Opinion

Advice for the Class of 2020…

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WHAT DO YOU KNOW NOW THAT YOU WISH YOU HAD KNOWN DURING YOUR FIRST FEW WEEKS OF LAW SCHOOL?

This isn’t like undergrad – do your readings.
–Dean Bergsma, Class of 2017

You can get all the CANs you will need from the LSA website.
–Barret McNally, Class of 2017

Somewhat ironically, but you’re going to get a ton of advice. Don’t let it overwhelm you or change who you are. You all got here for good reason. Embrace what made you successful–this isn’t a whole new world, despite what you may hear. You can always add obligations later, don’t feel you have to do everything now. There’s lots of time to add more to your plate should you want to in due course. Foundations is designed to help, not stress you out. Enjoy it and don’t worry about it.
–Benjamin Effa, Class of 2019

Don’t leave making CANS until November. The last thing you want to waste your time on in the week before exams is formatting.
–Karey Thomson, Class of 2019

WHAT ADVICE WOULD YOU GIVE THE CLASS OF 2020 FOR THEIR FIRST YEAR OF LAW SCHOOL?

Despite the power, despite the money, despite the status, be decent, be kind, be courteous and always act with integrity.
–Frank Work, Q.C.

Have 20/20 vision: vision that isn’t distorted by what merely the eyes see, but what your heart and gut can sense and feel. Have a long term view of the ideal you and the positive impact this ideal you will have on your reality and our shared reality. Let the legal skills you will garner augment your innate skills to bring joy to you and your world.
–Bob Aloneissi, Q.C.

Law school is a demanding exercise. You will routinely have more readings, assignments, CAN-ing, networking, and volunteering to do than there are available hours in the day. And that doesn’t even take into account the ever-important and necessary moments of downtime that you will require to recharge and prepare yourself before you tackle the next challenge. Your time will quickly become your most valuable asset. So, be smart and strategic about the use of your time. Assess the risks of doing or not doing a given activity, and then allocate your resources accordingly.
–Megan Schaub, Class of 2017

It’s not as bad as you heard. You will make it. There are lots of people a whole lot smarter than you – that’s ok – get over it.
–Dean Bergsma, Class of 2017

Have fun. Make friends. Don’t do all the readings. Sign up for SLS.
–Barret McNally, Class of 2017

Get Dropbox.  Seriously, drop whatever you’re doing and set it up now. At some point over the next three years, your tech is going to [fail you], and you’re going to wish your stuff was backed up.
–Paul R. Welke, Class of 2017

Run the stairs with Tim … just don’t take it personally when he bounds ahead of you while wearing a heavy backpack and playing a musical instrument.
–Michael Wickson, Class of 2019

No matter what your interests, try and be involved in something, or just be a presence within our community. Get to know as many people in your class and the upper years as you possibly can. Everyone is extremely helpful, so just introduce yourself!
–Benjamin Effa, Class of 2019

The stairwells in the library are a great, soundproof place to cry. If you’re crying in the stairwell more than once a week, consider visiting the Peer Support Centre in SUB or accessing services through ASSIST.
–Sarah Offredi, Class of 2019