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Ten Questions for

Litigation associate, Gardiner Roberts LLP

Ten Questions for Dasha Peregiydova, JS'16

Dasha Peregoudova is a litigation associate at Gardiner Roberts LLP. She’s President of AthletesCAN, the association of national team athletes in Canada, and a nine-time national champion in taekwondo, with two Pan Am gold medals during her athletic career.

1) What’s at the top of your bucket list?
My partner and I have been dreaming of an extended trip to South East Asia, as it’s a largely unexplored area for both of us.

2) What is the best piece of advice you ever received?
Under promise, over deliver.

3) Where do you find inspiration?
I find inspiration in performers – athletes and artists – and in theatre in particular. It’s incredibly vulnerable and makes me want to risk and create.

4) What surprises you?
People surprise me, regularly. Also, my overly particular nature and ability to repeat mistakes, which is sometimes dumbfounding.

5) How are you making a difference?
That’s a big question. I would like to think that I start in my interactions and relationships, both personal and professional, by bringing curiosity and care to others. More specifically, I aim to make Canada a better place to be an athlete or artist, not just for the multiple Olympic medalist, but for those simply in pursuit of those lifestyles. While I’m a proud Canadian, I feel that Canada is relatively conservative in this regard.

6) What book would you recommend and why?
I spend enough time with text that I’ve been reading at a snail’s pace lately. On a recent dystopian kick, I loved Parable of the Sower by Octavia Butler for what felt like a not-so-distant possibility in a crazy world. For non-fiction and something superrelevant, I enjoyed Hillbilly Elegy by J.D. Vance. I’ve just started Sheila Heti’s How Should a Person Be? (recommendation-cred: Marissa Caldwell) and was hooked at page one of the Prologue. My favourite novelist overall is Gabriel García Márquez – he’s a magic maker. If he writes about blistering heat, you can actually feel it. I once drew a huge family tree to keep up with One Hundred Years of Solitude.

7) What is your favorite journey?
My favourite journey was a whirlwind fourday trip to Iceland. We arrived in the middle of the night after seeing northern lights from the plane window, and it was the first time I felt like I had landed on another planet. Close runner-ups are when my family and I climbed Mount Kilimanjaro, and when my friend Brooke and I went on a Habitat for Humanity build in Mongolia, both in 2008.

8) What profession other than your own would you like to attempt?
Interior design, 100 per cent.

9) Who are your heros?
My partner, [Stratford actor] Sébastien Heins, is a daily source of inspiration, especially in what an amazing community member he is, and how dedicated he is to his career and passion. The people I quote and have looked up to most often are my former coaches, Tino and Jamie DosSantos, a brilliant scholar and my former professor at the University of Toronto, John Vervaeke, and my parents.

10) You have 60 seconds with a firstyear Law student. What do you tell him/her?
Practically, I am a big advocate of staying healthy during exams or big assignments, whether that’s eating right or extra gym or yoga time. To me, it’s a significantly smarter investment than the extra hour of late-night cramming (I’ve done that too). More broadly, be curious and allow yourself to be surprised. There is a lot of pressure to assume an identity, even in a relatively concrete field like law. I have most enjoyed practicing in the subject that I found the most challenging in law school – constitutional law. The legal degree skillset is one that can be applied extremely broadly, so despite all the brilliant A-types you’re surrounded by, don’t decide too quickly. In the words of William James, “…[to] leave the question open is itself a passional decision.”

This article appeared in the Western Law 2018 Alumni Magazine.
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