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Induction ceremony a first in Ontario

Western Law held an induction ceremony on September 6 to officially welcome the Class of 2019 to the law school and to the legal profession. 

This ceremony, the first of its kind in Ontario, was introduced to mark this significant milestone in the academic and professional lives of law students, and to instill in them a greater awareness of the privileges and duties that being a lawyer entails.

Madam Justice Eileen Gillese, of the Court of Appeal for Ontario and former Dean of Western Law, delivered the keynote address.

“Being a member of the legal profession is not synonymous with being a lawyer,” she told the first-year law students. “A lawyer is a person with specialized knowledge and skills, attained through long, intensive academic preparation. When we speak of being a member of the legal profession, the requisite knowledge and skills are assumed and the focus shifts to the conduct and qualities that characterize those within the legal profession.”

The students were invited to affirm their commitment to professionalism at law school by reciting a pledge, which brings together aspects of Western University’s mission statement, the code of student conduct and the barrister’s oath of the Law Society of Upper Canada.

Justice Gillese remarked to students that the pledge “is your public acknowledgment that law school, as the first step to becoming a member of the legal profession, demands more than academics – it demands conduct that accords with the standards and ideals which form the very foundation of the legal profession.”

This article appeared in the Western Law 2017 Alumni Magazine.
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