Alumni Profile - Jeff Willows

Jeff Willows [B.A.Geog.(Hons.), 2009] is currently a bilingual court officer of the Supreme Court of the Northwest Territories (NWT).

He became interested in legal work indirectly through the study of geography.  Human geography led him to geopolitics, which in turn steered him towards international relations and international law. Jeff credits the Riddell Faculty's mostly small class sizes and many opportunities to collaborate with faculty members as important factors to allow students to follow their interests, especially through directed readings courses and a high quality honours thesis option. Jeff describes his career path as long and arduous; yet fulfilling.

Today in his career he applies skills he learned at the U of M every day when assisting clients with filing legal documents, writing letters and drafting orders for law firms and judges, as well as opening and closing chambers sittings of the Supreme Court of the NWT. His B.A. (Hons) in Geography, gave him the skills to write effectively, speak eloquently, and address an audience comfortably. Jeff enjoys the variability his working life. To quote Jeff: "one day I might be quietly going about filing documents in my office, or assisting people with bringing matters to court. The next, I may be selecting a jury, swearing in witnesses, and listening to compelling evidence. The day after that, I may be on a bush plane to clerk a trial in a remote community north of the Arctic Circle. There is never a dull moment, and it makes all the difference". Jeff also has advice for prospective students: "My advice to undergraduates would be to pursue what interests you most and makes you happy regardless of its practicality. If you like what you’re doing, you will genuinely look forward to doing course readings, and dare I say, researching and writing papers for your classes".


Jeff Willows
B.A.Geog.(Hons.), 2009