A day in the life
Honourable Justice Peter Bryson (BA'76 and MA'78 in Classics)
You will not be limiting yourself by taking an Arts degree. Doing what you love can be practical. You are likely to enjoy it more and do it better and you are likely to obtain higher achievement in what you love.
Doing what you love is a practical academic choice
From an everyday university student to a Judge on the Nova Scotia Court of Appeal, the Honourable Justice Peter Bryson, Q.C., looks at his time and experiences at Dalhousie University as important keys to his success.
“You can do anything (with an Arts degree). It makes you a more complete person,” he says.
Justice Bryson completed his BA (1976) and MA (1978) in Classics at Dalhousie then went on to receive his BA (1980) in Jurisprudence at Oxford University. He returned, obtained his LLB (1981) from Dalhousie and immediately joined the Halifax law firm of McInnes Cooper, becoming a partner in 1988.
Justice Bryson taught courses at Dalhousie’s Schulich School of Law from 1983 to 1993 and in the fall of 2009, he was elevated to the Nova Scotia Court of Appeal. In 2010 the University of King's College, where he occasionally lectures on art history, granted him an honorary degree.
During his years practicing law at McInnes Cooper, Justice Bryson had the privilege of working with a variety of business leaders in Nova Scotia. As a result, he says businesses look for good communicators and self-starters with a capacity to learn new skill sets – things which our students and graduates often excel at.
“You will not be limiting yourself by taking an Arts degree”, says Justice Bryson. “Doing what you love can be practical. First, you are likely to enjoy it more and do it better; you are likely to obtain higher achievement in what you love. Second, this will better position you for further graduate or professional study.”
“Your undergraduate success will make you more competitive and make you a better judge of a meaningful career. On the other hand, trying to be ‘too practical’ and focusing on a narrow skill set can be too limiting, especially if you lack a broader education. ”