HSL welcomes Summer Student Phaedra Olinyk

Phaedra Olinyk

Being raised in Kenora by a homicide inspector and a Crown Attorney, my interest in law was more or less innate. But this interest was mostly one that was specific to criminal law – and that’s about as far as it went. My interest in the Criminal Justice System pushed me to pursue my undergraduate degree in Criminology at the University of Ottawa. From there, I decided I wanted to go to law school and eventually practice law in my hometown. When I was accepted to study law at the Bora Laskin Faculty of Law I was absolutely elated. Little did I know at the time that my interest in law was about to expand in ways that I never thought were possible.
After my first semester of law school, I already felt my interests shifting. It was not only Torts that I had a profound interest in, but Constitutional Law and Property Law were also at the top of my list. This is exactly why, when I was offered a Summer Law Student position at Hook, Seller and Lundin, I could not have been happier. Not only did I get to now spend my summer working at a local law firm in my hometown, but I also get to continue learning and exploring a vast range of legal areas including Family Law, Civil Litigation, Property Law, Real Estate and even some Criminal Law.
My first month at HSL has been surreal. Despite the fact that it has only been a month, it already feels like I have been here for much longer. In this short time, I have been given the opportunity to both attend a variety of Courts, as well as make my first court appearances in both Bail and Judges Court – both as an agent for defence counsel (my mom never thought she would see the day that I was standing next to her in court, on the opposite side). Being in court for the first time was extremely nerve-wracking but it made me want to become a lawyer that much more. Being able to advocate for those who are unable to advocate for themselves is extremely rewarding and is definitely something I can see myself doing in the future.
I have also been given many opportunities to apply my skills that I have acquired throughout my first year of studying law to real-life files – such as performing a Negligence Analysis in a Civil suit, writing Memos and Factums, performing conflict checks, researching case law for a variety of files, and assisting in the formulation of a criminal defence. All of these opportunities have provided me with insight into what it is like to practice law in general, but more importantly what it is like to practice law in a Northern Ontario town. Every day has been its own unique learning experience, and I am becoming more and more confident in my decision to pursue a career in law and I am very excited for the rest of my summer working and learning at HSL!