“The Penniless Pensioner: Misaligned, Maligned but Marvellous”: Chapter 18: Mind Numbing Law School at the University of Cote St. Luc: Learning the Tricks of the Trade

Back home in Bombay my relatives were chattering non-stop about my next step in life. It was MEDICINE, LAW, ACCOUNTING and COMPLIANCE! I could have lived a life of idle luxury with my wealth but the voice of my late father incessantly advised improve yourself and society by your actions. I could not see how my idleness would do either.

Having nothing much better to do I applied to the University of Cote St. Luc Law School in Montreal in their 4-year National Programme which would result in obtaining an LLB (common law degree) and BCL (civil law degree). I was accepted.

So it was 4 more years in Montreal this time instead of the Presidential Suite at the 4 Season’s Hotel in Montreal it was an “executive room” at the Cavendish Congress Centre Hotel in a Montreal suburb Cote St. Luc. This necessitated a 20-minute bus ride to the campus. Food was much more basic in my new digs. I ate many a meal at the Ben Ash Restaurant in the nearby Cavendish Mall. I developed a fondness for Cote St. Luc Bagel Bakery blueberry Danishes and pickled eggs at the Robert Burns Tavern.

Day one at law school witnessed a friendly and encouraging talk by one of the professors who said look to your left and right and amongst the three of you only one will graduate. So supportive and nurturing. What devils had I got myself caught up with? The professors liked to demean students although a lot could be said about students demeaning professors. That professor with his fly open. The hot shot professor who flew in from Quebec City to give lectures on “Being an Effective Tool for Megacorp Profitability”. For his exam he overloaded students with so many questions no one finished that exam causing a bit of mass trauma. He later joked about it saying this is the stress you will have to live with in practice so get used to it. Nice man.

Being an “artsy fartsy” graduate it was difficult initially to be treated like a receptacle for judicial decisions. Were they good or bad? That was not important. The trick was to reduce all judgements into four sentences and memorize all those sentences and spew them out. The critical mind was not necessary or appreciated.

The competitive atmosphere fostered the aims and ambitions of the cutthroats. Many of the most successful students had limited intellectual ability. They were excellent regurgitators. One shocking incident involved 4 students. I saw these students give a wad of cash to some faculty employee who passed along a large brown envelope in return for the cash. It no doubt was meant to be secretive but word soon circulated about a bribery to obtain advance copies of several final exams. These students were award winning model students! I wonder why! One was eventually arrested for homicide and one other became the Minister of Justice of Quebec.

So after 4 years I did indeed graduate so it was off to indentured servitude called articling.

Published by Robert K Stephen (CSW)

Robert K Stephen writes about food ,drink, travel, film, and lifestyle issues. He also has published serialized novels "Life at Megacorp", "Virus # 26, "Reggie the Egyptian Rescue Dog" and "The Penniless Pensioner" Robert was the first associate member of the Wine Writers’ Circle of Canada. He also holds a Mindfulness Certification from the University of Leiden and the University of Toronto. Be it Spanish cured meat, dried fruit, BBQ, or recycled bamboo place mats, Robert endeavours to escape the mundane, which is why he has established this publication. His motto is, "Have Story, Will Write."

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