Meet your Lawyers

Christopher Chaclag Balawan

Lawyer 

He  obtained his Bachelor of Laws degree at the University of the Cordilleras and Bachelor of Arts in Communications  degree at Saint Louis University, in the Philippines. He never imagined that he could fulfill his dream as a lawyer here in Canada until he tried sending his university credentials from the Philippines to the National Committee on Accreditation (NCA-Federation of Law Societies of Canada) for assessment. He then completed his certification with the NCA and the Canadian Centre for Professional Legal Education, including his articling. He was called to the Law Society of Alberta Bar  in January 2022. His experience as a student-at-law was in family law and criminal law. Having hailed from Kalinga, in the Philippines, he is humbled to be an Igorot lawyer in Canada.

Chris is A Filipino lawyer in Calgary AB fluent in English, Tagalog, and Ilocano. He arrived in Canada as an immigrant in 2011 and was faced with different challenges but was able to adapt to the new culture and environment embracing diversity.  

He is a worship leader and one of the directors in Shekinah Victory Church Calgary. He loves hiking, biking and doing a lot of outdoor activities with his family. You can reach him at chris@balawanlawfirm.ca.

Maria Cristina Pagluanan

Lawyer 

She is a dual-licensed lawyer having been admitted to the Philippine Bar in 2007 and the Law Society of Alberta in 2021. She obtained a Bachelor of Arts in Sociology from the University of the Philippines Los Baños and a Bachelor of Laws from Manuel L. Quezon University. While studying law, Cristina worked at Batis Center for Women, a non-government organization that assists women migrants and their families. There she developed her passion for gender and human rights advocacy.
 

After passing the Philippine bar exams, she went on to work at the Supreme Court of the Philippines as a Court Attorney and held memberships in various committees. Later on in her career, Cristina received the prestigious New Zealand ASEAN Scholarship award and pursued a Master of Laws (Specialization in Human Rights) at the University of Auckland. Her dissertation focused on the legal defenses available to women in abusive relationships.

 

Cristina started her legal career in Canada as a legal assistant where she worked in the practice areas of corporate, commercial, real estate, litigation, and wills and estate. She then applied to have her legal credentials accredited with the National Commission of Accreditation and successfully completed it in January 2021. She articled in a boutique law firm in Calgary and was called to the Alberta Bar in December 2021 with no less than Alberta Court of Appeal Justice Bernette L. Ho, a fellow Filipino, as the presiding justice. With her extensive legal background, Cristina practices in the areas of real estate, personal injury, civil litigation, and corporate law.

 

Outside work, you will find Cristina spending time with her family and friends enjoying nature and the scenery. You can reach her at mariacristina@balawanlawfirm.ca.

 

Justine Camille Rivera

Lawyer 

She was admitted to the Alberta Law Society in June 2022 after completing her articling. She obtained her Juris Doctor degree from the Ateneo de Manila University in 2017 and was admitted to the Philippine bar in 2018. In 2011, she graduated with a degree in BS Accountancy from the University of Santo Tomas and also passed the Certified Public Accountants (CPA) board exam in the Philippines the same year.

 

Shortly after moving to Canada, she worked towards successfully completing the National Committee on Accreditation (NCA) exams for internationally-trained lawyers while working as a retail associate. After completing the NCA exams, she articled in a boutique law firm where she gained experience in real estate, corporate commercial, and wills and estate.

 

She is fluent in English, Filipino (Tagalog), and Pangasinense.

 

During her free time, she is either heading to the mountains or thrifting. On lazy days, she enjoys cooking and binge-watching movies with her husband and cat. You can reach her at camille@balawanlawfirm.ca

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Family Hiking Photo
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Family Photo