Olga Gerlich 2013 - 2014

I obtained the E.B. McDougall Scholarship after graduating law and international relations at the University of Wrocław. At the University of Ottawa I completed the LL.M. program where I concentrated on international trade and investment law. Subsequently I completed the attorney-at-law traineeship program and recently became an attorney-at-law and a member of Warsaw Bar Association. I currently practice litigation and arbitration at the Polish office of the international law firm TaylorWessing.

The LL.M program at the University Ottawa offered an abundance of opportunities to develop my legal skills, the opportunity of which I capitalized on. Aside from the regular classes, I actively participated in numerous extra-curricular activities, such as representing the University of Ottawa at the WTO law moot court competition, winning the NACLE student essay competition which allowed me to present my paper at NACLE’s annual conference concerning NAFTA; I also worked as a researcher for a program on mapping international investment treaties conducted under the auspices of the UNCTAD. My research paper written as an LL.M. course requirement was later published in the American Review of International Arbitration, a prestigious academic journal issued by Columbia University. These experiences allowed me to develop and address numerous aspects of my legal competences and have made a significant impact on my legal career to date. From today’s legal perspective, I see the scholarship has given me a tremendous opportunity and has spring boarded my start in my legal career path.

On a personal level, the scholarship has given me an opportunity chance to get to know better a country which I have always found fascinating. Its enormous scale, with massive diverse landscape is complemented by famously kind and open-minded people. During my exciting year in Canada, I embraced my fear of the cold, mastered my ice-skating skills and built great friendships which will last a lifetime. My time in Canada changed my perspective on how I see the world and this experience shaped me as a person that I am today.

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