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Convocation 2013: Law grads launch their careers

Akosua Matthews, Louis Century and Promise Holmes Skinner

After years of bleary nights, lectures and seminars, study groups and grueling exams, more than 200 students from the University of Toronto's Faculty of Law celebrated Convocation with family and friends June 7.

“My law degree ended with a grueling ‘all-nighter’ and a victorious jog over to Falconer Hall in time for the Faculty's ritual 10 am deadline,” said Louis Century. “I dropped off 100-odd pages and I was done.

"As the adrenaline subsided, the gratification of four years of hard work set in.”

Century graduates with a JD/MGA, a master's program in global affairs which he said offered him much more than academics.

“For the last four years at the Faculty of Law and Master of Global Affairs program, I took courses that shaped the way I view the world,” said Century. “I met lifelong friends and colleagues, worked summers on issues that interested me, travelled for work and school, and grew to love a new city.”

And he’s set to start off his new career with some travelling, of course.

“After writing the bar exam in Toronto, I will take off for China to visit my brother, then Italy and Croatia with my girlfriend, before settling down in Ottawa for a clerkship with Justice Wagner of the Supreme Court of Canada.”

Promise Holmes Skinner said “writing and submitting my last paper was stressful but fun.” She is volunteering with Legal Aid Ontario for a month after graduation, then will article at criminal defense firm, Greenspan Humphrey Lavine.

“I really enjoyed spending my final night in the library. I wouldn’t have wanted to be anywhere else. Really.” Skinner is one of the law school's first graduates of the JD/Certificate in Aboriginal Legal Studies program.

She recalled her favourite memory of law school.

“Without a doubt, it was the welcome lunch for first-year Aboriginal students during the second week of school," Sinner said. "It really set the tone for what would quickly become a genuine, nurturing community within which I felt a real sense of belonging.”

Akosua Matthews said she’s “fantastically relieved to not only be closing the door on my one stage of my formal legal education but also on eight years of post-secondary education. This is my third, and hopefully final, degree.”

She plans to celebrate with an “epic” multi-day canoe trip, with portaging, some time off in the summer, then begins her articling with the Crown doing civil litigation.

Hanging out with law school classmates also stands out for Matthews.

“I have two favourite memories: The first welcome BBQ where my classmates tried to awkwardly mingle with one another, and the final day for submitting work just a few weeks ago, where my classmates lingered on the lawns and just enjoyed each other’s company," Matthews said. "The two memories bookend each other and show how much we have changed.”

Lucianna Ciccocioppo is a writer with the Faculty of Law at the University of Toronto.