The facets of choice and fate: alumnus shares how he got his start in law

< More Stories
March 23, 2021
It’s astonishing how a moment of error can alter a path believed to be so clearly laid out.
This is, at least, applicable to Lakeland College alumnus Jeremy Wakefield, Class of 1993 university transfer.
 
With aspirations of entering the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP), Wakefield enrolled in Lakeland’s university transfer program to take courses in English, psychology, sociology and math, which would help him achieve a degree in criminology. He transferred his credits to the University of the Fraser Valley’s criminal justice program, where he could complete a practicum placement with the RCMP.
 
According to Wakefield, he stumbled into law after a poor decision resulted in missing the opportunity to work with the RCMP. Instead, he selected a position with the Surrey Crown Counsel Office and took a chance on learning a different facet of law enforcement.
 
“I did my practicum, and I hit it off famously with the lawyers there that I was asked to come back for a second practicum because of a big case we were working on at the time. I thought becoming a lawyer wasn’t such a bad idea, so I wrote my Law School Admission Test, then applied to some universities, and the rest is history.
 
“Some bad decisions worked out well,” he says.
 
Wakefield completed his bachelor’s degree in law from the University of Alberta and then returned to his hometown, Lloydminster, Alta., in 2000 to start his legal practice. Currently, his practice areas include residential and commercial real estate, corporate and commercial transactions and wills and estate matters at Fox-Wakefield, where he is also a partner. He’s also a member of the Law Society of Alberta, Law Society of Saskatchewan and Canadian Bar Association.
 
“Lloydminster is the land of opportunity. Many of my peers who went to work in major centers have done well, but I don’t feel like I’m missing out. I get to work on the same stuff, but I’m not just a cog in a wheel to keep the machine running; I get to take more of a lead on cases. Building my practice has been an awesome experience.”
 
It’s the people, he adds, that keeps him moving forward in this line of work, whether working with a client or collaborating with his peers. He not only credits the local bar association but the city of Lloydminster entirely.
 
“We have a great staff who honestly do all the work and we get all the glory. I'm very grateful that I have strong, competent staff to lead the way here. Even with the pandemic, we’ve continued to grow and thrive.
 
“Lloydminster is home to me. I grew up here, met my wife here and am now raising my family here. I also knew I wanted to support the organizations that have helped me, Lakeland being at the top of the list.”
 
Wakefield has been involved with several organizations, such as Lloydminster Big Brothers and Sisters Lloydminster, the Lloydminster Region Health Foundation, and Lakeland’s university transfer advisory committee.
 
“Some faces may change, but Lakeland’s spirit stays the same. Lakeland is near and dear to my heart because I know it wouldn't have been possible without the college’s contribution to my ability to pursue my career goals. I find a recurring theme at Lakeland College between the staff and administration; they're always looking to see what they can do better. It's a conducive, supportive atmosphere to learning and excelling. It's collaborative, and the students’ welfare is foremost at the front of the decision-making. Not that I'm coming up with great ideas, but I feel heard when I’m asked to offer input, and I’m happy to provide it.”
 
Wakefield has also participated in numerous college events, such as the university transfer alumni social in 2020 where he shared his Lakeland experience with alumni and current students.

Photos: Top​ - Jeremy Wakefield. Middle-Bottom- Jeremy Wakefield speaks at the 2020 university transfer alumni social.
What Students Say
With the Student-Managed Farm you learn to be accountable for what you’re doing and the choices you make. You get an understanding of what it’s like to be out in industry or on a farm making decisions that count.

– Anthony Biglieni

Agribusiness Class of 2006

What Alumni Say
Lakeland College has been a integral partner in growing our own through the school of business. As an alumnus of the college, I have first-hand learning experience in the school of business. The professors welcome Servus Credit Union to facilitate classes in the Business Ethics course each year.

– Sandi Unruh

Senior Human Resources Consultant

What Faculty & Staff Say
Vertex has had great experience bringing on students from Lakeland College. We have found the Bachelor of Applied Science (Environmental Management) program to provide students with good academic knowledge of the environmental industry and the criteria that governs the land reclamation

– Sean Fuller B.Sc., P.Ag.

Vice President, Environmental Services, Vertex.

What Alumni Say
There is no way I would be where I am today without Lakeland College. It inspired me to be a better person and to get a job in something I love doing. I am so thankful I had such a great experience at Lakeland and I hope future students do as well.

– Danielle Gaboury

Business studies, Class of 2016.

What Students Say
I recommend the UT program to people all the time. The smaller setting Lakeland offers, is very conducive to learning. It's less intimidating than the larger universities and allows for more class interactions and discussions

– Kelly Mykytuk

2nd year UT student, 2017-18

What Alumni Say
Choosing to attend Lakeland College was one of the best decisions that I’ve made in my life so far. The welcoming and friendly Lakeland environment encourages a place of excellence, and fosters the ability to be successful not only in school, but in life.

– Mariah Van’t Hof

University Transfer, Class of 2015

What Alumni Say
I have loved my experience at Lakeland. The teachers are personable, and quick to share about their own experiences. They encouraged me to run with my own ideas and see what would happen; they got excited about my designs, which gave me the confidence to do my best and be more creative.

– Payton Ramstead

Class of 2016, Interior Design student.

What Alumni Say
At Lakeland College you are guaranteed to have time out of the classroom where you can put everything you learned together and actually see that what you’re learning is relevant.

– Alisa Brace

Animal Health Technology, Class of 2016.

What Alumni Say
The friendships I made, the experiences we were provided with, and the welcoming atmosphere of the Vermilion Campus made my time at Lakeland extremely valuable and memorable

– Grayden Kay

Animal Science & Agribusiness, Class of 2016.

What Alumni Say
Lakeland College was a learning environment unlike any other school. It allows students to learn beyond the classroom, and staff and faculty genuinely want to see students succeed. It’s a place where you can feel comfortable asking questions and where everyone has a place and fits in.

– Carson Reid

Agribusiness, Class of 2016.

What Alumni Say
The instructors were the highlight of my time at Lakeland. It made a huge impact on my college experience to have instructors who challenged, encouraged, and believed in me.

– Jessica Cadrain

Child & Youth Care, Class of 2016.

What Alumni Say
At the beginning of my first year, I was really stressed out as I felt I had no artistic ability. But with the instruction and time put in by the interior design faculty, I was able to develop my artistic abilities. Now I am fully confident in and exceeding well in the artistic side of this career!

– Naomi Mason

Interior Design Technology, Class of 2016.

What Alumni Say
I just feel like you get the best education at Lakeland, especially from the time that the instructors can actually spend with you. I like the class sizes too – everything’s been great about my Lakeland experience.

– Dean Coulson

Heavy Equipment Technician, Class of 2016.

What Alumni Say
I do give Lakeland College credit for reigniting my interest and even preparing me for Miss Rodeo Canada. Lakeland helped me to grow enough to have the confidence to think I could take on that role and become that person. I think that I have and I am really grateful for that

– Ali Mullin

Agribusiness, class of 2014, former Miss Rodeo Canada.

What Alumni Say
I feel the professors at Lakeland actually prepared me for the profession. It’s impossible to be just a number here when there are 12 students in all of your classes. When the school advertised small class sizes, they actually meant it.

– Stephen Mark Visser

Real Estate Appraisal and Assessment, Class of 2016.

What Alumni Say
I was involved in the president’s gala in April where I was an emcee for the evening, it was a great experience, and I had a lot of fun doing it and would recommend it to everyone.”

– Lucas Tetreault

HOPE Power Engineering, Class of 2017.

What Alumni Say
I would recommend Lakeland College for the simple fact that it's for everybody. As a mature student who went back to school much later than his 18th year, I was immediately accepted, and not ostracized in the least

– Donald James Shaw

Accounting Major, Class of 2016.

What Alumni Say
All the hands-on learning was great and very helpful once placed into the industry. Having clients leave with a smile after each service assured me that I was in the right field of work. I would recommend Lakeland to anyone.

– Courtnee Coolidge

Esthetician, Class of 2016.

What Alumni Say
The professors care so much about their students at Lakeland and are able to know each and every one of them by name, so much so that they are able to nominate a ton of students for awards.

– Stephanie Wakefeild

University Transfer, Class of 2016.

What Alumni Say
They really put you in the lead at Lakeland. Lakeland cares about its students, empowers them, and gives them opportunities to achieve their goals. I don’t see Lakeland as a stepping stone or a first step – I see it as a bridge and an integral part of my education.

– Alyssa Wells

University Transfer, Class of 2017.

What Alumni Say
I wanted to get experience in the field of assessment as it would give me exposure to what it’s like day to day. It was an invaluable experience as I find it hard to imagine what it would be like working in a particular field or area until I’m doing the work.

– Sheldon Farrell

Real estate appraisal and assessment, Class of 2017.

What Alumni Say
In the campus spa, they give you time to work with each client so nothing is rushed and you’re able to concentrate on providing the best service you can to your client.

– Daphney Couturier

Esthetician, Class of 2017.

What Alumni Say
It’s going to be a lot easier to start our first jobs having this experience and having been able to build our confidence in the campus spa. I love that we get to have this opportunity.

– Darby Watchel

Esthetician, Class of 2017.

What Employers Say
Lakeland is a great place to find employees. The college provides real world training that equips soon-to-be employees with knowledge and people skills that are highly sought after in the agriculture industry these days.

– Dustin Dinwoodie

Key Account Manager – Western Canada Arysta LifeScience

What Alumni Say
The hands-on field trips, quality of education i received, professors who are invested in your success, and all the friends I made. I exceeded my academic expectations and I also had a lot of fun. If i had to do it all over gain, i would choose Lakeland!

– Nicole (Audet) Pysh

Class of 2006, Environmental Protection & Class of 2008, Applied Environmental Degree