Sept. 4, 2019

First-year law student keeping his options open – but is pretty sure criminal law is off the list

Michael Wald says UCalgary’s focus on experiential learning will help him find the right practice area
Michael Wald is the 2019 BDP Entrance Scholarship winner
Michael Wald is the 2019 winner of the Burnet, Duckworth & Palmer LLP Entrance Scholarship. Adrian Shellard

Michael Wald is fairly certain he doesn’t want to practice criminal law, but he also knows that as a first-year law student, he could change his mind.

“I’ve always thought about going into law, but I don’t know much about the different practice areas so I’m not totally sure where I want to end up,” he says.

Wald took the summer off from his full-time job working in property development for the Calgary Airport Authority, but has been filling his days volunteering with HomeSpace, a charitable real estate developer, rental housing owner and property manager that provides safe, appropriate and affordable housing for vulnerable Calgarians. He’s been helping out any way he can, including building maintenance, administrative work, and research for new projects.

A graduate of UCalgary with a dual degree in urban studies and business, there is definitely a theme around where Wald’s interests lie. Real estate, municipal, or contract law could be an option, but he’s “starting law school with an open mind.”

Born and raised in Calgary, Wald says UCalgary was at the top of his list of law schools, but he ultimately choose to stay home for two primary reasons — the law school’s connection with the legal community, and the focus on experiential learning, which will help him figure out where he might want to land when he starts practicing.

Wald is also excited to get involved in some of the pro bono opportunities on offer, specifically the Elementary School Mock Trial program with Pro Bono Students Canada.

“A mock trial in summer camp is what got me excited about law as a child, so it would be neat to help introduce the next generation to law.”

Wald is the 2019 winner of the Burnet, Duckworth & Palmer LLP Entrance Scholarship.

First-year law student Michael Wald

Michael Wald is a first-year law student.

Adrian Shellard