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New Attorney Sworn In: Rica Guelian Jongué-Remy’s Transition from the Classroom to the Courtroom

The legal fraternity in Saint Lucia recently welcomed a new member to its fraternity in the person of Mrs. Rica Guelian Jongué-Remy.

Jongué-Remy, who was Called to the Bar in England and Wales in March 2021, was sworn in at a virtual ceremony held at the law office of Richelieu & Co. in Castries on Wednesday, April 28, 2021.

Before venturing into the legal profession, Jongué-Remy taught for 23 and a half years. She taught at La Croix Maingot Primary School from 1997 to 2001 before transitioning to Bocage Secondary School. She later taught at her alma mater St. Joseph’s Convent from June to July 2007. She is presently attached to the Ciceron Secondary School and specializes in Food & Nutrition and Clothing & Textiles.

Rica Guelian Jongué-Remy

Her decision to switch profession was prompted after her husband, David, was stabbed in 2015. Convinced that he did not receive justice in the matter, she was inspired to finally pursue her lifelong dream of becoming a lawyer.

“It’s always been my dream to study law, but I just didn’t have the means to do so before,” she said. “Teaching and law have a common thread: they both involve helping people. As a teacher, it was my job to ensure that students performed at their best. As a lawyer, it’s my job to ensure clients get the justice they seek.”

Jongué-Remy is the first person on both sides of her family to become a lawyer, a dream come true especially for her parents.

Her path to becoming a lawyer officially began in 2016 after she lost a 100% tuition scholarship with an overseas university a year earlier. She began her Bachelor of Laws (LLB (Hons)) at BPP University in the United Kingdom where she completed modules which include:

·      English Legal System & Skills

·      Contract Law

·      Public Law

·      Criminal Law

·      Law of Equity & Trusts

·      Land Law

·      Law of Tort

·      EU Law

·      Professional Skills in Practice

·      Law of Financial Crime

·      Principles of Company Law & Governance

·      Legal Ethics

·      Family & Child Law

·      Legal Research

Earlier Years and Achievements

Jongué-Remy graduated from St. Joseph’s Convent in 1995. She later attended Sir Arthur Lewis Community College (SALCC), graduating in 1997 with an Associate Degree in Hospitality Studies with Credit. She also holds an Associate Degree in General Teacher Training with Credit from SALCC; Certificate in Teaching (UWI), 2001.

Rica Guelian Jongué-Remy called to Bar

In 2007, Jongué-Remy attained an Advanced Diploma in Home Economics with Distinction from SALCC. She was the recipient of numerous awards, including:

·      Excellence, First Place, Division of Teacher Education and Educational Administration.

·      Best Overall Achievement for Home Economics Programme having obtained A’s in all subject areas.

·      Practical Teaching; and

·      Research – ‘Developing Curriculum Material to Teach Woven Bamboo Fabric Production and the Utilization of this Fabric in Clothing & Textiles/Art & Craft Items’.

Jongué-Remy’s pursuit for excellence continued, graduating with a Bachelor of Business Administration (BBA) in Hospitality Management with Highest Honours (Summa Cum Laude) in 2009 from Monroe College, New York. She received honours and awards for Superior Academic Performance and made the President’s List throughout her studies.

In 2013, she performed exceptionally well in Caribbean Secondary Education Certificate (CSEC) Content and Methodology in Visual Arts at The Mico University College, Jamaica.

Continuation of Legal Studies

Jongué-Remy has completed the Bar Professional Training Course (BPTC) in the United Kingdom at the BPP University, Law School with a VC (Very Competent). Modules completed include:

·      Criminal Litigation, Evidence & Sentencing

·      Opinion Writing

·      Civil Litigation, Evidence & Remedies

·      Drafting

·      ReDOC – Resolution of Disputes Out of Court

·      Professional Ethics

·      Advocacy 1 (Skeleton Arguments)

·      Conference Skills

·      Advocacy 2 (XIC)

·      Company Law

·      Advocacy 3 (XX)

·      Property and Chancery

She is soon to complete the Master of Laws in Legal Practice (Barristers) with research in Corporate Law.

Preparation

Before venturing in the study of law, Jongué-Remy states, “I used to enjoyed watching “Suits” on television. I just love the business-like manner they approached matters.”

The American legal drama stars Meghan Markle, wife of Prince Harry.

From June to July 2017, Jongué-Remy even sat in the gallery at the High Court (Criminal and Civil Courts), Commercial Court, and Court of Appeal in Saint Lucia. In doing so, she was able to gain invaluable knowledge and experience of a legal environment through observations of court proceedings, and interaction with Judges, High Court Registrar and Assistant Registrar, barristers, clerks and fellow law students.

She also had the honour of witnessing a Call to the Bar ceremony, which she described as a privileged moment in the life of a new lawyer. The ceremony, she added, demonstrated the fruit of hard work, perseverance and dedication, and served as a motivation.

Gratitude

“My journey to this point has been extremely challenging. Aside from God’s mercies, I really had the support of my husband, David Remy; my three sons Dravid, Xavid and Legend Berry; my dad and mom; and other family members and friends. There were times along the journey when I felt like giving up, especially when funds were hard to come by. My husband always encouraged me to push on. I’m a firm believer that people need to follow the path that they’re passionate about, and, in the words of my husband, ‘Don’t allow anyone to determine your destiny.’ ”

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