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.
Wow. It sounds like you are doing so many things in law school. How do you have the time to do all of these things? I’m worried about having time to even finish readings..
Readings can be tough! It’s important to make school a priority, because it’s easy to fall behind in the readings.
Like many other students, I am taking advantage of the opportunities that law school offers. And like most students, I am sure to cut some (many?) things off the list eventually. But enjoying what you do also really helps, as does making sure that you stay healthy and as happy as possible.
Good to see the admin cares out there!
I’m a grade 11 student still trying to figure out which careers really interest me, and so far law has really grabbed my attention. Is there anything you could tell me about the difficulty and any other factors involving the course? It just seems like so much to handle which is some what intimidating! great job on the blog by the way.
Dustin: I won’t kid you, law school is really tough, and is a lot to handle.
If you’ve made it to law school (remember that the acceptance rate of our class was 8% of applicants), you’re probably used to hard work in some form or other. Here, you can have upwards of 60 pages of reading every night (or more!), the occasional assignment, and lots of different social and professional events vying for your time. And let’s not even get started on volunteering, or the stress of final exams (which I’m in now).
Many people recommend not working or doing too much else during the first year of law school, since that’s when grades matter most. Though that’s not what I did, I certainly can appreciate that as a good strategy. Take time for yourself as well as friends and family. If you do that, you should be able to balance out the demands of law school.