Ben Frenken talks about second year

A day in the life

Ben Frenken talks about second year

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The faculty is very approachable and genuinely interested in our academic and professional development. And the admissions and library staff are great too.

Virtus et scientia—virtue and knowledge

In Ben Frenken’s view, studying classics at Dal was sound preparation for studying law. In 2001, Ben started a combined honours Bachelor of Arts (BA) in Contemporary Studies and Classics at the University of King’s College and Dalhousie University. He then stayed at Dal to do a Master of Arts (MA) in Classics.

“The workload was comparable to what we have at the Schulich School of Law,” Ben says, “but classics also prepared me for legal writing and argument, with all the exposure I had to language and the ancient poets, historians, orators, and philosophers. Also,” he adds, “I don't have to flip through Black's Law Dictionary every time a judge drops a Latin phrase.”

Ben’s decision to pursue law was well after he graduated from the MA program. “But once I decided, it was Law at Dal or nothing," he says. "A few family friends had gone through and a very good high school friend was having a great time here. And I already knew first-hand what a special learning environment Dal and Halifax provide, so the choice was easy.”

Two years in, Dal’s law program has fulfilled his expectations. “The curriculum is a good mix of practical and academic,” Ben explains. “But the people make Dal a great place to study. The students have diverse backgrounds and interests, and everyone is very supportive and engaged in class and in the school's social life.”

Ben cites the famed “Weldon Spirit” as the most influential part of the Schulich School of Law. “It plays a part in all aspects of life,” he explains. “We’re encouraged to find ways to balance our legal studies—and careers—with public service. It definitely marks this law school as a special place.” Ben has already shown some of that spirit himself in co-organizing a charity moot.

“I’ve enjoyed every course,” Ben says. “But first-year contracts and property law really stood out. Then I spent the first summer working at the Admissions and Career Development Office at Schulich and started looking into Toronto firms—I’m very happy with how things have turned out so far.”

After he completed second year, Ben worked as a summer student at Norton Rose’s Toronto office, and would clearly be happy to do so again after third year. “I’ll stick around as long as they’ll have me!”