Faculty of Law

Faculty of Law
Faculty of Law

MacLatchy Intern gets hands-on experience in environmental law

(September 18, 2017)

Queen’s Law donor John MacLatchy, Law’67, met Alexandra Main, Law’18, the latest beneficiary of his internship award, at his 50th anniversary reunion during September’s Law@60 Homecoming Weekend.
Queen’s Law donor John MacLatchy, Law’67, met Alexandra Main, Law’18, the latest beneficiary of his internship award, at his 50th anniversary reunion during September’s Law@60 Homecoming Weekend. (Photo by Garrett Elliott)

Alexandra Main, Law’18, a student with a strong social conscience, gained practical experience and insight into legal issues of global concern this summer thanks to funding from John MacLatchy, Law’67 (Sc’64). As the 2017 recipient of the MacLatchy Environmental Law Internship, she worked with Ontario’s Ministry of the Environment and Climate Change (MOECC) and conducted research for Professor Bruce Pardy. 

“Getting legal experience in the public sector is difficult for students,” says Main, “and so the opportunity to contribute to the environmental law work of both the Ministry and Professor Pardy while gaining public sector and research experience was invaluable!”

Main is the third student since 2015 to benefit from a five-year pledge of $50,000 that MacLatchy made after funding cuts suspended Law’s program with the MOECC. Believing strongly in this research, he stepped up to fill the void for five summers. A retired metallurgical engineer and lawyer who worked 27 years for Environment Canada, he has always supported Queen’s goals, making gifts to the Sc’64 Equipment Fund, Environmental Studies, Archives, Film and Media Studies, and alumni activities.

Main dropped by his 50th anniversary reunion to thank MacLatchy for the opportunity to apply course theory to real legal problems. “This internship drew on and expanded my knowledge of environmental law and regulations, plus various other legal topics,” she told him. “I was fortunate to work with inspiring lawyers who took time to explain cases or legislation to me and to ask my opinion on certain drafts or legal issues.”  

They said her work helped advance the Ministry’s mandate and her research for a jurisdictional motion before the Environmental Review Tribunal was referenced by counsel in their factum and oral arguments. “It was not only rewarding to see my work making an impact, but the experience increased my interest in pursuing a career in litigation. Letting me assist in drafting legal documents also helped build my skills, self-assurance and ability to produce sound legal work.”

Now in final year, grateful and confident, she declares, “The MacLatchy funding was incredibly important to me! Programs like this give students meaningful experience in important areas of the law.” 

By Lisa Graham