September Recap

Let’s start my recap of my first month at law school with some words about Orientation 2011. It was a packed first day, we started early with a nice spread of coffee and snacks and some speakers, good work uOttawa. I met people on the way, in the auditorium, at breaks and really it’s still happening. We’re some 300-ish strong here and they were all friendly, it was great to see that. We had various professors, administration, and student groups give us our first ideas of the school and advise about the transition. That evening we had an event at Chateau Laurier here in Ottawa and got to meet even more of our fellow students as well as some professors. We had two more days around the long weekend of more lunches, seminars, and mingling.

It was great to see familiar faces in our first class and meet even more people. Right off the bat we met our peer-advisors and TA’s. There are a lot of people around who are happy to answer questions and share their stories. We have a choice of a small group torts or criminal law class which consists of a smaller group than regular classes. They seem to be designed to provide a different type of learning environment and the discussions are an enjoyable change to larger lectures, which have their benefits too. I personally enjoy the variety.

So I have to mention adjusting to the readings. It’s been a very interesting process. The volume is large but I’m finding something will get me pulled into it, some interesting fact, argument, or concept… and that will be the thing that propels me through the next 20, 30, 40 pages… We’ve had the fortune of having a pass-fail practice law school exam in one of my classes as a learning experience. It was really beneficial because it gave me an idea of how my mind works under pressure, how I use my “summary,” and what I got as well as what I need to work on. I’m happy to say it has given me a new perspective on my approach. I think you need to embrace the learning process and not get hung up on the little things. It’s like, during my LSAT, I clued into the fact that the “practice” section was the first one in the exam, because it had 2 games sections in it and the first one was virtually unworkable. Well that realization gave me the burst of adrenaline and desire to hit the other sections as hard as I could. I didn’t let it get me down and that kind of outlook is what seems to be what gets you through.

So that’s the school part. But there’s also a lot of great social events that I’ve had the benefit of attending and speaking to great people in the program.