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  • Writer's pictureRidhey Gill

Shreeya Devnani

Tell us about yourself.

I graduated from Western University this year where I completed a major in Criminology and a minor in Women Studies. It was a little bit of a rough path because in my first two years I thought I would pursue business which didn’t end up working out. I started then focusing more on criminology and took more courses and realized that when one door closes, another one opens. I ended up being so passionate about my major and minor and everything I learned, both in theory and in practice, helped to shape my decision to actually attend law school and use my legal education to actually make a difference. A lot of my work experience surrounds violence against women and family law. This past year I worked as a research assistant at the Centre for Research and Education on Violence Against Women and hands down it was one of the best experiences I’ve had because I really got to see that I was in an environment where I could make a difference. For me, going to law school doesn’t mean going just to say I have a law degree for the sake of saying it. It means I’ll be able to say that I helped someone who really needed it or that I made a difference in someone’s life as a direct result of my J.D. One of the biggest cases I worked on was comparing domestic homicide cases throughout provinces and I realized how much inequality there was amongst the provinces. For example, in the Northwest Territories there is no coverage of women disappearing or of the abuse that they face - specifically BIPOC women. There aren’t many research efforts being done anywhere other than Toronto and Quebec which is concerning. This was important for me to see because it got me thinking what my role was in fixing this or how I could contribute.

What area of law would you like to practice?

I want to focus on Family Law but more so women who are experiencing abuse and domestic violence. I want to advocate for these women and ensure their voices are being heard. I’d like to also focus more specifically on minority groups and minority rights.

Why did you choose Ryerson Law?

One of the biggest things that attracted me was Ryerson’s focus on technology and innovation. I had never seen a school put so much emphasis on technology and understanding that it really is the way of the future. Seeing a school that was doing this and that was really taking steps to build a program that is reflective of where the world is moving is what really pulled me in. I’m not very tech savvy so this is a bit outside of my comfort zone, but I think that’s why it’s so important for me to gain these skills and gain a different perspective of how technology can help me improve in the legal industry. Also, the location… it’s Toronto! It’s so diverse, which means different perspectives, different people, and different ideas.

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

Making a difference in women’s lives.

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

Two things. The first is the extracurriculars that we will co-found together. It will be so amazing to see things that we started to grow and develop and how other resources will come from that for future cohorts. The second thing I’m really excited about is to see how the no-articling aspect at Ryerson Law will play out in the future and how it will impact legal education across Canada.


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