Exit Thoughts: U of T Law Does Not Suck

I like it here.

It’s strange, isn’t it, seeing those words written out? We’re so focused on the negative that we’re almost conditioned to react with disdain to anything positive within these stark white walls.

But I do, I really like it here.

Gaining acceptance to U of T was a milestone achievement in my life, of which I am still (gasp) proud, despite the never-ending criticism of the institution’s admissions policies. Yes, they may be highly arbitrary, and yes, we could stand to be more diverse, but I happen to like our class. Arbitrary or otherwise, they managed to pool together a very interesting, talented, and high-achieving group of people. So, flaws aside, they must be doing something right. [1]

As I sit in the bright post-daylight-savings Torys reading room, mere days away from being done, I can’t help but feel a twinge of sadness. Three years flew by in the blink of an eye, and as eager as I am to have exams and the like behind me, I’m also viscerally aware that, with their completion, I say goodbye to some of the best years of my life.

Yes, it’s been stressful, and yes, we’re emerging battle-scarred after our time in the trenches wrestling with #gate after #gate, but we’re also emerging more skilled, more enlightened, and more mature than we were when we donned our unforgivably unflattering Viva Laws Vegas O-Week shirts. Whether this is as a result of our time within the Faculty of Law itself, or all of the peripheral experiences that come with being in law school, I’m not sure. I don’t think it really matters.

Many of the courses were lacklustre, many of the exams were unfair, many (read: all) of the administrations decisions were questionable, andreal talkmany of our internal strifes were frivolous (see, most recently, #booniegate and #gradtripgate). Nonetheless, from unwinding with friends at guaranteed weekly pub nights, quick chats in line at Goodmans Café lamenting the overpriced offerings, and commiserating as we run into each other on our umpteenth bathroom break from Admin, it is undeniable that law school offers a highly social atmosphere which will be difficult to recreate when everyone goes on to be too busy achieving great things.

It is no secret that the 3L year is fraught with division but, soon enough, we will be apart by no choice of our own. And so I end this reflective musing with this: the 1Ls might actually have it figured out. Contrary to popular belief, being nice actually is cool. As for the 2Ls, you’re almost in 3L, and with half the class away on exchange, the year flies by faster than any other; soon you’ll be taking heinous grad photos of your own, so you might as well #carpediem the shit out of what’s left. I’ve been saying since 1L that I want to write for UV, or be in Follies but, much like everything else I do, I left it to the last minute. Turns out, school is even more fun when you do more than just complain about it.

As for the 3Ls, I personally would really rather not graduate by paying homage to Nearly Headless Nick, so it would be nice if we stopped trying to bite each other’s heads off. Rather, quoting Elle Woods (a far more desirable role model), we did it! We should hold each other up for this, not tear each other down.

As I look forward, the future brings change, unfamiliarity, and a kind of “reality” that is free from the safety net that is academia. We’ll meet new people, make new friends, and watch as our peers become Supreme Court Justices, the voices of the underprivileged, really good corporate lawyers, or abandon law in favor of feline still-life photography. Really, the possibilities are endless, but never forget that they were made possible by your time here.

[1] Does this mean there are many qualified candidates who are not granted admission as a result of these processes? Probably. But the ones that are here sure seem to deserve it (which contributes greatly to the imposter syndrome I have felt on-and-off over the last three years).