Starting law school can be both an exciting and daunting time – now imagine starting classes in the middle of a global pandemic. To support this year’s new student cohort, Allard Law had to act fast to find innovative ways to connect with students.
One successful initiative launched over the summer of 2020 was the Indigenous Legal Studies (ILS) Academic Leadership Certificate – Summer Intensive. Guided by Lee Schmidt, Associate Director for Indigenous Legal Studies and funded by the Law Foundation of BC, the program provided incoming Indigenous law students with an opportunity to build skills and community while also creating space to connect with Allard Law students, faculty and staff. For two weeks in June and five hours a day online, students participated in a range of programming aimed at providing a glimpse into the law school experience and building community with their peers, faculty and the Indigenous legal profession. Lectures, workshops, daily reflections, panels and talking circles were all part of the innovative programming.
“The program gave me the opportunity to meet other Indigenous students currently attending, previously attended, or about to attend Allard Law, providing me with not only additional confidence and comfort but also a feeling of connectedness and belonging I may not have otherwise had. The introduction to the content and resources available at Allard I found helpful to me as I begin my journey to law school.”Sandra Lafontaine, one of the program participants
Read the full story at the Allard Law website.
Through our Strategic Plan: Shaping UBC’s Next Century, we are committed to fostering a greater sense of belonging, predicated on personal growth within smaller, diverse communities in the context of a large and complex community (Strategy 15: Student Experience).