Staff Introductions: Kenny Hildebrand

Kenny Hildebrand

Name: Kenny Hildebrand

Title: National Head of Communications (2018-2019)

Law School: Osgoode Hall Law School, Class of 2019

Background: I was born and raised in the Niagara Region. I come from a Mennonite family, immigrating to Canada from a Mennonite colony in what is now modern-day Ukraine. The Mennonite worldview remains significant to me to this day, especially as it pertains to advocacy for the peaceful, non-violent resolution of conflicts. Growing up, my father was an electrician during my childhood and is now a small business owner. My mother was a bookkeeper during my childhood and is now working for Canada Post. I have two younger brothers (fraternal twins), both who are working in the Niagara Region: one works for my dad and the other is following in his footsteps as an electrician. Being the first person in my family to pursue and complete post-secondary education, I found the trait that most helped me navigate the unfamiliar world of academia was curiosity. There is always so much more to learn, both in life and in law; possessing a curious disposition towards life has only ever made it more enriching and enjoyable.

Memorable Moment in Law School: During my first year, I was part of Osgoode Hall’s Cassels Brock Cup Moot (also referred to as the Baby Gale moot), where I had the privilege of mooting in front of real judges in the Court of Appeal in Toronto. Because I lived over an hour away from where the moot was held, I stayed the night close by at a friend’s house so I could sleep in a bit. I only realized the next morning that I had forgotten a white dress shirt for the moot. I looked up how long it would take to make a round-trip back home, and I even looked up store hours to see if I could buy a dress shirt, but none of these options were feasible if I were to make the moot on time. Fortunately, the friend whose place I was staying at was able to provide me with a substitute shirt. Unfortunately, her only available shirt option was a white, translucent, elbow-length, collared blouse. I arrived at the moot competition with an ill-fitting, borderline see-through “dress shirt” that did not fully cover my tie. While the judges luckily did not notice (or were kind enough not to point it out), my teammates were much more observant. We all had a good laugh at my expense.

Current Plans: I am currently working for Community & Legal Aid Services Programme (CLASP), a legal aid clinic in North York associated with Osgoode Hall. I am in their family law division. It’s a great opportunity to learn more about what working in a clinical setting looks like while being able to put course content to practical use.

Future Plans: I have recently accepted an articling position with Legal Aid Ontario back in the Niagara Region, starting July 2019. I’m excited, not only because I’ll be able to practice in areas of law that I’m passionate about, but because I’ll be doing so in an area that means so much to me. I’ve also always wanted to work for Legal Aid Ontario since entering law school, so this is a bit of a dream come true.

Fun Facts About Me: I went to culinary school prior to law school and I love baking. I can do Stephen Colbert’s ear trick with both ears. In my spare time, I have done some acting classes with Second City in Toronto.

Advice for Incoming Law Students: As a first generation law student, your journey to law school is unique. Don’t lose that quality in your future career. I think there is a tendency for people, whose stories seem somewhat disconnected from the rest of their peers, to try and hide their differences in order to fit in and overly conform to what they believe is expected of them. Don’t do this. Not only do you belong in law school, our world gains so much more when diverse people enter the legal world and change it for the better based on their distinct skill sets and passions. Don’t let that diversity remain in the past: keep it throughout your career. Never be afraid to tell your own story.