Ridhey Gill, Founder of ridhey.ca
“You’re the future”, a phrase that the young, and those who consider themselves as such, are reminded of regularly. Whether it be by our elders, community leaders, every election speech by almost every candidate, every school, professor… (voice fades out)
However, they all conveniently fail to indicate when this future is. When are the awaited duties to be handed down?
Some catch themselves in this trap and spend a lifetime waiting for “the future”, the day an Olympic-like torch is to be handed over in a grand ceremony.
Others are wise enough to heed the words of Mahatma Gandhi, “The future depends on what we do in the present”.
Meet Ridhey Gill, one of the wise, who has already begun to shape the future of the legal profession before having even spent a “hot minute” in law school.
Ridhey is part of “The 150” – the 150 students that will make up Ryerson University's Faculty of Law Inaugural Class of 2023.
Ridhey’s legal journey began at an early age. She cheekily recalls,
“I was intrigued by the law. This idea of being a lawyer and what I could do with that really interested me. Plus, all the arguing I did at home with my parents definitely helped pull me in that direction.”
The intrigue gradually turned into a genuine passion.
As an undergraduate student in Ryerson’s Law and Business program, Ridhey became infused with the law. She reflects,
"During my undergraduate studies, I had the opportunity to study various areas of the law. I realized how much I enjoyed studying these topics as well as analyzing and breaking down the complexities of the law. Each year I only fell more in love with the idea of having a legal career, but still struggled with the idea of law school and figuring out what other opportunities I could pursue."
Then came along LIZ, no not your friend Liz, but Ryerson University’s Legal Innovation Zone – the first and only legal tech incubator of its kind, where Ridhey served as the Startup Experience Associate,
"Just after my third year of undergrad, I began working at the Legal Innovation Zone (LIZ) where I found all my answers. Working at the LIZ was such an incredible experience and was crucial to me understanding what my path with law would be. I was so inspired and motivated by the work of the LIZ, the startups who worked out of there, and how there was this mission of making the law more accessible and creating change in an industry that so desperately needs it. I realized how many opportunities there were to be a leader in law and impact real change."
Suddenly, the new Ryerson Law School was a reality. It was as if someone threw a box of puzzle pieces in the air and they all began to fall exactly into place, creating the image Ridhey had longed to see,
"The opening of Ryerson’s law school just happened to be perfect in terms of timing, and I knew that I had to go there in order to obtain the skills needed to be able to drive that meaningful impact and change in the legal industry."
With an unrivaled passion, but also an in-depth understanding of legal innovation, she is well aware of its potential in the justice system.
"I was able to see how all of these incredible startups were leveraging the use of technology to provide better legal solutions to people. I thought that was just incredible. I was exposed to this intersection of the law and entrepreneurship and it really excited me and showed me how many opportunities there were to create change. All of the work that comes out of LIZ is designed to foster innovation in the legal industry, and that has had a direct impact on what I now wish to do with my legal career."
Although, one guiding principle leads Ridhey as she begins her legal career,
"At the core of everything, I believe everyone deserves access to the law. I understand the severity of the access to justice issue that exists and that has existed for so long, and I hope to work towards ensuring the law is more accessible and doing things differently in my own legal career."
"Leading law differently"
“Leading law differently” has become Ridhey’s motto, a trademark of sorts, that can be seen in all that she does. One of the initiatives Ridhey has poured into is ridhey.ca,
"I started ridhey.ca because I wanted to document my journey towards becoming an atypical lawyer and also to be able to post things related to legal innovation and legal tech. It’s been an incredible experience so far to be able to have my own platform to write blogs and have fun with series like the one I recently launched called 'Meet the Inaugural Class of Ryerson Law'. I really hope to see ridhey.ca grow into a go-to resource for all things related to legal innovation and Ryerson Law. I’m looking forward to continuing working on the site and seeing what it will develop into."
As the academic year approaches, and the first classes of Canada’s newest law school get underway, Ridhey will be there with a sense of joy that can only be rivaled by a child’s excitement in the candy aisle. She adds,
“I plan to approach the legal practice with a whole host of skills that will leave me well equipped to impact change. I think it’s important to understand technologies and how they can work to make the practice of law better, and I also believe that it’s important to be business savvy. Whether I work at a firm, a startup, or start my own business, I think being well versed in legal tech and business strategy (along with a knowledge of the law) will allow me to succeed on new levels.”
To see more of Ridhey’s work, please visit: ridhey.ca
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