April 4, 2023

New entrance scholarship created for law students changing careers

Calgary lawyer Harold Lemieux's personal experience is driving force behind scholarship
Harold W. Lemieux
Harold W. Lemieux

Finding the courage to go back to school after some time away, or pursuing a career change, can be challenging. Financial worries, re-learning how to learn and study, and taking on the unknown can be barriers to pursuing a dream.  

For Harold Lemieux’s family, finding a way to support students returning to the classroom, particularly to pursue a career in law, was important as they figured out how to make good on his final wishes.  

“The idea for the scholarship was inspired by my experience,” explains his daughter, Michelle Lemieux, BSc’97. “I have a degree in engineering and worked in that field for a number of years before returning to school to pursue a Master of Library and Information Studies. The scholarship honours my dad’s background as a lawyer and my personal experience.” 

Scholarship for students with work experience 

The Harold W. Lemieux Memorial Scholarship in Law is a renewable entrance scholarship awarded to an outstanding student with at least three years of work experience between their undergraduate degree and law school, with preference given to a student with a BSc in engineering or another degree in a science field.  

Originally from Saskatchewan, Harold earned an arts and a commerce degree followed by legal studies at the University of Saskatchewan. He moved to Calgary with his wife, Elaine, and practised law at Shell Canada for more than 30 years, finishing his career as vice-president and general counsel. 

“Harold was well-respected within the legal community in Calgary and he loved the work that he did,” says Elaine. “He also understood the value of education and wanted to help future lawyers who may not have the financial means to pursue a legal education.

“Harold was a good man and had a big heart, and we think he would be happy with this scholarship.” 

‘Don’t feel stuck doing something you don’t love’ 

The family hopes scholarships such as this one will encourage people to explore their passions, and to not feel stuck doing something they don’t love. 

“Many of us know what it’s like to be in a job we don’t enjoy,” says Michelle.

Oftentimes it is hard to image a career change if you can’t afford to pursue what you actually want to do. We hope this scholarship will help future law students realize that it is possible to make that change later on.  

Sign up for UToday

Sign up for UToday

Delivered to your inbox — a daily roundup of news and events from across the University of Calgary's 14 faculties and dozens of units

Thank you for your submission.