Sept. 12, 2019

Curriculum and job prospects draw top first-year law student to UCalgary

Taylor Fontaine finds his groove at his parents’ alma mater

Despite both of his parents being lawyers, Taylor Fontaine had no clear path when he first started his undergraduate studies at the University of Alberta. So after his first year, he took some time off to travel, and it was during this time that he decided to give business studies a shot. He applied to the business school in Edmonton, and after taking courses in a variety of areas, landed in business economics and business law, where he really found his groove.

“I had a lot of exposure to the legal profession growing up, and my parents would discuss the law with me at the dinner table,” says Fontaine. “When I actually enjoyed the business law classes, it made me realize that this is something I wanted to pursue further.”

His dad, Michel Fontaine, LLB’90, is a criminal lawyer, and his mom, Donna Groves, LLB’90, is a judge with the Provincial Court of Alberta, but Fontaine isn’t sure what area of the law he wants to pursue.

“I love the nuances of legal talk and debate, and I’m excited to explore the different areas of law and figure out what I like the most.”

While attending the Dean’s Open House hosted by the law school in the spring, his interest was piqued when he heard a presentation from Professor Emily Laidlaw, who researches in the area of cybersecurity law.

“In today’s day and age, I can only imagine the enthralling discussions to be had about a topic such as online surveillance, and I will be sure to take Professor Laidlaw’s classes when I have the opportunity,” says Fontaine.

Despite the family connection to the law school, it’s not why he chose to make the move down Highway 2. He cites the Calgary Curriculum and high articling placement rates as two of the top reasons he chose UCalgary Law.

“They’re clearly doing something well in Calgary,” he thought.

“There was never any pressure on him to choose UCalgary Law, or for that matter to pursue a law degree,” his parents say. “Nonetheless, once his decision was made, we can say there was a part of our hearts that smiled when he told us he was following in our footsteps and attending our alma mater.”

Fontaine is one of UCalgary Law’s Faculty of Law Entrance Award winners for 2019.

First-year student Taylor Fontaine

Taylor Fontaine is one of UCalgary Law’s Faculty of Law Entrance Award winners for 2019.

Adrian Shellard