Lawyers... and innovative entrepreneurs


Alexandre Dufresne and Stéphane Verreau Verge

Isabelle Paradis | Journalist

They're not even 30 and they're already managing their own law firm: Verreau Dufresne Avocats. Determined to make sure everyone has access to legal services, these two lawyers shy away from nothing when it comes to driving change and progress in their field. Here's what the new generation of business professionals looks like.

Verreau

Stéphane Verreau Verge is a 28-year-old lawyer. His father is a lawyer and his grandfather was also a lawyer before he became a judge. Despite the apparent legal genes, Stéphane discovered very early on that he also had entrepreneurship in his blood. He had such good business instincts that by the age of 16 he was heading his own real estate management company.

His objective was clear: become a leading entrepreneur. Spend five minutes with him and you'll see that this is a man with drive and determination to achieve his goals. If he chooses to follow in his family's footsteps, it won't be because he feels the need to conform. On the contrary: "I felt that a university degree was a necessity and I decided that a law degree would be my best asset to succeed in the business world," he explains.

Dufresne

Alexandre Dufresne is a 26-year-old lawyer. The entrepreneurial spirit has also been handed down through his family from generation to generation: "I come from a family of farmers, but I never felt a connection to agriculture. I had other things in mind," he shares. 

With a natural affinity for IT and the online world, he was already programming and designing websites at a very young age. Despite his decision to study law in university, his interest in technology never left him. Of the two young moguls, he's the computer geek. All credit for the legal firm's IT initiatives goes to him. 

The two met at the École du Barreau (Quebec Bar School) in Quebec City and something clicked right away. "Alexandre and I were always the ones with our hands up in class," explains Stéphane. "We always wanted to debate things, question everything that was presented to us, assert our own positions and raise counter-arguments."

Starting up the firm was Stéphane's idea. A skilled entrepreneur, he was able to convince Alexandre to partner with him. "This isn't my home turf," explains Alexandre. "I was a long way away from my network of contacts and I had very few business relationships in Quebec City. But I was confident in our abilities and I had faith in our partnership."


Democratize the justice system
In 2013, a few days after their swearing-in ceremony, they picked up their first case. Since then, the firm hasn't stopped growing. Other young legal professionals have joined their team--all with the same vision: making legal services accessible to as many people as possible. 

In line with this vision, they recently offered free consultation sessions in their Lévis offices, which were well received. They went on to launch an initiative that would bring life to their mission of making legal services accessible to as many people as possible: Petites-Créances.ca is a website dedicated to helping people settle Quebec Small Claims Court cases, by giving them free access to helpful information and assisting them in finding affordable legal services.

"We want to practice law differently," says Alexandre. "We're simplifying concepts, encouraging amicable dispute resolution and automating our processes, in order to offer our clients quality, accessible services."

Learn more about Petites-Créances.ca (French Only)


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