May 22, 2019

Law student follows Crowsnest Highway to a rural articling position

UCalgary Across Alberta: Kendall Schille sees impact of her education at work in Pincher Creek firm
Pincher Creek, Alberta
Kendall Schille followed the Crowsnest Highway to her career. Yvan Lebel, Pincher Creek

Kendall Schille, JD’18, put in a lot of hard work and miles on her car to end up in Pincher Creek for her articles after completing law school.

The return on investment was totally worth it.

Schille was getting discouraged about finding an articling placement when she was not able to secure summer jobs in Calgary after her first and second years. She started to wonder what her chances were of finding work in the city, so after some encouragement from a career adviser, she started looking at opportunities elsewhere.

After making sure she had some good tires on her car, she started attending networking events in Lethbridge and Medicine Hat, and attended the law school’s small and regional firm information events for students.

After learning of an opportunity with North and Company Law Offices, based in Lethbridge, with several branch offices around southern Alberta, she jumped at the opportunity to apply.

"Kendall did a fabulous job searching for articles in southern Alberta, both of her own accord and with the help of our office,” says career adviser Madeleine Natale. “The Career and Professional Development Office (CPDO) helps students wherever they wish to go, including outside big cities. We provide opportunities to connect with regional firms, and Kendall leveraged the networking events hosted in southern Alberta to support her candidacy.”

Moving out of the city to find work was a bit scary, admits Schille. “It was a huge risk for me to take. I had no idea about Pincher Creek at all. So I just thought I would throw my hat in the ring and see what happened.”

Kendall Schille

Kendall Schille, JD’18

She did the interview, and drove down Highway 3 to the town afterwards. Ultimately, the landscape sold her on the move.

“I came over the rise, and saw people riding their horses through the field, with the mountains in the background. I thought to myself, ‘I am going to live here.’”

Schille credits the Calgary Curriculum and unique learning experiences at UCalgary Law for her success in Pincher Creek, specifically the focus on practical skills used on the first day in a law firm, and the research and writing skills reinforced from day one. The frequent interactions with the legal community at networking events and taking courses taught by practising lawyers also helped her transition to practising law.

Schille also appreciates seeing the impact of what she learned in law school at work. She learned about the battle over the Oldman River Dam in her constitutional law and water law classes, and she can drive 10 minutes from her house to see what the case was actually about.

“In a rural setting, environmental law and water law is a huge deal. I have been able to take what I learned in law school and translate it into my practice in terms of what a person’s rights are,” says Schille.

“It is just really neat to have a concrete connection to the land versus what you learn in class.”