Our students talk about #excellencewithoutbarriers

Sarah Feutl, 2L, financial aid recipient

Sarah Feutl, 1LHometown: Edmonton

Undergraduate degree[s]: Bachelor of Fine Arts in Acting

Undergraduate institution[s]: University of Alberta

Receiving a bursary will relieve me of a considerable amount of financial stress that can arise when attending the University of Toronto Law program. Instead of trying to squeeze in a part-time job alongside everything else, I am now free to focus on my law school experience. I feel confident this will allow me to do better at school and devote more energy to the fantastic off-campus opportunities available to us.

The knowledge that these generous bursaries exist allowed me to apply for this school, which I probably wouldn’t have done if we were expected to pay for it all out of pocket. Knowing that there is a support system built in to relieve some of the burden of being a full-time student for three years was incredibly reassuring, and gave me the confidence I needed to accept the admissions offer.

To donors I say: Thank you. Thank you, thank you, thank you! Your gifts allow me to focus on my schooling without the constant weight of financial stress on my shoulders. The money you donated gives me a level of freedom, to choose jobs and activities that will help me shape the well-rounded lawyer I one day hope to be, instead of the broke student I currently am. Your donation in a larger way also opens the door to people who would never picture themselves in law school because of the cost.

Financial aid is vitally important to ensuring the U of T law program continues to be a place for people of diverse backgrounds and career paths. The school is one of the most, if not the most, highly regarded law programs in the country. The opportunities available to us as students and graduates of this program are extensive and far-reaching. However, for students coming from less privileged backgrounds, the steep tuition might prevent them from attending. This would result in a legal structure which excludes marginalized voices, voices that are so necessary for fair advocacy and judgements. Bursaries bring the unattainable into reach and allow U of T law school to welcome people with a variety of lived experiences. In many cases, they are the only way that someone from a less privileged background will be able to afford the training and skills necessary to participate in our legal system.

Personally, the support allows me to keep my options open after graduating. I will be more able to prioritize passion over paycheck, and pursue a career in public interest law. Were I saddled with the entire cost of the tuition, I would likely choose a more lucrative career path that is farther from my actual legal interests. I’m so thankful that I can keep my options open when I leave this institution.

See also Sarah's profile in "From far and wide: Meet some members of the Class of 2021"