Student Spotlight

Binational J.D. program leads to clerkship in Canadian appeals court for UHLC's Carriere 

University of Houston Law Center and University of Calgary Faculty of Law student Chantal Carriere.

University of Houston Law Center and University of Calgary Faculty of Law student Chantal Carriere.

March 1, 2018 — Graduation won't come until May 2019 for Chantal Carriere, but she has lined up her first job even before she earns dual law degrees from the University of Houston Law Center and the University of Calgary. Beginning in the summer next year, Carriere will start her clerking appointment at the Alberta Court of Appeal, a role that will last 10 months.

"I'm really looking forward to getting a behind-the-bench perspective on pressing legal issues that are fundamental to our society," Carriere said. "There were several professors at the University of Calgary who encouraged me to seriously consider a clerkship upon graduation."

"The more I studied law, the more it made sense to me, particularly given my interest in research and writing."
That interest recently earned Carriere a win for her paper, "The Effects of Japan's Push for Greater LNG Market Flexibility on LNG Pricing and Destination Restrictions," in a global student writing competition, sponsored by the Association of International Petroleum Negotiators.

Carriere is a member of the International Energy Lawyers Program. The initiative, which began in 2012, allows students to earn both American and Canadian law degrees in four years. Students spend two years at each school and take courses that will enable them to apply for admission to bars in Canada and the U.S.

Carriere's time at the Law Center began at the start of the Fall 2017 semester. Her interests in energy, oil and gas and environmental law made the program an appealing opportunity.

"It's been fantastic," Carriere said. "One of the real benefits has been getting a comparative perspective on trans-border legal issues that affect both Canada and the United States."

"The courses on energy and natural resources that I have been able to take on both sides of the border have helped me to hone my legal analysis and build analytical connections, which has been key. Also, the ability to build a legal network on both sides of the border has been really beneficial."

With the binational legal credentials Carriere will have, her eventual goal is to establish an international practice.

"Eventually I'm hoping that it will help me better be able to serve my clients, just by being able to have this kind of a perspective and understand the nature of cross-border business," Carriere said.