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Dispelling the Monolithic Myth: The Nuances of Black Law Students – Nigel Masenda

WHERE THERE’S DARKNESS LIGHT WILL FOLLOWThere is light! Shifting gears, it’s well known that law school is challenging- new environment, different grading scale, surrounded by talented minds, etc. Are there any challenges are unique to black students?


PRESERVING HAPPINESS AND ENSURING A BRIGHTER FUTUREWow. Beautiful responses, well done Queen’s. Outside of being great law students, what do you enjoy doing? R1: Working out, eating desserts and catching up with friends or networking. I love meeting people. Reaching out to clubs and meeting people from different backgrounds is something I do often. R2: I enjoy reading fiction or an autobiography from someone I admire. Otherwise, you can find me doing yoga or planning a trip. R3: Besides school and extracurricular activities, I am an avid sports fan particularly in basketball and soccer. I play intramurals and gym on my spare time. I also have an interest in reading about world events, travelling and hanging out with my friends. R4: I like listening to music, watching Insecure, Game of Thrones and Black Mirror, I like trying out colorful lipsticks, I like to cook and go out to eat too, I like just hanging out with my partner Fitness, food and travel- true students. For diverse students who may be considering Queen’s but are apprehensive, what advice would you give them? R1: Reach out. Find students involved in clubs you’re interested in and ask them about their experience. Compare responses, see the differences. Try to determine what experience would be most akin to yours. Make a logical decision and not one driven out of fear. Ask what you want out of your law school experience. I previously mentioned it, but I can’t emphasize enough the role alumni have played in my development and growth. Though every school has an alumni network, the Queen’s network is unparalleled. If you value fostering relationships with former students and having great mentors on top of a great education, come to Queen’s. R2: My advice for students considering any school would be to connect with current students and ask them questions about their experiences. That being said, you should always trust your instincts. I went with my gut and choose Queen’s. As with any school you choose, there will be highs and lows, but I do not regret my decision. R3: Go for it! It may seem intimidating but there are a variety of formal and informal support systems at Queen’s Law that will be there for you during the process. I believe the more black applicants we have, the more we can increase our representation in Queen’s Law and help further the reputation of the school and black lawyers. I hope to pay it forward when future black students come to Queen’s Law and when I am an alumni. R4: I would encourage them not to be apprehensive. There are some challenges at Queen’s yes but I have also been grateful for my time here because of all the amazing people I have met and experiences I had. I would encourage them to build a community here and develop a system where they can travel either back home (if it is in Canada) or just to a new town every month just to unwind. Well said. Thank you to all the participants, your responses are provoking and inspiring. On behalf of BLSA Queen’s, Happy Black History Month! Sincerely, Nigel Masenda

President- BLSA, Queen’s Chapter

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