Curtis was born and raised in Vancouver. He completed Bachelor of Science and Master of Science degrees in Forestry at the University of British Columbia. During his undergrad, he went on an international exchange term at the University of Melbourne. He received the award for Best Masters Thesis in the Faculty of Forestry for his Master’s work.
At law school, Curtis served as Co-President of both the Allard Law and Business Society and the UBC Law Public Speaking Club. Curtis also volunteered as a clinician for the Law Students’ Legal Advice Program, as a peer tutor, and as an instructor for the Legal Education Outreach. He received various awards for academic achievement and extra-curricular service, including the Young, Anderson Prize in Municipal Law. Before articling at McCarthy Tétrault, Curtis clerked for two justices at the British Columbia Court of Appeal.