The Leadership Committee at the very first Canadian Thanksgiving dinner that was hosted.

Looking back on the founding of the Canadian Law Society

Victoria Stephens (LLB 2017) reminisces here about her role as one of the founders of the Canadian Law Society at Exeter University and reflects on how the experience has helped her in her professional life since graduating. She is currently a pupil at Marshall Diel and Myers Limited in Hamilton, Bermuda, and the Country Contact for Exeter in Bermuda.

"Most of my classmates in the Graduate LLB program were international students, particularly from Canada. Though we actively participated in academic, social, mooting and pro bono activities organized by the law school and law society, and were warmly welcomed by these bodies, we felt that international law students could benefit from a group which focused specifically on their needs. By going to law school abroad, international students miss out on networking opportunities in their home countries that many of their peers who chose to study domestically can benefit from. To fill this void, we created the Canadian law society as a resource and networking tool to help current Canadian students build key relationships with both their Canadian peers while at Exeter, and also with alumni who are practicing law in Canada. 

During the Society’s inaugural year (2016-2017) it received an outpouring of support from both the law school and the student body and we had a diverse membership base of not only Canadian students but also other international students and our UK peers. As Founders of the Society we are thrilled to see the Society continue to flourish and grow every year!

One of the reasons why I love Exeter was because of how active the clubs and societies and sports were; it seemed like every student was a member of at least one, and this created a vibrant and busy campus and university community. Participating in societies was a great way to meet students outside your course who you shared a common interest with.

I built lasting friendships with many of the members and am very close with the other Founders of the Society. Despite the Founders having graduated from Exeter and moved onto professional working life we love to see that the society is thriving and growing and if we are ever contacted by the Society’s leadership committees that have succeeded us we have always been happy to help out in any way we can.

Participating in societies or sport at University is so key as it is a was a great way to ensure you balance your studies with other extracurricular and social events, which paves the wave for having a healthy work like balance after University. 

Being involved in co-curricular activities such as societies during your time at University is invaluable for developing key professional skills and for developing a strong network. I have found that being a part of a society’s leadership committee has been invaluable in my professional life, as it enabled me to develop solid leadership and teamwork skills.  As I now begin to participate in organizations and committees related to my profession (I am on the Leadership Committee for the Bermuda Young Group and am the Secretary for the Bermuda Bar Sub Committee for the Advancement of Privacy Law and Appropriate Regulation of the Legal Industry) I can approach these committee roles with confidence as I am building off of the experience I obtained participating on the Canadian Law Society’s leadership committee."

Victoria held the position of Vice-President for the 2016-2017 year, before being President of the Society for the 2017-2018 academic year.

Date: 31 October 2019

Read more University News