Marwah Rizqy

Marwah Rizqy

How the tax law student became the tax law expert, and so much more

This profile was written by Leonardo Lucia, a law student at Université de Montréal.

Marwah Rizqy, a current Member of the National Assembly of Quebec, went to law school without even considering a political career as an option and without even knowing which area of law she wanted to practice in. After trying to find the perfect fit, tax law found her; Marwah’s love of her favourite law school class led to her teaching that class. Eventually, it was a conversation with a friend about her desire to affect change in the law that led to her getting involved in politics so she could do just that. The life of an MNA of Quebec and Official opposition critic for education is a very busy one, but getting to represent her community and the education system every single day is the most rewarding thing she could imagine doing.

As a law student at Université de Sherbrooke, Marwah Rizqy was uncertain about the type of law she wanted to practice.

There is no better place to get an idea of what it’s like to litigate than in the courtroom

So, that is where Marwah spent a lot of time, trying to figure out her future career plans and the areas of law that piqued her interest. While that experience helped her narrow her options, it was a tax law class that sparked Marwah’s determination to be a tax lawyer.

Following law school, Marwah enrolled in a Masters in International Tax law program at the University of Florida,where she received such positive feedback from the dean of the law school that, taking up the dean’s advice, she choseto pursue a doctorate in tax law at the same university. Fast forward a few years, Marwah was back at the Université de Sherbrooke, but this time as a professor of the same tax law class that she had loved as a student. Although she had the opportunity to work in law firms in New York, Marwah wanted to live in the community she loves and teach about Canada's taxation system.

For most of her time, entering politics was not on Marwah’s radar.

She would write articles in La Presse offering her opinion on tax issues, but it was only after a discussion with a friend that she really began pondering whether a life of public service was right for her. Her friend pointed out that she had the expertise and drive to succeed in politics, and that there is no better way to improve the law than to be an MP or an MNA. After some reflection on her friend’s advice, Marwah entered politics and ran as a candidate in the 2015 federal election, coming within 500 votes of victory. In 2018, Marwah was elected as a Member of the National Assembly of Quebec in the riding of St. Laurent. 

Marwah enjoys travelling to Quebec City on a weekly basis to work on proposed bills and advocate for the education system within the National Assembly of Quebec. Her average day in Quebec City consists of press conferences, question periods, working on proposed bills, and caucus meetings. She says, however, that it “is the little stories that are not in the media” that she loves the most about her job. People come to her constituency office all the time with problems, usually as a last resort when nothing else works, and she gets great satisfaction in helping them solve whatever it is that they are dealing with. Many of the skills learned as a lawyer are transferable to politics, especially assisting people in challenging times. 

Being an MNA and the Official Opposition Education Critic is a 7-days-a-week job where every day “feels like a Monday”.

Marwah has advice for anyone wanting to pursue this career path. It is important that you “reserve time for yourself in which you can stay in the moment”. A long-time player of basketball, Marwah still enjoys shooting hoops with the same group of women she has been playing with for many years, and has developed a passion for running. Marwah also advises that it is important to reserve time for family and friends as there will always be an endless number of events that a member of a legislature will be invited to attend.

For lawyers who are wondering whether they should enter politics, Marwah suggests that they should ask themselves the following question: “What is the change that I want to see in society and the law?”. If they can answer and are ready to dedicate their time to public service, they should not think twice about giving it a go. “Don’t hesitate”, Marwah says, “if you really think you’re able to make the sacrifice of your personal life and want to make a difference for your community - take the chance!” 

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