People of USask: Jessie Buydens

Jessie Buydens (BA’00, BA’03, LLB’06, LLM’08) has always taken the opportunity that was presented to her and worked hard to have the best possible outcome.

While in high school at age 16, Buyden’s life quickly changed with the birth of her son William. In order to ensure adequate support while raising him, she wanted to stay close to home for her post-secondary education. As a Saskatoon resident, the University of Saskatchewan (USask) was the perfect fit for her.  

“I went to USask with the intention of doing a psychology degree, so I did,” said Buydens. “At the end of it, I realized you can’t go many places with just a psychology degree, you need a master’s or a PhD. I wasn’t sure at the time that I wanted to do that.”  

After graduating in 2000 with her psychology degree, Buydens decided she would see if education was the path for her. She intended to major in home economics and almost finished her education degree but realized that teaching was not the path for her.  

Having enjoyed sociology courses she took during her psychology degree, Buydens switched her major to sociology. She graduated with her sociology degree in 2003 and decided to apply for her masters in sociology at USask.  

“When I applied the secretary asked, ‘What’s your fall back?’” said Buydens. “When you apply for a masters, you apply to a lot of places, but I couldn’t think of going anywhere but USask. So, I decided that my fallback would be law school.” 

She wrote the LSAT and applied for law school. Buydens was accepted to law school and made the decision to delay her plans in getting her masters and pursue a law degree.  

Once she finished her law degree, Buydens still had a yearning to complete a master’s program, so she applied and was accepted to do her Master of Laws at USask. In June 2008, she was admitted to the Saskatchewan Bar. A few months later in August 2008, after she defended her thesis, Buydens was asked to be a sessional lecturer for the Department of Sociology.  

Over the course of her years at USask, Buydens understood the importance of getting involved on campus.  

“When you get involved with student organizations, it’s another way to not only interact with your fellow students but also to interact with your professors. The more people you know, the easier life can be,” said Buydens.  

Throughout every activity Buydens was involved in, her son was always welcome.  

“If I couldn’t have taken William with me, I wouldn’t have done as much as I did. So, he came to throw practice and attended The Sheaf board of directors' meetings,” said Buydens.  

As an undergraduate student Buydens was a member of the board of directors at The Sheaf, director of the USSU Help Centre, athletics director for the Law Students Association, president of the University of Saskatchewan Sociology Students’ Association and a Huskie track and field athlete.  

“Both of my siblings were Huskie athletes and they teased me that I was the odd one out,” said Buydens. “After attending the HAC (Huskies Athletics Committee) Banquet, I saw a thrower who won a lot of awards, and so I was introduced to the hammer throw.”  

Buydens was a part of the Huskie track and field team as a thrower during the two years of her masters.  

After clerking with the provincial court, Buydens joined the Scott, Phelps, and Mason Law Firm (SPM). She continues to work at SPM today as a partner. Her practice is in the areas of general litigation, including criminal law, family law and civil litigation.  

Outside of her work, Buydens is involved in the Saskatchewan branch of the Canadian Bar Association (CBA), she was the chair of the Women’s Law Group, and actively works with the Elizabeth Fry Society of Saskatchewan.  

She has played rugby since the ’90s and was one of the eight founding members of the Saskatoon Valkyries. She continues to be a champion for women’s sports today.  

Buydens continues to live her life making the best of the opportunities presented to her. 

“I never intended to go to law school and it worked out well. I’m happy and life is good,” she said. Don’t be afraid to deviate from the plan. Make sure to do things that you’re excited to do and that make you happy." 

It’s the People of USask who enable us to be what the world needs.  

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