FIDI Testimonials

I am honored to have been a successful participant in the Foot in The Door Initiative (FIDI).

Joining the FIDI program was not only a career milestone for me but also an affirmation of the value that diverse perspectives bring to the legal profession.
The program director, Ms. Shikha Shukla, helped me create a personalized schedule which was geared towards my long term career goals. With her support and leadership, I was quickly working with O&S lawyers, observing court appearances, and exercising my legal writing skills.

Additionally, the positive and inclusive atmosphere at O&S has made me feel right at home. The lawyers are diverse and enthusiastic mentors who are always willing to help. Specifically, Ms. Amanda Ovaici recognized my passion for family law and has been the most exceptional adviser-taking her time to review my drafted documents and acting as my guide while navigating the family law system.

The innovative FIDI program acted as a launchpad for my professional goals, has introduced me to a brilliant network of people and has reignited my dedication to the legal field. I could not thank Charles and his team enough for providing me this opportunity.


Associate, Osuji & Smith Lawyers

Volunteering with an NGO is common but with a reputed law firm! Are you out of your mind?

No, O&S is one of a kind which trusts the law students, gives them the opportunity they deserve and has opened its doors to legal realm because it has faith in them and believe that every qualified & competent person should be given a fair chance to prove themselves.

At the end, the quintessential legal experience is all that matters for your prospective employer, which O&S gifts you. Make the most of it!


My introduction to the Foot in the Door program came about serendipitously when I visited the office to drop off my resume. The program immediately resonated with me, and I am enthusiastic about contributing to the legal community through volunteer work.

Joining the esteemed team at Osuji and Smith Lawyers presents an invaluable opportunity for me to gain practical experience and familiarize myself with the intricacies of the legal profession.

As a student volunteer, I am eager to absorb insights from seasoned professionals, immerse myself in various legal tasks, collaborate with colleagues, and refine my legal skills. The firm’s commitment to excellence and dedication to nurturing emerging talent align perfectly with my aspirations for personal and professional growth


FIDI is not just a foot in the door initiative. It’s a light at the end of the tunnel. I was in Toronto, Ontario, before I moved to Calgary, Alberta, in February 2023. I started applying for volunteer positions and articling positions at every possible law firm in Calgary, Medicine Heart, Red Deer, and other cities in Alberta.

I believe I applied to almost 30 places before someone told me about the FIDI program. At first, I wasn’t that hopeful; however, when I spoke with Mr. Charles Osuji, I saw a ray of hope among all the rejections and ignored attempts to secure either a volunteer position or an articling position.

Mr. Charles Osuji gave me 15 minutes, conducted a brief interview, and asked me to get in touch with Ms. Shikha Shukla, who is the coordinator of this program. I was then invited by Ms. Shikha Shukla, and another interview was conducted, and I was selected for the volunteer position.

After so many rejections and ignored emails, I was almost ready to give up and was extremely demotivated, but this program came as a lifesaver, or, I can say, as my legal career saver in my life. I can say one thing for sure: I am never going to forget what this program and Mr. Charles Osuji did for me when nobody was even replying to my emails for a volunteer position.


Osuji & Smith Lawyers

I heard about Osuji and Smith through a family connection and after further research into the company, found that the Foot-in-the-Door (FIDI) initiative was exactly what I was looking for. As an undergraduate student at the University of Toronto studying political science, FIDI gave me an opportunity to dip my toe into legal work and broaden my knowledge in different areas of the law as well as the everyday practices at law firms.

Even though I am still in my undergrad and have yet to enter law school, my time at Osuji and Smith, through FIDI, has given me a chance to sit in on client consults and gain firsthand knowledge of client issues – whether employment, civil or family disputes – and the legal advice given to them to aid them in finding a resolution. Alongside this, I had the opportunity to assist lawyers draft legal documents which has given me a more concrete understanding of the legal proceedings in a case and the litigation process.

All of this together has created a diverse and immersive experience that has shown me various areas of the law and has made me yearn for law school and more opportunities to help people whenever I can.


As an internationally trained lawyer, I have found the Foot-in-the-Door Initiative (FIDI) program invaluable in my journey to integrate into the Canadian legal system.

The program has offered me the chance to grow my professional network and gain essential legal skills, including drafting legal documents, publishing my articles, and client consultations in the Canadian context, which have been instrumental in honing my skills for a successful career in Canada.

This hand-on approach provided by FIDI has been a cornerstone in preparing me for my future as a lawyer in this country.


FIDI has been a life changer in the game of legal practice for internationally trained lawyers.

Stepping into the four walls of a law firm as an international trained lawyer with no experience in Canada was made possible by this initiative, and at Osuji and Smith Lawyers, they continually strive to educate and expose foreign trained lawyers to the style and mode of practice here in Canada to ensure that they get familiarized with the process and become better equipped to carry on the practice of law.

Being a member has exposed me to a whole lot that I could have imagined, and I am forever grateful to its founder, Charles Osuji for his unrelenting thoughtfulness in making this initiative a reality.


It is a privilege for me to participate in Foot In The Door Initiative (FIDI) a unique and excellent program started by Osuji & Smith Lawyers, Calgary. It provides great opportunity for Foreign trained lawyers to learn about how the practice of law works in Canada.

Office environment is very welcoming, and the staff are very knowledgeable and expertise in their areas of practice. Students are very well mentored. It is a law firm with a diverse team. I am grateful for this opportunity, my enormous thanks to Charles Osuji, Shikha Shukla who is the program director of FIDI and Chuk Dimiri for their support and guidance and to all Lawyers and staff of Osuji & Smith!!!


I appreciate immensely the privilege of being given the opportunity to be part of this unique initiative. I would love to give my best as long as I participate in this program.

The first time I came to know of FIDI, was from the horse’s mouth – Mr. Charles Osuji himself. The occasion was when Charles appeared as one of the honorable guest speakers at the Foreign Trained Lawyers’ Program, Faculty of Law in the University of Calgary in 2022. I was a student of the program at the time. Charles made us understand that the door is open to any would-be volunteers who would love to participate in the initiative. He made it clear that apart from building an inclusive community of lawyers, the program is designed to introduce participants to the Canadian legal practice.

What is my impression of the program so far? The very idea of being part of the Osuji and Smith Lawyers—one of the top 25 lawyers in Canada—imbues me with excitement. The practical knowledge and experience I have gained with working with co-volunteers and other lawyers of the firm this past week is considerable.
I am determined to wholeheartedly complete all given tasks and be willing to learn from others. I am also resolved to think more of the nitty-gritty of the law as opposed to the acquisition of mere head knowledge. I am convinced that the experience I will gain in this program will properly get me ready in my journey as a lawyer in this province.


I first heard about the Foot in the Door Initiative (FIDI) when I reached out to Charles Osuji, while I was in Nigeria, preparing to relocate to Canada.
The most enriching experience for me in the FIDI was attending consultations with experienced lawyers and gaining insights on various principles of laws that would typically require extensive study and practical experience to fully grasp. Through FIDI, I gained deeper understanding of the practice of law from the Canadian perspective. It also afforded me the opportunity of establishing professional relationships with seasoned industry practitioners who have continued to support me in my professional journey.


Having served as in-house counsel at a major oil and gas company in the Gulf region, I took a hiatus upon relocating to Canada to prioritize my family. When I decided to return to the legal field, the journey posed challenges, but volunteering at Osuji & Smith was a turning point, providing a level playing field. This experience allowed me to showcase my talents, leading to an articling opportunity and, eventually, an associate position at Osuji & Smith.

Motivated by my personal journey and the challenges faced by internationally trained lawyers, I am actively engaged in the FIDI program to ensure others have similar opportunities. Witnessing numerous internationally trained lawyers swiftly integrate into the Canadian legal field with the help of FIDI brings me immense satisfaction, but even more so, it diversifies the Canadian Bar contributing directly to access to justice

I extend my gratitude to Charles Osuji for his forward-thinking, commitment to giving back, and for including me in this transformative journey.

Juliette Omonigho

Associate, Osuji & Smith Lawyers

I am immensely grateful for the transformative experience provided by the Foot in the Door Initiative (FIDI), specifically the impactful mentorship of Charles Osuji, the founder of FIDI.

With 20 years of international expertise in law, a master’s degree, and certifications in arbitration, governance, and risk compliance, my credentials seemed overlooked by Canadian employers. However, FIDI changed the narrative by opening doors and providing the launch pad I required for my Canadian legal career.

Beyond individual career advancements, my involvement with FIDI, including its diversity and inclusivity endeavors within the legal community, has deepened my understanding of the unique challenges faced by internationally trained lawyers. This experience has made me a dedicated and proactive member of the FIDI leadership team. FIDI fuses its mandate for the career advancement of internationally trained professionals with further investment in the goal of fostering a more inclusive and diverse legal community in Canada, and I am humbled to be part of this selfless initiative.

To my fellow internationally trained lawyers, your expertise is not just recognized but celebrated by FIDI, serving as the bridge to attaining the elusive ‘Canadian Experience.’ To applicants and future FIDI’ans, embrace this opportunity with fervor; your success story awaits, and I am thrilled to be part of your incredible journey!

Christie Eze

Senior Associate, Osuji & Smith Lawyers

To come…

Shikha Shukla

Student-at-Law / Legal Strategist, Osuji & Smith Lawyers