New History and the Law Mentorship Opportunity
April 4, 2017
A new independent study course, Workplace Learning, will enable up to two history students per session to learn more about the legal profession. Through a new partnership program with Lerners Law firm in London, history students at King’s can apply to be mentees at the law firm. They will have opportunities to attend court and do legal research. The course will also contain an academic component, supervised by Dr. Robert Ventresca. Through this innovative program, students will receive an academic half credit toward their history degree via History 3901F/G for workplace experiences related to their history studies.
Dr. Ventresca and Lerners plan to have the first students start during Intersession 2017. The program will continue in the summer/fall/winter terms. Dr. Ventresca says he has been inspired to lead this new course as a history degree is one of the preferred pathways to success in the legal profession.
"When students ask what they can do with a history degree, we answer: literally, anything. Our history graduates excel in a number of diverse fields. The study of history develops crucial skills in critical thinking, logical reasoning as well as research, analysis and writing; all indispensable skills for success in the study and practice of law,” says Dr. Ventresca.
The application for the law mentorship opportunity through the History Department is now open and online. The course, 3901F/G, is a vehicle to receive credit for paid or unpaid workplace experiences related to history studies.
The mentorship is designed to provide qualified third or fourth year students enrolled in an Honors Specialization or Major in History at King’s with practical opportunities for experiential learning and mentorship in a professional field. The course is open to students from other disciplines, with permission from the Department. Prerequisites are 1.0 History course at the 2200-level or above, or permission of the Department. As well, the support of a History department instructor is required. This is an independent study course based on a voluntary placement at Lerners. Students will work with an approved faculty advisor on a project related to their work experience. The mentee will be assigned a research assignment relevant to the practice of the law. The faculty mentor and a lawyer mentor will consult periodically to monitor the student’s progress.
Students will be mentored by a professional in law at Lerners, while applying and refining their skills in critical thinking, logical reasoning, research, analysis and writing.
Interested students will be required to apply formally and to provide documentation to demonstrate academic achievement and a genuine interest in legal studies and legal practice. This will include:
- Academic transcripts certifying that the student(s) is enrolled in Year 3 or 4 the Honors Specialization in History or History Major;
- Student will have achieved a minimum average of 80% in her/his previous 5 full-courses;
- Three reference letters: 2 academic references and one character reference;
- One-page statement of interest explaining why the student is interested in a law career and how the study of history will prepare her or him for the study and practice of law.
- A writing sample of the student’s best graded work in a senior-level course (2200-level or above).
The qualified candidate(s) will be selected by a committee comprised of the Chair, Department of History (or designate), the faculty mentor and the lawyer mentor.