An Internationally Trained Migrant Lawyer Starts a Business to Fight Chronic Unemployment | She Made It

                                “Don’t give up on your dreams.” Banyk Chia

Sariette Banyk Chia is the CEO of Alternative Legal Service.

She stopped by our office to share her triumphs in Edmonton. She migrated here in 2014 as an internationally trained lawyer from Cameroon. She could not find work. Her French accent was a barrier. She suffered typical immigrant problems: lack of work, lack of money, lack of access, lack of opportunity, loads of other subtle barriers and covert limitations. Yet, she persevered. She did not give up hope that one day she would be a qualified lawyer in Edmonton.


Even though she volunteered in many legal organisations, she still could not find work. She said she did not know why she still found her self unemployed. Due to her diligence, resilience, CDI training,  she started to sell her services as a paralegal. She started her ALSF in 2017 and when she visited Microbusiness, everything changed pretty much after that. She has challenges she says. But her boldness in confronting unemployment and a belief that she can do all things gives her daily triumphs.

She is a certified entrepreneur, certified court worker, certified family mediator and a qualified legal assistant. She still dreams of becoming a lawyer in Edmonton, but for now, she has conquered the battle of unemployment in the legal system. Even now, she feels she still has to fight for every client as lawyers feel threatened by the work she is doing. She needs lawyers to respect what she does.

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