Winnipeg Free Press: From the streets to the courtroom
Law school grad fulfils lifelong dream at 49, after being homeless and battling addiction
“It’s never too late!” Sean Gallop wrote above his graduation photo in a social-media post that would go viral.
He’d just finished law school at the age of 49, decades after he dropped out of high school to work at Pizza Hut. One of the guys he worked with back then was among more than a million people who viewed Gallop’s LinkedIn post. He got a congratulatory message from him — one of thousands from all over the world. Many wanted to know: how did he do it?
“I said, well, just make a plan,” Gallop says in an interview. “If you want to do something, make a plan, start researching and then follow through on your plan.”
It sounds straightforward, but it wasn’t easy. By the time Gallop decided to study law, he’d battled drug addiction, been homeless on the streets of Winnipeg, attempted suicide, and, yes, needed a lawyer. But when he graduated this spring as the oldest student at University of Manitoba’s Robson Hall and began articling at Legal Aid Manitoba, Gallop was fulfilling a teenage dream. He’d wanted to be a lawyer since he was in high school, before he became homeless for the first time as a teen.
“I’d like people to think to themselves that if they had a vision or a dream or an idea or something that they wanted to do, it was given to them for a reason, and it is possible and they can achieve it,” he says. In other words: don’t give up.
“Because, quite frankly, I gave up a long time ago on this, and then it came back around again, and here I am.”