When she was still in elementary school, Heidi de Vries already knew she wanted to be a lawyer. Today, she considers it a privilege to be a part of the staff who maintain and develop her hometown of Brantford, Ontario, a city she loves, in the career she always wanted.
Working as an Assistant City Solicitor for the City of Brantford, de Vries helps find solutions to and advises on legal issues that affect the City and the public. She implements decisions made by City Council and works with staff departments to solve legal problems. De Vries loves the variety of files that come across her desk. “I have heard it said that municipal lawyers, particularly the brand of in-house counsel to which I belong, specialize at being generalists. The work I do at the City is never dull. I am constantly learning and dealing with unique legal issues,” she says. “Watching the work that I do come to some sort of tangible solution is incredibly rewarding.”
“Something that was really instilled in me at Redeemer is that everything we do is oriented towards Christ.”
Though de Vries always knew she wanted to be a lawyer, she didn’t always know the best path to take in order to reach her goal. Her first year of university wasn’t what she had hoped, and she transferred to Redeemer for her second year of studies. That decision became a turning point. “I met professors who instilled in me a love and passion for learning,” de Vries says. “They helped me realize that if I found a profession that I loved, and worked hard, I could do well in my field.”
Her classes helped her develop the skills she needed in law school and eventually in her profession. “Something that was really instilled in me at Redeemer is that everything we do is oriented towards Christ and towards the calling that is specifically placed on each and every one of our lives,” she says. “In my career, I have the opportunity to put into practice what I learned in a way that is meaningful and advances justice, which, in turn, gives glory to God.”
Her Redeemer degree, class of 2005, now hangs in her office beside her call to the Bar and law degree. “I think about my degree from Redeemer as a starting point,” she reflects. “It was a place where I developed the skills necessary to launch my career.”
De Vries is proud to be a Redeemer alumna. “When you graduate from Redeemer, you become part of an incredible community of people who have gone on to practice their given professions in a way that is dramatically different than the way a lot of people approach work. It’s not work, it’s a calling; it’s a vocation.”