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Re-establishing a career in Law through Volunteerism
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Dami came from Nigeria and settled in Canada in 2014. Back in Nigeria she studied criminal law for over ten years, dealing with commercial litigation and white collar crime. She also received her business law degree from the UK. When Dami first came to Calgary, her first impression of the city was of cowboy hats, courteous and helpful neighbours, as well as the honor system of transit!
Initially, she faced challenges such as finding an appropriate apartment, having no job and no credit history. So for her first rental place, she had to pay 6 months in advance in order to guarantee a place to live. Dami began looking for transitional work, but was overqualified for many jobs, so instead, started looking for volunteering opportunities.
During her first few months in Calgary, Dami researched resources in the city, and found out about Immigrant Services Calgary during the first week. She quickly met with a settlement counselor, and then got connected with a mentorship organization called CRIEC. These organizations helped provide guidance in her path to re-establish her law career in Canada.
Under the guidance of her mentor, Dami contacted the NCA for assessment, sent in all her documents and ended up having to write four exams to prove her knowledge of law, in addition to finding an articling position. During her studies, she participated in a lot of volunteering around the community, because she believes in giving back to others. During this time, she volunteered at Immigrant Services Calgary and Calgary Legal Guidance, with administration, as well as providing employment and legal advice. From these experiences, she gained valuable knowledge of the Canadian workplace and developed her communication skills with the local Canadians.
After writing and successfully passing her exams, she landed her current articling position in Calgary Legal Guidance in May 2016. Dami will be called to the bar next summer 2017, to receive her license to practise law in Canada.