Friday, June 5, 2020

Leslie Anne

During her time at the University of Toronto's Faculty of Law, Leslie Anne St. Amour (BA, Political Science, McGill) made substantial and meaningful contributions to the law school, and demonstrated interest in the well-being of her JD classmates. For this, she was recognized with the John Willis & Gina Caldarelli Memorial Prize for School Spirit

Why did you choose to study law?

I wanted to study law to be able to develop the skills and tools needed to be able to advocate on the behalf of others. I have always been drawn to work that makes the world a better place. I want to be able to advocate on the behalf of our environmental and Indigenous communities, as well as other marginalized communities with my law degree. Prior to law school, while working as the Cultural Heritage Project Assistant at Algonquins of Ontario Consultation Office I had the opportunity to spend time working for my community while it was in the process of negotiating a land claim with the federal and provincial governments. This allowed me to see first hand the way that the law can be used to advocate for Indigenous people and environmental protections, confirming my desire to become a lawyer.

What inspired you to choose U of T Law?

I must admit it was the reputation of U of T Law that first drew me to consider U of T. But as I began my investigation into U of T I learned U of T Law offers the Aboriginal Law Certificate, which is a way of demonstrating my commitment to Aboriginal and Indigenous law upon graduation and I learned about the supports offered through the Indigenous Initiatives Office and this was ultimately what lead me to choose U of T.

What are some of the extra- or co-curriculars you were involved in at the Law school?

Indigenous Law Students’ Association, Downtown Legal Services, Asper Centre for Constitutional Rights, Environmental Law Club, participating in events such as See Yourself Here and assisting in facilitating the Blanket Exercise for incoming 1L students during O-Week. Outside of the law school I also have sat on the boards of two non-profits during my time in law school as well as taking up Australian Rules Football.

What are your next steps upon graduation?

I will be articling at the Ontario Ministry of the Environment, Parks and Conservation. I’m thrilled that I will get to be practicing in the field of environmental law and am looking forward to the experience and all that I will learn. I will also continue to sit on the Board of Directors of Aboriginal Legal Services in my free time, an opportunity which allows me to engage in other forms of advocacy to serve the Indigenous community in Ontario.

What will you remember most about your time at U of T Law?

I will remember the people I met the most. I have had the opportunity to learn from incredible professors, many of which quite literally wrote the book on their field of expertise. I have been able to build relationships with practioners and alumni from a variety of fields who have already given me a great deal of guidance and support. Perhaps most importantly however, were the friends I’ve made. U of T Law is filled with intelligent and driven people. I have been able to surround myself with friends who I learn from, who support me and who challenge me to think differently. This has been incredibly valuable for my personal and academic growth while at law school. I don’t think I will ever forget these relationships and what they have given me, and I know many will carry on into the next chapter of my life.