A Shot of Life

About the Host

Anton Haswell

Hosted by Anton Haswell, A Shot of Life highlights the personal journeys of professionals and entrepreneurs in Canada, taking a snapshot of the person behind the professional title. Follow our sub-series on the journey’s of internationally trained lawyers navigating the National Committee on Accreditation exams in their goal to practice law in Canada.


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Episode 25 – January 15, 2020


Samantha Del Frate

Samantha is a current Articling Student at McCarthy Tétrault with a keen interest in regulatory law and professional regulation. In 2019, she created and organized the inaugural On-Campus Interviews (OCIs) for ITLs and NCA Candidates at the Ontario Bar Association (OBA). She is a Co-founder and Director of ITLNCA Networks and the Chair of ITLNCA OCIs. She is an advocate for equity in the legal profession. After graduating from The University of Glasgow School of Law, Samantha worked full-time at McCarthy Tétrault while completing the self-study NCA exams and bar exams. When she is not working, Samantha enjoys art, live music, and biking.

Episode 24 – January 12, 2020


Lena Koke

Lena Koke is CEO and Co-Founder of Axess Law and over the past six years has been leading the company through significant periods of growth, while overseeing the company being recognized on Canadian Business’ Startup50, Growth500 and the Globe and Mail’s Canada’s Fastest-Growing Companies awards lists multiple times. Lena is passionate about expanding the avenues through which Canadians can access legal services. She is heavily focused on the company’s operations and technology areas, believing that streamlined processes coupled with new, forward-thinking technologies, will continue to fuel the growth of the company and lead to much-needed legal service offerings for Canadians.Lena was recently awarded as one of Canada’s top 25 most Influential Lawyers in Canadian Lawyer Magazine and ProfitGuide’s Canada’s Top Female Entrepreneurs. She has an M.B.A from the Rotman School of Management, a Law Degree from the University of Toronto and a B.A. from the University of Western Ontario.

Episode 23 – December 2020


Stephanie Sonawane

Stephanie is a litigation associate with a broad civil and commercial litigation practice focusing on contractual, shareholder, and real estate disputes, as well as oppression claims.Prior to joining TGF, Stephanie practiced law at the Supreme Court of India and various tribunals. She represented multi-national clients across a variety of industries such as telecommunications, e-commerce, aviation, and energy.She also volunteered at the House of Lords (United Kingdom) and with various charities. Stephanie was called to the Bar of Delhi (India) in 2013 and called to the Bar of Ontario in 2020. She summered and completed her articles at TGF.

Episode 22 – December 2020


Rebecca Lockwood. NCA Prep mini-series Episode 1. Criminal and Constitutional Law

Rebecca Lockwood is a licensed barrister and solicitor with the Law Society of Ontario. She graduated from the prestigious Juris Doctor program at Osgoode Hall Law School in Toronto. After completing her articles under Barbara Jackman in 2014, she opened her own immigration and refugee law practice in association with Barbara and her renowned immigration and refugee litigation boutique, Jackman & Associates. Rebecca is also the Lead Program Designer of the Toronto School of Management’s NCA Exam Prep Program.This mini-series of podcasts will go over the various core module syllabi of the NCA Exams. This episode is all about the Canadian Criminal Law and Canadian Constitutional Law syllabi. These podcasts will provide you with insights on how to approach studying for the NCA exams, what to focus on, and how to approach some challenging questions that are sure to come up on the exams.

Episode 21 – December 2020


Online Learning with Professor Steve Joordens

Steve Joordens is a Professor of Psychology at the University of Toronto Scarborough, and Director of the Advanced Learning Technologies Lab.Professor Joordens is an educator and an entrepreneur of educational technologies. He also regularly gives keynote presentations and does media interactions as a way of connecting psychology to world events. Steve has an activist streak as well with two primary causes; enhancing public education to focus more on the development of transferable skills, and trying to convince humans to treat animals more respectfully in research and definitely in the food industry. For fun, he fronts a rock band and rides a motorcycle, both things he does with his wife Sue.

Episode 20 – December 2020


Valerie Fernandes Selvam

Valerie Fernandes Selvam is the Founder of Ontario Bar Exam Courses (obecourses.com) which helps domestic and international students and licensing candidates effectively prepare for Ontario’s Barrister and Solicitor examinations. Formerly at Shopify, Valerie has been passionately teaching bar strategy for several years and has worked with her team to help many students pass the exam. Through practice and competitive mooting, she has appeared before the Immigration and Refugee Board, the Ontario Court of Justice and the International Criminal Court in the Netherlands. Valerie holds a JD from Osgoode Hall Law School with a specialization in Litigation & Dispute Resolution along with a BA from the University of Toronto.

Episode 19 – December 2020


Deborah Wolfe

Deborah Wolfe, P.Eng., is the Executive Director, National Committee on Accreditation and Law Schools Programs with the Federation of Law Societies of Canada. The NCA assesses the qualifications of individuals with legal education and professional experience obtained outside of Canada, or in a Canadian civil law program, who wish to be admitted to a common law bar in Canada. Ms. Wolfe also leads the process to approve Canadian common law, law school programs. Ms. Wolfe is the Past Chair of the Association of Accrediting Agencies of Canada, a former President of the Canadian Engineering Memorial Foundation, a charity that encourages girls to become engineers, and a former Chair of the Canadian Network of Agencies for Regulation. Ms. Wolfe was previously with Engineers Canada where she was responsible for the accreditation of undergraduate engineering programs in Canada, and Engineers Canada’s research and foreign credential evaluation programs. Ms. Wolfe is a civil engineer licensed in the province of Ontario and is a former Military Engineer having served with the Canadian Armed Forces.

Episode 18 – November 2020


Gina Alexandris

For over 20 years, Gina Alexandris has been inspiring and supporting individuals and organizations to strategically define their hopes and achieve their goals. As the Senior Program Director of Ryerson’s Law Practice Program (LPP), Gina is responsible for the development, implementation and general management of this innovative transition year training program for lawyer licensing Candidates in Ontario. In this role, she is responsible for ensuring academic excellence and the quality of service and program delivery for participants, and outreach to hundreds of contributing members of the legal profession. Gina has also been actively involved with the development and recent launch of Ryerson’s new innovative law school.With a passion for adult education, leadership and diversity, she completed her Masters of Education in 2012 and received her Coaching Certification in 2017. Gina developed and directed the award-winning Internationally Trained Lawyers Program at the University of Toronto’s Faculty of Law and spent more than 12 years with Osgoode Hall Law School of York University, first as Director of Career Services, followed by nine years as the Assistant Dean of Student Services. Between 2013 and 2014, Gina was the Director, Strategic Planning and Knowledge Management for the Legal Services Division of the Ministry of the Attorney General of Ontario.Following her graduation from Osgoode Hall Law School, Gina began her legal career practicing family law and civil litigation in Toronto, Canada. Gina is a Board Member of COSTI Immigrant Services, Young Women in Law (YWL) and the Hellenic Canadian Lawyers Association (HCLA). She is also a proud Greek-Canadian soccer mom living with her family in Toronto.

Episode 17 – November 2020


Dr. Kara Mitchelmore

Dr. Kara Mitchelmore, holds a Doctorate in Business Administration from Athabasca University, is a fellow of the Chartered Professional Accountants (CPA) and the Certified Management Accountants (CMA) and is a Certified Marketing and Research Professional (CMRP). Dr. Mitchelmore is the CEO of CPLED, a non-profit organization that provides the training needed before being called to the Bars of Alberta, Manitoba, Nova Scotia, and Saskatchewan.She spent eight years with Certified Management Accountants (CMA) Alberta, including four years as president and CEO. Most recently, Kara was the CEO of the Marketing Research & Intelligence Association (MRIA). She also has a decade of experience as an instructor, including time spent at CMA Alberta, Mount Royal University and Bow Valley College.Kara is outstanding at moving projects forward, and as a leader and educator, she describes herself as “output-based,” and inspires and equips her team to excel in that regard as well.visit CPLED @ https://cpled.ca/

Episode 16 – November 2020


Noor Akhtar

Noor’s legal journey began with an interest in educating people as to their rights while she was studying English literature in my home country, Pakistan. Being raised in a very lively and densely populated city like Lahore gave her the insight to analyze the societal atrocities and indifferences that she used to study in my literature classes. At this point, she decided to go to law school in hopes to attempt to bridge the gap between societal power imbalance.She went to the University of London (UK) to pursue her passion to help restore social justice in her home country. In 2017, Noor’s family decided to move to Canada and she got tagged along. Soon after landing in Canada, she had 8 NCAs exams, articling, and bar exams ahead of her. Noor was able to complete her NCAs in two consecutive sessions. Alongside this, she secured a job in a law firm as an administrative coordinator.Noor has recently completed her bar exams and got called to the Ontario Bar on September 30th 2020. She is practicing real estate law in Cambridge, ON now.

Episode 15 – November 2020


Litsa Dantzer

Litsa Dantzer is the founder of Law Job Exchange, Canada’s first and only online legal career community of over 12,000 lawyers, law students and legal professionals across Canada. Through her latest endeavour, legalcareercoach.ca, she coaches lawyers and law students at every stage of their career to connect (or reconnect!) with their passion for the law under their own terms. She has made it her mission to help legal professionals reach their full potential and accompany them on their career journey, every step of the way. Having graduated from the Civil Law Faculty at the University of Ottawa in 2014, Litsa fiercely promotes careers outside of the traditional legal realm as a real option for law graduates. Outside of her work with Law Job Exchange and legalcareercoach.ca, Litsa works in Recruitment and HR at Shopify and enjoys chasing after her two young boys and two rambunctious wiener dogs.

Episode 14 – October 2020


Charles Osuji

Charles is the Managing Partner & CEO at Osuji & Smith Lawyers. He is one of the leading young lawyers in Canada. He has been voted and chosen as one of the Top 25 Most Influential Lawyers in Canada, the Entrepreneur of the Year by Diversity Magazine, the 2020 Immigrant of Distinction (Achievement Under 35) by Immigration Services Calgary, and repeatedly voted as one of the top 3 Employment and Business lawyers in Calgary by ThreeBestRated, among other awards and recognitions including Canada’s Top 40 Under 40 and Canadian Bar Association’s Rising Star Award.

Episode 13 – October 2020


Abhay Gautam

Abhay Gautam is a Biotechnologist, a business graduate and a lawyer. After completing his Masters in Biotechnology in 2007, he proceeded to graduate from Monash University, Australia in 2010 with a Master of International Business and Master of Business (Project Management). In 2017, he earned his LLB degree from Guru Nanak Dev University, India. Abhay then moved to Canada in 2017 to pursue his goal of practicing law in Canada. He has passed the Ontario Bar Examinations (Barrister and Solicitor) and is currently Articling with Khangura & Bajaj LLP in Toronto, ON.

Episode 12 – October 2020


Angela Sordi

Angela Sordi the Director of Professional Recruiting at Borden Ladner Gervais in Toronto. She is also a Certified Executive Coach, a Member of the International Coaching Federation and a Member of the Law Society of Upper Canada. In her current role, she is responsible for all aspects of the summer student and articling program including student recruitment and student professional development. Angela is also responsible for coaching junior associates at the firm.

Episode 11 – October 7, 2020


Deborah Wolfe

Deborah Wolfe, P.Eng., is the Executive Director, National Committee on Accreditation and Law Schools Programs with the Federation of Law Societies of Canada. The NCA assesses the qualifications of individuals with legal education and professional experience obtained outside of Canada, or in a Canadian civil law program, who wish to be admitted to a common law bar in Canada. Ms. Wolfe also leads the process to approve Canadian common law, law school programs. Ms. Wolfe is the Past Chair of the Association of Accrediting Agencies of Canada, a former President of the Canadian Engineering Memorial Foundation, a charity that encourages girls to become engineers, and a former Chair of the Canadian Network of Agencies for Regulation. Ms. Wolfe was previously with Engineers Canada where she was responsible for the accreditation of undergraduate engineering programs in Canada, and Engineers Canada’s research and foreign credential evaluation programs. Ms. Wolfe is a civil engineer licensed in the province of Ontario and is a former Military Engineer having served with the Canadian Armed Forces.

Episode 10 – October 1, 2020


Nassira El Hadri

Nassira was born in Morocco, but moved to Spain at the age of 6. She went to university without having a clear idea of what she wanted to become. She enrolled in the degree of Labour Relations but then discovered her passion for law and transferred to law school after completing her second year.While in law school, Nassira was elected as representative of law students in her university and got involved in politics by becoming the president of the youth wing of a political party representing her hometown. She was also a regular speaker in a non-profit organization to motivate immigrant teenagers to pursue their dreams and go to university. In addition, Nassira became an author and storyteller when her compilation of short stories was published and was invited to schools and libraries to share them with children and adults.After law school, Nassira left her promising career in Spain and moved to France to complete her Master’s in Business Law and then followed her heart to Canada where she is in the process of becoming a licensed lawyer.A few months after landing in Canada, Nassira started working at Cat Financial (heavy equipment finance) doing secured and unsecured debt recovery through legal proceedings working with lawyers across Canada. At the same time, she applied for her NCA assessment and was required to go back to university and complete 8 courses. While working full-time, she took the LLM in Canadian Common Law at Osgoode Hall Law School, received her NCA Certificate of Qualification in September 2019 and passed both Barrister and Solicitor licensing exams in November 2019.To be called to the Ontario bar in June 2021, Nassira will join Scarfone Hawkins LLP in October to complete her articling, which has been reduced to 8 months due to COVID-19.

Episode 9 – September 24, 2020


Daniel Lo

Daniel is a private equity lawyer and is triple-qualified in Canada (Alberta and Ontario), England & Wales, and the British Virgin Islands. He was born in Hong Kong, raised in Mississauga ON, and proudly calls Canada his home. He is currently working as a legal counsel at UBS in Singapore and is focusing on investment funds and asset management. He was previously an associate at an international offshore law firm in Singapore, legal counsel at a private equity firm in Hong Kong, and an associate in an international law firm in Canada. Outside of his day job, Daniel provides mentorship and career coaching to law students and junior lawyers from around the world, assisting with international career pivots and personal branding strategies. Daniel is an advocate for diversity and inclusion. He is a founder of Global Lawyers of Canada (www.glcanada.org), a national professional association that supports internationally trained lawyers and diversity in the legal profession. He is also a founding member of the Federation of Asian Canadian Lawyers – Western Chapter (www.faclwestern.com/), which seeks to promote equity, justice, and opportunity for Asian Canadian legal professionals and the wider community. He is also passionate about developments in fintech and legal tech and is actively exploring opportunities to get involved. Daniel graduated from the University of Toronto with an Honours Bachelor of Arts (H.B.A.) degree in political science and criminology. He subsequently completed his Bachelor of Laws (LL.B.) degree at the University of Birmingham (UK), his Post-Graduate Diploma in Legal Practice at City, University of London (UK) and a Master of Laws (LL.M.) degree from the University of Toronto Faculty of Law .

Episode 8 – September 17, 2020


Syed Jawad Quader

Jawad is an internationally trained lawyer with 12+ years of experience as a multi-jurisdictional litigator, transactional lawyer, and law firm manager. He has litigated in over 1,000 cases and has a reported judgment from the Supreme Court of Bangladesh under his belt. He also represented clients in multi-million dollar structured finance deals, investments, and transactions. He is a non-practicing Barrister in the UK and has represented clients in many cross-border and multi-jurisdictional matters spreading over diverse jurisdictions such as the UK, Singapore, India, Switzerland, and has worked with lawyers from around the world.  He is presently pursuing requalification and a legal career in Toronto, Canada. He is a Consultant in the Commercial Litigation Division of a Toronto based law firm and is a Director of the Ontario Chapter of Global Lawyers of Canada.

Episode 7 – September 14, 2020


Olufikemi Aideloje

Olufikemi has the NCA Certificate of Qualification and is in search of the right opportunity to commence acquiring the requisite hands-on experience that will facilitate building a successful legal career. She is passionate about inclusion & diversity matters and human rights, hence why she bagged a master’s degree in International Human Rights Law. She hopes to someday work with Internationally renowned organizations in order to contribute to the development of equality and social justice all around the world.  She is a social media influencer with a focus on creating awareness on important topics such as human rights, inclusion and diversity, institutional bias, discrimination, and the likes.

Episode 6 – September 12, 2020


Mark Kallini

Mark completed his undergraduate degree in psychology at Western University in London, Ontario. In his final semester of undergrad, Mark decided to pursue a 2 year accelerated law degree in the UK.  Mark took a gap year between his first and second year of law school and worked for a law firm specializing in corporate law, namely M&A. Through that experience and conversations with other Canadian and UK corporate lawyers, he was given the idea to undertake an MBA subsequent to completing his law degree. Mark completed his law degree in July of 2020 and is currently studying for his NCA exams while tackling an MBA.

Episode 5 – September 18, 2020


Bhavna Fatnani

Being a curious rebel since early childhood, Bhavna decided it was best to study law in order to bring big changes in the society having seen disparity very closely.  Professionally qualified as a lawyer and company secretary, the corporate rat-race didn’t diffuse the fire for bringing change. She gained her expertise with big brands like Morgan Stanley, Unilever, and Thomson Reuters among others. She realized that to bring a change, she had to start at the grassroots level. Hence, she has also consulted the Ministry of Corporate Affairs, Government of India for corporate litigation matters before relocating to Canada.  Bhavna is passionate about treating everyone fairly, writing, a healthy lifestyle, great food, and giving back to society.

Episode 4 – September 7, 2020


Stuart Floyd

Stuart Floyd is the International Regional Manager for Bond University. He is Australian, having grown up in Adelaide, South Australia, and attended Bond University in the early and mid-2000s to complete a double undergraduate degree in International Relations and Law. Even though Stuart completed his Bachelor of Laws (LLB) degree, he has never practiced as a lawyer, choosing instead to follow his passion for education. For the past 16 years Stuart has worked for Bond University in their admissions department, the first 6 in domestic Australian admissions, and the last 10 years here in Canada managing admissions, marketing, and recruitment for all of North America. Stuart has worked with several thousands of applicants to Bond, counseling students on their path to Law School. Importantly, as an alumnus himself, Stuart is directly involved with students returning from Bond as they navigate their way through the Canadian legal profession accreditation process.

Episode 3 – September 4, 2020


Siobhan Lennox

With a strong commitment to community, story telling and mentorship, Siobhan is the President of Global Lawyers of Canada BC Chapter promoting a diverse and inclusive legal profession that reflects the clients we serve, through advocacy, community engagement, professional development, mentorship and networking opportunities. Siobhan hosts a weekly Virtual Mentor Office Hours series for lawyers and law students with mentors and mentees from across Canada and around the world. This platform provides a space for legal professionals to come together, share their stories and support each other through their shared and learned experiences.

Episode 2 – August 29, 2020


Vanessa Santaguida

In Episode 2 of the NCA sub-series, Anton interviews Vanessa Santaguida. Vanessa completed her first undergraduate degree at the University of Toronto (UofT) – a Bachelor of Business Administration. She then went on to complete her Bachelor of Education at OISE at UofT. She became a teacher thereafter and has been teaching in the formal System for almost a decade. Vanessa continued in her education journey to complete her MBA at the DeGroote School of Business at McMaster University. She completed her MBA with honours and went on to start a PhD at Sir Wilfred Laurier University. She left the program early to pursue law realizing it was a passion she wanted to fulfill.

Episode 1 – August 29, 2020


Rabeea Khaled

Our first guest is Rabeea Khaled, a technology enthusiast who loves to improve the way legal services and legal education is delivered to the most vulnerable in our society. She was called to the Ontario bar in 2020 and has been actively involved in mentoring those wishing to embark on the lawyer licensing process in Ontario.