An interview with: 3rd year Law Clerk student – Amanda Amirault
Some more great advice from a soon-to-be graduate!
What made you decide to take the Law Clerk program?
My family and I decided that I would go back to school, as all of my children were attending school. I spent a great deal of time reading through various course descriptions, and after a few weeks of narrowing my choices, I chose the Law Clerk program. The career possibilities after graduation felt like the best fit for my lifestyle, and my interests.
What have you enjoyed the most about the program?The faculty for the program are amazing! The course content is always completely relevant to my soon-to-be career, and the professors always make the content interesting, regardless of the subject.
What were some concerns you had as you started the program?
For myself, it was my age. I came into the program as a mature student, and was worried about how I would fit in with ‘typical’ college students. I worried about how I would balance school with a busy home life, and be able to make them both work.
What about when you were getting ready for your first field placement?
I worried about being unable to find a placement host in a field that I wanted to learn. For the second year placement, as it was my first experience with working in a legal environment, I was worried that I would forget what I had learned, or go blank when asked a question by a lawyer or senior law clerk. Thankfully I was well prepared, and that didn’t happen!
What is one of the highlights from your field placement experiences
During my second year, I was permitted to sit in court alongside POA Prosecutors and observe trials and court appearances. During my third year, I have worked in two firms, both times in real estate. I have had the ability to have my own clients, and close sale files with one firm, and work on a team under a senior clerk in the other, to learn more aspects of the field.
What about the challenges of field placement?
In the first firm, I had signing authority, and more responsibility; however, the teaching was limited and I was only able to complete sale files. With the second firm, I have had to adjust to a different set of rules, no signing authority, and a different office structure. However, regardless of the change, I wouldn’t have it any other way. Challenges may seem difficult, but they permit learning opportunities and growth, and that is what is most important with placement.
What advice do you have for
- 2nd year students who will be going on placement next term?
- Take your time to figure out what field you would like exposure in. It’s a two week blitz, in second year, so I would select a couple fields you are interested in; then determine which you would like to consider more for your career. The lesser of the two, and seek that out for second year. Third year is much longer, and provides a richer experience, so focus on the field you are really interested in, for the longer placement. Also, don’t feel discouraged if you don’t hear back from the first few places you apply to and don’t worry about the first couple no’s. Everyone gets turned down a couple times, so make sure that you select at least a handful to send your resume to initially. Always keep track, especially once you’ve sent a few out, you don’t want to apply to the same place twice!
- People who are considering taking the LCAD program?
- You have made an excellent decision! The education and experience you gain from this program will open up so many doors for your future career. Unlike many professions, you are not confined to one specific area of labor. You are capable of working in any legal field that interests you, and have enough education and experience, that you can change your field of practice without having to go back to school. You will thoroughly enjoy this program, if you love the law!
- I begin my Undergraduate degree in Legal Studies in May as part of the Bridge program from Durham College into UOIT. After the summer bridge, I will have years 3 and 4 of the undergrad to complete, which will permit me to write the LSAT upon gradation. My hopes at that time will be to apply to Law Schools, and complete my education, and become a lawyer.
- I had not considered being a lawyer when I started the program, but while attending the Law Clerk program I fell in love with the law, and that opened my eyes to continuing my education into law school.