Which experiences during your studies at OsgoodePD have helped you get where you are today?
OsgoodePD gave me the opportunity to share the path to becoming a lawyer with some of the most accomplished legal professionals from around the world; I truly believe that the diversity of the student body at OsgoodePD enriched my educational experience. I am also grateful for the support of the staff and faculty, who understood the challenges of adapting to a new academic and legal system. At OsgoodePD, I felt comfortable reaching out and seeking help both academically and professionally. From meeting academic expectations to navigating the licensing path and finding articling positions, I could always count on the help and support of OsgoodePD faculty and staff. Without a doubt, the strong professional and personal relationships that I cultivated during my studies at OsgoodePD have contributed significantly to my success.
What has your professional journey been like since completing your LLM in Canadian Common Law?
My professional journey following the completion of my LLM was full of lessons and valuable experiences. After graduating from Osgoode Professional Development and completing my NCA exams, I obtained my Certificate of Qualification and successfully completed the licensing examinations. After passing the bar exams, I was extremely excited to be one step closer to becoming a lawyer in Canada. However, soon I realized that securing an articling position that fits my future professional plans is not without challenges.
For about a year, I was actively looking for an articling position. In the meantime, I started working at the City of Toronto as a constituency assistant, where I was able to gain valuable experience in governance and policymaking.
In the summer of 2016, I learned about the Law Practice Program at Ryerson University, which was intended to be a parallel program to the traditional articling system. After doing some research and consulting with my mentors and the Osgoode PD staff, I decided to register for the LPP. The program consisted of 8 months of online training and experiential learning combined with a hands-on work term. Through the LPP, I was able to successfully secure a placement at the Ministry of the Attorney General. My four-month placement at the Ministry was divided between the Agency and Tribunal Relations Division and the Office of the Independent Police Review Director (OIPRD). During my placement, I was able to develop extensive knowledge and experience in the area of administrative law and policing while expanding my professional and personal network.
Upon being called to the bar in 2017, I was hired back at the OIPRD as Crown Counsel.
My experience at the OIPRD has been extremely rewarding. I am passionate about my role and I am proud to be able to serve the public as a lawyer. Over the past two years, I have provided legal and policy advice to several divisions within the agency. I have also appeared as counsel and co-counsel before the Human Rights Tribunal, the Ontario Superior Court of Justice, and the Ontario Court of Justice.
Throughout my career thus far, I have also contributed to several courses at OsgoodePD as an assistant instructor and program developer. I feel privileged to be able to work alongside some of the most distinguished law professors in Ontario and Canada.
What piece of advice from a member of OsgoodePD’s staff or faculty has stuck with you that would benefit students sharing your same experience?
The best piece of advice that I received from OsgoodePD staff was to never hesitate to ask for help. Whether from faculty, staff, or classmates, it is always worthwhile to reach out for support and guidance. I am very grateful for that advice as my professional and academic journey would not have been as rewarding without the support and mentorship of my professors and peers at OsgoodePD.
Morvarid Shojaei is Crown Counsel at Ministry of the Attorney General. Assistant Instructor at Osgoode Professional Development. And is a Policing and administrative law enthusiast.