Promise Holmes-Skinner, Jonathan Charland, Christina Markie-Mammoletti, Aboriginal students at U of T LawPromise Holmes Skinner, Jonathan Charland, and Christina-Markie Mammoletti, Recent Aboriginal Alumni of U of T Law

"Why I chose U of T Law"

Promise Holmes Skinner

I chose U of T Law because of all the law schools in Ontario, I felt it was where I would feel the most sense of belonging. Aside from its highly esteemed reputation, my impression of U of T Law was that it had a very strong Aboriginal law student community and that it is a school where Aboriginal law students succeed. When I arrived, my expectations were exceeded. The sense of community I experienced during the first month was more than I could have imagined.

My favorite part about the Faculty of Law  is belonging to such a great community, which began in only the second week of school, where I attended a lunch that was put on by the Aboriginal Law Program and the Aboriginal Law Students’ Association (ALSA). The lunch was attended by deans, professors, administrative staff and upper-year Aboriginal law students. The purpose of the lunch was to welcome the incoming first-year Aboriginal students. Everyone at the lunch introduced themselves and personally offered their assistance to the first-year students. Those offers quickly developed into genuine acts of guidance for personal and academic issues by both students and faculty. I had never imagined that during my second week of law school there would be an event facilitated solely for the purpose of welcoming me but this was just the first of many events that reminded me that U of T Law was the right law school for me.

My sense of belonging began with that first lunch and quickly evolved during first semester ALSA gatherings. My appreciation for ALSA and its members led me to become a co-president for ALSA in the spring of my first year and I was proud to continue in this capacity during my final year of law school at U of T.

Jonathan Charland

Why I chose U of T and what I enjoy about the Faculty of Law are two very different things. I chose U of T because of its reputation for academic excellence, and I felt it was a school that would place me in a great position to start my legal career. While those two points are true, what I enjoy about U of T has nothing to do with the remarkable profs or the impact it had on my personal success. What I love about U of T is the feeling that you are part of a really special community. And it’s a community that is supportive of diversity, a community that is interested in who you are and a community that wants to help you get to where you want to be. Whatever your interest, there is something for you at U of T, and great people to do it with.

Christina-Markie Mammoletti

I came to University of Toronto excited to realize my dreams while, at the same time, expecting to feel overwhelmed by the challenges ahead. I choose U of T because of the different opportunities such as fellowships, exchanges and working with such diverse faculty. As an Aboriginal student, I also wanted to be supported by a school that wanted to see me succeed.

I had never been in such a large student body of classmates before as my undergraduate program had three students in it. The culture and environment of the school was the first shock I experienced as I felt out of my element and different than everyone else. I quickly began to question whether I made the right decision or not to come to U of T. These anxieties were calmed once I was able to find fellow students and faculty who embraced and cultivated my legal interests.

Outside of the classroom, it can feel that all of your fellow classmates are taking on everything for the sake of it. My new friends reminded me that you have to pursue your own passions and interests and not fall into the crowd of your classmates. I became involved with a few but very important extra-curricular activities that I was truly passionate about that made my 1L experience more enriching.

With the help of the my fellow classmates and the Aboriginal Law Program at U of T, I survived my first year of law school, made important connections in the legal community and among the faculty, and made life-long friends. The support I received from the faculty was an important part of my success at U of T and I look forward to being able to help other students in the future.