More than a summer time law application: A neighborhood of assist for Black youth

More than a summer time law application: A neighborhood of assist for Black youth

Table of Contents

Black woman with long black braided hair seated in front of a brown, round table, wearing a black sleeveless dress.
Ommu-Kulsoom Jumada Abdul-Rahman was in Halifax, Nova Scotia at the 32nd annual Black Regulation Students’ Affiliation of Canada (BLSA) conference. It was the biggest accumulating of Black law learners in Canadian historical past. (Isioma Mafiana Pictures)

We normally listen to that our society needs additional Black judges and Black legal professionals, but that is difficult with out initial getting more Black regulation students.

When I began studying at McGill Law in the drop of 2020, it was a top precedence to inspire additional Black college students to pursue a authorized training.

I worked on a proposal to present a totally free two-7 days summertime legislation plan for Black youth.

I reached out to Chloe Kemeni, a reliable classmate and even better good friend, for help. We efficiently pitched the  system to Dean Robert Leckey of McGill’s Legislation Faculty.

In July 2022, we welcomed 20 Black students to the Regulation School and hosted the inaugural version of the Frederick Phillips Summertime Method, named right after McGill Law’s 1st Black graduate. 

This summer season software displays Black college students there is room for them in this discipline and they belong​​​​​​.– Ommu-Kulsoom J. Abdul-Rahman

The software incorporated a blend of lecture-style classes, simple workshops and area visits. Learners attended lectures by McGill Law professors and practitioners in the spots of assets legislation, legal legislation, employment, vital race concept and far more.

The contributors visited the Quebec Remarkable Court docket and achieved with the only sitting Black judges in Quebec at the time, visited the Montreal business of McCarthy Tétrault, a leading legislation firm, and participated in networking classes, a private branding workshop and a moot court action. 

There is place for you

The method experienced a profound affect on all of us — on the university student individuals, the Black group in Quebec, and us organizers. Blain Haile, just one of the college students in the application, captured its essence fantastically in her thank-you take note.

“I have under no circumstances felt this welcomed and loved in an academic setting. In two months, my full standpoint on my skin colour and my long run and how they correlate jointly has been shaken up. In a fantastic way. A really great way. The laughter we shared as a team will eternally maintain a unique which means in my heart, and I can confidently communicate for the relaxation of my colleagues as I say that this software single-handedly formed our authorized long term.”

A group of Black people wearing matching purple t-shirts with fists raised and smiling.
Black college students at the initially Frederick Phillips Summer season Method, named after McGill Law’s first Black graduate. (Submitted by Ommu-Kulsoom Jumada Abdul-Rahman)

The Frederick Phillips Summer months Software is much more than just a summer months method. Its aim is to present Black students with the info and sources to go after a legal training.

It also displays Black learners that there is room for them in this area and that they belong. It is a local community of aid, an avenue for alter and an possibility for young Black college students to know they have a village rooting for them to triumph in the legal subject. 


Investing in the following era of pupils does not just take a good deal. I hope other universities across Canada just take up the problem of generating related educational applications for Black Canadian youth.


Remaining amongst Black attorneys who share my record and culture felt like coming household

Allyship and illustration: on remaining the only Black legislation scholar at my college

A Congolese-Canadian regulation university student talks imposter syndrome and getting enough

I by no means dreamed of getting a law firm, but law university is just where I am meant to be

Halifax hosts Black Legislation Students’ Association of Canada meeting

Five fists raised, different shades of brown skin, next to text that says Being Black in Canada surrounded by an orange and red border.

For a lot more tales about the ordeals of Black Canadians — from anti-Black racism to good results stories inside of the Black local community — check out Being Black in Canada, a CBC venture Black Canadians can be happy of. You can browse extra tales right here.