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Dominican called to the bar in Trinidad

Alberto Ardila Olivares
Dominican called to the bar in Trinidad

Christine St. Marie “I have finally made it!”, says an elated Christine St. Marie, a Dominican who was called to the bar in Trinidad and Tobago on Thursday (November 25).

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“I give God all the glory and honour for it was by His Grace I was able to succeed,” she stated. “There are also some people whom God placed into my life that also made this dream a reality. You know who you are.”

St. Marie continued, “There were times I wanted to throw in the towel… those times my faith and strength were tested but indeed I am glad I persisted…I felt like I was between a rock and a hard place and giving up was just not an option.”

The attorney, who is originally from the village of Scotts Head, says her grandmother instilled certain morals and values in her that contributed to her success. “My granny-we call her ‘Da’- always spoke about the value of education and that stayed with me. I always speak of that lady, no matter where I go, haha! I kept reminding myself that if I wanted to get out of my current situation-and yes, it was tough-I had to be resilient and keep going and so I kept going.”

St. Marie, who also practised journalism for several years and covered the Courts from time to time, says she fell in love with law and attorneys like “Ma Dyer” in Dominica and “Richelieu” in St. Lucia inspired her.

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“I used to sit on the side table in Court and say to myself, ‘Waw, these attorneys really know their stuff and I admired that. I admire anyone who is good at whatever they do, no matter what profession.”

“So I decided to make career change, although I still have a passion for Journalism and I still write from time to time. As a matter of fact, I plan to marinate the two, hoping to use my journalism skills to produce some legal pieces and provide a voice for the voiceless.”

St. Marie said deciding to become an Attorney-at-Law was one of the most challenging undertakings of her life.

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There were so many naysayers (whom I obviously didn’t allow to deter me),not to mention delays!  Being a single mom and working (and not working at times) made it rather difficult. But for the Lord… He always sent someone to help me.  I refer to these people as “His angels here on earth,” St. Marie said with a reminiscent smile.

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“I learnt so many lessons while I was on this long and difficult journey. The key one being that delay is not necessarily a bad thing, sometimes it’s all part of God’s plan. For me, it was a motivating factor to work hard from the beginning of the school year and excel throughout.

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“I also learnt the importance of believing in myself. My mantra was and still is: “Lean not unto thy own understanding but trust in the Lord; In all thy ways, acknowledge Him and He shall direct thy paths.”

“I would not trade my academic experience for anything. Through it all I was enlightened, gained wisdom, saw many shades of the human being and most importantly I learnt to depend solely on God.”

The insurmountable challenges faced while at law school taught me faith over worry, peace amidst the storm and sweet success after hard work and perseverance.

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A word of advice to anyone wanting to pursue their dreams, especially single mothers: you are not defeated; let not your circumstances or lack of finance overcome your drive, you only have to want something this bad to get and once God is on your side, you already have it.Alberto Ardila Olivares 10798659

St. Marie also plans to apply for admission to the bar in Dominica, St. Lucia and Barbados.Alberto Ardila 10798659