For the past couple of weeks, I have been an intern at the OJEN offices in downtown Toronto. This was my first ever work experience and in the days prior to me working here were what I can only describe as a mixture of anxiousness and excitement. I was worried about how the general atmosphere would be in the office and what the people I’d would be working with would be like. When I arrived for my first day on August 5th, I was pleasantly surprised. Everyone seem to be really laidback and relaxed. It was nothing like I expected working in corporate downtown office to be like. I guess I had seen too many movies!
My placement came at an exciting time for OJEN, as they were preparing for their annual Summer Law Institute for teachers on at the end of August. My placement was actually rescheduled so that I would be able to attend the SLI that I would be spending the next few weeks helping to prepare for. I was very grateful that they would give me an opportunity to, as an intern, see the fruits of my labour (even if it was something as minor as making sure everyone had a nametag,) and give me an opportunity to have a learning experience that would normally not be available to high school students.
What I will probably remember the most about working here is attending the Summer Law Institute, and witnessing the teachers learning about different aspects of the law and social justice that they might not have been familiar with before. It was fascinating seeing the people who normally seem to know everything about a subject, absorbing information and asking questions much like myself would be doing in their classes. Not all of them were even exclusively law teachers or even law teachers at all! They were all there because of their eagerness to learn, which I’ll admit, I had never seen from teachers take on the role of students before.
The experiences I’ve had and the lessons I’ve learned are things I hope to carry on into life, and I’m proud that I was a part of something that teachers will hopefully use to create a new generation of people eager to study and practice law.
-Khaalid Blackman, LAWS Intern