Curiosity led Paige Mueller to law school. Even before becoming a juris doctor (JD) candidate, she was fascinated with the art of the court case, access to justice and problem solving—a passion she is able to continue chasing at Thompson Rivers University (TRU) thanks to financial support from a donor-funded scholarship.
“It was seeing how a lawyer builds a case and the fact-finding mission of litigation and the law that really drew me to it,” said the third-year law student.
Mueller is the first person to receive the Doug Eastwood Q.C. Maclean Law Scholarship, a faculty-judged award created in memory of the senior litigator with a $65,000 donation from Vancouver-based firm MacLean Family Law.
In many cases, financial awards mean the difference for students just getting by in their academic studies as they also hold down paid jobs. The Faculty of Law wants to increase annual distribution of scholarships and bursaries to $500,000 by 2023.
Student support is one of the priorities of TRU’s Limitless campaign to raise $50 million coinciding with the university’s 50th anniversary this year. It’s creating more financial aid for students who need it most.
“It’s allowed me to dedicate myself to my studies and continue being active in the TRU Law community,” Mueller said of her scholarship. “TRU Law is known for being very collegial and the mentorship I received from third-year students during my first year has really propelled me to become more involved.”
MacLean Law invests in students
MacLean Family Law was driven to invest in current law students after working with several TRU alumni, creating the Doug Eastwood Q.C. Maclean Law Scholarship and also sponsoring the MacLean Law Prize in Family Law.
“We have several passionate TRU Law alumni who are key contributors at our firm,” said Fraser MacLean, a TRU alumnus himself. “We also wanted to support a school that provides lawyers for both metropolitan and rural communities. We have offices in West Kelowna and Fort St. John, and we see the need for lawyers there.”
TRU alumni Gurdeep Khosa and Sunny Chiu took their family law education into practice at MacLean, where they’ve been fortunate to represent clients from Vancouver to northern British Columbia. For Khosa, the most memorable experience has been successfully reuniting a parent with their children in Fort. St. John. For Chiu, it has been the opportunity to develop litigation and negotiation skills alongside a skilled and supportive group of lawyers.
Now, thanks to the firm, more students interested in family law will have an opportunity to experience the rewards of helping families face their most challenging obstacles.
“Family law touches more Canadians than any other area of law,” said Lorne MacLean, QC. “It’s important that lawyers help judges make the best decisions possible.”
For more on TRU’s Limitless campaign, visit tru.ca/limitless.