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Internationally Trained Lawyers Connect

August 10, 2020

Roz Bahrami

Osgoode’s Internationally Trained Lawyers Day was different this year. It was delivered entirely online. As many of us have learned through this global pandemic, we can still find new ways to connect. We reached out to this year’s attendees to discover what they thought about the full-day event. Here’s what they had to say:

1. Why are you attending this year’s OITLD? 

“I attended this year’s event to continue interacting and learning from members of the legal profession. I enjoyed building new professional networks, attending career development sessions and receiving tips on how to approach the accreditation and licensing process more efficiently.”
– Francisco Rojas, LL.B, LL.M, LL.M Student Intern at Royal Bank of Canada

“As an NCA candidate, I wanted to meet with those who have passed through the NCA process, network with internationally trained Lawyers and ask them several questions about their experiences. Also, I wanted to listen to the LSO members that were going to be speaking because I intend to begin the process as soon as I complete my NCA requirements. I needed as much information as I could get.”
– Nkiru Jane Nwabudike, LL.B, LLM (Candidate)

2. What were your impressions of the online format?

“As an international trained lawyer who lives in Barbados, I appreciated the opportunity to attend this event online which would not have been possible otherwise. I am at the start of the NCA process and found the information to be helpful and informative. I hope that Osgoode continues to offer these types of events online.”
– Natalie Brace, In-House Legal Counsel

“When I found out the pandemic had caused everything to be diverted to an online format, I remember trying to figure out how OITLD could ever proceed as planned. Never could I have imagined a virtual OITLD would have afforded me with the same experience of hearing from all the major stakeholders in the licensing process, hear from past ITLs who were at the end of their licensing journeys, as well as to make new connections. I was able to access all the sessions I planned for and the information on especially how the LSO & NCA were navigating the pandemic and all the resultant updates were very critical in assisting with my planning.”
– Yanique Russell, B.Sc., LLB, LLM

“I liked the online format because I’m in Brazil and I wouldn’t have the opportunity to participate in person.”
– Mariana Ribeiro, Civil Litigation Coordinator

“Frankly, it was a little easier networking using the online format because I was concentrating more on what I wanted to get out of it and less on being self-conscious. Although meeting in-person is the best way for you to be remembered but due to the global Pandemic, I could understand why it had to be online…I did not allow myself to be discouraged and I worked with the strengths of online networking as much as I could.”
– Nkiru Jane Nwabudike, LL.B, LLM (Candidate)

Screenshot of OITLD Zoom Window - Slide reads

3. What did you like best about this year’s event?

“I learnt a lot about the use of Plain Language from Caroline Mandell in the Legal Writing and Communication segment. In today’s world, there is a lot of discussion about avoiding legalese but few practical suggestions on how to do that. Now I will never be able to read another official notice the same way again! I look forward to reading the books on Caroline’s recommended reading list.”
– Natalie Brace, In-House Legal Counsel

“I got all the information I needed and answers to all the questions in my head.”
– Stephanie Odum

“The ‘Legal Writing and Communication’ and the ‘Tips for Job application Packages’ sessions were highly beneficial. However, the most significant aspect of the event is the chance to build professional networks. Networking is the key to success in the legal field, and the OITLD is an excellent platform to do so.”
– Francisco Rojas, LL.B, LL.M, LL.M Student Intern at Royal Bank of Canada

Screenshot from OITLD Zoom - Slide reads "Another ITL story...Overview."

4. Why would you recommend OITLD to other internationally trained lawyers?

“We are all coming from different backgrounds and jurisdictions. A lot of the things I did not know earlier about the licensing process, I learnt that day. I would not advice anyone to miss programs such as this, there is nothing like too much knowledge. It is information packed and filled with people who are always willing to help. Osgoode made my path easier and faster. Now people are surprised when I tell them how far into the process I am.”
– Nkiru Jane Nwabudike, LL.B, LLM (Candidate)

“All ITLs must attend OITLD! This is a one-day event where all the key partners involved in the Ontario licensing process provide information on how to be proactive and avoid pitfalls when navigating the process of becoming a lawyer in the province.
You get an opportunity to seek clarity directly from the executives of various certifying bodies, information on any pending updates, as well as insight on opportunities that exist after becoming a lawyer.”
– Yanique Russell, B.Sc., LLB, LLM

“The whole event is beneficial in many ways. It gives you a better sense of the accreditation and licensing process to help you plan your path more effectively. It helps you be better prepared to enter the job market in the future.”
– Francisco Rojas, LL.B, LL.M, LL.M Student Intern at Royal Bank of Canada

We would like to celebrate and thank the speakers, moderators and 120+ attendees that made the 2020 Osgoode’s Internationally Trained Lawyers Day a great success! We especially appreciate those who took the time to provide us with feedback on how to continue to build and serve the diverse and ambitious communities of internationally trained lawyers, both living in and outside of Canada.

Want to know more about Osgoode’s Internationally Trained Lawyers Day?