This article is part of a series highlighting the Dalhousie Class of 2018 — the graduates of Dal's 200th year. Read more of our Spring Convocation grad profiles.
We asked Schulich School of Law graduate Nico Jones of Upper Hammonds Plains to share insights into the important role that Dal's Indigenous Blacks & Mi’kmaq Initiative played during his time at the Schulich School of Law. Nico is one of the initiative's graduating class this year, which is a key milestone class: the initiative has now graduated 200 students.
“It feels good to be at the end of my law school experience. I’m excited to start the next part of my journey and enter the workforce, and to deal with real-world problems and real-world clients.
“One of the things that motivated me throughout law school was the support and encouragement of my family. My mom especially has always had an open ear when I’ve had an idea or needed to vent. She gives me an honest opinion, is non-judgemental, and listens to my perspectives.
“I also had a really good friend group in law school. Outside of putting in hours at the library, we were able to maintain a social life and enjoyed many great times together. One of those friends who I consider to be a sister was someone I went to daycare with! Dreams of going to law school was something we had in common, and it was a blessing for us to start this journey together.
“Moving into the professional world, I feel like I’m a stronger writer and more critical of my writing. My work as a summer student last year at Stewart McKelvey helped refine my writing, legal research, and analytical-thinking skills. It was a great experience, and I had a solid foundation of trust with the lawyers I worked with. In a few instances, they just forwarded my work to the client, which was a good feeling because it meant they were confident in what I had done.
“A highlight of my time at law school happened earlier this year, when Professor Michelle Williams asked me to emcee an event at Halifax Central Library honouring Judge Corrine Sparks and other African Nova Scotian judges. It was a little nerve-wracking, as I had never spoken in front of over 300 people, but it was a great experience to see where a career in law can take you.
“Professor Williams has been a mentor to me and a lot of students. Being able to be candid with her about different things going on in my personal life and at the law school was huge. She has given me numerous recommendations and pieces of advice on a number of issues.
“The IB&M program was a financial help in my being able to afford to come to law school. It also offered a number of resources, including peer tutoring, which I found useful in my first year. It was great to be able to pick the brain of someone who had done the courses and learn some aspects of what their academic approach was. This year I became a peer tutor, and I helped first-year students in different classes and ran study-group sessions before exams. It was cool for me to be on the other side of that program.
“It was a blessing to be part of the IB&M Initiative, and I look forward to continuing the legacy and being a spokesperson of the Initiative, and also of my community. I’ll miss the friends I made and the people I met; we’ve gone through the same struggles and the grind over the past three years. But I’m looking forward to the next 12 months of articling at Stewart McKelvey. I’m leaning toward corporate and business law, and it will be great to have a six-month rotation in this practice group to figure out where I fit best.”
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