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Making the case

With her father as an inspiration, a law student pursues her dream

October 21, 2013

Making the case
Alana Vandervoort: "The money the donors have given for this student award goes beyond just a donation. It's an aid and tool to my success."

As a young girl in small-town Ontario, Alana Vandervoort held an unusual aspiration. She dreamed of becoming a lawyer.

Why unusual? No one from Alana’s family practised law and she knew no lawyers. In fact, she met a lawyer for the first time when she was 17 years old.

“I guess I’m fortunate that I’ve known where my career path would lead me,” says Alana, now a Western Law student and the inaugural recipient of the Norman Craig Brown QC Continuing Bursary. “That’s helped me remain focused on my goal of working in the legal profession.”

Her focus led her to make Western the number one choice for law school. “Western Law has a community feel with a great school spirit, which is perfect for me,” she says.

With her first year completed, Alana says the collaborative learning environment at Western Law is second to none. “Every professor challenges me and makes me want to learn,” she says. “And as students, we look out for each other, even though we have diverse interests. There’s such a collegial and encouraging atmosphere.”

Alana credits her father as a huge encouragement in pursuing her dream. He’s a hard-working blue-collar man, she says, who highly values education. He beamed with pride when she graduated with her bachelor’s degree.

“My Dad has instilled an incredible work ethic in me and has given me a sense of accomplishment,” adds Alana. “Living these values is what got me to where I am today.”

That hard work and dedication to becoming a lawyer makes her receipt of a student award a tremendous gift. “I’m so thankful for this award because I know the worth of it to my future,” she says. “Receiving it has allowed me to be fully involved in law school and seize every opportunity.

“I truly appreciate what I’ve received from this award, and I’m grateful for the donors who are so supportive and encouraging through their generosity.”

Award Facts
Granted to a full-time student entering first year at Western Law, the Norman Craig Brown QC Continuing Bursary will continue for subsequent years as long as the student progresses and demonstrates financial need. Established by family and colleagues of Norman Craig Brown, QC, the award honours and recognizes his career in law and commitment to the legal profession.

This article appeared in the 2013 edition of Student Awards Recipient Report
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