Bianca Rillera has dreamt of becoming a lawyer ever since she was 12 years old, but it wasn’t because of family coercing or Hollywood influence. It was because of soccer.
When the Grade 12 Chilliwack secondary student immigrated to Chilliwack from the Philippines in 2001, her parents immediately put her in soccer. And unlike many other kids, she didn’t leave the sport as she grew older. She excelled in it, and furthered her aspirations.
At 12 years old, Rillera became a soccer referee, and began researching every area of the job she could. After studying FIFA’s The Laws of the Game, on her own accord, she knew her future was destined for the courts.
“Knowing the whole discipline of the laws was an added bonus for me, because it’s nice to be able to be critical of things on the field that a lot of people really don’t know about or put a lot of thought into,” said Rillera, who also likes that she is part of a select group of females policing the pitches.
While Rillera has never swayed from her desires of becoming a lawyer, she has waffled on what kind of lawyer she’d like to become. She’s wanted to be a criminal lawyer, a family lawyer, an international lawyer, and most recently a corporate lawyer.
Because she wants to continue as a referee, which will require substantial travel, she figures the corporate lawyer setting is her best option.
“Corporate lawyers are generally hired on contract; I won’t be stuck in an office all day,” said Rillera.
This fall, Rillera will be starting her bachelor of arts degree at the University of the Fraser Valley, majoring in history. Once she completes her BA, she intends to go after a masters degree, possibly in Greek and Latin history. And then she’ll start on her law degree.