Jon Conlin (class of 2011), is a graduate of the Business Law Concentration program at the Allard School of Law, which provides students with a solid theoretical and practical foundation in business law. Jon now practices as a business lawyer in the Vancouver office of a large international law firm.
Why did you decide to enroll in the Business Law Concentration program?
I was drawn to it because often times in law school you end up taking a variety of courses and it’s not easy to see the connections between them and how they intertwine in the real world. I was looking for a practical foundation to help me prepare for my career.
What did you find most valuable in this program?
It was great preparation for working as a junior business lawyer. It is often difficult to see the various legal issues that a situation presents when it comes across your desk. Also, the exposure you get to top faculty members and leading professionals was a highlight. There were interesting guest lectures and projects that involve leading members of the Vancouver business and legal communities.
What was the most valuable part of the program?
Towards the end of the program, I worked on a project which combined everything I had learned into one presentation. The presentation was for a large international mining company and it provided an opportunity to present a legal analysis of a situation to executives that were going to use our conclusions to guide their high level business decisions. The follow up questions were difficult and it made me realize how prepared you have to be in a situation like that. The project was a good preview of what practice would be like when dealing with clients directly.
Do you have any advice to future students considering the Business Law Concentration program?
This program (and the courses in it) is not limited to only those who are interested in working in business law, or in a big firm. If you are interested in working for a charity, an environmental organization or a social justice group, you may need to understand the principles that this program bases itself on. Even if you do find yourself at a traditional law firm, opportunities to apply these skills to pro bono initiatives will come up regularly. It is often those lawyers that have expertise in tax law, corporate law or commercial law that are able to help social justice and philanthropic organizations with the common issues they face.