Written by Dejah Brown
When I was in grade 9 at Central Tech, I was unsure of whether to join LAWS. I was a quiet and timid, but unmotivated student. I loved school and learning, but serious thoughts about doing well and about my future were very separate from my reality; I didn’t see a future in academia, and especially not in the legal field. As a young, black female, under-representation in the legal field made me hesitant about whether I belonged in these spaces. I also wasn’t sure that I wanted to attend university and considered “easier” routes that I thought someone with my background, would ‘suit better.’
However, LAWS staff, teachers and volunteers introduced me to topics like social justice, law, and politics. Through exploring these topics, my passion and interest grew, and I was able to see how valuable diversity in perspectives was. I also had the opportunity to attend conferences, courthouses, and law-firms where I met individuals who motivated me to consider a future for myself in the legal field which I was fascinated by.
I then decided – quite prematurely – that I wanted to attend McGill University. I didn’t have particularly amazing marks, I didn’t have the most volunteer hours, I didn’t have anything that I thought a university with the reputation like McGill, would want. But in my final years, though I faced many challenges in and outside of school, I focused and studied through these difficult times and finally, I applied and was accepted to McGill for my Bachelor of Arts. Becoming a LAWS student opened me up to an interesting world of possibilities, gave me amazing opportunities, and made me discover the potential of a future of doing something that I am passionate about.