A question and answer with one of Trail’s REAL participants, Jack Montpellier.
Montpellier, 27, was travelling “abroad” when The Trail Daily Times reached him for an interview.
Breanne Massey: Why did you choose to article in Trail this summer?
Jack Montpellier: I was eager to get back to British Columbia and heard the Kootenays were beautiful and a great place for outdoor activities, which have always been a big part of my life, as I am originally from the province.
I have a cousin living in the area and the photos he had of the area and all its outdoor activities and wildlife had me really interested in trying a summer there.
BA: Which firm did you work with and for how long? What kind of work were you involved with?
JM: I was with McEwan Law Corporation, focusing on corporate, commercial and real estate law.
BA: How did the REAL program help accommodate your plans? And would you recommend it to others, why/why not?
JM: The REAL program is open-ended in that it allows the firms themselves to come up with their own summer student programs.
This allowed McEwan Law to become familiar with my interests and determine whether I would fit in well with its culture, and I made sure to highlight my interest in the outdoors.
I would definitely recommend it to others: it’s a great way to get students into parts of the province they may not have spent much time in previously without putting the full financial constraints of a summering program on the firms and sole practitioners themselves.
BA: What did you get from your experience?
JM: An great amount of practical experience. The practice areas of the firm are diverse and its smaller size allowed for exposure to a wide variety of legal fields in a three month stretch.
That’s not necessarily possible when working as a student in larger urban centres.
BA: Where would you like to work once you finish your degree?
JM: Definitely back in BC.
BA: Is there anything else that you would like to highlight about your experience or the projected shortage of lawyers in rural B.C.?
JM: The culture in law schools is often oriented towards larger urban centres and it’s great to have a program that allows students to explore other opportunities they might not have considered had the resources to do so not been available.
In my experience a lot of students don’t consider rural opportunities because they either don’t know they exist or have little idea about what they involve.