find your path

  • 960x160-placement
  • Looking to make a change in your life or career?

    Start Here

2013 Champion - Corina Bachmann

From political refugee to lawyer


Education was not the first concern for Simcoe resident Corina Bachmann and her family when they came to Canada. After fleeing Romania to escape political persecution, Corina and her husband were looking for safety and stability.

Corina and her husband initially settled in Montreal, living with her sister. Corina worked as a teacher in Romania, but with her credentials not recognized here, she was not interested in teaching in Canada. She took jobs cleaning houses and working in fast-food restaurants but she wanted to do more. During her refugee claim process, a legal aid lawyer was appointed to Corina, and this sparked an interest in law.

But she was not sure she could succeed. “I was told by people in the education system that I wouldn’t be accepted into law school, that I would have to go back to high school,” she said. “I had given up initially but I came a across a professor at McGill who said I had exactly what the school was looking for. That man changed my life.”

Corina and her family moved to Ontario so she could study Law at the University of Western Ontario. Despite financial struggles, and the stress of raising a young daughter, Corina graduated. Her husband and sister supported her effors, balancing home and financial duties to allow her to succeed. After her daughter was born, Corina’s husband stayed home to provide care, while Corina continued her studies and completed her Articling, a paid apprenticeship with a law-firm.

Ten years after coming to Canada, Corina had a degree and was practising law. She now has her own firm, Bachmann Personal Injury Law, in Simcoe. She continues her legal education, staying updated on changes in the law.

She also remains committed to education. Knowing first-hand the financial challenges of getting an education, Corina feels very strongly that education should be a universal right for people, no matter what financial state they face. She sponsors four young adults in Kenya, former child soldiers who are training to improve their lives. Three of them are training to be teachers. Corina said education opens the doors to a better life, and she wants to help these adults get that better life.

Story by Rob Rombouts

Photo by Blackbird Photography