Queen's Law

Faculty of Law
Faculty of Law

Black Law Students’ Association at Queen’s reinforces alumni network

(March 12, 2018)

Students and alumni at BLSA Speed Mentoring event
Assistant Dean of Students Heather Cole, Law’96 (far left), Michael Coleman, Law’17 (middle), and Stella Gore, Law’18 (2nd right), with student and alumni participants during the BLSA–Queen’s speed mentoring event. (Photo by Jay Paris)

“Speed mentoring” is the latest event connecting black Queen’s Law students with alumni who are experienced legal professionals. Hosted by the Queen’s Chapter of the Black Law Students’ Association (BLSA) of Canada at WeirFoulds LLP in Toronto on February 22, students continued building relationships with graduates, receiving practical advice about law school and the legal profession. 

“Alumni like getting involved in these events because they understand how challenging law school and the practice of law can be and they want to share their wisdom in any way they can,” says Michael Coleman, Law’17, co-founder and former president of BSLA–Queen’s, now an articling student with Fogler, Rubinoff LLP. “We not only want to help current students succeed, but also want these students to know they have experienced alumni in their corner rooting them on.”

The event fostered personal and engaging discussions. Each graduate was paired with a student for 15–20 minutes, and then the pairs rotated over the two-hour period. Topics of discussion included: the reasons why each participant chose to pursue a career in law and why they chose to pursue the program at Queen’s; the flexibility of a law degree and opportunities for non-traditional practice; the importance of networking; ways to market oneself; important things to note when entering law school and the legal profession; ways to overcome failure; and useful tips alumni wished they knew when entering law school.

“It is valuable for current students to meet alumni who have pursued a wide range of careers, and to discuss the diversity of opportunities within the legal field,” says Stella Gore, Law’18, BSLA–Queen’s President 2017–18. “It’s also particularly important to be able to meet minority lawyers, who are able to share their experiences and offer mentorship and advice, especially as we navigate through law school, articling and beyond.”

By Aschille Clarke-Mendes