Today, I am graduating from law school at the University of Ottawa. The past few years have led up to this, and by the end of the day I will be a Juris Doctor. I would be lying if I said the past three years went by “quickly,” because frankly, it was a long journey. Prior to law school, I spent a year freelancing, being “funemployed” and studying for the LSAT. I got into the University of Ottawa’s English Common Law program and jumped immediately at the opportunity.
Law school definitely went beyond my expectations and challenged me in every way. Every night, staying up till 6 a.m. writing a memo or factum, or not sleeping at all to put together a summary. Every exam, every lecture (I rarely skipped class, save for the flu last year and getting stuck in an ice storm in New Jersey after New York Fashion Week), every day at the clinic… it all led up to this.
Last month, I was challenged even more while studying for the bar exams. In Ontario, you get to write two exams for 7 hours each, spaced two weeks apart. Three days before my first exam, the Barrister (family law, criminal, civil litigation – all that fun stuff!), I woke up with a severe pain in my stomach… on my right side. I shrugged it off, but in the morning when the pain persisted, I went to the hospital. Even with pain killers, it still hurt and the radiologists were a bit puzzled and suspected it might be my appendix. Both my mother and my grandmother had their appendixes burst, so I just assumed I was next. The doctor assured me it wasn’t hereditary, but I didn’t totally buy it. All that hard work of preparing for the big test was gone. I was desperate. But also in pain. I just kind of gave up at that point and spent the rest of the day going through all sorts of tests, only to learn I likely caught a bad bug on the NYC subway or airplane. Thankfully, I left the hospital with my appendix still in tact. I gave up studying for the next two days, and waited to see if I would be well enough to write the Barrister exam on Tuesday (literally 3 days after being in the hospital). Luckily, I improved, and was thankful for the assistance from a classmate in helping me make a case for accommodation. When I asked my peers to help me inquire about deferring the exam, I received a flurry of positive messages and was so thankful for my wonderful peers.
Everywhere I go, be it previous job interviews, blogging events and coffee meet-ups, people ask me about my experience at law school… and I tell them that I had a very positive environment, with incredible classmates and wonderful professors… and it’s the honest truth. Going into law school, we hear horror stories about GPA and LSAT scores of the incoming class being posted on the walls, cheating or even worse. I never encountered that and leave inspired by all my hardworking classmates. Ottawa is a bit of an underdog when it comes to law school rankings, but I would defend it to the death. Congrats FTX Class of 2017! We did it.
I’m wearing a dress from BCBG, vintage jewerly, headband and clutch from Zara, shoes from Louise et Cie, Samantha lashes by Huda Beauty, lipstick from NYX and the Urban Decay Naked Palette.
Congratulations on your graduation. That’s a huge accomplishment! Your dress is so gorgeous.