Kevin Miller (U'10)
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Luther College opened the first residence on campus in 1971, and is still a “home away from home” to students: meals, laundry, and lifelong friendship included.
Luther College offers the best of both worlds: a smaller college environment with all the benefits of a larger university.
Kevin Miller (U'10)
Kevin Miller (U’10) is the first (and only) lawyer in his family – a situation that he describes as “unusual.” “Most kids that go into law have a lawyer somewhere in the family mix: a parent; an uncle or aunt.” In spite of the lack of familial example, Kevin knew that he “always wanted to do law.”
After high school, Kevin attended Luther College in the pre-law program. He took his first history class with Luther History professor, Dr. Yvonne Petry, and shortly thereafter declared himself a History major. “Law is a lot like history in many ways: reading cases, reading the history of how law has developed, and so on. Writing a history paper is actually similar to writing a legal brief. And I always liked doing research.” He graduated in 2010 with a Bachelor of Arts, with a Major in History (with Distinction) and a Minor in Psychology and Political Science, and attended law school at the University of Saskatchewan. After completing his law degree in 2011, he moved back to Regina, Saskatchewan, and was hired on as an Associate Lawyer at Miller Thompson LLP that same year. On June 15, 2012, he was called to the Saskatchewan Bar. He continues to practice at Miller Thompson, primarily in the areas of Civil & Commercial Litigation, Builders' Liens and Estate Administration.
For Kevin, completing a liberal arts degree at Luther prepared him for the various challenges that a career in law would present. “As a lawyer, you are constantly needing to learn about something you knew nothing about the day before. You have to become an expert in an area so that you can do your job. In my experience, obtaining a liberal arts degree is similar: you are learning in a wide variety of areas; learning how to critically think and how to learn. You perfect research skills and research is incredibly important in law.”
While a successful legal career and planning a September 2016 wedding with his fiancée and Luther alumna, Rosemary McCallum (U’10), means a busy schedule, Kevin remains an active volunteer and maintains that giving back to his community is a priority. “People who have the ability to make a positive contribution to the community have an obligation to do so. If you’re able to help others, you should.”
Kevin has always been drawn to pro-bono work. Even as a student in law school, he was involved with Community Legal Services for Saskatoon Inner City Inc. (CLASSIC), a community-based legal clinic. As a practicing lawyer at Miller Thompson, Kevin continues to do pro-bono work when he is able. When Pro Bono Law Saskatchewan (PBLS) approached Miller Thompson about collaborating to set up a Small Claims Clinic, where lawyers volunteer to give free legal advice to help citizens determine if they have a claim worth going forward in Small Claims Court, Kevin was happy and eager to be involved. Together with his firm and PBLS, Kevin worked to get the clinic up and running, which after two years has helped many residents. Kevin continues to work with the clinic, where he donates much of his own time and legal expertise.
Giving back to people, who have not been as fortunate in life as Kevin, often leaves him with feelings of gratitude. “I’ve been very fortunate in my life. I’ve had a great deal of support and I’m so grateful to my parents and to the many communities I’ve been involved in over the years… I hope to always be able to give back to the communities who gave me so much.”
Another important part of Kevin’s community work resides with his position as Vice-Chair on the Board of Directors for Carmichael Outreach, a non-profit organization in Regina, Saskatchewan that seeks to help those suffering from addictions or facing poverty, health issues, or overwhelming life crisis. Currently in his third year of a three-year term, Carmichael Outreach made a positive and long-lasting first impression years ago on a teenage Kevin. “I was sixteen, working at Lumsden Beach Camp and Carmichael would run a children’s camp there. Some of the kids had never even been out of the city before, so getting them on nature walks was special thing to be involved in.” Over the years, Kevin remained an active volunteer with Carmichael Outreach, and served as a camp counsellor and camp director at the very “Kids Camp” that left such an impression on him in his own youth.
Years later, Kevin was approached to be on the board, where he helps to determine what programs to work on, and issues around funding, including helping to organize fundraising. The board also supports the staff in any way they can. Kevin’s passion about the work that Carmichael does is apparent: “It’s where the rubber hits the road in terms of charities in Regina. [It] is there for everybody regardless of where they are in their life. It gives a wide variety of programming for people who have nowhere else to go. And then there’s a sense of community that develops there that’s hard for outsiders to appreciate – even me, as someone who sits on the board. There are people there dealing with difficult aspects of their lives and need support, but out of these difficult times comes a positive community made up of the people the Outreach brings together. I am so proud to be involved with Carmichael and I strongly encourage people to get involved.”
Kevin likens volunteer work to two of his passions: travelling and history. “Like travelling or learning about history, helping people in need gives you a wider perspective on the world. Not everyone in the world lives like you do. It’s easy to surround ourselves with people who are just like us: co-workers who have the same career; friends and families whose lives and socio-economic class closely resemble our own. Working where there is need in the community forces you to get outside of that bubble.”
Living in residence during his studies at Luther College provided Kevin with the opportunity to create life-long friendships and though, Kevin says, many people moved on to other cities, he and Rosemary keep in contact with quite a few people they met while at Luther. Thanks to the “great people [who made] up the community,” Kevin recounts that he “had a great experience” at Luther.
It wasn’t just the students, though, that contributed to the sense of community that Kevin felt during his time at Luther. “I really liked everyone on staff,” Kevin recalls. The staff, along with the faculty members helped to create a “very supportive learning environment.” An active university student, Kevin was an Academic Representative on the Luther Student University Association, and in that role, got to know the faculty very well. Hesitant to give anyone especial mention, Kevin says, “there were so many professors at Luther; I almost fear leaving someone out.” But after a moment of pause, he does provide a name: Camilla McCabe, a young English teacher at Luther who was diagnosed with and ultimately lost her life to cancer. She was a “good example of someone faced with a tough circumstance, but remained so graceful. Even after her diagnosis, she would come by the college and see the students. It was amazing to watch people at Luther come together to support her – students, staff – everyone. Her [class] was one of the best classes I’d ever taken. She was a great teacher.”
Kevin’s time at Luther positively altered the course of his life: it was here, during his first week living in residence, that he met Rosemary. Nearly inseparable, they began dating and never looked back. Rosemary completed her Bachelor of Arts Degree with Honours in International Studies with a certificate in Spanish. They graduated the same year and were fittingly seated next to each other at graduation. Rosemary now works for the Organization of Saskatchewan Arts Councils and when she and Kevin are not working, volunteering, planning their upcoming nuptials or spending time with friends, they enjoy travelling and spending time outdoors.