CMU student Marc Regier encourages his fellow students to make the most of their practicum experiences.
“Give it your all, give it your best,” he says. “You’ll learn about your own capacity in doing so.”
A Biblical and Theological Studies major and an International Development Studies (IDS) minor, Regier is completing his practicum at the Public Interest Law Centre (PILC) in Winnipeg, which takes on test cases for public interest groups and low-income individuals.
In his role at PILC, Regier says he has been “exposed to a whole range of responsibilities that a non-practicing lawyer could be exposed to at a law centre.” This includes compiling evidence, creating research reports and memos, meeting with clients, attending and documenting hearings, and “reading thousands of pages of material.”
As a child, Regier had a vision of being a lawyer, an interest his practicum reignited. He explains that through his longstanding focus on the legal implications of the Bible, he’s developed an idea of what legal practice is—something he’d like to “push into the secular world and test out.
Regier came to CMU seeking a rigorous approach to biblical studies and says he’s “honed an understanding of the historical, scientific merits of the Bible,” which has served to bring him closer to the Bible.
His practicum has been going “phenomenally well” and Regier has seen some of the IDS theories he’s learned being put into practice.
“The Public Interest Law Centre basically starts with the same worldview as IDS,” he says. “You measure what those who are marginalized need or want, bring that into the legal realm, and represent that among the big actors.”
Regier’s been inspired by the ways the lawyers at PILC work, saying there’s no end to the research they undertake and that they try to expose themselves to everything that’s been written on a topic. “It reflects competence and the desire to produce good work,” he says.
For those who are beginning a practicum, Regier offers this advice: “Respect and be a blessing to the people who have agreed to train you. Regularly and peaceably recognize when they are there and thank them.”
CMU believes experience-based education has great learning potential and as such, requires all Bachelor of Arts students to complete a practicum. The practicum complements classroom education by having students spend a significant amount of time in an off-campus placement.
Regier, who plans to attend law school after graduation, encourages students to complete their practicum near the end of their degree.
“I couldn’t think of a better way to end my education,” he says. “It’s the interface between education and experience.”
Ellen Paulley, Writer & Social Media Coordinator at Canadian Mennonite University
Learn more about CMU’s practicum program