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What Did Law Students Get Up To This Summer?

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The International Advocate: Danni Chu

In case all of you haven’t been inundated with my obnoxious Facebook posts enough, this past summer, I interned at the United Nations Headquarters in New York. I worked in the Administrative Law Section (ALS); half my time was spent in the Disciplinary Section and half my time was spent in the Appeals Section. Both Section involved, as you might guess, taking disciplinary action against UN staff members who broke the Staff Rules and Regulations. The cases I worked on in this matter ranged from a high-ranking Staff Member involved in credit fraud and tax evasion in New York, to a sexual harassment case in Beijing, to a UN driver criminally convicted in South Sudan. The best part about working with the ALS was that I had the opportunity to work on cases from all over the world. For example, I participated in an oral hearing where the UN’s counsel (us) was in New York, the Staff Member and her key witnesses were in Kinshasa, Congo, the opposing counsel was in Geneva, and the Court and Judge were sitting in Nairobi. We had to get in at 5 am just so the trial would end before 5pm Congo time when the translators had to go home! All in all it was an amazing experience that I would recommend to anyone. Of course, living in New York for the summer wasn’t half bad either. For those of you who know me, it will come as no surprise that all my extra money went to food; I don’t regret a single (non-UN) dime!

 

 

The All-Rounded Adventurer: Kane Gellert

If anything, 1L taught me balance. So naturally, within 24 hours of my last exam (Contracts), I was on a plane with a couple of buddies and our golf clubs to spend a week in Vegas and Phoenix.

A day after I returned to Canada I started my summer student position at Warren Sinclair LLP in my hometown of Red Deer. Even after a full year of law school, I still had no clue what a lawyer’s workday actually consisted of. My amazing summer student experience definitely changed that. Working at a firm gave me insight into what my future career will look like. I felt both challenged but comfortable in the fast-paced environment and I am now more excited than ever to pursue a career in law.

This summer I tried to get out and take as many mini trips as I could. These escapades ranged from May Long Camping, a golf tournament, a ball hockey tournament, hiking trips in the Banff area, and a reunion weekend of shameful activities with my beloved fellow U of A law students at the Calgary Stampede. I began August by attending the Boonstock Music Festival in Penticton, BC. I was amongst great people with great music at a great location – no complaints there. August. My August ended with a 5-day golf trip to Whitefish, Montana. I had an unreal summer but I am definitely happy to be back for 2L!

 

 

The Wanderluster: Lisa Wigenbach

My summer began pretty laid back. I moved to Calgary, got a really ‘chill’ job and all was well. One day I received an e-mail from Pat Neil, our career development officer, regarding a month long symposium hosted by the International Peace and Security Institute on conflict prevention, resolution, and reconciliation. I consider myself to be a fairly spontaneous person so, although I felt the symposium would cover subject matter that was beyond my expertise, I enrolled and a week and a half later I was on a plane to Bologna, Italy. It was grand: pizza and gelato everywhere. The symposium covered a number of topics ranging from careers in conflict resolution to general self-development. I heard from people who had personally experienced violent civil conflict. I had the pleasure of going to dinner with John and Susan Collin Marks of Search for Common Ground (I urge you to look up their organization). I was able to represent the University of Alberta by ‘lecturing’ to my peers on Aboriginal Constitutional rights. I became very good friends with two participants from Vancouver. Overall, it was a very positive experience and exactly what I needed! When I arrived back in Canada I decided that in the remaining two weeks of summer I wasn’t going to ‘get ahead’ by going back to work. So I booked a flight and met one of my best friends in Indonesia. I couldn’t have asked for a better summer.