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Helping Academic Life Run Smoothly at Schulich Law

Posted by Amanda Kirby-Sheppard on February 26, 2024 in News, Students
Adam Guzkowski (Photo by Amanda Kirby-Sheppard)
Adam Guzkowski (Photo by Amanda Kirby-Sheppard)

The Schulich School of Law welcomed Adam Guzkowski as the Program Manager with the Associate Dean Academic’s office in November 2023.

Get to know Adam

Adam served as an Academic Advisor at Trent University before joining Schulich Law. They previously taught at Trent University, Western University, Seneca College, and Fleming College and have completed degrees and certifications in Career Development and Academic Advising, Adult Education, Coaching, Outdoor Recreation, and Cultural Studies. 

What motivates you in your work?

My role oversees aspects of student engagement and academic support, including everything relating to academic advising, orientation, peer mentoring, exam scheduling, registration support, and academic and discretionary awards.

First and foremost, I want to help - to make life easier and smoother for our students, faculty, and staff when it comes to all things academic. I love building and strengthening community, fostering belonging and well-being, and exploring and supporting ambitious goals.

I am also a big believer in having awkward conversations when needed – the only way we can make things better is if we name and talk about the harder stuff. It is by doing the work together, even when it could feel a bit uncomfortable, that helps us all achieve greater success.

Academic advising is a key part of your role – what does that involve?

I have a philosophy around academic advising that involves helping students get on track, stay on track, or get back on track.

Getting them on track initially means talking about transitions, understanding requirements, or planning their studies in law. Helping students stay on track may involve conversations about decision-making, upper-year course selection, or monitoring progress and remaining requirements. Finally, getting back on track might look like helping students deal with challenges, referring to other supports, or discussing requests for academic dispensations or leaves.

Regardless of an individual student’s needs or challenges, I want them to know that my team and I are here to help.

Currently, students can book academic advising appointments by reaching out to me by email but in the next few weeks, we will be launching appointment booking functionality through the MySchulich web portal to make it even easier for students to get access to the resources they need.

What is the MySchulich web portal? is an online portal that launched in November 2023 that takes Schulich Law students directly to the information and resources available specifically for them - it can be accessed directly or can be found on the law school’s website under Current Students.

It is THE place that our law students should be going when they have questions or need support, as not only is it the central repository for all relevant information for Schulich Law students, but it is also where they can submit forms for a range of requests such as academic dispensation, leave of absence, or course auditing.

What does providing registration support mean?

Many students are already thinking ahead in terms of courses for next year and registration for 2L & 3L courses happens in June.

We provide a range of supports through the MySchulich web portal to help students decide what courses to take. Through the portal, students can access course planning sheets, helpful videos, and information about JD program requirements, course pre/corequisites, major paper courses, and more. (Note: We are in the process of updating this information for the 2024-25 academic year.)

We also will be offering a registration information session covering key dates and planning considerations, such as what to think about when choosing courses, how to avoid exam conflicts, how waitlists work, or how to register for courses that require applications or faculty approval. More information on that session will be available soon!

You have an extensive collection of graphic tees you wear to the office - what do they represent to you?

I love wearing graphic tees to work. They make me feel good and are a way of visually expressing values that are important to me.

Wearing graphic tees started for me when I was in a challenging place. As I embraced being non-binary, I felt increasingly uncomfortable with highly gendered “professional” clothing so my quirky approach on how to address that was to start wearing graphic tees.

The impact of that decision has been amazing. I feel more comfortable and can more confidently express myself authentically. I know I do my best work when I can embrace all the aspects of what makes me who I am. I have also found that the shirts often provide a path to having better, deeper, richer conversations with students, faculty, and staff, as they also feel safe and invited to speak their truths and fully express their authentic selves!