Law co-op student testimonials

Camas Ussery - 2022 Co-op Student of the Year (Optional and Professional Programs)

During my work term and South Island Indigenous Authority, I developed my legal and policy skills, but the summer was so much more than that. I had the opportunity to learn firsthand about Coast Salish culture, laws, and values through my coworkers and through community members, and put these learnings to use to contribute to the development of Indigenous child and family legislation. The work SIIA is doing is history in the making, and it was inspiring to see all the knowledge South Island First Nations were willing to lend to the process.

In addition to learning about Indigenous law, I was able to learn more about recently-passed federal legislation that supported this work, provincial child and family legislation, and develop my understanding of constitutional law in a way that isn't possible in the classroom. I would absolutely recommend this work term to fellow students - the learning curve is steep, but it is worth it. The work is incredibly meaningful and the team is kind, patient, and full of knowledge.

Indigo Smart

My work term placement in the Justice Services Branch of the Ministry of Attorney General provided valuable insight into the interplay of policy and legislation and encouraged my passion for public service. Working in the Ministry reinforced that I want to pursue work with broad public benefit. I gained an understanding of how policy considerations and stakeholder input shapes legislation by completing research assignments and participating in meetings with lawyers, policy analysts, and stakeholders. I was also able to witness the government’s internal legislative process. I was privileged to work within a kind and dedicated team who actively supported my learning. Moving forward in school and towards a future career I intend to focus on work that will allow me to support the broad public good.

Nicholas Loughton

I thoroughly enjoyed my time with the BC Ministry of Finance’s the Tax Policy Branch.  I was given the opportunity to work on meaningful projects that materially benefited the people of British Columbia. One of many projects which I worked on became front-page news on the Times Colonist! My colleagues and supervisors were friendly and collegial, always happy to answer my questions and help me get squared away on my projects. The dynamic was perfect for a summer job - great people, interesting work, and free time in the evenings and on weekends! I would recommend the Tax Policy Branch as a summer co-op to any law student, and I wouldn't be surprised to see UVic law graduates working there in the future. 

Alexa Powell

Picture of Alexa Powell in a snowy forest holding an icicle.In Spring 2020, I was the co-op student at the UVic Environmental Law Centre. I could not have anticipated the variety of experiences I was able to gain. I grew both personally and professionally and learned so much about the environmental law landscape in BC. I was lucky to meet with, and learn from, so many knowledgeable clients and ENGOs. I gained experience drafting Freedom of Information requests, legal memorandums, and law reform reports. Working closely with the incredible team at the ELC was both fun and enriching!

*Photo credit: Holly Pattison

Meena Ansari

In the Fall of 2019 I was a Legal-Political Intern at the Embassy of Canada in The Netherlands. I could not have anticipated what a whirlwind experience it would be - representing my country in multilateral treaty negotiations, speaking on behalf of Canada at the International Criminal Court, organizing events for ambassadors. Through this experience, I learned about the inner workings of international organizations, of Canada's feminist foreign policy, and the dance of diplomatic relations. I also had a chance to meet some of my heroes - Fatou Bensouda, Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court; Honourable Bob Rae, Canada's Special Envoy to Myanmar; and Toufah Jallow, Gambian activist. 

coop student standing in front of angel wings statue in the Netherlands

This position had a significant impact on me personally and professionally. Personally, it gave me confidence at a time when I was beginning to lack faith in my legal abilities. After not being offered articles, I was questioning if I would ever belong in the legal field. Working at such a high-level in a prestigious job reminded me that there are capable people who believe in me. Professionally, the internship made me consider a career in government. Before this position, I had assumed that government jobs were slow-paced and malaligned with my values. However, seeing the passion with which diplomats further Canadian values changed my perspective.

coop student on her bike in the Netherlands

After graduating in May, I will begin articling with the Alberta Crown Prosecution Service. I'm looking forward to applying the skills I honed during my position - negotiating, public speaking, and researching towards a worthwhile cause!

Stephen Wallington


Photo of Stephen Wallington in front of the BC legislative buildingsI’ve had multiple opportunities to work in positions I always wanted to through the Co-op program. The first position included the opportunity to work with the Ministry of the Attorney General’s Policy and Legislation Division in the Fall of 2019.  I had entered my undergrad with the intentions of working in public policy and after a year and a half of law school, I was given the opportunity to work with an incredible team of lawyers on some very fascinating projects.  My supervisor, Alexander Stirling was a phenomenal mentor, and the team there opened up as many doors as possible to get the full experience of their work.  I got to see how British Columbia’s statutes are created or amended: from the beginnings in their office to how it all unfolds in the legislature, and everything in between. 

After taking a second great position with the Province after a private firm placement fell through due to Covid-19 in the summer of 2020, I got the privilege to join Woodward & Co Lawyers LLP in the Spring 2021 term.  In my underground I learnt about their role in establishing Aboriginal title in British Columbia.  When I heard about their participation in the Co-op program before entering law school I thought, “What an awesome team to get to work with given the chance!”  Honestly, I cannot emphasise enough how great the team was, or how amazing the files were. The Law Co-op Program and the different opportunities that students would otherwise never get without it, was one of the reasons I came to University of Victoria for my law degree.  Every placement exceeded my expectations and I’m grateful for the variety of legal jobs the program offered.