An alumna talks to 3 law students at an event.

An alumna of Law and Legal Studies talks with current students.

The cold winter was no deterrent for 100 people attending Carleton’s LAWS BA Alumni speed-mentoring event on Thursday, Feb. 7.

Alumni were back on old stomping grounds to share their experience and wisdom to the next generation of undergraduates. They included the CEO of law firm Megan Cornell, corporate litigation lawyer Scott Pommerville, and public servant Erin Wheal, among others.

The diversity of the speakers showed there is no one right path to take once you have a Carleton law degree in your hand.

“I tell our students all the time I want them to succeed,” said Rebecca Bromwich, organizer of the event and program director for the graduate diploma in conflict resolution. “This event was designed to support their success while inspiring critical reflection about what success might mean.”

Alumna Amanda Lacey’s journey to family mediation started when she took a law class in her first year.

In 2010, instead of taking a year off school, Lacey registered in psychology at Carleton and took various electives, one being mediation law. She loved it. Turns out, the dad of the bartender at the restaurant where she worked was a family mediator working right across the street. She met with him, and he helped her along the path to mediation. The stars had aligned, she says.

Lacey graduated with a Psychology degree in 2014, and a Law degree in 2015, both from Carleton, pursuing an accreditation with the Ontario Association for Family Mediation afterwards. Since then, she’s begun her own company, a network of mediators that come together to collaborate on financial and parental affairs.

Two women stand at a table talking.

Students talk at the speed mentoring event.

Mediation is picking up speed today, says Lacey, because it’s become a popular alternative for people who can’t afford a lawyer.
Aside from seeing lots of construction on campus, what struck her most about being back at Carleton talking to students was their curiosity and interest in alternative resolution.

“I really enjoyed connecting with the students of the future,” she says. “It was really great being able to reach out to these students, and provide some information and guidance to their education and career development.”

Her advice to students?

Do some field research, by finding people at different stages of their career and ask them what they did right and where they messed up. From her own experience, she realized a few business courses before graduating would have been helpful, since she is now self-employed.

“I probably could have saved a lot of money,” she says, instead of learning and making expensive mistakes along the way.
It’s also important to be prepared to adapt. It won’t always be easy.

“If you’re doing something that seems to be a difficult pain in your rear, you’re probably doing it right,” she says.

Tuesday, February 19, 2019 in , ,
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