Natalie Stern: 1L 

I completed my undergraduate degree at Carleton University with an Honours Degree in Social Work and a minor in Psychology. After completing my undergrad, I worked for about 3 years as a social worker in my hometown of London, ON. I decided to pursue a career in law after being exposed to family court and child protection matters through my job.

 

I chose Lakehead University for my legal education due to the small class sizes and hands-on learning experiences through the Integrated Practice Curriculum. As a first year law student, I have already had the experience of writing an opinion letter, researching and preparing a memorandum, and completing a moot bail hearing.

 

Since beginning at the Bora Laskin Faculty of Law I have joined a variety of clubs such as the Women in Law Club, the Lakehead Law Journal and Pro Bono Students Canada. Getting involved has been a great way for me to meet new people and network with upper year students who I would not otherwise meet. I believe my involvement in extracurriculars has enriched my law school and would urge other students to get involved.

 

The transition from southwestern Ontario to Thunder Bay has been great! I was originally quite nervous about moving so far away from my family and hometown, but I have loved every minute of living in Thunder Bay. I would encourage all current and future students to enjoy the many hiking trails, provincial parks and outdoor activities that Thunder Bay has to offer in both the winter and summer seasons.

Natalie Stern: 1L 

I completed my undergraduate degree at Carleton University with an Honours Degree in Social Work and a minor in Psychology. After completing my undergrad, I worked for about 3 years as a social worker in my hometown of London, ON. I decided to pursue a career in law after being exposed to family court and child protection matters through my job.

 

I chose Lakehead University for my legal education due to the small class sizes and hands-on learning experiences through the Integrated Practice Curriculum. As a first year law student, I have already had the experience of writing an opinion letter, researching and preparing a memorandum, and completing a moot bail hearing.

 

Since beginning at the Bora Laskin Faculty of Law I have joined a variety of clubs such as the Women in Law Club, the Lakehead Law Journal and Pro Bono Students Canada. Getting involved has been a great way for me to meet new people and network with upper year students who I would not otherwise meet. I believe my involvement in extracurriculars has enriched my law school and would urge other students to get involved.

 

The transition from southwestern Ontario to Thunder Bay has been great! I was originally quite nervous about moving so far away from my family and hometown, but I have loved every minute of living in Thunder Bay. I would encourage all current and future students to enjoy the many hiking trails, provincial parks and outdoor activities that Thunder Bay has to offer in both the winter and summer seasons.

Sanya Tandon: 2L

I started at the Bora Laskin Faculty of Law after graduating from Environmental Studies: Politics, Justice & The Arts, with a certificate in Sustainable Energy at York University. I chose Lakehead University because of its mandate in Environmental Law. Having immigrated to Canada from India, at the age of 12, I have spent most of my time exploring big cities in Southern Ontario. Getting an opportunity to experience more of my province fulfilled my desire to explore Canadian culture and learn about its natural resources.

 

Starting first year (1L) in law school was quite different from my undergrad studies, and I am thankful for the small class size, as I was able to get guidance outside of the classroom by my professors. Obtaining an upper year mentor during my 1L year was invaluable as well. I strongly believe the supportive administrative staff, faculty and upper year students have geared me towards success. This showed through the improvements I made every semester in my grades and in extracurriculars. The faculty is diverse in their interests, with real world experience, which means that there can be guidance available, regardless of which area of law you would like to pursue. I was fortunate to be supervised by Prof. David Rosenberg for a Directed Research paper on Public-Private Partnerships for public Infrastructure projects (particularly in the North), as he has experience working in that field. 

 

Having hosted events with The Mental Health Club during my first year, I was inspired to lead my own club in the second year. I found support from the Law Students’ Association (LSS) as well as the main Lakehead campus. As the president of Environmental Law Students’ Association (ELSA), I was thrilled to see fellow students get creative with initiatives such as Clothings Swaps, the Community Garden, a Composting pilot project at my residence plus an end of year, community-wide Documentary Screening and Conscious Consumerism event. The students and staff at the main campus are a great resource as well, allowing for lots of opportunities to build networks with other clubs like I did with the Plant based, Low Waste club and The Lakehead Foodbank. For example, for the documentary screening I learned about public performance rights under Copyright laws, which are needed to showcase any documentary to the public. Ingenuity, from the main campus, partnered with us and we were able to screen the documentary under their licence. I was also able to have an executive role in the Lakehead Martial Arts club, which held classes on the main campus in the Hangar. A great way to de-stress from the busy schedule of law school. 

Classes are also taught by practitioners and events are held throughout the year, which allows students to network with local law firms to build their career in the law, but there is plenty of opportunity for students to find work in Southern Ontario as well as, all over Canada and beyond. For example, in my first year, Lakehead flew me and other students who shared an interest in Indigenous law to Windsor, to learn at the World Indigenous Law Conference. The conference had many first nation groups and lawyers from places such as; New Zealand, Australia, Chile and beyond. 

Rob Stefanelli: 3L

I came to Bora Laskin Faculty of Law by way of Queen’s University. At Queen’s, I completed a Master of Arts in Geography and then was hired by the University to continue my research into energy autonomy initiatives in rural, remote and Indigenous communities across Canada. Though my research career was rewarding, it was largely based out of an office in Kingston. As such, there were few opportunities for practical, client-focused training.

I decided to pursue a law for its practical components. I identified Bora Laskin as my top choice based on the Integrated Practice Curriculum that places students in lawyer-like training simulations within the first weeks of 1L year. By the end of 2L, all students will have had the opportunity to draft legal documents for mock internal (memos for senior partners, pleadings for judges) and external (opinion letters for clients) audiences, as well as prepare and run an entire civil trial. The successes of this commitment to advocacy training at Bora Laskin are reflected in the outstanding success our students have achieved at provincial and national mooting competitions. 

During my 2L year, I was fortunate and honoured to represent the student body as the Vice President – Academic within the Lakehead Law Students’ Society (LSS). There, I worked with some great students across all three years of study. One of the highlights of my time on the LSS was the design and implementation of the 1L Welcome Week. Together, the LSS and I were able to provide a fun and informative welcome period for incoming 1L students. At the Welcome Week, 1L students were matched with an upper year mentor, learned class-specific preparation and exam tips, and concluded with an event at a local restaurant. 

I’ve had a blast living in Thunder Bay and attending Bora Laskin. There is something for everyone here. There are great outdoor spaces with the Nor’Wester Mountains, Lake Superior, and countless hiking trails nearby. Hockey and soccer are huge in this city so you can always find an informal game to join, and the law school puts together basketball, flag football, volleyball and soccer teams to compete in Lakehead intramurals. Some of the best restaurants in the city are within walking distance from the law school. And to top it off, there are numerous student-run clubs to join at Bora Laskin (as well as an easy process to start a club with other likeminded people).

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