Over 100 attendees took part in this year’s “Welcome Day” session, a full-day virtual event to showcase the many features and benefits of the Queen’s Law JD experience. Prospective students who have received offers of admission were welcomed with an opening address from Dean Mark Walters, who provided a land acknowledgement and spoke to the importance of a Queen’s Law education to the practice of law and broader society.
“Whether our students go on to work in large Bay Street corporate firms or small boutique litigation agencies, become sole practitioners, or pursue international or non-profit organizations, be it in the Hague or New York, or Hong Kong, or Toronto, or Bellville – they are all performing a public service in that they are leaders in developing and advancing the ideals associated with the rule of law, which are so important to our democracy,” he said.
Walters also spoke to the importance of community, collegiality and diversity at Queen’s Law, and the opportunity for students to design their own legal education, learn from industry leaders in their respective fields, as well as delve into experiential learning.
Organized by Assistant Dean Phillip Drew, Law’00, LLM’12, and the Queen’s Law Admissions team, attendees heard from current students, faculty members, staff, and university department leads, and learned about the tools and resources that play an essential role in supporting and facilitating student success in the JD program. From tutor-pairing with third-year students, robust student and career development services, and Indigenous support programs to curricular and co-curricular experiential learning opportunities like the competitive moot program, Bader International Study Center (“the Castle”), Queen’s Law journals, international exchanges, pro bono legal clinics, and more, prospective students were given a holistic perspective of the Queen’s Law experience.
Student representatives Shailaja Nadarajah and Rayna Lew, both Law’21, spoke to the education and equity services offered by the Faculty, as a “go to place” for anything you need to be successful in law school, from tutoring support to academic accommodations. The theme of student support was also echoed by Julie Banting, Director of the Career Development Office (CDO) team that supports pathways to employment in the legal sector. In her words, the CDO has the “pleasure of working with an extremely talented group of students who are highly accomplished and motivated, and we have the fun job of working with them to help them discover their strengths, shape their legal career pathway, access an ever-changing job market, and help position them for success upon graduation.”
Lauren Crawford, Law’21), spoke about the Indigenous Law Students’ Alliance and initiatives within the school to support Indigenous students, saying, “I have had the privilege of being involved in a number of Indigenous-led and inspired initiatives geared towards making our law school, and the legal profession more widely, a more welcoming community for Indigenous people.” She recollected on the support and guidance she received in the early days of her arrival at Queen’s Law, which has had a lasting impact.
Professor Noah Weisbord, who specializes in criminal law relating to intergroup conflict and other areas, provided a mock class to give attendees a sense of what it’s like to take a criminal law class. Referencing several cases that have been widely publicized in the media he explained how they relate to the study of criminality in the legal system.
On a student life panel, Ross Denny-Jiles, Law’22, Law Students’ Society (LSS) President, provided an overview of the LSS council and executive branch of student government, and the wide variety of clubs, associations, advocacy channels, and events it offers.
The session closed with a “Law School 101” panel designed to bring all aspects of the day together and provide guidance to students on their progression from prospective law students to career entrants and the lasting connection as alumni. The panel, moderated by Zach Rudge, Law’22, featured students Brandon Maracle, Law’21, and Olivia Moon, Law’23, alumnus Matthew Taft, Law’16, and Professor Colin Grey. In addition to providing an overview of their experiences, they took questions from prospective students on a variety of topics.
Assistant Dean Drew closed the session by thanking attendees, and saying, “I love Queen’s Law because it gave me a phenomenal education, set me up for a great career, and offered an incredible sense of community. I would love to welcome you through the door in September, so you can share in this amazing experience.”
Queen’s Law congratulates prospective students in getting to this stage in their academic career and wishes them all success in their law school selection process.
Learn more about the Queen’s Law JD experience in the Queen’s Law digital viewbook.
By Tim Butters