Alumni Connections Help Alumna Bridge the Gap

Becoming a lawyer

Jessie Legaree (’10) graduated from Trinity Western with a clear desire to be a lawyer. But despite knowing that she wanted to practice family law, she had no idea what it was like to be a Christian lawyer dealing with hard issues like divorce and child custody.

Without any lawyers in her family, she didn’t have anyone to go to for advice. But Legaree didn’t let that discourage her. She remembered how much support and love she received while at Trinity Western. Perhaps that community could help her once again?

She decided to try reaching out to various professors and former classmates for support, and then she thought of searching through the broader alumni network.

“Alumni are all around the world, and being able to talk to someone who has walked the path before is incredible,” says Legaree.

She knew she wanted to work in Abbotsford, so took the initiative to look up Trinity Western alumni who lived in the area and practiced family law. But, as there was no system in place, it was difficult to find alumni in this specific category. Legaree had to search through websites, linkedin profiles, and newsletters to find mentions of alumni lawyers.

Through her efforts, she was able to connect with a few alumni who were more than happy to give advice and share their stories. This led her to make further connections and to eventually find a job at a law firm in Abbotsford.

“I know God created that spot for me and that I’m in the place I belong,” Legaree says of her job.

The Alumni network is a powerful tool

Today, Legaree believes that the alumni network is a powerful tool and that students should look to this community as they near graduation.

“It’s extremely helpful having alumni you can connect with, who had the same struggles, walked the same path, who you can ask questions and see what they did wrong or right,” says Legaree.

Because of her positive experiences with meeting people in the alumni network, Legaree leapt at the opportunity to lead an alumni chapter in Abbotsford.

“I have a deep love for the Trinity Western community,” Legaree says. “I identify far more with the Trinity Western community than with the University of Toronto, where I completed my Juris Doctor.”

Legaree recalls several positive experiences she had a Trinity Western, and has a strong desire to see the alumni community flourish and ideally benefit society as a whole.

“If we can connect, it’s going to be incredibly powerful in our churches and communities. I see the alumni chapters as facilitating a helpful network that will be there to help alumni stand alongside each-other and elevate one another.”

Alumni map makes connecting easier

Legaree worked hard to find and make alumni connections on her own, and it paid off. Now, thanks to a new initiative from the Alumni Association, it will be a lot easier for people like her to connect with one another.

The new Alumni Map is directed at helping alumni search for and connect with one another. Anyone looking to connect with someone of a certain career or geographical location will be able to do so straight from the alumni website.

“The Trinity Western alumni community worked for me,” says Legaree, “I’m so excited that the Alumni Association is facilitating stuff like this.”