Lauren Berdock

Lauren Berdock

Lauren Berdock is currently enrolled in her second year at Osgoode Hall Law School and is vice chairwoman of events of the Criminal Law Society. She would love to hear any and all feedback, funny anecdotes or success stories and can be contacted via e-mail at

Column: Legally Brunette
Monday, 23 April 2012 09:28

What’s in a grade?

What’s in a grade?The Financial Post recently reported that your law school transcripts leave a lasting impression on your career path. At the articling and junior associate level, this would not surprise me. In fact, this is a reality I am well aware of.
Monday, 26 March 2012 10:34

Election time

Election timeGrowing up, my grandfather always told me that if I wanted to go into politics, I should first get my law degree. His speeches about the strong connection between law and politics reverberate in my mind now as I walk through Osgoode Hall Law School.
Monday, 27 February 2012 08:00

Memories of Mock Trial

Most law students can draft memorandums, analyze cases, and even walk, talk, and chew gum (all at the same time). At Osgoode Hall Law School, they can do even more. Mock Trial, a long-standing tradition of the school, showcases the numerous and diverse talents of both students and faculty. The show has been running annually for decades and consists of a collection of short skits all related to one greater encompassing theme. My two years as an Osgoode student have been largely shaped by my attempts at acting and dancing in the show.
The Mock Trial cast consists of actors, dancers, singers, as well as a full band with a horn section, drums, keyboards, guitarists, and bass players. Many students transcend the different categories and do a little bit of everything. As important as everyone on stage is, even more essential to the success of the show are the writers, directors, stage directors, light and sound technicians, choreographers, as well as producers and treasurer. As one of Osgoode’s many claims to fame and with all of the proceeds going to charity, we shoot for the stars and work together for a Broadway-calibre performance (or so we like to think).
The process begins early in the year with a call for writers. One of the things that really makes Mock Trial spectacular is the quality of the material that pours in. The skits illustrate the self-deprecating sense of humor shared by the Osgoode community. Last year a major focus was the ongoing construction at our campus. The Osgoode building was essentially out of commission and students were distributed to the far-reaching corners of the York University campus. Forced to mingle with whom Ozzies have fondly termed SNAILS (students not actually in law school), there was more than enough material for a hilarious show. Since our beautiful new building opened in September 2011, we had to find a new comedic focus for the 2012 production.
This year, Mock Trial writers honed in on the sad reality of the B curve. The way the grading curve operates, only five per cent of every class is able to attain a grade of A+. The obvious parallels to the Occupy Wall Street “one per cent” credo provided an instant recipe for comedy gold. Other skits involved Dracula making a will, professors playing Jeopardy!, and even a surprise appearance by Harry Potter himself. Undoubtedly, my favourite skit year after year is the traditional Osgoode man dance. There’s nothing this nerdy law student loves more than watching other nerdy law students shake it on stage.
Once all of the writing has been collected and edited, the auditions begin. An executive committee headed by the producers with members from vocals, dance, and instrumentals come together to assemble an all-star cast. With my uncanny ability to imitate Sarah Palin, I was a shoo-in! To prepare for the show, rehearsals increase in intensity during the first several weeks of the winter semester. My level of involvement required me to attend an average of five hours of rehearsal every week, a fairly low level compared to many other cast members.
The weekend before the show the entire cast devotes 12-hour days in order to ensure it is as close to perfect as possible. Although this can be a burden and stressful for everyone involved, there is a strange enjoyment in being able to run around the school in your pyjama pants at 12 a.m. on a Saturday (if my professors are reading this: I’m just kidding of course).
The main reason I continue to be involved in the production and encourage others to do the same is the spirit of camaraderie and collaboration among the entire cast. Because of the way law school is structured, it is not always easy to meet upper-year students. Mock Trial demands discipline and hard work, but it attracts students from all years who love to laugh and don’t take themselves too seriously. This fun bunch makes the experience warm and absolutely worthwhile. Additionally, the broader sense of community shared by all Osgoode students pushes the cast to work even harder. Our ultimate goal is to bring smiles to the faces of our friends and teachers.
Coming to the tail end of my second year, I cannot believe how fast my time at Osgoode is flying by. It seems just yesterday that I was walking towards the building for the first time, terrified for my life. It is experiences like Mock Trial that stand out amongst the blur of readings and exam anxiety. The friends that I have been privileged to work with during the show (this year and last) have helped me to build memories that I will cherish always when I look back on law school for years to come.
Memories of Mock TrialMost law students can draft memorandums, analyze cases, and even walk, talk, and chew gum (all at the same time). At Osgoode Hall Law School, they can do even more. Mock Trial, a longstanding tradition of the school, showcases the numerous and diverse talents of both students and faculty.
Monday, 23 January 2012 09:24

Even Brad Pitt can’t make tax sexy

Even Brad Pitt can’t make tax sexyI’m going to be brutally honest — I don’t like tax law. Although my professor is charismatic and engaging, I don’t think I would like tax even if Brad Pitt was teaching it to me. In the upper years of law school, there are no mandatory courses, so why enrol in tax law? The answer is pragmatic: I want to be prepared for the Ontario bar exams.
Wednesday, 28 December 2011 13:46

Use this time off to reflect

Use this time off to reflectJoy to the law students, the holidays are finally here! Time to put down that Americano and pick up some eggnog! Temporary relief from reading, reading, and more reading allows for some time to see family, friends, a treadmill if you are so inclined, and the mall.

Monday, 28 November 2011 09:15

Fuelled by Americanos

Fuelled by AmericanosTwo weeks into November, second-year law students have some major hurdles behind them. On-campus and in-firm interviews are finally over. The cards have been dealt and it is time to either celebrate your accomplishment or drown your sorrows. Either way, you’re off to the local watering hole.
Monday, 24 October 2011 09:52

Keep calm and carry on for OCIs

Keep calm and carry on for OCIsAs a 23-year-old female, I can tell you I have been on some very, very bad dates. Men chewing with their mouths open, bragging about their fancy cars and stomping on my pretty pumps is only the beginning. As you can imagine, my nightmarish dating past served only to add to the terror I felt leading up to on-campus interviews phase two: the speed date.
Monday, 26 September 2011 12:51

Know who you want to be

Know who you want to beGetting back into gear after four months of summer fun is not an easy task. Come Aug. 29, it was time to head back into classes and change out of the baseball cap into the thinking cap. Success in law school demands a great deal of discipline on behalf of the student. There is no better time-management training than the weekly routine of readings, assignments, extracurricular activities, friends, family, and if you’re lucky, maybe a little romance. It’s a tough but rewarding balancing act through most of your legal education.
Monday, 22 August 2011 10:31

Keep your mind, and your options, open

Keep your mind, and your options, openEntering law school, you will find among your peers science majors, math wizards, human rights activists, corporate sharks, and many, many BA students. In order to appeal to everyone, and of course for other practical purposes, the first year is extremely broad. The 1L student is able to engage with the basic components of contract, tort, criminal, constitutional, and property law. At my law school, our schedules in first year are entirely circumscribed but for one elective course. It was compulsory to study topics from all areas of the bar and collect a year’s worth of general legal knowledge.
Monday, 25 July 2011 08:24

Preparing to save the world

Preparing to save the worldIf you were to ask 30 different law students why they were pursuing careers in law, you’d likely get 30 different answers. This of course, despite the fact all of our personal statements said we wanted to “save the world.” Yes, some, including myself, do naively hope to leave a lasting impact on the lives of our future clients. Others want to revolutionize business, constitutional, employment, and even tax law! And some among us are pursuing legal careers for the sole purpose of ensuring personal financial security. Regardless of what brings students into the law library for late night study sessions, there is one piece of advice I feel applies to all and that is to cherish and soak up every opportunity for growth and learning.

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