Oct. 27, 2021

Lawyer loves guiding diverse students along a path to law career

2021 Top 40 Under 40: Sandra Aigbinode Lange, UCalgary mentor and volunteer
Sandra Aigbinode Lange
Sandra Aigbinode Lange Jared Sych, Avenue magazine

Currently on maternity leave from her law firm, Sandra Aigbinode Lange, 33, volunteers at UCalgary and admits to once writing a blog about Prince Harry, loving chess and being instrumental in recruiting BIPOC students to her firm.

Aigbinode Lange is a litigation associate at McCarthy Tétrault, supervises pro bono initiatives with UCalgary, and mentors with the Black Law Students Association of Canada chapter, UCalgary.

What does a litigation associate do?

I assist clients with their business disputes. My practice focuses primarily on corporate commercial and public law litigation, as well as arbitration.

What do you miss about student life?

Rolling out of bed into “work.” I miss being able to wear hoodies and sweatpants to my classes and meetings.

Can you recall any embarrassing or funny moments that have happened to you as a student?

In my first year of law school, I started a blog called “1L of a Ride” where I documented my legal journey and love for Prince Harry. Despite deleting the blog many years ago, a good client recently found some of those blog posts and now teases me about it!

What has been your biggest career highlight to date?

Going to the Supreme Court of Canada as counsel is a significant career highlight that I am proud of.

What do you like about working with the Indigenous Youth Outreach Project in Siksika Nation?

I absolutely love volunteering with the Indigenous Youth Outreach Project run by UCalgary’s Pro Bono Students Canada chapter. We run mock trials and teach high school students about the justice system. Every time a student tells me they are interested in becoming a police officer, lawyer, judge and so forth — it gives me great joy. We need more diversity at all levels of the justice system. 

What is the most satisfying thing about your job?

Helping clients resolve their complex disputes.

If you were to go back to school, what would you take?

I would get an MBA degree.

Who are your biggest heroes?

A few Supreme Court Justices, including Justice Rosalie Silberman Abella and Justice Sheilah L. Martin.

Any advice for students or new grads? 

Stay in touch with your classmates. In the future, those are your friends, your co-workers, your clients and/or your source of work referrals.

What are you watching or reading these days? 

Over the past year, I have been reading a lot of novels by BIPOC authors. This month, I just finished Somebody’s Daughter by Ashley Ford, You are Your Best Thing by Tarana Burke and Brené Brown, and Nothing but the Truth by Marie Henein.

What is your favourite board game?


With files from Avenue Magazine.