Orientation

Sept. 1–Sept. 7, 2019

Congratulations on your acceptance to the Schulich School of Law! We are very excited to meet you all and are planning a fantastic orientation week to introduce you to the school, your peers and the City of Halifax!

Orientation week is divided into two parts: an informative day-time orientation that is mandatory for all incoming students and an optional evening orientation available for an additional fee. Please be sure to keep an eye on your e-mail as we will be sending updates throughout the summer along with a summary of each day's activities once orientation week starts.

While we are working hard to plan a great time for your first week, we encourage you to join the Facebook Group to connect with your future classmates and start getting excited about the wonderful adventure you are about to embark upon.

If you have any questions, do not hesitate to contact us via email or on the Facebook page - further contact information can be found in the bios below!

General Information

We know that making the transition to law school can be tough. Below, you can find information pertaining to what you should do before, during, and after orientation week in order to make the adjustment as easy as possible.

Before Orientation:

  • Register for O-Week activities ​(coming soon!)
  • Orient yourself with the City of Halifax
  • Check out the City's Transit Map (you can also download the Transit app which is useful for following the bus routes!) 
  • Orient yourself with the Studley Campus (Dalhousie's main campus)
  • Send in your picture for your DalCard / UPass to make pickup faster! This can also be done during or shortly after orientation and YES, your UPass and DalCard are one item!

Please Note: Some transportation during orientation activities may use Metro Transit and you might want to run around the city for groceries, necessities and general site-seeing before/during orientation. So the UPass can come in handy. BUT Halifax is quite a small city and you can easily make your way around on foot!

During Orientation:

  • Bring your DalCard if you have it
  • Have your phone number and Halifax address handy - it will be useful to register for school services such as the Sir James Dunn Law Library

After Orientation:

  • Have at least one good suit/outfit for interviews and firm events. Recruiting for Summer 2020 begins as early as October for some cities!
  • Equip yourself with waterproof gear (hat, jacket, shoes) - We're not kidding! Nova Scotia means "New Scotland" so there's plenty of rain (often horizontal), fog and wind - umbrellas often just don't cut it!
  • Play a sport? Bring your gear and join one of Weldon's Intramural Teams! (the committee will usually post in the Facebook group once intramurals start!) 
  • Explore Halifax in your spare time! 

University Related Websites:

Societies at Dal

There are many fantastic societies you can join within the Law School and throughout the greater Dalhousie campus! Check them out via the following links:

Meet your Orientation Team!

Administration

Dana-Lyn Mackenzie (left)

Before joining the Schulich School of Law as the Director of Student Services and Engagement, Dana-Lyn lived in British Columbia. After obtaining her Juris Doctor from UBC’s Allard Law School, Dana-Lyn began working as their Associate Director of Indigenous Legal Studies. In this role, Dana-Lyn was awarded the President’s Staff Award for Advancing Diversity and Inclusion at UBC.

Dana-Lyn is a proud member of the Hwlitsum First Nations Community and in her role as Director of Student Services and Engagement, she has had the opportunity to work as a student advisor, as well as coordinate a multitude of programs involving the Peer Mentors, Academic Success workshops, Wellness Initiatives and more. She was also the Co-Coach for the Kawaskimhon Moot, a consensus-based, non-adversarial moot that incorporates Indigenous legal orders alongside federal, provincial and international law. Dana-Lyn can be contacted through email for any of your potential concerns relating to course registration, guidance, etc. 

Graecen Wyton (right) 

Graecen was born and raised in Riverview, NB. She began her post-secondary education at the University of New Brunswick where she received a Bachelor of Business Administration. Upon graduation, she moved to Halifax to attend the Schulich School of Law, joining the class of 2021. In her first year, Graecen became involved in the Pro Bono Program, the Social Committee and the Law Hour Speaker Series. This summer she is working as a Research Assistant, helping Dana-Lyn plan orientation and other exciting programs for the upcoming school year! Don't hesitate to send her an email if you have any questions! 

They are both very excited to welcome the incoming class of 2022 and would be delighted to answer any questions you may have starting your legal journey!

Orientation Committee

Lauren Atkinson (Co-chair)

Hey Everyone! I want to start off by saying congrats on getting into law school! I hope you’re enjoying your summer and we are already getting excited to meet you. I am one of your Returning Co-Chairs, which means that I have had a run or two at the Orientation experience and hopefully will help make this one to remember! About me – I am a born and raised Haligonian, now going into my seventh year as a Dal student (BSc students whattup!) I am a die-hard Leafs fan and I have learned very quickly this summer the ins and outs of being a Raps fan. As for school involvement, I am going into my third and final year at Schulich, where I am the President of Domus Legis Society and Co-Chair of Community Outreach. If you find yourself in Halifax this summer and would like to chat, please don’t hesitate to reach out and we can grab a coffee! See you soon :) 

Email

Becky Wieschkowski (Co-Chair)

Hello incoming students! Congrats on getting into law school and choosing Dal! You don’t know it yet, but you’ve made the best choice ever! My name is Becky and I am the Returning Co-Chair for your Orientation Week. I get the absolute pleasure of helping to plan super fun activities for you to do all week to help you get oriented with Dalhousie and Halifax. I am from a small town north of Toronto called Kleinburg but I’m loving living in the city of Halifax. I spent this summer working at a full-service law firm in Toronto. At Weldon I am involved with the social committee, Pro Bono, and the career development committee. The 5 of us are so excited for your arrival in September. We are here to support you and make your transition to Halifax and Dalhousie as smooth as possible. If you have any questions throughout the summer please reach out! Sending lots of o-week love your way!

Email

Joel Allen (Outreach)

Hello! My name is Joel Allen, I am your VP Outreach for 2019! Basically, I am your first point of contact for everything O-Week related. I am from Calgary, Alberta where I obtained an economics degree from the University of Calgary. I came to the east coast for law school and was absolutely terrified during my Orientation as I had never been to this side of Canada before! Luckily, Schulich Law has been an extremely welcoming community and has made this first year much, much, MUCH easier. I love to hike, bike, climb (blah blah sports n stuff) and most importantly, play Dungeons & Dragons. This summer I am working at Dalhousie Legal Aid Service and am on the executive of the International Law Society (JERILS), Dalhousie Spikeball Society, and Sober Support. I’m also involved in a ton of other stuff because I am super nosy and love to know what’s happening at Weldon *blush*. This year will be a blast for you and I am so excited to meet you all and make the process as fun as possible! If you have any questions, feel free to email me or hit me up for coffee sometime!

Email

Caitlin Schropp (Finance & Sponsorships)

Hi Everyone! I’m Caitlin and I am your VP Sponsorship and Finance this year! This means I have been working on reaching out to firms and organizations to help support us in making all the fun events and cool swag happen! I am currently working at a personal injury law firm as a summer law student, and spending my free time enjoying Halifax! I’m originally from Ajax, Ontario, so it’s been great to explore a new city (I’m sure you will love it here too)! I did my undergrad at the University of Waterloo and graduated with a BSc in Biotechnology and Business. I am an avid synchronized swimmer, and I run the synchro club here at Dal, as well as acting as Vice President of the Canadian University Artistic Swimming League (CUASL). In the law school I volunteer with Pro Bono, and am a part of the Law & Technology Society and Health Law Institute as a Student Fellow. There are so many ways to get involved at Weldon and at Dal! If you have any questions for me, feel free to reach out. Can’t wait to meet you all!

Email

Payton Wood (Booking and Communications)

Hello all! Welcome to Schulich Law! My name is Payton Wood and I’m the VP events and bookings on your Orientation committee which means I get the honour of planning all your social events! I am originally from Brantford, Ontario (the proud home of Wayne Gretzky and the telephone) but I came to the East Coast for a business degree at Acadia University and never looked back (once you get here you’ll quickly understand). Some of the things I love include the Toronto Maple Leafs, garlic fingers, the Arkells and watching Schitts Creek every Tuesday night. Weldon is a very special place and the next three years are going to be incredible for you. Please reach out to me if you have any questions (I am also happy to answer questions about Schulich Law intramurals as I am an assistant captain on the sports committee this year!) see you very soon!

Email

 

Schedules

Law Orientation [PDF - 378 KB]
Social Activites [PDF - 74 KB] (registration fee required)

*Schedules are not final and are subject to change

How to Register

The orientation committee has recruited many generous sponsors to subsidize the social activities for the week; however, they are still left with significant expenses and the registration fee is their only means of covering them. The fee will cover the cost of the events listed in the Social Activities schedule but every student, regardless of registering or not, will receive a swag bag, a t-shirt and will be able to attend the Family BBQ sponsored by Borden Ladner Gervais on Sunday, September 1st. 

Orientation Checklist:

 

1) Fill out the "Personal Information Authorization 2019" Form

  • This would have been sent to you via email from Dana-Lyn Mackenzie but you can also find it here [PDF - 160KB]
  • Please send completed forms to Dana-Lyn Mackenzie (via email). 

2) Fill out the Orientation Week Survey 

  • Under the Student Services and Engagement Brightspace course, click on "content", then "Orientation Week Survey" so we can collect important information such as your t-shirt size, dietary restrictions and accessibility needs!
  • Please have this filled out by Friday, August 2nd.

3) Fill out the Upper-Year Buddy Registration (optional)

  • Here at Schulich we will pair you with an upper year student to guide you through your first few weeks of school. They will give you all the tips and tricks for surviving 1L and they might even sell you their textbooks at a discount! This is available to everyone, not just those who are attending the extracurricular activities. It is an excellent opportunity to make a friend before law school even starts!
  • Under the Student Services and Engagement Brightspace course, click on "content", then "Upper Year Buddy Registration" to complete the form or find it here

4) Register for the additional social activities (optional)

  • The registration fee is $115.
  • Register on the LSS website
  • Select your activity designations and dinner option (activities are decided on a first come first serve basis). 
  • Proceed to check out - click on the pay with PayPal button and checkout as a guest.

First Year Courses

Orientation to Law

The objective of the class is to orient students to the study of law by introducing them to four fundamental perspectives in the law: the comparative, the historical, the philosophical and the professional. Within each perspective several Faculty members will lecture, both to convey information deemed essential and to give a sense of the variety and contingency within each perspective. Mandatory readings will be presented in advance by each faculty speaker.

Aboriginal & Indigenous Law in Context (intensive schedule)

This course introduces both Aboriginal Law and Indigenous Law, and the historical and contemporary context that is fundamental to understanding these areas of law. Aboriginal law refers to “settler law”, that is, the law made by Canadian legislatures and courts that applies to Aboriginal peoples, and embodies all situations where the Aboriginal status of an individual or group may impact the legal outcome, or the process leading to a legal outcome. Indigenous laws and legal traditions (e.g. Mi’kmaq law) comprise the legal orders of specific indigenous communities. Indigenous societies used these laws to govern themselves prior to contact with Europeans and many continue to do so today. Along with the common law and civil law traditions, Indigenous legal orders are, therefore, among Canada’s distinctive founding legal traditions.

Introduction to Legal Ethics & the Regulation of the Legal Profession (intensive schedule)

This course has three objectives. First, it will start students on a journey of development of their ethical identity as lawyers. Second, it will introduce students to the core ethical values and principles governing Canadian lawyers. Third, it will provide an overview of the regulatory regime for the Canadian legal profession.

Contracts and Judicial Decision Making

This class has two primary objectives: the first is to provide an understanding of the process of development of the common law through judicial decisions; the second is to provide a basic knowledge of the doctrines and precepts of the law governing the making and performance of contracts. As a means of attaining the first objective, the “case method” of teaching is used to enable students to acquire a lawyer-like understanding of such concepts as “stare decisis”, the use of precedent, and the technique of distinguishing. A critical evaluation of judicial law-making is undertaken through an examination of the developing phenomenon of legislative intervention in the field of contract law. In order to fulfill the second objective, substantive rules of contract law are examined.

Criminal Justice – The Individual and the State

Relationships among the state, individuals, and communities are considered in the context of Canadian criminal law. The legal rights provisions of the Charter of Rights and Freedoms, selected topics in criminal procedure and the principles of the substantive criminal law will be the main focus of this class. The latter concentrates on elements of offences, justifications, excuses, non-exculpatory defenses, inchoate crimes and secondary liability for offences. Teaching is conducted by lecture and discussion of assigned materials including the Criminal Code (which is also used to illustrate methods and problems of statutory interpretation) and a volume of cases and materials.

Tort Law and Damage Compensation

The major objective of this class is to provide a basic understanding of the manner in which losses from injuries to personal, proprietary and economic interests are distributed through tort law. Materials to be studied include cases, appropriate legislation and doctrinal writings related to the problems of tort law and damage compensation in a diverse society.

Property in its Historical Context

The purpose of this class is two-fold: first, to provide a basic understanding of property concepts and principles in both real and personal property; second, to provide a sense of the historical development of the law of property. This class introduces the student to the concept of property, its evolution, types and fundamental principles. It illustrates ideas such as possession and ownership by reference to the law of finders and bailment and to various transactions in which land or goods are the common denominators. It also explores the doctrines of aboriginal title and the principles of real property, including tenure, estates, future interests, matrimonial property, private and public controls on land use, the registry system and adverse possession.

Fundamentals of Public Law

This class provides students with an understanding of the constitutional and administrative structures of Canadian law and government. An emphasis is placed on developing the skills required of lawyers whose public law work may range from appearances before administrative tribunals, to giving advice on the formulation and articulation of policy. Primary among the emphasized skills is the ability to work with and interpret constitutional, statutory and regulatory texts. A perspective on the administrative model of decision making will also be developed. As a necessary background for the development of these skills and for the general study of law, this class introduces students to the Canadian governmental and constitutional system. Students will explore the legislative process, statutory interpretation, and the administrative system using human rights legislation as a model. Further, students will develop an understanding of the analytical framework of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms, through the study of the interpretation and development of equality rights.

Legal Research and Writing

This course — legal research and writing — will serve as the cornerstone of your legal education. While you'll learn a lot about a range of legal subjects in your first year, the skills that you will learn in this course will likely be the ones you rely on over and over again when you leave this school and enter the marketplace. The course has five inter-related objectives. First, it introduces you to some of the fundamentals of good writing, whether writing in law or any other discipline. Second, it assists you in developing your ability to read and comprehend legal materials. Third, you will explore the process of legal research with the aim of developing a basic understanding of primary Canadian legal materials and secondary sources in both print and digital form. Fourth, on completion of the course you should be able to draft a memorandum (one of the forms of legal writing), a client letter, a factum (a written appeal argument), and be able to cite legal sources flawlessly. Finally, you should develop your analytical skills in this course; most especially, the technique of using legal authorities to assist you in offering your opinion on the resolution of legal problems. This is a foundational skills course. You may not ever need to address a torts, contract, or property issue in your diverse futures. You will need to do research and be an effective writer, no matter where your law degree takes you.

Community Day

Here at the Schulich School of Law, we take pride in our commitment to giving back. For that reason, we encourage all students to participate in the Dalhousie Community Day (registration required).

This free event is on September 14th, 2019 and provides an opportunity for students to volunteer their time at a local non-profit. This is a great way for new Schulich School of Law students to become submerged in the Dalhousie culture, meet new people and help others in their community!