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Queen's University

Queen's Law at 50: The Newfoundland Experience


Leanne O’Leary, Law ’95, and Robert Sinclair, Law ’78, enjoyed the reception and dinner in St. John’s, Newfoundland, on May 3, 2007 to celebrate Queen’s Law at 50.

For the numerous alumni who gathered in the private dining room at Bianca's, one of the best restaurants in St. John's, Newfoundland, on May 3, 2007, it was a distinguished first.

The Newfoundland alumni welcomed the Queen's Law at 50 celebration, marking the very first Queen's Law event on the island. Dean Bill Flanagan, as in previous gatherings across the country, spoke about the current state and future of Queen's Law, and presented the Queen's Law at 50 video.

"It was the first time that any of us sat down as a group and discussed our shared Queen's experience," said Judge David Orr. "The presentation by Dean Flanagan brought out stories about Queen's and living in Kingston that rekindled many fond memories of life at the law school."

Judge Orr, a Law ‘80 graduate, has been a Provincial Court Judge for the last 12 years, as well as a founder of the Mental Health Court in St. John's. Like many graduates who come to Newfoundland, such as Leanne O'Leary, he found himself in a very familiar legal culture.

"Queen's Law was a very community-based education, where students at the law school participated in a special ‘legal community,'" said O'Leary, Law ‘95, a Partner at Cox and Palmer. "Practicing law in Newfoundland is [very] similar. The legal community is relatively small and very congenial while still maintaining the highest standard of legal work and client representation. The education at Queen's prepared me well to participate in such a legal community."

The sense of community extended to the Queen's Law gathering itself, with the alumni sharing memories about their time at their alma mater.

"Lisa (Baker) Landells [Law ‘89] recalled how she shared a house with four other law students, and her landlord in the attached house was none other than one of her law professors," recalled Robert Sinclair, Law ‘78, and a Senior Partner at Cox and Palmer.

Once the evening ended, the alumni left for home with a lot to think and talk about. Between the upcoming criminal law conference, the speech by Dean Flanagan, and the video, the Newfoundland alumni were left with a very memorable night.

"In short," said Judge Orr, "it was great evening celebrating Queen's and the Limestone City on the Rock."


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