May 2, 2023
We had the pleasure of sitting down with Toral Patel, Manager, Control of Infectious Diseases and Infection Control, Toronto Public Health, and alumnus of the Osgoode Professional LLM in Canadian Common Law to discuss her professional journey and how she got to where she is today.
Tell us a little bit about yourself.
I am a people leader, a life-long learner, an avid traveller, and a passionate volunteer. I currently work at Toronto Public Health where I manage a team that investigates cases of communicable and reportable disease to find the source and curb its spread. I have a graduate degree in Healthcare Administration from the University of Toronto. I am also a volunteer board member with the Alliance of South Asian Aids Prevention.
As an internationally trained lawyer, I decided to obtain a license to practise law in Canada and pursue a legal career in which I can leverage my expertise and experience in public health.
How did the Professional LLM in Canadian Common Law help you in your professional career?
Being an internationally trained lawyer, I was looking for a change in my career path after several years of working in the public health sector in Canada. As a public health official, I routinely work with municipal and provincial privacy legislation, as well as public health legislations and regulations therein. I wanted to leverage this experience to build a legal career in Canada. The professional LLM in Canadian Common Law offered all the courses that I needed in order to fulfill my NCA criteria to practise law in Canada.
Why did you choose Osgoode?
When I decided to obtain a license to practise law in Canada, I was in search of an LLM program that not only provided world-class education but also offered evening and weekend courses as I was working full-time. A few of my friends had graduated from Osgoode’s Professional LLM and offered insight into their learning experiences where they had the opportunity to interact and learn with a wide array of internationally trained lawyers from around the world.
After some research on the various LLM programs offered in Canada, I zeroed in on Osgoode’s LLM in Canadian Common Law. It met all my criteria and offered me much more than just an excellent learning experience. Most importantly, Osgoode provided great career guidance and support to students which was an unmatched resource for me. Osgoode’s career portal also had a plethora of resources, from things like how to write a resume and a cover letter, to information on alumni that one can contact to obtain more information on their law firms and career trajectory.
Moreover, Michael Tam, Osgoode’s Program Lawyer, was instrumental in guiding me through the articling application process, including restructuring my resume and cover letter to showcase my experience in a way that is more attractive to employers. He is a treasure trove of information for any student looking for assistance in the application process and assisted me in preparing for interviews and connecting with past alumni. This career guidance and support is extremely useful and will aid students who are new to Canada or in between careers. With this guidance, I was able to secure an articling position with the Ministry of Attorney General’s Legal Services Branch which supports the Ministry of Health/Ministry of Long-Term Care.
What advice would you give to prospective students interested in studying at Osgoode?
1. Take advantage of the career guidance and support services offered at Osgoode. As stated before, this was an extremely valuable resource for me.
2. Due to the diversity in the student body, be sure to share your experiences and learn about your fellow students. There is so much to learn from those around you.
3. Make new connections and build strong relationships with peers, teachers, and support staff at Osgoode. This network can become extremely valuable in your professional journey.
4. Join a purposeful student group or association.
5. Do not forget to enjoy the roller coaster ride!
6. Choose your courses wisely. Be sure to attend the Course Selection information session to make an informed decision.
7. Try to give back after graduating!
Want to learn more about the Professional LLM in Canadian Common Law? Sign up for an Information Session!