Canadian Lawyer 4Students

August, 2016

Life skills and career tips for Canada's lawyers in training

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Law students know the difference In a survey we conducted, WestlawNext® Canada is the most used legal research tool by students.* They discovered the WestlawNext Canada difference, and you can too. Start your WestlawNext Canada research today Request your registration key from your law librarian and register your password at * The study represents the opinions of law students in schools outside of Quebec. Survey was conducted by Thomson Reuters Canada in April 2015. Margin of error on these results was +/- 3.1%. © 2016 Thomson Reuters Canada Limited 00237ZC-A84383-NK victims to describe their experiences in a linear way. ey o en need psychological support to work through it. "We also talked about how to use psychological evidence of torture in the legal process," he says. As part of this initiative, he learned about the Istanbul Protocol, an eff ective set of guidelines for documenting torture. " at was the beginning for me in terms of fi nding the legal process really inter- esting," he recalls. " ese people were doing amazing work around documenting torture and political violence, and bring these cases to the national Mexican court and the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights." Upon his return in 2009, he took a social work degree at UBC, while continuing his work remotely with human rights organizers in Mexico. All the while, his legal interest continued to grow. He applied for law school at UBC in 2012 and fi nished his law degree this spring. Opportunity knocked again, this time in in the form of a job off er as executive director of VAST, where he had volunteered all those years ago. He couldn't bring himself to turn it down and now fi nds himself dealing with refugees from more than 100 countries. At VAST, he applies the same expertise in social work and psycho- logical support to help his clients as they navigate the legal system. His legal training also enabled him to read and understand the legislation that refugees fi nd themselves dealing with in Canada. It isn't a bad track record for someone who hasn't even articled yet. He'll be doing that at the end of the summer, when he'll bid farewell to VAST and begin his new career in the legal profession. ing all of the social relationships in the family and in social move- ments." It was in Guatemala that Mazur became more aware of the links between these social movements and justice systems. While he was there, the Vancouver Justice Society approached him with a project to share knowledge between Mayan and First Nations communities. He worked with indigenous groups to help them understand each other's traditional justice mechanisms, enabling them to share information about ancient laws they used to hold communities together. He used his fi lm experience to create a half-hour documentary about the process. It stoked his interest in the legal system as a re- storative tool. Law is a useful piece of the healing process, especially when it comes to healing victims of political violence and giving them a voice, he says, recalling more than 200,000 people who died during the 36-year Guatemalan war. Most of the victims were poor, rural in- digenous people, he points out. Mazur's work continued along this path a er the water project, when he was approached by a colleague at VAST to co-found an NGO based in Mexico with human rights workers there. e organization, called Partners in Rights and Recovery, focused on psychological and social support for victims of torture and political violence in Chiapas and Oaxaca. e organization dealt with victims including a professor from the region who had been tortured in front of his family. He found the psychological recovery from torture and legal res- toration are interwined. For one thing, it can be diffi cult for torture features 4S C A N A D I A N L a w y e r 4STUDENTS AUGUST 2016 61

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