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An Interview with Gavin Baxter

Over the past few months, Gavin Baxter has been helping me behind the scenes as my paralegal placement student with bookkeeping, legal research, website content development and has all around been a great sounding board. This week we did a Q&A which we hope you’ll enjoying reading!

Introduction

Hello everyone! My name is Gavin J. Baxter. I am a fourth-semester student at Sir Sandford Fleming College in Peterborough, Ontario. I am currently enrolled in the Paralegal program and am hoping to graduate in April 2021. Today, I’m sitting down with Rebecca for a short Q & A so that you can get to know me better! 

1. What led you to choose the paralegal program at Sir Sandford Fleming College?

My journey to Sir Sandford Fleming College began in high school. In my grade 11 year in high school, due to what could be defined as a very general interest in the legal environment,  I decided to take an Introduction to Canadian Justice course. I had always enjoyed school prior to this experience, but this class opened my eyes to a passion I did not know I had. I found law to be a perfect mix of writing, debate, and process and felt that it would allow me to do something of value with my career. Growing up with my father as a soldier in the Candian Armed Forces and my mother a nurse, I had developed a need to help people in whatever way I could. I found that law allowed me to help and advocate for people who perhaps needed a bit of a hand in those processes.

That being said, as I was searching for a post-secondary program to take to effect my new goal of working within the legal environment my eyes landed upon Sir Sandford Fleming’s Paralegal program. It was the perfect way for me to jumpstart my legal career, and so I immediately applied. To my satisfaction, I was accepted and enrolled in the summer of 2019.

2. Is there an interesting concept you have learnt since becoming a paralegal student? (Mine was that your birthday is considered ‘hearsay’!) 

Yes. In my second-semester at college I was doing some legal research and I came upon the Apology Act, 2009 S.O. 2009, c.3. It is, arguably, the most Canadian thing to have an entire statute dedicated to the meaning of apologies in connection with our justice system, and I absolutely love it.

3. What area of law are you most interested in? 

In line with my desire to advocate for others, I would have to say that I am most interested in the field of criminal and quasi-criminal law, as well as human rights. Individuals who are involved in these areas of law can often be disadvantaged by society, and as such I am very interested in helping them find their way through these complicated systems of justice. 

4. What has been your favourite course so far?

Legal research was certainly my favourite course. Although it might sound strange, I found myself enthralled by the act of searching through the legal texts in the library at Sir Sandford Fleming College. It was this course that made me feel like I was taking my first ‘real’ steps into the legal environment, and as such I look back on it fondly. 

5. What advice would you give to an individual considering the paralegal program?

My advice to those considering enrolling in a paralegal program, whether it be at Sir Sandford Fleming or any other of Ontario’s reputable, accredited education institutes, is two-fold:

First, I would take some time to consider whether a legal career is something you desire, as it is a quite distinct and important field of work. Once you’ve decided that is the path you wish to take, do your absolute best work and be yourself. The legal environment takes all kinds of people and should be just as diverse as the individuals it serves. 

6. What are your plans for after graduation?

Although I have not officially decided what I am doing after graduation, I do have quite a few ideas.

I would certainly like to get straight to work and gain some more experience working as a paralegal. However, I am also considering furthering my education with an undergraduate degree in legal studies, eventually using that to attend law school somewhere in Ontario. 

Conclusion
Thank you for taking the time to read this! If you are interested in contacting me, feel free to reach me over email at gavin.baxter@outlook.com.

Co-Written by Rebecca B. Tripp and Gavin Baxter.

Originally Posted on April 1, 2021

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