The VIU Law Network began 10 years ago, starting in the Bachelor of Business program and later expanding to include the whole VIU community. It has evolved as a network to assist VIU students and alumni who are interested in a career in law. Over the years, members have benefited from the support they’ve received from other members. Here what some of our members have to say, beginning with words from our first member:
In 2006, Dana Collette generously offered me her insight and wisdom as I prepared my law school applications for final submission. At that time, little did I know where my legal journey would take me. Now, 10 years later, my family and I are based out of Winnipeg, MB where I work as in-house counsel to one of the largest Canadian agricultural companies. From afar, I continue to observe the activities of the VIU Law Network and cannot help but be proud of my Vancouver Island fellows and the growth of this organization.
Lauren Fourmeaux Clemens, BBA (2008), LL.B. (Robson Hall Faculty of Law, University of Manitoba)
I started in the BBA degree program at VIU in 2004. I knew the skills I wanted to develop, but had not set any specific future employment goals. Within the Faculty of Management I found no shortage of opportunities to learn, bringing my passions to my studies and exploring new ideas. In my final year, I took a policy class with Dana and was introduced to law and policy. Suddenly a whole new field was opened up, and I was eager to move forward into legal studies.
Through the VIU Law Network, I was able to connect with people at various stages of their academic and professional journeys. From LSAT prep and applications, to surviving first year, articles, PLTC, and career development, any topic I needed input on was well received. In the early days, connecting with those who were a few years further along the path was just the reassurance and encouragement I needed to stick with it! And as I neared graduation with my JD, meeting with students who were considering law school, or studying for the LSAT, was energizing, reaffirming, and rewarding.
Access to such generous law professionals and students was inspiring and absolutely contributed to my success. I am excited to be a part of the next decade, working together to foster the success of future legal scholars and professionals.
Amber Hieb, BBA (2009), J.D. (University of Victoria Faculty of Law)
Networking is one of the most important things law students and young lawyers can do at the outset of their legal careers. VIU’s Law Network provides an exceptional opportunity to connect prospective law students and new law graduates not only with each other but also with professionals in the legal community. When I was an undergraduate student I was fortunate to have the opportunity to meet with a then law student and talk about the LSAT. This student gave me her LSAT prep-books and gave me some excellent advice about preparing my law school applications. We stayed in touch over the years as I entered law school and she entered the legal profession. When it was time for me to look for articles, I was able to contact her and discuss various opportunities within the legal community in Nanaimo. Ultimately, she was able to provide a reference on my behalf to her former Principal and I later secured articles with his firm. VIU’s Law Network was instrumental in kick-starting my career and I am exceptionally grateful for the relationships I’ve formed as a result.
Kendra L. Waugh, BA (2011), J.D. (Robson Hall Faculty of Law, University of Manitoba)
The VIU Law Network was a highlight of my undergraduate degree. The LSAT preparation seminars, legal community contacts, and mentorship were all invaluable resources that assisted in my law school application process. After completing my applications, working as the Network’s research student provided me with an opportunity to pass on my experiences and mentor other students considering law school. I also had the pleasure of working closely with Dana and David, and saw their passion for student success first-hand. These combined experiences sparked the excitement about my legal career far before I started law school, and I have maintained that enthusiasm ever since.
Leah Whitworth, BA (2014), J.D. (Allard School of Law, University of British Columbia)
I had aspirations before attending VIU to hopefully pursue a career in the legal profession and with that, sought out opportunities to further my goal. Through getting involved with the VIU Law Network as well as partaking in the work-op position, I gathered invaluable knowledge and experience through the work that I did, the people that I met, and the events orchestrated through the network. Through my involvement with the Law Network, I’m now in a position where I am working at a National Law Firm in Vancouver this summer and will be completing my JD by the end of Spring 2018.
Brandon Manhas, BBA (2015), Law Student (Allard School of Law, University of British Columbia)
I believe that the law network helped me to make one of the biggest decisions of my life to date, where to go to law school. I was very pleasantly surprised at the number of responses that I received shortly after asking for member feedback regarding their thoughts about the different schools. I greatly appreciated the fact that the members who responded, all of which were current law students or practicing lawyers, took the time out of their very busy schedules to provide such detailed and thoughtful responses to my questions. Before reading the replies, I had absolutely no idea where I wanted to go. After considering the points raised in the emails, my decision became clear. I believe that having such access to lawyers and law students from across the country is rather unprecedented, even for students attending major research universities.
Brody Cormons, BBA (2016), Law Student (Osgood Hall Law School, York University) (Osgood Hall Law School, York University)