My name is Muhammad Zubair and I am a lawyer from Toronto. I was called to the Bar in 2018 after graduating from Windsor Law. my professional background is in clinical law having summered at Detroit Free Legal Aid Clinic during 1L and Community Legal Aid during 2L. I articled in Windsor with Legal Assistance of Windsor and through these positions got a chance to work on a wide range of practice areas including criminal law, small claims matters, Landlord Tenant Law and Social Benefits Tribunal appeals.
I am of Pakistani descent and migrated to Canada in 2000 when I was 10 years old. I did my undergrad at Ryerson and York, and earned my law degree at Wayne State and Windsor Law. I’m abroad right now for a 6 month internship and the door is open for me to pursue further international opportunities, hence the name of this blog.
Outside of the law, I’m into movies, hip hop music and martial arts in a huge way. My movie watch-list continues to grow at an unsustainable rate that stresses me out, and every one movie I knock off the list is replaced by two or three additions. I’m slowly broadening my musical horizons in many directions but my heart will always be rooted in 90s hip-hop. And as far as martial arts are concerned, every Saturday night is occupied with one fight card or another, whether it’s MMA, K1 or Boxing. My first hands-on exposure was through muay thai, and that’s still my biggest strength and favourite style, but I’ve learned how important grappling is and have been spending more and more time focusing on wrestling and jiu-jitsu. Still terrible at all of them, but it’s a hobby that I enjoy so it is what it is.
Ok, so what is this blog all about, and what am I currently up to?
This blog, as you guessed from the name is about chronicling my travels and international work that I am involved in. It will include a blend of work stuff and also my extra-curricular activities, and if I choose to run with international work, then I’ll continue to track my travels. Nothing is certain at the moment, so we’re taking it one day at a time.
Right now, I’m in Kyrgyzstan. You’ve read the other post, you know what it is already so I’ll refrain from repeating all those details again. In a nutshell, I’m abroad for a 6 month placement through the Canadian Bar Association’s Young Lawyers International Program. I’ve been placed with IDLO (International Development Law Organization) in Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan, and have been here for over 4 months already!
I started my placement here in October of 2018 and am scheduled to be here until mid April. It’s actually extremely saddening to realize that the end of my time here is rapidly approaching. I did so much but I still feel like I could’ve done more. There’s still ample time to get down to it, so it’s now or never!
The legal field is extremely conservative and risk averse. I know it was a gamble to go abroad and work in the international development field compared to the safer choice of working locally in the private sector. But given the choice, I would take this opportunity every single time because of how unique and rewarding it is. It has opened my eyes to the endless opportunities available to me outside of the conventional career path that everyone in law schools and the profession is obsessed with. My time in Kyrgyzstan has been transformative and I am so glad that I pursued this opportunity and was fortunate enough to secure a spot out of all the applicants. I honestly can’t recommend this enough to people, and if any of you have any questions about my placement, about the country, or about the YLIP program, feel free to get in touch with me and we can have a chat!
You can reach me at email@example.com and also connect with me on Linkedin at https://www.linkedin.com/in/muhammadbinzubair/