Karen Kwan Anderson

Karen Kwan Anderson
Grad Year: 
Industrial Relations
Professional Writing
Social Science, Education & Religion
Pace Law Firm

“I am advocate in appeals of refusals made inside and outside Canada of applications for permanent residence under the family class, particularly spousal sponsorships,” says Karen, who graduated with an LL.B. from the University of Windsor in 1999. “I also represent the interests of refugee claimants and those who are deemed inadmissible to Canada on the basis of serious criminality or medical issues. I meet frequently with clients, manage our team, contribute ideas to marketing and public relations of our immigration services, and attend hearings at the Immigration and Refugee Board and Federal Court of Canada.”

Karen says in order to succeed in her line of work one must possess an innate ability to work well with people, advocate on behalf of clients, write effectively and coherently, and manage time and stress efficiently.

Karen, who has worked as a Secretary/Receptionist and as a Barrister and Solicitor at DeRusha Law Firm before landing her current job, was referred by a friend to her current employer.

“In addition to the introduction, I think I was hired because I clicked with my boss. He was lawyer and great mentor. My volunteer experiences definitely helped in engaging conversation and showing my ability to do things other than study,” she says.

While at UTM, Karen was a writer and News Editor for The Medium, the campus newspaper.

“I reported on facts, interviewed others, ensured the content was correct, and wrote and edited. These are all things I still do today, but in a court and tribunal setting,” she says.

The former Career Centre student volunteer assistant and Credit Valley Hospital volunteer says she developed her interests outside of academia and work.

“After UTM, I was an intern at the Law Society of England and Wales in the summer of my second year of law school. I updated a book on requirements and credentials of lawyers who wished to work in other parts of the Commonwealth,” she says. “Although I was not paid for the position, I came home enriched by the experience. I worked in central London, I went to Paris on a weekend trip, I visited family in Scotland, I learned about the culture, and I met very nice people throughout.”

Karen is also currently an Alumni Mentor at UTM. She also recently began the first year of a two-year term as President of the UTM Alumni Association.

“I chair our monthly meetings and advise our Executive Board on various duties and issues. I am a spokesperson for the UTMAA at events, such as the graduation reception for graduating students and their parents,” she says.

Karen says the key to success is to not be afraid to work for free, that employers recognize the value of voluntarism.

“Were it not for volunteering, I would not have had the richness of experiences which made me more well-rounded, well-read and well-spoken,” she says. “I have also met a ton of people along the way from different backgrounds and interests. The world is getting smaller and knowing more people enriches your life and networking connections.”