Dear Sir or Madam,
We write to you today in order to introduce our oldest member, Paul Welke. Paul has the dubious distinction of being our only member to have been born in the 1970s.
Born and raised in Edmonton, he joined the Canadian Forces at 17, and transferred to the Intelligence Branch shortly after, which gave him both the opportunity to do two NATO peacekeeping tours to Bosnia-Herzegovina with the Royal Canadian Air Force, as well as an excuse for taking seven years to complete his Bachelor of Arts.
As is the case with many BA grads, Paul soon found that creativity would be required to secure gainful employment. After leaving the Canadian Forces, he started work as a Communications Technician with a major telecommunications company and earned his Journeyman ticket in that trade.
Eventually, he found the actual work that accompanied a job in the trades to be somewhat objectionable. Along with his family, he made the decision to pursue a career in Law, which had been a dream of his for some time. He commenced his legal education at Thompson Rivers University in Kamloops, BC, but transferred back home after his first year. While he found that Kamloops can be surprisingly picturesque and he was saddened to leave the friends that he found within the students and faculty at TRU Law, Edmonton has always been home, and Paul was excited to be able to complete his legal studies at his alma mater, the University of Alberta. Even more importantly, he was elated to discover that he would not have to spend two more school years away from his wife and son. They, on occasion, share in this joy at having him back home.
Paul has always had a love for criminal law and related constitutional law issues. He is currently seeking an articling position with a firm that shares his passions for access to justice and civil liberties. In addition to this, Paul is a volunteer and supporter of the Criminal Law Project of Student Legal Services of Edmonton, as well as the Founding Director of Innocence Alberta, a project that shared the dedication of their parent organization, Innocence Canada, to identifying, advocating for, and exonerating individuals convicted of a crime that they did not commit and to preventing such injustices in the future through legal education and justice system reform.
Outside of school, Paul enjoys playing board games and using his eight year old son as an excuse to do nerdy things, such as dressing up in matching Marty McFly costumes for Edmonton Expo. He has also kept a blog for the past two years detailing his misadventures as an older law student, which due to its rather liberal use of naughty words, will not be linked here. You are welcome to try to find it on your own. Aside from finishing his studies this year, Paul has resolved to pick up two of his old hobbies by ceasing to neglect his camera and his beer- and wine-making equipment.
Your Humble and Obedient Servants,