The dust settled following three long years of study in pursuit of Juris Doctor degrees and Danielle Ching and Brandon Harrison found themselves at the top of the class, tied for the top spot.
Every year, the Law Society of BC awards gold medals to stand-out students from Thompson Rivers University, the University of Victoria and the University of British Columbia. Gold medals are bestowed to the student with the highest cumulative grade point average over three years. For the first time in TRU Law’s history, Ching and Harrison will share the prestigious distinction in the June 8, 2018 Spring Convocation ceremony.
Before starting at TRU, Ching worked as a legal assistant and paralegal. Those on-the-job experiences piqued her interest in law. But it was a real-life experience that drove home the idea that law was the right career for her.
“I’ll always remember an emotional exchange I saw at the Old Toronto Courthouse between a prosecutor and a helpless woman in a criminal case. That kind of power that law has on ordinary, everyday lives was so profound to me and really confirmed my interest and passion in entering an industry that both rewards and challenges. With the support of my family, I decided to study law at TRU and I have never looked back,” Ching said.
This medal is only the beginning, because this fall she starts work as a judicial law clerk with the BC Supreme Court in New Westminster.
For Harrison, a future full of diverse career options was a major motivating factor. His interest in law was sparked by a number of courses with legal elements he took during his undergraduate degree in criminology.
“Law school provided me with the ability to become immersed in a diverse array of subjects and prospective career paths, which will help ensure that my professional career is both dynamic and ever-changing. TRU Law truly provides the ability to move in any career direction, which is extremely exciting,” he said.
Harrison benefitted from the newness of the TRU Law program and he has high regard for the guidance he received from faculty members.
“The young, innovative faculty made it a priority to engage with students on a personal level and provide students with practical solutions to legal issues that will surely arise in our careers,” he said. “The fact that TRU Law is a young law school was also positive in the sense that students are required to push harder to promote the school and must embrace a greater degree of responsibility and accountability in ensuring that the school forms strong roots for future students to build on.”
Harrison intends to carry this momentum forward and is articling with the civil litigation firm Pettit and Company in North Vancouver. Down the road, he hopes to develop a successful and rewarding legal career in the Western Canada.
Previous Law Society of BC gold medal winners include:
- Simon Meijers (TRU JD 2017)
- Cole Rodocker (TRU JD 2016)
- Louise Hamill (TRU JD 2015)
- Taylor-Marie Young (TRU JD 2014)
See the full list of Spring Convocation 2018 medal winners here.