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Riaz graduated as Bronze Medallist from the University of Toronto Faculty of Law in 2017. His studies focused on criminal law, for which he received several awards, including the Justice Michael J. Moldaver Prize in Criminal Procedure and the Professor Alan A. Mewett, Q.C. Prize in Criminal Law. During law school, Riaz worked as a research assistant to Professors Audrey Macklin and Abraham Drassinower. He was also heavily involved with the Law Union of Ontario and the community legal clinic Downtown Legal Services, where he was a caseworker in the criminal and the refugee and immigration defence divisions. For his extra-curricular contributions, he received the Gordon Cressy Student Leadership Award.
After law school, Riaz articled with a leading criminal defence firm, and then clerked at the Court of Appeal for Ontario, where he worked on a variety of criminal and civil matters.
Before law, Riaz was a youth worker in Hamilton, Ontario. He worked in youth shelters, transitional housing complexes, group homes, and youth centres. He completed his undergraduate degree in the Bachelor of Health Sciences (Honours) program at McMaster University, where he was valedictorian of his class.