Alanis Ortiz Espinoza, secretary - OBA Student Executive, shares her journey as a law student in the United Kingdom, her approach to gaining legal experience and building a professional network in Canada, as well as some helpful advice for NCA students.
My interest in the law
My passion and interest in the law sparked at a very young age as I have always felt this innate desire and feeling of responsibility to serve others in my community. I credit my parents, both of whom are hardworking Panamanians and successful in their professions, for my perspective and desire to be a voice for my community. There is a scarcity of Latin Americans in the legal profession, and as a Panamanian woman, this is a driving force for me. I want to use my career and unique perspective to instill meaningful change and create precedents that are effective.
I was born in Toronto, Canada and would often ask my parents to introduce me to their lawyer friends so that I could ask them questions about their day-to-day work responsibilities, their studies, and any advice they had to give me. As someone who did not know many lawyers growing up, this “free mentorship” that I received early on, helped me immensely.
Eventually, I went on to graduate from the University of Toronto with a B.A. in Political Science and Equity Studies (With Distinction). Throughout my studies, I quickly saw the value in volunteer roles. I served on several councils, tribunals, and as a board member for a legal clinic dedicated to providing access to justice to individuals with low incomes.