Greetings and salutations my fellow law students! My name is Rhea Alcantara and I am your first ever Canadian Law Society blogger reporting to you live from my single bedroom flat here in Opal Court!
I just want to say a few things about myself: I am a first year Senior Status LLB student from Vancouver, Canada. I previously attended Simon Fraser University where I did my first undergraduate degree in Sociology in 2013. From there, I worked as a legal assistant at a law firm for three years before I decided to pursue my law degree, which brought me here to Leicester!
This blog is going to highlight my first semester as a first-year Canadian Law Student … so here goes!
During my first week as a law student, I was filled with so much promise and anticipation as this was something I’ve always wanted to do since grade school. I walked into my first lecture, backpack strapped with a huge smile on my face – I was beyond excited to say the least. I sat almost at the front of the class, listened intently to the instructor, while taking as many notes as I possibly could. I can do this! I thought, Law school is going to be manageable, I have done an undergrad before, this is going to be exciting!
Fast forward to Week 16-17 where I had my first assessed essay due for Civil Justice, as well as four tutorials and a moot (an oral presentation of a legal issue presented to a judge) all within those two weeks. Suddenly I was not so gung-ho about school, I felt as though I was starting to fall apart at the seams! Staying on top of readings was becoming more and more difficult, while making sure I had done my tutorials on time. And as previously mentioned, I also had my first ever moot, where I was unsure of what to expect. It was all a bit much! But alas, I survived!
My saving grace the past couple of months were the friends I have made while being here as well as partaking in extracurricular activities such as, moots and being part of the Canadian Law Society (“CLS”). I have made great new friends through the mentorship program offered by the CLS as well as fellow first years from the law school program! I am very happy about the sense of community we have within the University. I guess it is safe to say that it has helped with my bouts of homesickness as well! Having people around who share the same interests and are on the same ‘boat’ per se, is very comforting.
So to conclude this first blog piece, I would like to close off by sharing with you what I have learned these past few months…
Time management is key – try to stay on top of your readings but do not get too discouraged if you don’t get it all done. Also, tutorials are essential to your learning process and fully preparing for these will be of benefit to you come midterms and finals. Which leads me to my second point: if you need help, do not be afraid to ask. The University of Leicester offers a wide range of resources; from information sessions about OSCOLA (referencing style followed by the Leicester Law School) to more specific one-on-one interactions with your second-year mentors, provided by both the University of Leicester Law Society and CLS. And lastly, do not forget to have fun! Make sure you are involved with any events around the school that tickles your fancy! We are all in this together and it would be a shame if you did not take advantage of every opportunity given to you here at Leicester!
So as Ms. Frizzle from Magic School Bus would say, “take chances, make mistakes, get messy!”
Written by: Rhea Alcantara