conference 2020: Intro to law
Sohaib (pronounced “So-hey(b)!" is one of the co-founders at 99point9 - an ed. tech company that prepares dedicated students to score above the 99th percentile (173 out of 180) on the LSAT by focussing primarily on understanding content and reasoning. He specializes in understanding how the LSAT works, the skills a student needs in order to ace the test, and in identifying why a student is not able to score well - and fixing it.
Sohaib is also one of the content developers at 99point9; the lead software developer - he designed the platform students use when they’re studying for the test and often develops useful tools to help retain information; and one of the law school admissions consultant.
Fun fact: Sohaib scored 140 the first time he ever took an LSAT past test, and within two weeks of hard-core studying he scored 180 on another. When in the test-taking mindset, he finishes the logic games section of the LSAT in 16 to 18 minutes, such that he can go back and do the section twice in the 35 minutes given for the section.
He believes that the problem with LSAT preparation, or studying for anything, is incorrect emphasis on learning via past tests as opposed to gaining skills and understanding what you’re reading; and that, if you’re committed and patient -- no matter what your GPA initially is -- you can score high enough to get into the top law schools in the world. “It’s all about the mindset and attention-to-detail”, he says often, and in his keynote he wants to talk about “the traps” that prevent students from scoring well.
Mehak Kawatra is a graduate of the University of Toronto Faculty of Law (2020). Prior to completing her JD, she obtained her Bachelor of Arts (Honours) from the University of Toronto, majoring in English and Criminology. As a law student, Mehak worked for Human Rights Watch (Women’s Rights Division) and UofT Law’s International Human Rights Program (Survivors of the Rwandan Genocide). Mehak also competed in the Intellectual Property Mooting Competition, winning runner up best appellant factum. She will be joining Bennett Jones LLP as an articling student for the 2020-2021 cycle, and she is excited to pursue her interests in litigation once she becomes licensed.
Alena is an experienced, award-winning lawyer with a strong background in corporate governance and the regulatory, financial services, and government sectors. Prior to joining FSRA, she served as the Deputy Director, Legal Services Branch at the Ontario Ministry of the Attorney General (MAG) where she provided legal and strategic advice to senior government officials in multiple ministries on various high profile issues relating to energy sector policy, draft legislation, corporate governance, and transactional matters.
In previous roles in the banking and credit union sectors, she provided legal and strategic advice on matters related to regulatory, risk, compliance, corporate and commercial law, mergers and acquisitions, corporate governance, and capital markets.
Alena is active in various legal industry and practice groups, sits on a number of voluntary Boards, and is passionate about supporting initiatives that promote diversity, inclusion, and women in leadership positions. She is a member of the Ontario Bar Association and its Mentorship Program, the Ontario Chapter of the Canadian Corporate Counsel Association (past Chair), and the Women General Counsel Canada.
Dr. Karine Rashkovsky has made a big splash in the world of progressive education by founding and directing Brain Power (brainpower.ca), an award-winning enrichment learning centre that has not only educated (and continues to educate) thousands of select bright and talented students (Canada's future leaders from grades 1 through 12) in the GTA and beyond, but also has sent them around the world to pursue leadership opportunities in ivy league academia, medicine, law, engineering, entrepreneurship, data science, and creative industries, to name a few.
She leads a large team of diverse Ph.D. educators in providing transformative academic programming at Brain Power -- where they teach subjects such as Aerospace Engineering, Public Speaking & Persuasion, Math Olympiad Training, and Mechanics of Writing (note: Brain Power provides professional improv comedy training to all staff to ensure students are both challenged by the unique curriculum and entertained by their expert instructors). Karine has also won many awards; Toronto City MOGUL 2019. CSPN Entrepreneur of the Year 2019, Top Entrepreneur City of Vaughan 2019, Top Business CIty of Vaughan 2018, Passion Into Practice Award York Region 2018.
Rebecca completed her law degree at the University of Ottawa in the common law program. During her time at the University of Ottawa, Rebecca volunteered for a variety of social justice initiatives including LEAF’s "Only Yes Means Yes" program, which taught high school students about the law of consent, and Pro Bono Students Canada (PBSC) as a volunteer for a research project with the Sexual Assault Network. She was later a member of the Student Advisory Board of PBSC at the University of Ottawa. In the last year of her studies she worked as a caseworker at the University’s Legal Aid Clinic in the Women’s Division, assisting clients who had been the victims of violence with applications to the Criminal Injuries Compensation Board.
It was during her summer experience at Innocence Canada, where she worked on legal education modules and client cases, that she knew she wanted to pursue a career in criminal law. Rebecca is thrilled to be continuing her legal career and social justice work as a staff lawyer at Innocence Canada by helping those who the criminal justice system has failed.
Jerome has spent over 20 years in student recruitment, admissions and exchanges spanning undergraduate, graduate and professional programs in Ontario at U of T, Queen’s University and The Michener Institute for Applied Health Sciences. He is a former international student to Canada and holds a Bachelor’s degree in Computing & Information Science from Queen’s University.
For advancing diversity in law school admissions, Jerome sits on the JD admissions selection committee and is the lead on the administration of the annual Law School Access Program (LSAP) for pre-law students from low-income families, the annual UofT Cup undergraduate moot competition and the annual Future Black Lawyers undergraduate student conference.
Aamir Chherawala is an incoming first year associate in the Business Law Group at Cassels Brock & Blackwell LLP. Aamir also summered and articled at the firm. Prior to joining Cassels, Aamir completed his Bachelor of Arts in Criminology at Simon Fraser University and his Juris Doctorate and Master of Business Administration at the University of Toronto. During his articling term, Aamir worked in a variety of groups at Cassels including: litigation, lending, bankruptcy, private M&A, capital markets, intellectual property, and real estate. Aamir plans to pursue a career in capital markets.
Aaron is a member of the Aird & Berlis Capital Markets and Venture Finance Group. He practices corporate law with an emphasis on debt and equity financing and domestic and international M&A. On financing matters, Aaron regularly advises Canadian borrowers, including start-up and FinTech companies, and US or Canadian banks on local and cross-border lending transactions. On M&A transactions, Aaron serves a broad range of the firm’s clients, including, strategic/financial buyers, family offices, and retiring or otherwise divesting sellers. Aaron also works with the corporate regulatory team at Aird & Berlis to provide advice on competition and foreign investment law issues that arise on certain mergers and acquisitions. Aaron’s broad range of client experience allows him to see issues from all sides of a deal and provide effective solutions to meet the clients’ needs.
Sophie Zhao was a summer fellow at Innocence Canada and is a 2L student at the University of Toronto's Faculty of Law. She previously completed a Joint Honours Bachelor of Arts in Sociology and Psychology at McGill University. This semester, Sophie will be a full-time student in the criminal law division of Downtown Legal Services, a clinic affiliated with the law school. Additionally, Sophie is working part-time for an art lawyer on research related to preserving cultural heritage and crimes against art. In her spare time, Sophie enjoys reading literature, watching operas, and solo backpacking.
Matthew Tse is a second-year law student at McGill University. His interests include theories of justice, technology and the law, and social empowerment. He has also written, among other things, on rap music’s relationship with the civil rights movement, gender inequality in the medical field, and gangs in the Prairies.
Prior to his law degree, Tse graduated with a BA in sociology from McGill. Beyond academics, he has played for Hong Kong’s national lacrosse team at the 2018 World Championship, and also founded an e-commerce business during his freshmen year (www.visionsocks.ca).
Katelyn was called to the bar in Ontario earlier this summer. She recently completed her articling year at Cassels, a full-service Bay Street firm. She will be returning to that firm in the autumn, where she will be joining both the litigation and business groups, and her practice will focus on intellectual property litigation and competition law.
Katelyn attended law school at Western University as a mature student. Prior to law school, she worked for the government of Ontario, and primarily the Ministry of the Attorney General, in various roles focused on business and organizational strategy. Katelyn has also been an LSAT tutor and instructor with the Princeton Review Canada, certified at the ultimate level, since 2014, and has worked with students to improve their personal statements for their law school applications. She also holds an Honours Bachelor of Arts at the University of Toronto. Katelyn sits on the Board of Directors of the Woodsworth College Alumni Association and the Woodsworth College Council.
Genevieve Antono is a third-year student (3L) at Harvard Law School and Co-President of the Harvard Association for Law and Business (HALB). She is also host of the HALB Leadership Podcast, which is available on Spotify, Apple Podcasts, and other major platforms. At school, she also volunteers as a Harvard Law School Admissions Fellow and is a recipient of the American Bar Association's Women in M&A Scholarship and Corporate Legal Operations Consortium (CLOC) Scholarship.
Gennie graduated magna cum laude from Columbia University in 2017 with a BA in political science. Prior to law school, she worked as a Legal & Compliance Analyst for Real Estate Private Funds at The Blackstone Group and as an SEO Fellow at Wachtell, Lipton, Rosen & Katz. She spent her 1L summer at Simpson Thacher & Bartlett in New York and Hong Kong. She spent both her 1L and 2L summers at Simpson Thacher & Bartlett.
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