Inaugural TRU Law class of 2014 – TRU Newsroom

Inaugural TRU Law class of 2014 – TRU Newsroom

June 28, 2024 at 3:16 pm  Education, Kamloops, News

Pictured left to right: Chrystie Stewart and Murray Sholty enjoy an address from one of their fellow classmates.

The inaugural TRU Law class of 2014 held their 10-year reunion on May 17 – 19, 2024. It was a memorable event that brought together alumni, faculty and administration. The atmosphere was filled with nostalgia and excitement as attendees reconnected with old friends.

It is hard to believe that ten years ago the inaugural class was graduating from TRU Law. It all started in the fall of 2011, but for many the journey began years earlier, taking the LSAT.

When TRU Law launched, it was the first law school to open in Canada for over three decades, and the new students got to be the guinea pigs. While TRU Law students had a handful of excellent University of Calgary students providing mentorship, they did not have upper-year students based in Kamloops. Everyone really had to figure it out as they went – students and faculty alike.

However, students during the reunion expressed they were in a truly unique position to build the law school from the ground up, with the the law building not yet constructed when they started. Brilliant professors established in their careers and wannabe lawyers flocked to Kamloops from all across the country to take a chance on TRU Law.

In addition to attempting to figure out how to balance taking seven courses with their social and family life, hobbies, exercise and everything else in between, they had a few other things to consider during their first year.

The inaugural class established the Society of Law Students, writing its constitution from scratch, and organized the inaugural TRU Law golf tournament as well as numerous sports teams, including ball hockey, basketball and dodgeball. They also established new clubs, including the South Asian Law Students Association, the Black Law Students Association, the Indigenous Law Students Association and the Animal Rights Club. It was also during the first year the class received a visit from the Honourable Chief Justice Beverley McLachlin from the Supreme Court of Canada.

Over the following years, the inaugural cohort’s schedules never eased. While continuing to pursue all of the initiatives they established in their first year, they also sent teams to Moots, including the Kawaskimhon Moot and the Jessup Moot. They organized and ran orientation weeks and rallied the troops for Movember, annual ski trips, Halloween parties, holiday celebrations and countless additional socials and formals. The inaugural cohort also became mentors to incoming students.

Since graduating in 2014, it has been inspiring to see what alumni have done in their careers and lives. Graduates have gone on to do spectacular things, including becoming business owners, partners, associates, in-house legal counsel, government counsel, professors and a bencher; working for not-for-profits; and exploring other roles, including becoming a parent, stand-up comedian and drag king. Some future milestones the inaugural class looks forward to include first judicial appointment, first King’s Counsel, first to draft new legislation and much more.

“It was my sincere pleasure to rejoin my classmates and former professors at TRU’s Faculty of Law,” said Taylor-Marie Young, partner at Rush Ihas Hardwick LLP and TRU Law’s first ever Gold Medalist. “I was heartened but not surprised to hear how well everyone has thrived in the past decade. The inaugural class has always been and remains enthusiastic, enterprising and resilient—qualities that make them ideal for the legal profession and to serve the community. I am proud of them, proud to count myself among them, and look forward to hearing what they accomplish in the next ten years.”

The class of 2014 wants to extend their sincerest thanks to everyone for joining them and to the faculty, particularly Dean Millard, for the countless hours she has spent making this weekend happen. Alumni were extremely grateful to have time together to celebrate.

“Coming back to Kamloops for our 10-year reunion was truly an inspirational and nostalgic experience,” said James Gill, founder and partner at Apna Law LLP. “It was nothing short of amazing to see what my classmates have gone on to achieve both professionally and personally in the years since we first walked into the House of Learning in 2011. It reminded me of all of the tough times we went through but survived because we all had each other, as well as the students in the cohorts below us. I’m truly proud to have been a part of the program, and I continue to be excited for what lies ahead for TRU Law.”

The reunion fostered connections, celebrated achievements and reaffirmed the strong bond among graduates. Alumni were excited to spend the weekend catching up with everyone who made 2011-2014 some of the most important and impactful years of their lives. As attendees departed, they carried with them renewed enthusiasm for the legal profession and a sense of pride in their shared history at TRU Law.

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