Millie Bojic graduated with a juris doctor in 2013, and completed a business law concentration through UBC Law’s Centre for Business Law. She has recently returned from Paris as head delegate and volunteer ambassador for the Young Diplomats of Canada. UBC Law caught up with her to learn about her important work in international diplomacy.
What have you been up to since you graduated in 2013?
I have been articling at a local litigation boutique that deals primarily with matters in tax law. As a law student, I worked for corporate counsel in the legal department of a global energy management firm. I am fortunate, then, to have had exposure to both solicitor and barrister areas of practice.
You’ve recently been to Paris. Why?
I was selected by the Young Diplomats of Canada (the “YDC”) to attend the Forum of the Organization of Economic Cooperation and Development (the “OECD”), a global policy conference held in Paris. This year’s overarching conference theme was “Resilient Economies for Inclusive Societies” – hearkening to the considerable measures OECD members, including Canada, have undertaken in a post-2008 economic playing field.
Who are the Young Diplomats of Canada?
The YDC is a Canadian non-partisan, non-profit organization working to build Canada's next generation of leaders. It engages young Canadian leaders in diplomacy and meaningful dialogue through access to global diplomatic events. This year alone, the YDC has sent delegates to the Y20 Summit, the OECD Forum, the Nuclear Knowledge Summit, and the World Bank-IMF Civil Society Meetings.
What did you and your colleagues do in Paris?
As a head delegate and the only current BC resident selected, I was responsible for coordinating a team ranging from undergraduate, graduate and post-graduate programs across Canada. We attended and actively participated in the activities, dialogues, lectures, and idea labs of the OECD Forum. We were also one of the only civil society organizations from Canada in attendance, which made our experience all the more exciting.
My colleagues and I had coordinated meetings with the Deputy Head Minister for the permanent Canadian delegation of the OECD, the Honourable Mme. Danielle Thibault; as well as the Deputy Head of Mission for the Embassy of Canada in Paris, the Honourable Mr. Kim Butler. They offered their insight on various hot-topic issues, such as the political situation in the Ukraine; key policy and legal reforms; bi-lateral policy engagements between France and Canada; and life of a diplomat abroad. I also had the pleasure of meeting the Canadian Ambassador to the OECD, Her Excellency Mme. Judith LaRocque.
What sort of issues did you focus on?
My areas of focus were taxation policy reform, global trends in energy production, and the future of technological interconnectivity. The Forum certainly did not disappoint. Among the stimulating panel debates were “Tax and Development” as well as “Is Investing in Fossil Fuels a Risky Business?” I had the fortune to participate in the “Future of the Internet” lab – a brainstorming session with influential leaders across government, private and non-profit sectors. I furthermore honed in on one of the chief policy implementations anticipated at the Forum, the “Declaration on Automatic Exchange of Information in Tax Matters” – ratified by all OECD members including Canada.
Overall, the experience offered plenty of food for thought in a hubbub of intellectual activity – alongside ‘hard talk’ on elevating the theoretical to the practical where policy is concerned.
Any tips for balancing work with volunteer commitments?
It would seem no member of the profession is a stranger to working hard, especially when training to amass the necessary skillset for practice. From the sound advice I have received from many mentors, building habits for a healthy work-life balance should begin early in a lawyer’s professional development. I have fortunately found my volunteer commitments in the community and in the arts to not only provide me the space to have fun, but to connect with some wonderful professionals in the process.