Beyond the face: Meet Katelyn
By Maia Odegaard, Marketing and Communications
You’ve seen them on the SkyTrain and walked past them at the mall. You’ve sat beside them in bus shelters and spotted them in newspapers… but just who are the people in our 50th Anniversary ad campaign? They’re not models; these are real Douglas students, working hard to achieve their educational and career goals – just like you.
Katelyn Lohr has always had a passion for helping others. At the age of 14, when many of us are trying to figure out who we are, Katelyn was travelling to the Amazon rainforest to volunteer with the charitable organization Free the Children. This trip instilled in her an understanding of the social inequality in our world. Now, she plans to go to law school and do something about it.
“From a young age, I knew my future was going to fall somewhere within the scope of helping others,” Katelyn says. “My goal is to be an advocate for change within our legal system by working as a lawyer for Indigenous communities.”
Katelyn chose to start her law education at Douglas with a Criminology Diploma because of the tight-knit atmosphere and experienced faculty.
“We’re being taught by instructors who’ve been lawyers for most of their careers, which means they have real-world experience that informs their teaching,” says Katelyn. “With our class sizes, you can actually build a personal connection with your instructors, and these are people who could potentially help you get an internship down the road. You’d never find that in a class of 500 people at a big university.”
Katelyn also loves the practical aspects of her Criminology courses. So far this year she’s taken two trips to the New Westminster law courts, where she got to see criminal court cases in action.
“I think there’s a very big separation between studying law and criminology in school and actually experiencing a criminal court case, especially because the portrayal of law in the media is always so Americanized and not an accurate portrayal of what I will experience as a Canadian lawyer,” she says.
Eventually, she wants to open a legal clinic in northern Canada where people don’t have access to legal aid or counsel.
“The courts travel on a circuit there – a judge and two lawyers travel throughout all of these cities and towns, trying possibly hundreds of cases in just two days. It’s not fair representation,” Katelyn explains. “My legal clinic would likely focus on helping the Indigenous populations in the north, who make up a large portion of those without fair representation. The clinic would be stationed, but would also travel on a circuit offering legal advice ahead of a trial.”