Where are they Wednesday: Peter Zaduk | College of Arts

Where are they Wednesday: Peter Zaduk

Peter Zaduk

Defense Attorney
Bachelor of Arts, Political Studies in History (1973)

Peter Zaduk is today’s Where Are They Wednesday alumni feature – a 1973 History graduate and prominent Canadian defense attorney in Toronto. The art of the argument.

Knowing that he wanted to pursue law, Mr. Zaduk completed his Bachelor of Arts in Political Studies in History at the UofG. Some of his most compelling memories about his time at Guelph centre on the calibre of the professors who taught him and helped shape his path. His eductaion in writing essays had a particular influence on his career. Learning to "argue both sides of an issue is a similar thought process as a trial lawyer,” says Mr. Zaduk. After his time at the UofG, Zaduk attended law school at the University of Windsor, taking a 3-year program and graduating in 1976. After articling for a year, he was called to the bar in 1978. Coming back to his undergraduate roots, he practiced law in Guelph for a few months until he followed his calling to Toronto where he continues to practice today.

Mr. Zaduk has been a practicing lawyer for 43 years, specializing in criminal law, and has worked on over 40 murder trials over the years. Between 2004 and 2009, he worked in Africa as a defense lawyer for the International Criminal Tribunal that tried the Rwandan genocide cases. Zaduk's most recent case was a manslaughter trial involving a domestic abuse survivor, whose trial lasted approximately a month. 

As for advice to Arts students hoping to get into law, come prepared to work hard and be intellectually rewarded. “It’s a more arduous endeavor than it used to be,” says Mr. Zaduk. “The landscape is tilted significantly in favour of the prosecution.” But, the work is “intellectually rewarding,” and being prepared with the right mentality and dedication will help you get ahead in your career.