Jennifer Huygen talks about first year

A day in the life

Jennifer Huygen talks about first year

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I always knew that at some point, I’d study law. There’s a natural connection between law and politics.

Welcomed into first year

Back in her hometown of Edmonton, Jennifer Huygen earned an honours degree in political science from the University of Alberta before coming to Halifax to study law at Dalhousie.

Jennifer loves Edmonton, but she also loves Halifax: “If I could stay here, I’d be very happy!” she says. “Being on the water is still such a novelty—I love going to Point Pleasant Park and the harbour. And I’ve met a lot of great people from the Atlantic region. They’ve been really great about welcoming those of us who aren’t from here.”

But the Schulich School of Law has also been welcoming, Jennifer says—starting with orientation week for first-year students. “We went to the beach, we went whale watching and surfing—and there was a huge lobster dinner at the end,” she grins. “All the events made me feel at ease and really look forward to starting the year and getting to know everybody.”

Jennifer says that the first-year curriculum was broad, “which was great—especially because I’m still not sure what to specialize in.” But she admits she’s always had a soft spot for international, public, and constitutional law.

To her surprise, she’s really enjoyed learning about criminal and tort law, “which involves questions that affect people in their daily lives,” she explains. “We looked at moral questions I didn’t expect to deal with.”

Though she’s always been a strong reader and writer, Jennifer found the Legal Research and Writing course helpful. “The style of writing in law really differs from what people are used to.”

And then there’s the reading. “You learn to become a very good reader,” Jennifer smiles.

“A judge’s decision can be up to 30 pages. So you need to spend time at the beginning of the year finding out what to look for in a case,” she explains. “But it just takes practice. And do your readings every day—the pile will get smaller! …in April!” she jokes.