Each year the Department of Law and Legal Studies has the pleasure of celebrating the successes of their graduating students. This November we are highlighting three recent graduates of our undergraduate programs who have been awarded medals in recognition of the academic performance. We wish them all the best in their future endeavours! Congratulations class of 2021!

Reilly Michelle Dwyer

In addition to graduating with a Bachelor of Arts in Law with High Distinction in November 2021, Dwyer was awarded the President’s Medal, which is given to the student with the highest standing in a general degree program of studies.

Among the many highlights of Dwyer’s time as an undergraduate student in the Department of Law and Legal Studies, Dwyer appreciated the opportunities she had learn from practicing lawyers. Dwyer shared that she “… noticed that other universities were more focused on the theory of law, whereas Carleton seemed to have more professors that had actually practiced.”

Dwyer also found the department’s faculty members engaging, supportive and dedicated, which in turn has encouraged her to continue to pursue her legal studies. “It was very obvious that they have a passion for what they were teaching and they really cared about passing that on to students.”

In addition to her excellent academic performance, Dwyer also maintained a full-time job with the Canadian Coast Guard during her studies. Following graduation, she will be moving into an Operations Officer role, an experience she plans to leverage for her future legal career.  Reilly shared that her “…overall goal is to gain a greater understanding of maritime law, so that I can eventually become an admiralty lawyer.”

Congratulations, Reilly! Read more about Reilly Dwyer.

Serenity Mclarty

In addition to graduating with a Combined Honours Bachelor of Arts in Law and Human Rights and Social Justice with High Distinction in November 2021, Mclarty received the Senate Medal for Outstanding Academic Achievement in recognition of her exceptional academic performance in her undergraduate degree. The Senate Medal for Outstanding Academic Achievement is award to the top 3% of the graduating class in each degree.

Mclarty includes the criminal law class (LAWS 2302) as one of her most memorable experiences from her undergraduate studies. In this course, Mclarty visited an Ottawa courthouse and observed criminal cases first-hand. Mclarty shared that “Being able to step outside of lectures and witness the legal process reinforced my interest in the law and encouraged me to pursue a Juris Doctor degree.” Mclarty is currently studying for the LSAT and preparing applications to law schools.

Congratulations, Serenity!

Hijaab Yahya

In addition to graduating with a Honours Bachelor of Arts in Law, with a Concentration in Transnational Law and Human Rights, with High Distinction in November 2021, Yahya (They/Them) is also a award winning student, having won the 2021 Provost Scholar Award, who is currently pursuing a MA in Legal Studies in the Department of Law and Legal Studies.

Yahya holds a profound interest in critical socio-legal research, in subject areas of race, gender, health, and migration. They have pursued these interests by completing a research internship with the Faculty of Public Affairs (FPA), such as the Carleton University Research Opportunity Program, and they are currently pursuing research assistantships with Dr. Christiane Wilke and Dr. Megan Gaucher. Yahya’s research is theoretically aligned with decolonial praxis, queer and trans feminisms, critical legal studies, and third-world approaches to international law. They approach their work to make knowledge accessible beyond the confines of the academy by incorporating knowledge mobilization techniques into their research.

Yahya is also an active member of the Graduate Law and Legal Studies Association (GLSA) and sits as the MA representative and Co-Chair of the Department of Law and Legal Studies’ Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion (EDI) committee. During their undergraduate studies at the department, Yahya engaged in multiple advocacy and community engagement initiatives. Yahya served as the co-president of Carleton University Students for Scholars at Risk and TEDxCarletonUniversity, through which they hosted Carleton’s annual TEDx Conference. Yahya has also worked with the Women’s Foundation of Nepal on an international development project, which advanced technological access for youth and women at the organization.

Congratulations, Hijaab!