2020 convocant aspires to be pillar of the community

Ilyas Gora promotes diversity and representation at UAlberta Law

Sarah Kent - 08 June 2020

With his many commitments to the community outside the classroom, it is a surprise that Ilyas Gora, ‘20 JD, even had time to complete his degree at the University of Alberta Faculty of Law.

Community building is a core value for Gora, who has spent almost every waking moment outside of law school finding ways to build connections with fellow students and community members.

“I knew that I would only be at the U of A for three years,” said Gora. “I wanted to get involved and contribute in ways that would outlast my time on campus.”

A highlight of Gora’s extracurricular involvement includes serving on the University of Alberta Senate, where he worked on the United Way campaign alongside Chancellor Douglas Stollery, ‘76 LLB. He also promoted the university’s work within his own networks, particularly amongst the Muslim community in his hometown of Calgary.

Gora will be articling in Calgary at Torys LLP, an international business law firm that specializes in corporate matters, a natural transition for Gora as he completed a bachelor of commerce prior to law school.

He was inspired to pursue law while volunteering on political campaigns in Calgary, doing everything from door knocking to acting as a campaign manager.

“The people I most looked up to, the people I wanted to emulate, a lot of them tended to be lawyers,” said Gora. “Despite working long hours and having some of the busiest careers, they still found time to give back to the community.”

For Gora, it is a responsibility to pay forward the mentorship he received to the next generation of law students.

Gora, who has served on UAlberta Law’s Admissions and Recruitment committees, continues to dedicate his time to mentoring prospective students.

He wants “to encourage people who don’t necessarily see themselves represented in the profession to consider a career in law.”

Representation matters, says Gora. While at UAlberta Law, he has worked hard to create more space for students from different backgrounds while serving as co-president of Law Students for Inclusion and Diversity and as a member of the Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion committee.

Gora also served as a UAlberta representative for the Western chapter of the Federation of Asian Canadian Lawyers, an organization with a mandate that strongly aligns with Gora’s drive to see more representation in the profession.

“One of the things that stood out to me about UAlberta Law was the diversity of the class and the varied experiences people brought to law school,” said Gora. “Everyone brought something unique. I’m excited to see where everyone will go.”