Earlier this week, I was fortunate to have lunch with Dr. Mary Anne Bobinski, the Dean of UBC’s Faculty of Law. It was a great experience.
I have mentioned before that UBC Law presents no shortage of extra-curricular opportunities, often sandwiched in at lunch hours or after classes. For example, this week I also helped to run the “Health Law Careers” panel, and later participated in an environmental law negotiation competition. So when an email went out last week looking for the last few people to have lunch with the Dean, I jumped at the chance.
The lunch, held at the Sage Bistro (conveniently upstairs from where our classes are held) was attended by about a dozen students. Dean Bobinski asked what each of us liked about our law school experiences so far, and what we thought needed improvement. Most of our conversation focused on the latter, as the Dean looked for ways to address the concerns we brought to the table. Some issues, such as the students’ desire to have computer-based (as opposed to paper-based) testing, are already being explored. Others issues were new, but the Dean quickly provided initial thoughts on how they might be addressed, making notes for a detailed follow-up later. In the end, our session went nearly half an hour overtime – and the Dean’s lunch went almost untouched – because she was so focused on hearing and addressing students’ concerns.
I have been in and out of the academic system for quite some time (I come from an academic family, and was very active during both my bachelor’s and master’s degrees), and always appreciate top administrators who take the time to really sit down and listen to students. Too few do so, in my opinion. It certainly was heartening to have the Dean take time to have personal conversations with students, just another example of how UBC Law does take the time to ensure that its students have a great experience at law school.