter private practise in Israel where he worked in commercial intellectual property and international M&A in Israel at Yigal Arnon & Co. Noam then transitioned to work in house structuring venture capital funds and investment deals at OurCrowd before leaving the legal field to start an adventure travel company called Get Out Adventures (aka Get Out Toronto). 

Monday, February 14  |  12:40 - 1:50 p.m. 

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Gillian Hnatiw, LLB 2002

Career profile:  Gillian Hnatiw is the Principal and founder of Gillian Hnatiw & Co., a boutique feminist litigation firm in Toronto. Her broad litigation practice focuses on health law, administrative law, professional regulation, employment law and, in particular, claims arising from sexual assault and harassment and other forms of gender-based violence and discrimination.

Gillian is currently serving as Senior Commission Counsel to the Mass Casualty Commission, which is investigating the causes and circumstances of the April 2020 mass shooting in Nova Scotia. She is the former Chair of the Women’s Legal Education and Action Fund (LEAF), which works to advance gender equality through litigation, law reform and public education. She speaks regularly at conferences and seminars on a wide range of topics and is frequently sought out by industry and mainstream media for comment on issues of sexual violence, gender equality, harassment and discrimination.

In March 2020, the Toronto Lawyer’s Association awarded Gillian the Honsberger Award for her work exemplifying the TLA’s three pillars – Advocacy, Community and Knowledge – and hailed her as a “formidable champion of women’s civil rights”. In 2015, she was named to Lexpert's annual list of "Rising Stars: Leading Lawyers Under 40" and has been repeatedly recognized for her expertise in a variety of practice areas by Lexpert, Benchmark and Best Lawyers. 

Monday, February 28  |  12:40 - 1:50 p.m. 

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Robert C. Blitt, JD/MA 2000, LLM 2003

Career profile:  Robert C. Blitt is the Toms Foundation Distinguished Professor of Law at the University of Tennessee College of Law. Professor Blitt joined the faculty as an associate professor in 2007 and was promoted to full professor in 2015. Before coming to Tennessee, Blitt served as International Law Specialist for the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF), an independent, bi-partisan agency created by Congress to monitor freedom of thought, conscience, and religion or belief abroad. Prior to joining USCIRF, Professor Blitt spent over five years in the Middle East, where, among other things, he served with the Department of International Agreements in Israel’s Ministry of Justice, clerked for the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of Israel, and directed projects at Physicians for Human Rights (Israel). In 2002, Professor Blitt was a Rabin Fellow for Peace and Tolerance at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem.

Professor Blitt’s scholarship explores how international law norms apply to nonstate actors, including nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) and intergovernmental organizations, and further, how these actors impact the development of international law. Professor Blitt’s current research projects include studying the movement of anti-constitutional ideas within the international system and exploring contemporary challenges to human rights norms and mechanisms. 

Monday, March 7  |  12:40 - 1:50 p.m. 

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Leslie McCallum, LLB 1995

Career profile:  I began my career as a law clerk and pursued an LLM at Columbia with a view to a potential academic career. Once in New York, I decided instead to try a transactional practice and spent 5 years doing US capital raising with Sherman & Sterling. I worked in the firm's boutique Toronto office where I received exemplary training in research. I moved to Torys in 2004 as Torys was seeking a US securities research lawyer and it was an opportunity to combine my US experience while learning Canadian securities law. Thus cross-border capital markets became my niche and Torys' culture was a perfect fit. I became intriqued by legal technology when Watson was unveiled by IBM. Learning about tech became a hobby and the more I learned, the more I dreamt about building a technology solution to improve capital markets research. I founded Lexata in 2019 with a mission to make researching this technical area of law faster and easier for non-experts. Founding a company puts one on a very steep learning curve but it's exhilarating and very rewarding. Lexata has two beta customers testing the product and is pursuing a funding partner to facilitate growth. I'd love to share my experiences with U of T students and I'm also more than happy to answer any questions about careers generally, legal tech, securities law, research vs transactional practice, managing career and motherhood, and being a start-up founder. 

Monday, March 14  |  12:40 - 1:50 p.m. 

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Motria Onyschuk-Morozov, JD/MBA 1996

Career profile:  Motria’s career has been focused on work in international development with the International Finance Corporation (IFC), part of the World Bank Group. She is currently based in Washington, DC, where she is responsible for improving processes, strategy, and governance around fundraising for IFC’s advisory, upstream, and blended finance activities. Prior to her time in DC, Motria spent ten years with IFC based in Kyiv, Ukraine, where she managed advisory projects across Eastern Europe and Central Asia to help local companies improve their corporate governance practices, regulatory agencies protect shareholder rights, and educational institutions enhance their law and business school curricula. She started her career as a corporate-commercial lawyer with the law firm of Baker & McKenzie, working in their Toronto and Kyiv offices. 

Monday, March 21  |  12:40 - 1:50 p.m. 

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Fall 2021

 


Ramz Aziz, JD 2019

Career profile: Ramz is a law clerk in the Debt Finance practice group at White & Case LLP. Prior to White & Case, Ramz summered, articled and practiced as a Banking and Financial Services associate at Osler, Hoskin, Harcourt LLP. He is a graduate of the J.D./M.B.A. program at the University of Toronto, and is an alumnus of the Leadership Development Lab, C-Suite, and Vernissage Health Leadership development programs. Ramz earned his Bachelor of Science (Hons.) from Dalhousie University.

Ramz’s practice includes a broad range of leveraged finance matters for borrowers and credit providers, comprising of corporate lending, asset-based lending, DIP financing, bridge loans and exit financing, among others.

Monday, October 4  |  12:40 - 1:50 p.m. 

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Lena Koke, JD/MBA 2008

Career profile: Lena Koke is CEO and Co-Founder of Axess Law and over the past seven years has been leading the company through significant periods of growth, while overseeing the company being recognized on Canadian Business’ Startup50, Growth500 and the Globe and Mail’s Canada’s Fastest Growing Companies awards lists multiple times. 

Axess Law is Canada’s first law firm with a hybrid virtual-physical approach. The company was built to address the problem that too many people can’t access the legal services they need due to accessibility and affordability. Axess Law offers a virtual legal service model and consumer-centric approach and has saved over 150,000 Canadians more than $32 Million in legal fees to date.  

Monday, October 18  |  12:40 - 1:50 p.m. 

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John Norquay, JD 2005

Career profile: John currently works as Policy Counsel at Legal Aid Ontario, where he is responsible for program development and stakeholder relations for refugee and immigration legal aid services in the province. He has appeared regularly at the Federal Court and all divisions of the Immigration and Refugee Board, and has represented clients in a wide variety of permanent residence and other status applications.

He has particular interest and experience in issues related to health care and medical inadmissibility and worked for 6 years as the staff immigration lawyer at the HIV & AIDS Legal Clinic Ontario (HALCO). He has also worked in sole practice, at a small firm, and most recently at Legal Aid Ontario’s Refugee Law Office. While studying at the University of Toronto law school, he was the first student lead of the refugee and immigration law division at University of Toronto’s student clinic, Downtown Legal Services. 

Monday, October 25  |  12:40 - 1:50 p.m. 

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Michael Mazze, JD/MBA 2020

Career profile: Michael is a Private Equity Associate at TorQuest Partners, a Canadian-based manager of private equity funds with more than $3 billion of equity capital under management.

Since joining TorQuest, Michael has been actively engaged in evaluating new investment opportunities, including the firm’s investment in Onyx-Fire Protection Services Inc. Prior to joining TorQuest, he worked as a Summer Associate at Fried, Frank, Harris, Shriver & Jacobson LLP in New York and as an Associate at O’Leary Ventures in Toronto.

Monday, November 8  |  12:40 - 1:50 p.m. 

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Gave Lindo, JD/MBA 2007

Career profile: Gave has over a decade of experience as a lawyer, executive, and board director within the media and cultural sectors where he has commissioned, structured, or advised on a range of projects across film, TV, digital content, gaming, festivals, and live theatre. He is currently leading the content strategy for TikTok in North America as Head of Content Programming. Previously, he led CBC’s digital content offerings including CBC Gem, CBC.ca, and CBC Kids as Executive Director of OTT Programming. Gave also served as Executive Director of the Reelworld Film Festival, worked as a business executive at CBC, and practiced media law at Fasken LLP. Gave has been appointed to the boards of a number of organizations including Ontario Creates (OMDC), the Museum of Contemporary Art Toronto, Obsidian Theatre Company, and Laidlaw Foundation. He currently serves on the board of the Children's Aid Society Toronto and the TO Live St. Lawrence Centre Redevelopment Committee. He is a frequent speaker on the intersection of content and innovation and holds BA, MBA, and JD degrees from the University of Toronto.

Monday, November 15  |  12:40 - 1:50 p.m. 

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Laura Barnett, JD 2002

Career profile: Laura is senior manager of the Human Rights, Immigration and Citizenship section within the Parliamentary Information, Education and Research Services at the Library of Parliament. She joined the Library as an analyst after articling with the Ontario Superior Court, working closely with parliamentary committees such as the Senate Standing Committee on Human Rights, the Senate Standing Committee on Legal and Constitutional Affairs and the House of Commons Subcommittee on Solicitation Laws. After spending some time in Australia researching and teaching at the Faculties of Law of the University of New South Wales and the University of Sydney, she returned to the Library as a manager. 

Monday, November 22  |  12:40 - 1:50 p.m. 

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