Father-in-law: Will McClary

Law, Graduate Studies

- Julie Sloan

Law graduate Will McClary and his family.

Law school can be stressful. And hard. Add to that becoming a new father during your second year and you've got a big challenge on your hands. Will McClary took on that challenge, and because of the support he received at UVic Law, he took it in stride. Then he added an executive role on the board of the Law Student Society (LSS).

This may seem like an extraordinary circumstance, but perhaps not as much as you think. UVic Law students are incredibly diverse in where they come from and what their life circumstances are. In fact, McClary found there were a number of other students who also became new parents while in law school.

"I found being at UVic Law made everything a little bit easier,” he explains. “The faculty and my friends were all very helpful in ensuring I was able to keep up with life, school and my family. There were a few more people in my cohort who became parents during law school, and everyone got the support they needed to succeed."

Becoming a father wasn’t the only challenge McClary would face during law school. A few months after his son Louis was born, his father passed away suddenly. Reflecting on that difficult time, he also remembers the support of other students—and staff. “I was on campus when I got the news from my sister and had to leave town to get home to be with my family,” explains McClary. “I remember the messages of support I received from Cheryl, Yvonne, and Gillian in the front office encouraging me to take time to be with my family and focus on working through my grief. This was a very difficult time for my family but the UVic Law community pulled through again and made sure I had everything I needed to stay on track with my studies and my family commitments.”

Despite the demands on his time, McClary was a constant presence at the law school, supporting students.

“Will McClary was an incredible asset and a commanding leader as Vice President Student Affairs of the LSS,” says Ian Gauthier, former president of the LSS. McClary was the 2018 recipient of the F. Murray Fraser Award for Outstanding Contributions to the School by a Third Year Student in recognition of “his many efforts and sleepless nights (attributable both to deadlines and a crying baby). He is a presence that will be sorely missed in the halls of UVic Law.”

After taking a month off to move home to Calgary and spend some quality time with his wife and son, McClary began a clerkship for the Alberta Court of Queen’s Bench in Calgary, after which he will finish his articles with Dentons Canada LLP in Calgary, where he hopes to become an associate. And now that law school is in his rear view mirror, McClary reflects on the support he received and the lessons he will take with him:

“Thanks to my time on the LSS I was lucky to get to work with outgoing Dean Jeremy Webber. Jeremy taught our cohort a lot about leadership and dedication through his work as Dean. His ability to respectfully manage disagreeing perspectives and encourage healthy communication between students and faculty is something that I will aspire to in my own professional life.”


In this story

Keywords: convocation, student life, alumni, law

People: Will McClary

Publication: The Ring

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