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Meet Léo Bourgeois, Class of 2024

Posted by Amanda Kirby-Sheppard on May 14, 2024 in News, Law & Technology Institute, Alumni & Friends, Students
Léo Bourgeois (Provided Photo)
Léo Bourgeois (Provided Photo)

Congratulations to the Schulich School of Law’s Class of 2024! In the coming weeks, we’ll feature Q&As with graduating law students who will reflect on their time at Weldon.

Today we're talking to Léo Bourgeois.

Why did you want to attend the Schulich School of Law?

From the moment I received my acceptance from the Schulich School of Law, I felt a sense of belonging. I immediately shared the news with my father, an alumnus of Dalhousie University, and together we agreed it was the perfect fit. After completing my undergraduate degree at Carleton University in Ottawa, attending law school in Halifax represented an opportunity to reconnect with my Acadian roots and move closer to my family in Chéticamp, Cape Breton.  

The intimate size of Dalhousie’s law school was also particularly appealing to me and fit well with my learning style. I knew I would benefit from the small class sizes and the opportunity to engage closely with professors.  

The summer before my first semester, I had the privilege of meeting with former Associate Dean and Professor Emeritus John Yogis just before his passing. His profound admiration for Schulich Law and his encouragement to explore courses in business and technology, areas experiencing significant growth at the law school, deeply resonated with me.

In what ways were you involved with the law school community?

I made it a point to get involved, starting as a first-year representative of the law students’ section of the Canadian Bar Association’s Nova Scotia Branch and progressing to Chair. Additionally, I contributed to the law school’s Appointments Committee for a two-year period, gaining valuable insights into how institutional procedures can foster fairness and consistency in hiring outcomes.

Participating in the Willms and Shier Environmental Law Moot this past semester also enriched my academic journey, as well as learning that I will be published in an upcoming Dalhousie Journal of Legal Studies where I wrote about the intersection of copyright law and sports streaming services. 

In the fall of 2023, I completed a semester at the initio Technology and Innovation Law Clinic. Working directly with clients in this setting was immensely rewarding and served as a pivotal step in honing my skills for a future legal career focused on information technology, privacy, intellectual property, social impact, and innovation. My term at initio stands out as the most rewarding professional experience of my life.

What does the Weldon Tradition mean to you?

The Weldon Tradition represents a commitment to unselfish public service, underlining the responsibility of every lawyer to use their legal expertise to improve the community. It profoundly influenced my law school journey, shaping the legal skills I possess today.

Following my first year, I was awarded a Schulich Academic Internship, to work with the HIV and AIDS Legal Clinic Ontario. As someone raised by same-sex parents, I was motivated to leverage my legal knowledge to support a historically marginalized community. This experience helped strengthen my commitment to continue to engage in legal work that helps support social justice.

What is your favourite law school memory?

This past semester, I had the opportunity to write a Directed Research Paper on Artificial Intelligence (AI) and the Law. This initiative was organized by faculty and allowed participating students and faculty to learn from each other about a topic with many complex and pressing legal, regulatory, and policy dimensions.  

One standout memory from this initiative was a lunch and learn session where faculty and students gathered to discuss research questions, methodologies, and findings. I felt a deep sense of appreciation and pride for the law school organizing this initiative which empowered students to contribute to shaping future directions in emerging legal areas. 

What will you miss most about Schulich Law?

I will fondly remember the connections I made with classmates, faculty, and lawyers from all over Canada. It felt like there was always an exciting event organized by a student society, offering opportunities like lunchtime panels featuring lawyers in your area of interest.

The constant support from the faculty and administrative staff will also be missed. Whenever I needed guidance or assistance, they were always quick to lend a helping hand. 

What are your post-graduation plans?

In June, I will be returning to the initio clinic for articling. I am thrilled to spend another year in the Weldon Law Building providing legal support to businesses and organizations that may not have access to such services otherwise. Following articles, I hope to continue my career in the areas of social impact law, and corporate and business law with a focus on start-ups and technology.