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Diversity and Determination: Jasmin Dhaliwal's Path in the Legal Field

Corporate law is often perceived as lacking diversity. However, Jasmin Dhaliwal is striving to embrace her Sikh identity and skills to carve out her own unique place in the legal field.

Dhaliwal stumbled into law almost by accident while pursuing her undergraduate degree in biochemical sciences at the University of Calgary. Seeking a glimpse into the medical field, she realized it wasn't her passion.

“Thankfully, I had the foresight to explore the broader health environment. That experience made me realize that biochemical sciences wasn't for me. However, it also equipped me with valuable skills, so I'm grateful for that.”

Seeking to broaden her horizons, Dhaliwal explored other disciplines and became intrigued by a legal ethics course. This marked the beginning of her fascination with law.

“I started taking numerous sociology courses, with a focus on criminology, and I eventually completed my undergraduate degree in sociology. Then it dawned on me, why not try law school?”

Currently, Dhaliwal serves as a Junior Litigation Associate at Burstall LLP, handling various corporate cases involving court appearances, drafting pleadings, and initiating lawsuits. Her role is pivotal, representing not only her clients but also upholding the integrity of her firm. Despite her contentment with her career, Dhaliwal couldn't ignore the lack of diversity in corporate law, being the only female associate at Burstall LLP.

“They don't treat me any differently because I'm a woman. So far, I haven't experienced any gender bias, and that's truly comforting. I understand that's not the reality for everyone. I'm fortunate to be at a firm that values me for my abilities, not my gender.”

A senior partner at Burstall LLP, a Gujarati woman, serves as an inspiration for Dhaliwal, proving that change is achievable. Surrounded by predominantly male colleagues, Dhaliwal diligently fulfills her responsibilities, mirroring the commitment of her male counterparts.

“It's a challenging profession, but the rewards are worth it.”

Dhaliwal aspires to one day influence the legal environment to embrace and support all forms of diversity.

“I hope to see more people of color entering the legal profession. It's something we're lacking. Our judiciary, for instance, is predominantly composed of older white men. I believe we often bear the consequences of this imbalance.”

For now, Dhaliwal remains focused on her career advancement, steadily climbing the ladder in pursuit of her own distinctive niche in corporate law.