Skip to content

An Afternoon with Kim Wilson

Athyna Slack

As part of Canons address of “0L” this month, I went to Kim Wilson for some fact checking as well as some guidance on what exactly goes on behind the scenes for the Faculty of Law’s admission process. I knew this was among the busiest times of the year for Kim, but she was gracious enough to fit me into her day and tell me all about how a student goes from a hopeful to a full fledged U of A law student. I brought with me a dual purpose of getting to know the universally-loved mainstay of our faculty; we know surprisingly little about her despite being such an integral part of our law school experience.

Kim has been married to a fellow University of Alberta employee for 28 years. Every year, they take a warm vacation together. She has two sons, one works for Telus and the other is a correctional peace officer, and two awesome grandsons. If any of you have been in Kim’s office you may have noticed a theme; when I asked her exactly how many cows she has, she could only answer “too many”.

Kim began at the Faculty of Law on January 1st, 1986, first working in the duplicating room. In 1990, she moved to admissions, where she has worked ever since. She describes the job as stressful at times, but ultimately fulfilling as she is a part of so many students’ futures. The Faculty of Law at U of A, unlike many other legal faculties around the country, only has Kim manning the admissions post. She gets help from the other admin staff around the office, but the role that Kim plays is often done by two or more people elsewhere. Not only does she do the bulk of the admissions work, but among other roles she also does the approval of grades, graduate programs, the appeals committee, and processes each of us 3Ls for graduation.

Admissions to our faculty have changed immensely over the years. When Kim started, applications were all done and submitted by hand. Her favorite part of the job is interaction with the students and getting to know us. This aspect of the job falls increasingly by the wayside with each technological increase, another change that Kim has been witness to. As we know, the applications have now moved entirely online. Every year there is anywhere from 700 to 1500 applicants. Interestingly, these applications have not increased over time but rather ebb and flow with Alberta’s economy. When the economy is booming, applications are low. When there is a slump, people seem more likely to consider a career change and opt to apply for law school.  Since Kim has been working in admissions, the number of students admitted has remained at 175.

This means, not including the students who were either rejected or chose not to go here, Kim has delivered the good news to about 4 375 U of A law students. From all of us, thank you Kim for all of your hard work.