Our students talk about #excellencewithoutbarriers

Jerry (Goh Eun) Lee, JD 2018, Newton Rowell Bursary Recipient

Jerry LeeNow living in: New York City

From: Langley, BC

Undergraduate Degree: Bachelor of Science (Physiology & Economics) from McGill University

I became a lawyer because I am passionate about creating innovative solutions to business problems. My interest in business stems from competing in The Next 36, an accelerator program designed to cultivate young entrepreneurs. Pitching a new venture idea to Canada’s top investors challenged me to simplify complex business strategies and act as a risk manager and a decision maker. I subsequently worked at Hootsuite, a high-growth social media startup, where I drove the adoption of its products in Fortune 1000 companies. While working with account executives to understand clients’ needs and provide tailored software solutions, I fell in love with the client interaction and the fast-paced negotiations behind each transaction.

I applied to the University of Toronto Faculty of Law because it is the best place to learn about how law impacts business. Located in the global financial centre of Toronto, the Faculty has built an extensive community around the study of business law. I had the chance to learn business law from both leading scholars and practitioners. 

All Toronto firms I interviewed with during the 1L Recruit recognized the high caliber of University of Toronto students. When I participated in the New York Recruit in 2L, I noticed that all American law firms I interviewed with also appreciated the fact that I was attending the University of Toronto. 

I absolutely loved law school. Some of my favourite experiences were studying at the University of Geneva through the exchange program and leading the Business Law Society as a co-president. Other aspects of law school I enjoyed include acting in the Law Follies, drafting wills for low-income clients through Pro Bono Students Canada, and participating in competitive mooting. 

I aspire to become a leader in the intersection of business law and technology. During 1L, I worked at Davies Ward Phillips & Vineberg LLP in Toronto, where I actively sought the chance to advise national telecommunications and media clients. This fall, I joined White & Case LLP in New York City as a first year associate. At White & Case, I look forward to challenging myself further in its Technology Transactions Group.

I would not have been able to attend law school without the Newton Rowell bursary. I worked three part-time jobs throughout law school. Working more than that would have made it impossible for me to succeed academically. Thankfully, the bursary enabled me to focus on school work and even participate in the exchange program at the University of Geneva, which turned out to be one of my favourite experiences at law school.

I understand firsthand that donors have a tremendous impact on low-income students because I would not have been able to earn my JD degree without them. Attending the University of Toronto Faculty of Law has been the best three years of my life. I am so grateful that I was able to receive a bursary, which made this experience possible. I am confident that all the skills I acquired through my University of Toronto degree will allow me to make a positive impact in the world of business law.