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May Advocate 2017

THE ADVOCATE V O L . 7 5 P A R T 3 M A Y 2 0 1 7 409 backgrounds, sexual orientations, and gender and racial identities, with unique stressors across these dimensions. Indigenous students in particular, who comprise about ten per cent of the Allard Law J.D. student population, can at times face difficult challenges in the context of classroom (and social) discussions around Indigenous legal issues. Concepts and topics spanning areas of law across the first-year curriculum, which for non-Indigenous students are relatively abstract and “impersonal”, can deal directly with issues that are at the core of Indigenous students’ identity and have directly shaped their lives, creating challenging and stressful experiences for at least some of our Indigenous students. Ultimately, we see the broader work of reconciliation, consistent with the Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s Calls to Action, as an important element of Indigenous student well-being. One of the consultation sessions on wellness this year is specifically with Indigenous students, to ensure that we are better able to identify and address their experiences and needs. Meanwhile, in the context of Re- Orientation Day, “the hope is that students will come away from the day with greater understanding of and empathy for their fellow classmates, as well as a deeper appreciation of the place and context in which they are learning the law,” as Mikkelsen puts it. “Well-being” may have started as a buzzword. At Allard Law, we have used its currency as an opportunity to reflect on what students need to manage a successful career in law and to begin to think seriously about how we can integrate this into their law school learning. “These tools that students develop in law school will be valuable resources as they enter a demanding and stressful legal profession,” says Kohno. “I hope to work with everyone at Allard Law to help students develop skills that they will carry with them after leaving Allard, in whatever direction their careers take them.” t t t t t


May Advocate 2017
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