"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 earlier in their careers and moving the dial on important issues.

Winter 2021


Jory Hennick, JD/MBA 2016

Career profile: Jory is a Director of Hennick & Company. Previously, Jory worked in the Capital Markets group at Colliers International, a global commercial real estate services organization, focusing on acquisitions and dispositions of institutional-quality commercial real estate assets and sourcing capital solutions for clients. Prior to Colliers, Jory practiced corporate law in Toronto and New York at Osler, Hoskin & Harcourt LLP and acted as Legal Counsel at Wealthsimple, a renowned Canadian startup. 

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

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Alissa Saeiva, JD 2017

Career profile: Alissa is an associate with Pape Salter Teillet LLP and specializes in Indigenous rights law, with an emphasis on governance and the intersection between Aboriginal and environmental law.

Prior to joining Pape Salter Teillet LLP, Alissa consulted on a treaty rights infringement case with a prominent constitutional law advocate after having summered and articled with a Toronto litigation firm specializing in Aboriginal law and Indigenous rights. Alissa has a background in civil litigation, having clerked and summered with a boutique civil litigation firm in Toronto prior to and during her legal studies. She has also interned, worked, and mentored with numerous law firms in Toronto through the Law in Action Within Schools (LAWS) Program of which she is the first graduate to be licensed to practice law. 

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

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Profile photo of Tyler Hodgson

Tyler Hodgson, JD 1997

Career profile: Tyler is a Senior Investigator and Regional Team Leader (Middle East & North Africa) with the Integrity Vice Presidency of the World Bank Group.  He is based out of Washington DC and investigates and litigates allegations of fraud and corruption in relation to Bank-funded projects around the world.

He is the former National Leader of the White Collar Defence and Investigations Practice Group at Borden Ladner Gervais LLP and was the Manager of Enforcement for the Dubai Financial Services Authority.  He was an adjunct professor with the Sandra Day O’Connor College of Law, Arizona State University, where he taught a course on cross-border investigations and prosecutions.

Tyler is admitted to practice law in Ontario, California, England and Wales (Solicitor) and the Dubai International Financial Centre. 

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

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Leah West, JD 2015, SJD 2020

Career profile: Leah is an Assistant Professor of International Affairs at the Norman Paterson School of International Affairs at Carleton University. She practices, studies and publishes in the field o f national security law. Leah previously served as Counsel with the Department of Justice in the National Security Litigation and Advisory Group where she appeared before the Federal Court in designated proceedings and the Security Intelligence Review Committee. She serves as Counsel with Friedman Mansour LLP on national security and administrative law matters and is also the National Administrator of the Canadian National Rounds of the Phillip C Jessup International Law Moot. 

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

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Benson Cowan, JD 1997

Career profile: Benson is the Chief Executive Officer of the Legal Services Board of Nunavut - the legal aid provider in Canada's most northern territory. A criminal, constitutional and administrative lawyer, he began his career as a litigator in private practice in Toronto. A rostered expert on rule of law with the United Nations, he was the Legal Officer for the International Prosecutor's Office in Mitrovica with the United Nations Mission in Kosovo and the Special Adviser for Rule of Law to the Deputy Special Representative of the Secretary General with the United Nations Mission in Liberia during the Ebola crisis. He also ran the Solomon Islands Justice Program, a cross-sectoral justice reform initiative, for the Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade in Honiara. With the Ontario Public Service, he worked as the Director of Social Policy and Strategic Initiatives with Ministry of Indigenous Affairs and then the Director of Transition and Head of Legal Services for Safety, Licensing Appeals and Standards Tribunals Ontario. He lives in Rankin Inlet, Nunavut.

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

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Michael Garbuz, JD 2016

Career profile: Michael currently serves as the President of Materia, a leading global supplier of cannabis brands and products. Michael was the co-founder and CEO of High12 Brands, which was acquired by Materia in 2020. Michael previously held a Corporate Strategy and Legal Counsel role with Origin House (CSE:OH), which was acquired by Cresco Labs (CSE:CL) in 2019. He was also a founding shareholder and advisor of Trichome Financial (CSE:TFC), which was taken public in 2019. Michael began his professional career working in the business law group at Cassels Brock & Blackwell, helping to build the firm’s industry-leading cannabis practice group, mainly working on go-public transactions, M&A, and corporate finance matters. 

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

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Steven Elliott QC, JD 1995

Career profile:  Steven practices commercial litigation and arbitration with an emphasis on civil fraud, company matters and cases with a financial dimension. His matters are typically complex, high in value, and multi-jurisdictional. Steven practices law with One Essex Court in London, UK. In addition to appearing regularly before the Commercial Court, the Chancery Division and international arbitration tribunals, Steven has acted in or advised on proceedings in Singapore, Hong Kong, Australia, the Cayman Islands, the British Virgin Islands (where he is a member of the Bar), Northern Ireland, the Isle of Man, Guernsey, Jersey, Mauritius and British Columbia. 

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

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Brianne Bovell, JD 2012

Career profile: Brianne is a criminal prosecutor with the Ministry of the Attorney General, in Toronto.  She prosecutes a wide range of cases including child sexual abuse, firearms, and intimate partner violence.  She has worked at both the appeal and the trial level, however, for the last three years, she has worked exclusively at the North York Crown Attorney’s office. 

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

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Fall 2020

Amir Torabi, JD 2016

Career profile: Amir is the Director, Legal & Government Affairs and Legal Counsel with the Toronto Blue Jays. his responsibilities include negotiating and drafting a variety of agreements for the Toronto Blue Jays and Rogers Centre in the area of ticketing, premium sales, special events, sponsorship, stadium services, marketing, and fan engagement.

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

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Solange Davis-Ramlochan

Solange Davis-Ramlochan, JD 2011

Career profile: Solange is a criminal lawyer who defends clients accused of criminal, driving, and regulatory offences throughout the Greater Toronto Area at both the Ontario Court of Justice and the Superior Court of Justice. She represents clients at the bail, preliminary inquiry, and trial level. Solange has her own firm called SDR Law.

Monday, October 5  |  12:40 - 1:50 p.m.

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Morgan Sim

Morgan Sim, JD 2011

Career profile:  Morgan’s practice includes civil litigation and administrative law, with an emphasis on matters that arise in the workplace. She has particularly broad experience providing advice and representation on matters involving employment contracts, severance packages, wrongful dismissals, professional licensing and discipline, disability benefits, human rights issues, and workplace sexual harassment and assault. 

Prior to founding Parker Sim LLP, Morgan worked at two of Toronto’s leading litigation boutique firms. Morgan has worked on cases before all levels of court in Ontario as well as numerous administrative tribunals and professional regulators. She has also had the privilege of assisting with landmark cases before the Supreme Court of Canada, the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda, and the High Court of Kenya.

Tuesday October 13  |  12:40 - 1:50 p.m.  

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Karim Amlani, JD 2011

Career profile: Karim is an in-house lawyer at Hootsuite, the world's largest social media management platform. As Senior Director, Legal, he gets to do lots of cool things, like negotiating agreements with social networks, thinking about how social network data and personal information flow through Hootsuite, buying other companies, global expansion and building cross-functional processes. He also gets to learn new things every day, and is always willing to roll his sleeves up to get stuff done. 

Monday October 19 | 12:40 - 1:50 p.m 

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Tamara Mawhinney, JD 1991 and David Gaukrodger, JD 1991

Career profile: Tamara is the Minister Counsellor, Deputy Permanent Representative of the Permanent Mission of Canada to the United Nations, Geneva.  She joined Global Affairs Canada in 1993 and began her career as a Cabinet Liaison Officer and then as a Lawyer within the International Trade Law Division. Assignments overseas included Canada's Mission to the UN (1995-1998), Canada's Embassy to France, Paris (2001-2006 and 2013-2014), and Canada's Mission to the European Union where she served as Political section head from 2007-2012. After serving for two years as Advisor to Mme Michaëlle Jean, Secretary-General of la Francophonie, she returned to Ottawa in 2016 to lead the UN Security Council campaign team. Tamara joined Canada`s Mission to the UN in Geneva in the summer of 2018 as Deputy Permanent Representative.

Career profile:  David is Senior Legal Adviser at the OECD Investment Division. He leads OECD analysis on investment treaties and supports an investment Roundtable that regularly gathers OECD, G20 and other governments. Earlier David led expert teams evaluating compliance with the OECD Anti-Bribery Convention. He also helped design the G20-mandated peer review system that, as part of the fight against tax fraud, evaluates the compliance of 120+ jurisdictions with international standards for the exchange of tax-related information. David was previously a Special Counsel with Sullivan & Cromwell LLP. He graduated from Sciences Po Paris with a “mention lauréat” and obtained law degrees with distinction from the University of Toronto and the Université de Paris I. He was a law clerk for Justice Gerard La Forest at the Supreme Court of Canada.

Monday, October 26  |  12:40 - 1:50 p.m. 

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Aimee Letto, JD 2012

Career profile: Aimee is health policy analyst and legal counsel at the Newfoundland and Labrador Medical Association (NLMA), the voice of organized medicine in NL and a division of the Canadian Medical Association. She handles in-house legal work and supports negotiation of agreements on behalf of the NLMA. She also regularly provides health policy research on a wide variety of medical and health policy issues.

Monday, November 9  |  12:40 - 1:50 p.m. 

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Darlene Tonelli, JD 2001

Career profile:  Darlene Tonelli is an entertainment and intellectual property lawyer and the founder of Inter Alia Law, a virtual association of lawyers who support clients in technology, media, and entertainment. She is also the co-host of the Lawyer Life Podcast, and author of the award-winning Inter Alia blog.

Prior to Inter Alia, Darlene spent 8 years at Universal Music Canada, where she was Vice President, Business Development and Corporate Affairs. At Universal, Darlene was tasked with building new digital business models for a changing industry. In that role, she worked on several groundbreaking license deals to bring music to listeners in new ways. And prior to that, Darlene was a lawyer at Goodmans LLP.

Monday, November 16 | 12:40 - 1:50 p.m 

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