SHIFTer of the Month
My name is Hannah Gladstone and I am the newly elected Director of Policy and Research for SHIFT. I was born and raised in Toronto before heading off to complete my undergraduate degree in ecology and conservation biology at Queen’s University in Kingston, Ontario. While I loved what I was learning about the natural world around me, I ultimately knew that the lab wasn’t where my career would take me.
In my fourth year at Queen’s, one of our professors implored us to consider professions that bridged the gap between knowledge and action. For conservation purposes, that meant meeting the middle point between scientific expertise and legal know-how; to ensure that the decisions being made at the legislative and judicial levels were in full contemplation of sound scientific principles and data. Once I set my sights on law school, the Bora Laskin Faculty of Law was the natural fit; with a focus on environmental and natural resource law I was sold.
While I ultimately strayed from an entirely environment-focused legal practice, I am so grateful that I came to Thunder Bay to study law. Having never even been to Thunder Bay before, I knew from the moment that I received my offer of acceptance that Lakehead was the right school for me. What other law school personally calls its’ accepted students? If it weren’t for that phone call almost four years ago from one Annet Maurer (the amazing and talented Student Services Officer), who graciously fielded a thousand questions ranging from program-specific questions to tips on best places to look for an apartment in Thunder Bay, things might have ended up very differently.
This dedication and commitment to each individual student’s experience continued on throughout my legal education. From an amazing professor, who allowed me to participate in so many interesting projects including tagging along to a Federal Court of Appeal hearing to the active engagement of the local bar and bench, I could not have asked for a better experience.
I must admit, starting at a brand new school in a new city was intimidating. Over time, however that feeling faded and what started out as unfamiliar and unknown became my second home. Beyond the professional opportunities that exist here, my personal life continues to benefit. From the beautiful natural environment around us, to the extraordinary culinary offerings, to the sense of community, it is truly a spectacular place to live.
When I first learned about SHIFT I was excited for the chance to network with other young professionals, especially those outside the legal profession. It’s easy to get isolated in your profession; to only interact with those in similar positions. I loved having the opportunity to meet new people, hear new ideas and find ways to connect through mutual interests. I am very excited to be afforded the opportunity to serve as your Director of Policy and Research for the upcoming year!