Exec Feature #3: VP Marketing, Fiona Wong

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Our third executive feature is of our incredibly involved and talented VP Marketing, Fiona Wong. Fiona is the hard work and dedication behind Pre-Law’s creative designs and social media marketing efforts.

She is a fourth year International Relations student intending to pursue a law degree after obtaining her BA, specializing in international, human rights, or criminal law. Throughout undergrad, she has been actively involved with World Vision UBC, UBC Political Science Student Association, Free the Children, Hong Kong Students’ Association, and UBC Orientations. Passionate about poverty and human rights issues, Fiona has also fundraised annually for the 30 Hour Famine and taught English in rural China. After spending third year abroad on two exchanges to the Chinese University of Hong Kong and University of Manchester, and the past summer as a flight attendant, Fiona is humbled, and thrilled to serve on both the Pre-Law executive team and the UBC Model United Nations Secretariat for the 2015-2016 year.

We asked her a few additional questions regarding her current experience with UBC, and future aspirations with regard to law:

Question: What inspired you to want to pursue law school?
Answer: I really enjoy helping others, particularly those that are less fortunate than us. I become increasingly frustrated with inequality in society and this motivates me to speak up, and reach out to people because I believe everyone can make a difference in any given situation. Inequality occurs most often due to a lack of resources and opportunities, but more so due to a lack of knowledge. An education in law will deepen my understanding of why inequality exists, and allow me to protect not only my own, but the wellbeing of others as well.

Question: How did you first get started with Pre-Law Society?
Answer: I joined the club in first year as a general member, and when applications opened up I applied and accepted the position as VP Marketing. I’ve been in the same position for 3 years now, and it’s great being able to integrate my pastime hobby of designing graphics with this academic organization that I am truly passionate about.

Question: What do you like best about Pre-Law Society?
Answer: I met some of my closest friends in university through Pre-Law Society. Our executive team does a lot of team bonding through taking team photos, going on retreat to Harrison Lake and dinners throughout the year. I really like interacting with the executive team and general members because we are all geared toward the same (if not similar) goal, and that is to eventually pursue law school. Seeing classmates attend the events we plan throughout the year is quite rewarding as well!

Question: What does your ideal journey to becoming a lawyer look like?
Answer: I’m in my final year of International Relations, so after obtaining my BA I’m going to take a year off, study/take the LSAT, then spend half a year either pursuing a Legal Administrative Assistant diploma, or interning with the United Nations in Vienna or the International Criminal Court in The Hague, Netherlands, before I (hopefully) begin law school!

Question: What are some of your favourite places at UBC to hang out or study?
Answer: Coincidentally, Peter A. Allard School of Law! I also like to study at Irving, especially during finals season because the students around me motivate me to work harder. I usually like to meet up with friends in the Nest as well.

Some of Fiona’s hobbies include putting her creativity to use by making cover photos for Pre-Law, yoga, photography, trying new food around her city, and travelling. A fun fact about her is that she was a flight attendant this summer with Air Canada rouge, which included skydiving in Hawaii during a layover!

Be sure to catch her at our upcoming events – Challenges From Abroad: Bringing An Overseas Degree Home (Oct 29th) and Life of a Law Student (Nov 17th)!

Midterms Survival 101 – Pre-Law is Here to Help!

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They say Vancouver has 4 seasons, but really it has 5. Welcome to midterms season, ladies and gentleman! We hope you have been coping well and adopting a headstrong mindset towards conquering these seemingly scary tests (unless you’ve taken the LSAT; in that case, midterms are probably fairly painless).

At Pre-Law society, we’re a whole group of students who are all on the same boat as you. This is why we decided to do a blog post on midterms at UBC, and share with you some of our favourite ways of getting through this busy month.

Some good places to study on campus (that aren’t ridiculously busy!)
o Group study tables outside club offices on 3rd & 4th floor of the Nest
o Woodward Library – individual study rooms
o Scarf building – study cubicles towards the back of the building on the bottom floor
o The Brock Hall library (did you even know that existed?!)
o Irving K Barber Library (upper floors)
o The Alumni Centre Café – does get busy during peak hours, but it’s beautiful if you haven’t checked it out!

Snacks and appies around UBC to get that brain moving
o Asian snack store above the bubble tea place in the village
o Qoola – By Sauder
o Upper & Lower case, The Delly – The Nest
o Biercraft and Menchies – Wesbrook Village
o Agora Café – Bottom floor of MacMillan (Run of LFS students! Local produce)
o Bean Around the World
o Loafe Café – Inside the Alumni Center
o Tim Hortons in the Forestry Building

Places to take a (much needed) study break
o Get that heart rate up – Bird Coop, Gold’s, REC, Intramurals
o Brain challenge? Braun challenge! – Rock-climbing at the Nest
o Lunch or dinner date at the Pit (Enjoy those huge flat screens, or your own personal flatscreen)
o Take a nice stroll/ bike ride by Wreck Beach
o Botanical/Rose Gardens by UBC (although, at this time of the year, you might reconsider)

Academic Resources
o Make sure to read the UBC “Live well” page
o UBC Counseling
o Student Health Service Center
o Wellness Centre
o Peer Wellness Coaching
o Friends and Family

Other advice to relieve stress
o Remember to eat! Food is tremendously important to your cognitive functioning – do not neglect it.
o Take frequent breaks. We know this is hard, but everyone has an attention span, and once you’ve hit that, your productivity dramatically decreases anyway. Taking frequent breaks will help you refresh.
o Study in (good) groups – it keeps you motivated and reminds you that you aren’t the only one going through stress; it’s best to fight it together!
o Contrary to popular beliefs, all-nights do not help to increase your chances of better grades; sleep is extremely important to brain functionality.
o If you find yourself getting overwhelmed, remember to breathe in and breathe out; take a short break.
o Don’t be hard on yourself for not getting a grade as high as you wanted. Every quiz, test an exam is a learning lesson as much as it is a form of evaluation – tons of employers value a hardworking individual with a great attitude more than one who is only book-smart.
o No one is perfect, focus on progress.

We’d love to hear some of your advice and feedback as well, so feel free to leave it in the comments!

Lastly, BEST OF LUCK!!

Exec Feature #2: Co-president, Geena Lee

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It’s that time of the month again ladies and gentleman, our next exec feature is our lovely co-president, Geena Lee!

Geena is a fourth year Political Science student with academic interests in political philosophy, legal theory, and international relations. She has been involved with the Pre-Law executive team for the past three years, during which she has worked as an executive assistant and VP events.

We asked Geena a few questions:

Question: What inspired you to want to pursue law school?

When I was in elementary school, my cousin visited our family for the summer after passing the bar in California. I barely understood what a career in law entailed at the time. Despite this, I remember being completely drawn to how passionately she spoke about her career and I began to feel a strong urge to learn more. That was probably the starting point in my interest to pursue law.
As I progressed through middle and high school, I became very involved with debate and Model United Nations. Both of these activities exposed me to a wide range of important issues and challenged my critical thinking skills. Once I arrived at UBC, I got further inspired as I broadened my understanding on how the law functions in society and the importance of legal systems in general. In particular, I was fortunate to be able to take an elective in my second year called Law and Society 204 taught by Dr. Margot Young who teaches constitutional and social justice law at the Allard School of Law at UBC. The course gave me the unique opportunity to research and analyze Charter cases and I guess you could say it ultimately confirmed that law school was definitely the path for me!

Question: How did you first get started with Pre-Law Society?

I joined in my first year as a member after spotting the Pre-Law booth on Imagine Day. I remember being super excited because I felt like I had found exactly what I was looking for – and I was right. I ended up applying to join the executive team and took on one of the executive assistant roles in my second year. I had the pleasure of working as VP Events in my third year, which then brings me to where I am now. Working with Jessica as Co-Presidents of the club has been nothing short of amazing so far. With such a strong team of talented individuals, I have no doubt that we will have a successful year.

Question: What do you like best about Pre-Law Society?

The people! Pre-Law is an excellent support system and I am grateful for all the connections I have made with members, executives, as well as the Vancouver legal community. Preparing for any career path will be stressful and law is no exception. Through Pre-Law, I am constantly reminded of the bigger picture. I love the fact that Pre-Law aims to alleviate the stresses of applying to law school and to provide students with the resources they need to achieve their
goals.

Question: What does your ideal journey to becoming a lawyer look like?

There is definitely no textbook answer to this question. One thing is for sure, though. Follow your passions. There seems to always be a lot of talk about which major is the best one to prepare you for law school, whether to go on exchange or not, or if taking a year off after graduating undergrad would be a good idea. At the end of the day, your unique experiences define and distinguish you from the crowd and if anything, you will be much more successful pursuing activities that inspire you rather than following what worked for someone else. That’s why I decided to major in Political Science – I enjoyed my poli courses the most and my genuine interest in the area naturally translated to higher grades. Aside from academics, I also strongly believe that work experience of some sort is vital. And for the first years out there, if you ever happen to find yourself in doubt over whether or not to commit to an extracurricular activity you come across, I say go for it! No time? Make time! Your experiences outside of the classroom will become increasingly valuable as time passes.
With all this being said, the bottom line is not to get fixated on a certain formula to becoming a lawyer. I tell this to myself everyday: If you are truly passionate about working in the legal field, you will get there eventually somehow!

Question: What advice can you give others taking the LSAT and pursuing law?

Two words: discipline & perseverance. The LSAT will be unlike any course material you have come across so far. Standardized exams in and of themselves can be very mentally draining as well. Work hard and stay committed to the long term goal. Don’t let the unfamiliarity of the questions and the length of the exam scare you! Put the work in and practice, practice, practice. If others have done it, you can too.

Question: What are some of your favourite places at UBC?

I recently went to Loaf Cafe in the new Robert H. Lee Alumni Centre across the bookstore and fell in love. The natural light and tasteful interior makes for a perfect place to catch up with a friend in between classes. On the occasion that I really need to focus and write a bunch of papers though, no place can beat the Ridington Room in Irving, also known as the Harry Potter room!

In her free time, Geena enjoys singing, reading novels, and going on runs. And, like the superstar she is, she currently sits on the UBC Model United Nations Board of Directors and had the honour of being nominated as Secretary-General of UBCMUN 2015. Be sure to catch Geena at Pre-Law’s awesome events throughout the year!