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  • Writer's pictureRidhey Gill

Dawson Wigle

Tell us about yourself.

I come from a very small town called Leamington, Ontario. If you’ve heard of Point Pelee National Park it’s actually connected to my town! I recently completed my undergrad at the University of Toronto where I did a double major in Criminology and Ethics, Society, and Law. While at UofT, I was heavily involved in student life at a very early and unprecedented stage. I got involved in my second year, whereas in most cases you have to be in third year even to apply. I started as a Commuter Don where I lived off campus and planned monthly events. The following year I transitioned to being a Lead Commuter Don (which was crazy that I got to do that in my third year!). I created this House Program for commuter students, and if you’ve seen Harry Potter it’s similar to that, where students were sorted into different houses and gained points through engaging in different ways or coming to events and we commissioned a trophy to be made that was given out at the end of the year. It was so much fun and helped to build a strong sense of community that we were looking for. Following that, in my fourth year I became a Residence Don where I moved back on campus and got to lead a community of 45-50 students. I was also involved with the Pre-Law Society where I participated in a mock trial and was fortunate enough to win the inaugural UofT Mock Trial Competition. It was such a fun experience and I made so many friends out of it. A fun fact about me that’s not school related is that over this past year I had the opportunity to be a lead actor in a short film called It’s a Love Hate Thing.

What area of law would you like to practice?

I don’t really know. I think one of the beautiful things about Ryerson Law’s program is that it’s very practice based. I feel like not knowing right now will help me going into this program because I am so open-minded to learning about the different areas I can practise in.

Why did you choose Ryerson Law?

I chose Ryerson Law for a few reasons. The first is because of the practice-based curriculum. We can study legal theory until we have read every book out there, but what matters most is gaining actual experience alongside the knowledge. I can read all about roller-blading but if I never actually try the roller-blades themselves, I can end up falling flat on my face. Another significant reason for why I chose Ryerson Law is because we’re being given an opportunity that many other J.D. candidates would never get. We get the opportunity to be the foundation layer, so to speak, for Ryerson Law. We get the opportunity to set the tone. We get to set the standard for what employers will look for or expect when they see Ryerson Law on a resume come across their desk. The final selling point for me was the people who are behind this law school. Our Dean is so incredible and our Faculty has really made us all feel so welcome with their correspondence. The dedication and vision that exists for this program is amazing, and that is really important to me.

What do you hope to accomplish with your J.D.?

Where I’m going to go with my J.D., I don’t know. But I do know that I want to help others and use my J.D. to make the world a better place. When I say this, I don’t mean I need to be a world-renowned lawyer within my first few years of graduating law school. Even having the opportunity to help one family, or even one person, I’ll know I’ve made some sort of impact. For those people it could be their entire world even if it’s just one legal matter for me. No one gets to where they are on their own, and so I strongly believe in giving back to the communities who have helped me in my personal journey.

As a part of the inaugural cohort of Ryerson Law, what are you most looking forward to?

I’m really looking forward to defining what Ryerson Law is and I am really excited to do it with this cohort of students. One thing that I’m seeing is that the community we’ve built already is very genuine. We aren’t afraid of having uncomfortable conversations, calling out injustices, or taking on a challenge. I’m looking forward to setting the tone for this program so future students will say “I want to go to Ryerson Law” and so that employers will say “I want to hire a Ryerson Law student”.


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