Thursday, September 10, 2015
Bethanie Pascutto (right)

Bethanie Pascutto (right)

Part of our series of profiles of some of the newest law students this year. Read more here.

By Suzanne Bowness

Five years into a finance career, Bethanie Pascutto was doing well. Following an undergraduate degree in finance, she had worked her way up the ladder at TD bank to a position in the Portfolio Advice and Investment Research group. Still, something just felt off. “The entire time that I was working, I didn't really feel like it was the right fit for me,” says Pascutto. So she decided to switch gears, and go to law school at age 28.

En route, she decided to explore her potential interest in human rights law through a master’s degree at Carleton University’s Norman Patterson School of International Affairs, with a focus on international development policy. The move strengthened her resolve. “I know this is probably clichéd, but I was looking to do something that made a tangible difference in people's lives,” says Pascutto.  And she already has, in Bouake, Cote d'Ivoire, working for a microfinance agency this summer through funding from the Aga Khan Agency.

Of course, law school was a career option she’d been aware of her whole life—her father is a securities lawyer. “He's very passionate about it. I think that's something that also influenced me because loving what you do is the most important part,” says Pascutto. He has no complaints about her new path. “He's definitely pleased,” says Pascutto.  “I had said for the longest time that I wasn't going to do this, so I think he’d given up hope.”

As she made her way towards law, Pascutto showed she is not one to take no for an answer. “I did actually apply to U of T, two years ago, and didn't get in.” She faced similar obstacles entering her master’s degree. She now encourages that same tenacity in others. “I think really the most important thing is, if there is something that you want to do, and it’s not what you’re doing right now, then don’t take no for an answer."