JD Student Profile: Sasha Platz

Sasha Platz (JD, May 2018) is a third year law student completing the Business Law Concentration at the Allard School of Law. Ms. Platz graduated in 2015 from the University of Alberta with a Bachelor of Commerce, majoring in Business Economics and Law. In 2016-2017, she was the Treasurer of the Indigenous Law Students' Association, as well as a Student Ambassador. Ms. Platz summered in both 2016 and 2017 at a boutique solicitor law firm in Kelowna. She will return to the firm as an Articling Student in 2018.

What inspired you to pursue a law degree, and the Business Law Concentration in particular?
I knew that I wanted to have a career in business before I ever decided to pursue law. My Dad owned a business, and much of my childhood involved following him in tow and helping where I could. This sparked my interest in business at a young age. However, it wasn't until I started my commerce degree at the University of Alberta that I discovered how much I enjoyed business law in particular. When I was accepted to the Allard School of Law, it felt natural for me to pursue the Concentration.

What have you found most valuable about the Business Law Concentration?
I have particularly enjoyed the diversity of classes available in the Concentration. Business law itself is very broad, with many niche areas falling under it. In addition to the variety of required courses, I found it valuable to have the flexibility to choose elective courses that fit my interests.

I have also found the hands-on experience offered by business law classes to be particularly useful. Being able to actually practice drafting documents and learn the various stages of a transaction have definitely given me an advantage as a summer student. In addition, the Business Law Capstone (Law 466) has provided valuable insights into how business law works in practice.

What are some highlights from your time at the Allard School of Law?
Indisputably, I cherish the friends I have made here. I have no doubt that through the years we will continue to remain close, reminiscing about our shared experiences at law school. I also have great appreciation for the professors I've had throughout my law degree. They have always strived to provide fresh perspectives on course material that leaves a lasting impact. I think most students can say that they have encountered professors who meaningfully contributed to their positive experience at the Allard School of Law.

What did you enjoy most about your experience as a summer student?
Honestly, I enjoyed everything about summering at Touchstone Law Group LLP. Being part of a firm of all female lawyers that specializes in corporate and commercial work was very inspirational for me. They have a great sense of community, and really do go that extra mile to foster a positive work environment. As a summer student, I was able to work on a variety of projects in all of the practice areas that interested me. When I gained more knowledge in an area, I was allowed to progress and work on more complex tasks. Needless to say, I cannot wait to return for my articles.

Do you have any advice for future students considering the Business Law Concentration?
My advice would be to enroll in the program if you are genuinely interested in the required courses. As I was interested in taking many of them regardless, the work load and course requirements did not feel daunting. I also found that taking hands-on and practical classes really helped reinforce the knowledge I learned from the more theoretical courses. For example, the Close Corporations Workshop (Law 462, an optional course under the Concentration) teaches students the practical steps involved in each stage of the corporation life cycle. Many aspects of the course touched on subjects I had learned in other classes, which allowed me to take that knowledge and put it into practice.

Personally, when I first considered taking the Concentration I was concerned that it would be repetitive from what I had already learned in my commerce degree. However, I found that while we did go over basic business principles, reviewing them through the lens of law taught me how to apply what I already knew in legal contexts. I definitely feel like I made the right choice by pursuing the program.