MELANIE VAN AARDE
As an avid social justice advocate, Melanie brings a zeal for equitable legal representation and a fresh, multi-national perspective to any case she works on.
What sets you apart can sometimes feel like a burden and it’s not. A lot of the time, it’s what makes you great. – Emma Stone
I have always had a passion for social justice. That, paired with my innate curiosity and drive for continued learning, drove me to pursue my law degree.
Like many, finding my true calling in life did not come in my early 20s. I enrolled for my law degree at the age of 29—completing my studies while raising two young children. I attribute this accomplishment to my never-back-down attitude and an unwavering sense of purpose. In 2017 I graduated cum laude with a Bachelor of Laws, specializing in criminal, forensic and evidentiary law.
While studying and in the few months following graduation, I worked for a renowned criminal lawyer in Pretoria, South Africa, gaining valuable real-world experience. Shortly after graduating, however, our family got the opportunity to immigrate to Canada. We embarked on our Canadian adventure in 2018—and what an adventure it has been so far!
With my degree not recognized in Canada, I set out to requalify as a paralegal while working part-time in a marketing position and later as a legal clerk and paralegal intern for a law firm in Toronto. While many might view requalifying as a career hurdle, I embraced it as an opportunity to further hone my skills.
I graduated with a paralegal diploma in 2021 and joined the Aitken Robertson team in 2022. I am excited to continue my journey in the legal sector and to advocate for fair and accessible legal representation for all individuals.
Always on a quest to learn more, I am currently completing a course in deceptionology, which is the study of why and how people lie or tell the truth. I am gaining some wonderful new insights and I’m looking forward to applying these new skills in my cases.
I am a firm believer in feeding mind, body and soul. I’m a cross-fit enthusiast and love exploring our new hometown of Belleville, and the surrounding areas with my family and our three pups. We’ve also developed what I can only describe as a love-hate relationship with completing DIY home renovations when we have the time.
If you would like to get in touch with me at Aitken Robertson, feel free to call us toll-free at 1-800-668-1657 today or fill in a form on our firm’s website to book a free 30-minute consultation.
- LL.B (Graduated Cum Laude) University of South Africa (Johannesburg, South Africa), 2017
- Paralegal Program (Honours), Academy of Learning, Bay Queen Campus, Toronto, 2021