The work of the Conflict Analytics Lab (CAL) would not be possible without the efforts of many faculty, students, and industry partners.
Today, meet Brandon Loehle, Law’20, and find out why he got involved in the Lab.
How did you first hear about the CAL?
“There’s such a great sense of community at Queen’s and it’s a big part of how the lab started. I heard about it from a friend who worked with Professor Dahan. Everyone is so approachable here and it is easy to get students involved because of that community.
“My interest is in labour and employment law so, when I first became involved in early 2019, I started helping with one project focused on wrongful dismissal cases. A few months later, I was attending a lecture during Prof. Dahan’s class and he had a guest speaker examining Heller v Uber Technologies. That’s where I had the idea to create a tool to analyze worker classifications.”
Tell us more about your idea.
“We’ll be launching the platform in June. It is currently in beta.
“This tool will ask users a series of questions to help Canadians who cannot afford a lawyer understand whether they are an employee or a contractor. It will also help small businesses avoid making classification mistakes.
“The user will answer a bunch of questions through drop down menus and it will eventually provide them with a best guess and a percentage of certainty. It will also give the user similar cases.
“From there, the user might wish to ask a lawyer for more specific advice. Still, this is more information than they could get in any other source on their own.”
Why did you want to work on this project? Why work with the CAL?
“Specifically, with the worker classification tool, I want to make a substantial difference in access to justice. Success, to me, would be seeing an increase in people accessing legal services and being able to afford legal services.
“In general, as a member of the lab, I hope we can continue expanding all our projects to be able to address access to justice issues across Ontario and across Canada. It’s about creating this wealth of knowledge others will use.
“Other people are going to duplicate our approach, but I see that as a success rather than competition. If more people invest time and money into legal technologies, and we can help create a new trend in the law, that’s a good thing.”
What got you interested in law?
“I took some psychology courses in my undergraduate studies. Through those courses, I felt like my research contributions were not immediate, and so the law attracted me because I felt like I could make a lasting impact on people's lives.
“Law can affect a lot of people in a very specific way. I am excited to begin my career at a law firm and I hope I can eventually use my knowledge to also contribute to widespread change.”
How are you keeping busy these days, aside from Lab work?
“Studying takes most of my time, though I also volunteer at the Queen’s Legal Aid clinic. I try to stay active with regular visits to the gym, squash courts, and occasionally the basketball courts. I am also an amateur photographer.
“This summer, I will be articling at an employment law firm in the Greater Toronto Area called Crawford Chondon & Partners.”