Voices from behind the doors: John McDonald Hall

The curious cases of Queen’s Law students

There I was in my first class of law school. I came from an undergrad where I didn’t do the readings, so I wasn’t as prepared as you should be for a law school class.

We had this professor who everyone warned me about because he ‘cold-calls.’ I didn’t even know what that meant. 

The second class in, things got intense — he cold-called me. 

I took notes on the case and I felt pretty prepared. The first question he asked me was: “where is this case from?” 

I confidently say “Canada,” as I had assumed that all the cases we looked at were from Canada. 

He replies, “Are you sure?”

I’m trying to read his emotions, my voice cracks, and I say I’m sure. 

He goes, “well it’s from Australia.” I just say, “okay” and everyone is laughing.

You come in thinking you’re going to be a hard-working, intense, ready, on-the-ball type of guy and then…

But even in a cold-calling environment, it’s still fun. If you don’t make mistakes, you’re not learning.  

— Ave Bross, Law ’18

I actually re-wrote my LSAT when I was on exchange in Madrid in order to get into the joint commerce-law program. So that was a bit of a strange process. 

I wrote my LSAT at the University of Navarra in Pamplona. I got on a train back to Madrid, but no one spoke English so I wasn’t sure I was actually going to Madrid. I just got on and hoped it got me back. I had to transfer like four times and it took three hours. It was insane.

There are two hundred of us in first year now, so it’s really small and intimate. There are eight sections of twenty-five kids, so you really get to know your section pretty well. 

What’s the environment like within the faculty?

The upper years really make a strong effort to include you in what they’ve planned and what their events are. Right off the bat there are plenty of opportunities and mentorship. I find it really inviting.

— Daniel Baum, Law ’19

What I would be concerned about is that when you’re working for a firm you don’t necessarily get to choose your clients. 

You might find yourself essentially advancing the interests of some sort of corporation or people when you don’t believe in the cause at all. 

This might not be a case that I would be involved in but who knows? For instance, a corporation that you think is having a bad impact on the environment or something like that, and you end up not doing anything shady in terms of your work, but you don’t really want to be representing them at all. 

Or, let’s say, one that has outsourced all of its manufacturing to a place where you know human rights abuses are going on. 

— Rafe Redmond Fernandes, Law ’18

This is a helpful LSAT tip: Have a watch, and at the beginning of each section, set it back to 12:00 so that you’re not adding the initial start time plus the time per section. 

You can just look at your watch and say ‘now it’s thirty minutes past’, or ‘fifteen minutes past’, and you don’t have to do the addition in your head. 

It just saves a second, but it could be useful.

— Katherine Thornton, Law ’18

These interviews have been condensed and edited for clarity.

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