Graduating student Andrew Guaglio is a recipient of the 2012/2013 Premier Undergraduate Scholarship and Wesbrook Scholarship. Thirteen students across the university were selected this year for what is UBC’s most prestigious student award. The award is given to a senior student with outstanding records in the areas of academics, participation in sports, leadership, and involvement in student and community activities. We asked Andrew a few questions about his achievements and experience at UBC Law.
What were some of your extra-curricular activities during law school?
While in law school, I tried to get involved in as many activities as possible, especially those with either a public interest or criminal law focus. My primary involvement was with Lawyers’ Rights Watch Canada, a non-profit organization that promotes human rights and the rule of law by providing support internationally to human rights defenders in danger. I began with LRWC as a volunteer researcher and later took a position as Assistant to the Executive Director from the end of 1L until graduation.
In addition to working with LRWC, I volunteered with the UBC Law Students’ Legal Advice Program as a clinician and then clinic head of the Immigration and Refugee clinic, worked as a research assistant for Mary T. Ainslie, Q.C., senior Crown counsel with Vancouver’s Criminal Appeals and Special Prosecutions office, participated as a student caseworker with the UBC Law Innocence Project, worked as a summer articling student with the firm Peck and Company, and was a member of the 2012-2013 Gale Cup Moot team. After finishing as a student caseworker with the Innocence Project, I continued working on the research and writing that I began with the Project and have been preparing two papers to submit for publication.
Why did you choose to go to law school?
I came to law school in order to pursue a career in criminal law. My general fascination with the subject has been fueled by my long-standing interest in the issue of wrongful convictions and my desire to develop the expertise required to both prevent and correct these injustices. I also came to UBC Law with a view to eventually working as a litigator in the International Criminal Court. I hope to actively participate in the continuing development of the international criminal justice system.
How did you juggle school and other activities?
I juggled school and other activities by being organized and over-caffeinated, the latter likely being the critical factor.
What are your plans for after graduation?
After graduation, I will article with the firm Peck and Company. I am also serving on the Board of Directors for Lawyers’ Rights Watch Canada from 2013 to 2014. From 2014 to 2015, I will clerk with the British Columbia Court of Appeal.
Can you describe your law school experience?
My law school experience has been many things, but mostly it has been thought-provoking, empowering, and rewarding (the phrase “stressful at times” might appropriately follow shortly thereafter). I have learned so much in my three years of law school, largely due to the tremendous number of opportunities that were placed before me and the phenomenal instructors in the law faculty. I considered myself truly fortunate to have had the chance to attend UBC Law.