Marie Kiluu-Ngila

Education: Honours Bachelor of Arts (University of Toronto, 2014), Juris Doctor (University of Toronto, 2019)

Profession: Lawyer

Years of Experience: 1

As a child, did you envision becoming what you are now?

Yes, I have always dreamed of becoming a lawyer. I picked it when I was very young despite not having any role models who were lawyers, apart from what I had seen on TV. It was a childhood dream of mine to attend law school and I decided to go at the age of 24.

Tell us about your journey. When did you realize you had arrived (or were successful)?

I think success is always on the horizon and no matter how much you’ve completed, there is always more to do. Graduating law school and becoming a fully licensed lawyer a year later was definitely a significant milestone. I still don’t feel like I’ve arrived. I have a lot more to learn and you never know where your path in life will take you.

What obstacles, if any, did you face?

Coming from the background that I come from, being the first to attend university lends itself extra familial pressures. There were several barriers and obstacles throughout the years, whether it was socioeconomic or being the only person who looked like me in a room. At the same time, greatness is achieved by knowing that an obstacle is simply something that needs to be overcome to fulfill a greater goal.

What skills are required to succeed in your profession?

To become a lawyer, you need to be determined and resourceful. It’s a good fit for people who aren’t easily discouraged and can inspire a lot of tenacity in individuals.

What advice would you give to others aspiring to be where you are now?

The one piece of advice I constantly give is to never count yourself out. Sometimes, the critical voice in our minds tries to undermine an idea we want to act upon. Half of the battle is trying to silence that voice; but once you do, that’s when the magic happens. There is no goal that is out of reach.