Three recent law school graduates are making the grade at Legal Aid Alberta.
Guillaume Fogarty-Greenshaw, Annie Mushtaq and Serena Eshaghurshan are Legal Aid Alberta’s (LAA) new articling students. While their paths to practicing law have been quite different, they each share a passion for helping vulnerable people access justice.
These “lawyers in training” have hit the ground running at LAA. Here’s what they’ve been up to so far.
Guillaume Fogarty-Greenshaw is acting as duty counsel in adult criminal docket courts, assisting accused Albertans appearing in court without a lawyer.
He says his work has provided him with a healthy work-life balance and the ability to really help people. “I spend most of my days in the courtroom helping vulnerable Albertans during their darkest times.”
Fogarty-Greenshaw worked in the trades before completing his bachelor’s degree in Psychology and Computer Science. Driven by a desire to help people, the former construction worker enrolled in the University of Alberta Law Program.
As a law student, Fogarty-Greenshaw volunteered with Student Legal Services, where he worked closely with legal aid family lawyers. When it came time for him to find an article, LAA was a natural fit.
“Everyone I encountered at Legal Aid Alberta, lawyers and support staff alike, were always happy to be there. It seemed like a great place to work.”
Fogarty-Greenshaw says that LAA has lived up to this reputation.
Annie Mushtaq is working with LAA’s Criminal Trial Group, representing clients with heightened vulnerabilities, including youth and adults facing criminal charges.
“When the legal aid articling student opportunity came up, it checked all my boxes.”
Articling at LAA has allowed her to make sure the law is accessible to those less fortunate, while also giving her the time to pursue other passions like volunteering in the community.
Born in Kashmir, Mushtaq moved to Calgary in Grade 7. She has two degrees in Sociology and International Relations and achieved her Juris Doctor from the University of Alberta.
Mushtaq never had her eye on a law career. Not until a friend sparked the idea.
“I hoped that going into law would give me the tools to be a better advocate for the marginalized members of my community.”
She is pleased that LAA has provided an avenue for her to turn that dream into a reality.
Serena Eshaghurshan is working in child welfare and emergency protection order court. She assists Albertans with urgent family and domestic violence matters, often fraught with complicated circumstances.
Each day, she uses her interpersonal skills to connect with her clients and work with them every step of the way. “You’re serving people who society tends to forget. It’s very rewarding.”
Eshaghurshan has always been fascinated by the law. After completing her bachelor’s degree in Psychology, she attended law school at the University of Calgary.
Her passion for providing a service to society led her to do volunteer work with Student Legal Assistance, where she became familiar with LAA. She says LAA was her top choice for an article.
“The mentorship at Legal Aid Alberta has been phenomenal. What I love the most is that I’m always working on new things.”
LAA’s articling student program
Over a 12-month term, LAA articling students gain hands-on experience within the various practice areas such as family, adult criminal and youth criminal law. Rotating between these areas allows them to work on a wide range of legal issues and gain hands-on experience in and out of the courtroom.
“Nowhere else does a student get to help this many Albertans,” says former LAA articling student (now a lawyer) Marcus Threndyle.
Are you a law student or student-at-law? Do you share our values and passion for helping people? We offer a wide range of opportunities for you to complete your education in Edmonton and Calgary.
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