Ottawa has a uniquely specialized January term for first year common law students which focuses on alternative dispute resolution. There’s a lot of practical work and some long analytical assignments, but overall it was extremely interesting. First, the practical component involved a series of mock interviews, negotiations, mediations and an arbitration. For instance, some days an upper year student pose as a client, and we would have to represent her (or him) in a series of forums until a negotiated settlement is attained. Second, we were assigned several legal memos in relation to our specific client’s dispute, which enabled us to analyze the relevant legal issues in an atmosphere conducive to working in a real legal firm. To close it off, we had catered free lunch with an Ontario Supreme Court Justice.
Now that we’re done, we have an entire week off again. I must admit, it feels strange having a break just three weeks after new year’s, but after all the work we did this past month its a welcomed change of pace.
Looking forward to getting back to the books next week as we start our first year electives. All the best.