Apart from the obvious downfall or ruining the integrity of all my favourite legal movies, Law 12 is a truly fascinating and enjoyable course. Astounded is the only word I can use to describe how I feel when I realize the delicate intricacies of our complex legal system. Most of the rights which we have remain in the average citizen’s realm of ignorance (and apparently the average movie director’s as well).
The Law 12 course offered here at Brentwood covers many facets of the Canadian legal system, yet as with everything in our small global community, it is addressed from an international perspective. Naturally, this adds a level of depth to our understanding, and oftentimes challenges the values and rights which we take for granted.
The gut reaction to legal jargon is a spinning head, and understandably so. Although the intricacies are beautiful, they also are confusing at times, which is why many people are dissuaded from pursuing a legal career or education. Images of students drooping with fatigue over a mass of textbooks and a leaning tower of cue cards is often what comes to mind when people think of studying law.
And maybe that is the case in the real world, but here we take a different approach. Mr. Bryant, the teacher for both of the law classes that run in our timetable, uses a minimal amount of memorization exercises, and a maximum amount of applicational exercises, with the aim of allowing us to be able to “think like lawyers”, as he puts it.
For example, every week we write a ‘law journal’. Each student picks a case that interests them, often a news story with legal nuances, and writes about it from a legal perspective. Laws are certainly learned and understood, yet in a natural way that doesn’t seem too much like extra work, but rather a perusal of personal interests.
And there was one of our biggest projects of the year, the mock trial. In lieu of a winter exam, every student was delegated a role in a mock preliminary trial. From judges to lawyers to witnesses, and everything else, each student got to explore the portion of the legal system which interested them most, while demonstrating critical thinking and analysis. I find that the more I learn about the law, the more I understand the importance of studying it.
Amelia H, Allard ‘20