English Country Walk

I’m not generally a huge fan of rural life, but it really is quite pretty even if I don’t think I could live here for more than a couple months. Where is here? Well, the Castle of course.

Yes, that’s right. I’ve arrived in England and classes have started here. I was able to spend a few days in London too and ended up meeting up with one of my best friends (& her boyfriend) and we went to Warner Brothers Studios to see the Making of Harry Potter. I have pictures from that, but currently my camera is not cooperating so I have no way to access the photos so a post about that will have to come later.

Instead, I’ll share a bit of the countryside around the Castle I’m currently calling home.

This was the cutest little church we ran into right near the Castle. The oldest grave we were able to read had a death date of 1763, but we didn’t look at all of them and there were definitely more than a couple we couldn’t read.

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Quite honestly I just liked the name of this place. I also like that all the houses around here seem to have names. I’m not sure how you pronounce Lyng (I’ve been saying ling though – so it rhymes with ring), but I do know that whoever this named this place was on point with their naming skills.

The streets around the Castle are narrow and I was a little bit nervous about cars, but the view was beautiful so I can see myself doing it again some time.

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Isn’t this place adorable? I don’t remember what it was named (though I’m pretty positive it was not Cleavers Lyng), but I couldn’t resist taking a photo. Honestly, walking around here sometimes makes me feel like I belong in a Jane Austen novel or something.

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Classes are busy, but every weekend is a 3 day weekend. Tomorrow we have a legal tour of London which sounds like it should be fun (but a real early day). I’m going to miss the professor we had this week though (Prof. L). He’s got the most adorable German accent and I’m pretty sure he doesn’t quite know what to make of us other than laughing at us.

But you know, if I were him I would be laughing too.

  • Kali

 

Sassy Answers to Future Questions

When you’re a kid the question of what you want to be when you grow up is fun and relatively simple for most of us. Generally you answer with a big grin and some far fetched idea. For me it was an actress – until I was 13 and then I was going to be a lawyer.

But it feels like the older you get, the more frustrating that question gets, the more pressure there seems to be to have a legitimate and thoughtful answer.

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There were times during my undergraduate degree when I waffled on the whole law school idea – though I always came back to it in the end – and times where even if I really wanted law school I just was not convinced I had a chance at being smart enough to get in. And it was around this time that the questions started cropping up again. “So, what do you want to do next?” “What are you going to do with that [a double major in political science and religious studies]?”

And I, like most of my classmates, both hated and dreaded that question in equal measure. Because the truth of the matter was that we weren’t 100% sure what was coming next, and even if we were sure what we wanted to come next that did not mean we would get it. And so my answers, as they tend to do when I’m feeling pressured, got sassy. “Oh, I’m going to solve the problems in the Middle East” I would say, or, “I’m going to save the world. Obviously.”

The same thing has happened now that I’m in law school. Except now the question isn’t asking what I’m going to do with my degree, but what kind of law I want to practice. And my answer isn’t as sassy (yet), but currently it’s something along the lines of “I’m not sure, but based on my classes for next year – the kind that won’t make any money”.

And yes, this is a long winded way of saying what my classes are for next year. So, here they are:

Fall Semester

  1. Family Law
  2. Mental Health Law
  3. Business Associations
  4. Clinical Litigation Practice (which is basically my working in the legal aid clinic)

Winter Semester

  1. Civil Procedure
  2. Administrative Law
  3. Immigration and Refugee Law
  4. Feminist Legal Studies Workshop
  5. Clinical Litigation Practice

So yeah, I wasn’t exactly kidding when I said the kinds of law that aren’t the big money makers, but I’m so excited and really there is more to life than money.

  • Kali

Power Poses

I’ve been negligent I suppose and I apologize. Second term has been a whirlwind of classes, reading, and the beginnings of our exposure to oral advocacy.

Oral advocacy is not a thing I’m good at. I get super nervous speaking in front of people. Sure, I’m better than I used to be (thank Model UN!), but I definitely still get very nervous. I’ve heard on multiple occasions people say that this seems surprising because apparently I don’t seem that way when I’m speaking normally.

Partially I suspect this is because I don’t feel like I need to impress my friends when we’re just talking normally. Sure, once upon a time I felt more of a need to impress my friends and that’s not to say I don’t care what my friends think of me – because I definitely do – but it’s still less pressure than speaking in front of my professors or even, one day, in court.

So far we’ve had two main oral advocacy exercises – one in Criminal law and a moot (basically a practice court situation, but only the part where you make your argument, not the bit with witnesses and stuff) in my Introduction to Legal Skills (ILS) class.

The Criminal law one was definitely more nerve wracking – that was partially because of the professor being more intimidating and partially because of the subject matter. My criminal law professor is one of the biggest names in Canadian criminal law – he literally wrote the textbook – and the case we were arguing was one about consent in sexual situations. If I never hear my professor say the phrase ‘kinky sex’ ever again it will still be too soon.

The subject matter for my ILS moot was drier – contractual interpretation of an indemnity clause – which was something more comfortable to talk about even if a tad boring. But, honestly, what I think really made the difference was two main things – my comfort with my professor and the fact that myself and my partner did some power poses beforehand.

Power poses are basically just things like putting your hands on your hips (Superwoman pose) or doing the Nixon ‘peace sign hands in the air’ thing, etc. It sounds dumb and honestly I felt a little silly at first, but it does loosen you up and calm you down. Or, at least, it did for me. There’s even a TED Talk about it so that must mean it works!

See!

  • Kali

Saucy Intruder

Some people say that law school is just like going back to high school. In some ways I can see their point – you’re all in one building, you have classes with the same people (though I imagine this is less so in upper years when you get to choose your classes), and you even have lockers.
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Despite all this though there are still times when I’m sitting in class and suddenly it will just hit me – holy crap, I’m actually in law school. I know it’s real, but it’s still kind of hard to believe.

On one of our first days of Property our prof went over a case called Pierson v. Post. The basics of Pierson v. Post are that Post went out to catch a fox, but before he managed it Pierson basically jumped out of the woods and caught the fox – Pierson, according to the judgement, is a ‘saucy intruder’. But Pierson got to keep the fox; sometimes the saucy intruder wins (even if he is a jerk). And sometimes I feel like the saucy intruder of law school. Like I don’t deserve to be here, but I finagled my way in anyway. And the judges somehow came down on my side.

How is a shipwreck like a fox?

How is a shipwreck like a fox? Who is the saucy intruder?

But, then sometimes I do feel like I fit. I understand what is going on in classes, I’m keeping up with the reading (for now), and I was even selected for a position with Pro Bono Students Canada. And, if nothing else, I am sitting in the law lounge at 9am. So I guess I must belong.

Chai latte from CoGro - I still kind of miss Biblio though!

Chai latte from CoGro – I still kind of miss Biblio though!

  • Kali

The End of Orientation

Wow, it has been a busy time since I last posted here. Classes started on Tuesday and they’re mostly going great. However, that’s not what this post is about. This is the second half of orientation which had its final event last night.

Hooray for anonymity!

Hooray for anonymity!

We went bowling and I actually did pretty well. Or, well, perhaps well might be a bit of an overstatement. But I wasn’t completely awful. I won both games (but I was only playing against one other person). I even managed to get a strike. Unfortunately it was not under my name because I was taking someone else turn while he was away. But still. I’m pretty proud of it.

Go Avengers!

Go Avengers!

The next day was games day. Honestly, not really my thing, but it was actually pretty fun. The games in question were Gladiator (as pictured above), chicken legs (where everyone gets in a circle and throws balls between the legs of others until one person is left standing and your legs have to stay straight the entire time), an inflatable obstacle course, ultimate frisbee, and flip cup (with water). I actually found I had an innate talent at flip cup. Too bad it’s a drinking game and I don’t drink. 😛

"Too Hot! Hot Damn!"

“Uptown Funk you up!’

On Thursday there was karaoke at a pub called Tir Nan Og. Upper years were also invited to this one. I mostly just watched, but I did get up and sing when my whole team went up. They told me we were singing Shania Twain’s “Man, I Feel Like a Woman” and then I got up there and was informed they had changed the song to “Baby Got Back”. I can’t say I really knew that words, but lets be honest – no one really cares. Especially since so many people were drunk.

Classy Gala Spread

Classy Gala Spread

And the final event was a ‘gala’. I’m not exactly sure why they called it a gala, but they did. So we all dressed up – gals in dresses, guys in suits. After that we headed to our first Queen’s Law ‘Smoker’. A Smoker – from what I can tell – is just a bunch of law students gathering at a bar that smells vaguely of smoked meat. Apparently later in the year they are themed and often act as fundraisers for clubs. In my opinion – I came, I saw, and now I can say that I’ve been to a Smoker. I feel no need to go back (shocker, right?).

There have been a few other activities strewn about that I haven’t mentioned – there was a pub night for the mature students, a games night, etc. but I’ve mentioned most of the big stuff. Now that orientation is over it’s really time to get down to work. I’m still pretty excited.

  • Kali
Queen's Law - Class of 2018!

Queen’s Law – Class of 2018!

Welcome to Toronto

I spent a few days in Toronto before coming up here for school. Just figured I would share some of the best parts of the short but sweet trip. I didn’t fall in love with Toronto instantly the way I did with New York City, but I did fall in love nonetheless.

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The CN Tower at night!

I ran into this festival at the harborfront.

I ran into this festival at the harborfront.

  One of the things I love most about cities is that you can just go out wandering and you’ll find something interesting to do.

Comedy of Errors in the park

Comedy of Errors in the park

I’m eternally grateful that someone recommended heading out to see some Shakespeare in High Park. It was brilliant and I would go back without a doubt. I highly recommend it if you’re ever in Toronto.

What do you see?

What do you see?

The Religious Studies student in me needed to take a picture of this sign. When I first saw it I read God is Nowhere – which seemed odd given it was a booth done up by a church. But, on second glance I realized it could also say God is Now Here. Apparently the pastor planned it that way to get people to give it a second look. It certainly worked!

Hard at work at the Osgoode Hall legal library

Hard at work at the Osgoode Hall legal library

On my last day in Toronto I took a tour of the old Osgoode Hall where there are courts and the home of the local law society. Seeing this in the library there made me feel just that much more like lawyers are not so different than me. I’m not sure who was using this computer – be they law student, articling student, or lawyer – but whoever they are, I salute you.

I miss Toronto already, but my new place is starting to come together, my roommate wll be here tomorrow, and on Tuesday orientation begins and I will be able to officially call myself a law student. Weird.

  • Kali

A Clear 180

Well here’s a spot I never thought I would be sitting in. The last time I wrote here I was feeling sad and pessimistic about my chances of getting into law school which had been my dream since I was 13. Well, 8 classes, 2 LSAT writes, and one convocation ceremony later and I actually have a difficult decision to make.

I’ve received admission to two of my top choices for law school starting in September. Western and Queen’s. I’ve already paid a deposit to Western as I’ve only recently received admission to Queen’s. It’s a difficult decision, but one that I’m thankful to have.

I don’t have long to reach a decision, but I’m excited that a new chapter of my life is beginning. And it includes LAW SCHOOL!

Decisions, decisions.

– Kali