Submitted by Melissa Wilk
From Camrose to Vancouver to Calgary, alumnus Brendan Dzioba started his journey to law at Augustana. Initially in pursuit of a career in pharmacy, his path took a turn after he took chemistry and realized it wasn’t his passion. In his fourth year, Brendan wrote the LSAT and after graduating in 2014 with a bachelor of management in business economics went to The Peter A. Allard School of Law at the University of British Columbia
Brendan began working with Brownlee LLP as a summer law student in 2015, then worked as a summer student at EcoJustice Canada after his second year, clerked at the Court of Queen’s Bench of Alberta from June 2017 until March 2018 and continued as an articling student with Brownlee LLP in April 2018. As an articling student, Brendan’s desire to practice municipal law was confirmed. In October 2018, he joined Brownlee LLP as an associate in its municipal practice.
Brendan says that the opportunities at Augustana were an integral part of his success.
“During the management internship program, I worked at Farnham West Stolee Kambeitz LLP and they hired me as admin support. I got a sense of what a small firm practice was like,” says Brendan.
Brendan says that another beneficial aspect of Augustana was getting exposure to topics that he didn’t know he was interested in or that he wouldn’t have discovered otherwise. Taking diverse courses like religious studies and climate change, working on a paper with professors Glynnis Hood and Varghese Manaloor dealing with a cost-benefit analysis of using beaver mitigation systems, studying in India and going to choir concerts are all things Brendan says he may not have experienced elsewhere.
“I truly believe that when I was finishing high school I wasn’t ready to be thrown into a three hundred person class, I think there was a bit of growth I wanted and needed to have,” says Brendan. “One of the big benefits of Augustana is that you feel that you’re part of a community and there are professors that create strong relationships with you. If you put in the effort, they help you achieve what you want to achieve.”
Brendan says that interdisciplinary experiences available at Augustana worked to his benefit.
“All those little things add up to put you where you are,” says Brendan. “There are some great aspects about Augustana and the fact that they give you so much exposure to things. You’re forced to be in different fields of study at the same time. Some people might think that’s a detriment which I don’t agree with, especially in your undergrad, because when you’re getting hired they more or less care about whether you’re an interesting person to talk to; whether you are personable and have critical thinking skills. Which are all things you get at Augustana.”