5 October 2016
This article was written in the lead-up to the De Minimis Annual General Meeting. Come along and vote for your 2017 DM team!!
The first time I read De Minimis, I was in my first semester of the JD. I had found a copy left on a desk in the level three library, and absent-mindedly flicked through it during in a self-imposed break from my PPL readings.
I can’t remember much about the article, much less the author’s name, but I do remember her poking fun at the incredible stress law students put on themselves, and how she’d once gone several days without showering (and months without exercising), in the build up to her first exam period.
It was the first time I read an institutional* acknowledgement that law school, and law students, could be absurd. And it felt fucking fantastic to know that other students had also found the transition to Pelham Street difficult.
Since that time, I’ve been lucky enough to become involved in De Minimis as an editor, and I’ve seen the impact that this publication – with its meagre $100 a week budget** – can have on both individuals and institutions.
Which is why I want to quickly share with you why I think the publication is important to MLS and its constituents, and why anyone who has benefited from its contents and is eligible should consider getting involved in the organisation next year.
De Minimis is foremost a platform for students to share information and express opinions on issues that are important to them and the wider MLS community.
Our weekly content is variable, the product of an open platform and our purposefully accommodating standards. Articles range from relatively formal pieces, such as those informing the student-body of MULSS or other grad-group initiatives; to satirical pieces like Equity Uncle and Clerkship Diaries; to irreverent, debate-inspiring critiques of the legal system, the law school, the MULSS and the wider student body. We also love it when we receive film or book reviews, photos, poems and cartoons (shout out to Harley Ng!).
This multiplicity of perspectives is crucial to a functioning democracy, and each species of article is important for its own reasons.
Providing a platform for members of the MULSS to promote events and engage with the cohort promotes inclusion and encourages accountability.
Satire reminds us that, despite the academic and professional competitiveness, us law students are still capable of having a joke at our own expense.
Critique speaks truth to power. Debate, whilst discomforting at times, facilitates the exchange of ideas and perspectives that may not otherwise be shared.
So come along tomorrow night at 6:30pm to see how you can get involved. All 7-8 executive positions are open, as well as opportunities to join our team of staff-writers or contribute in other ways (like cartooning or photography).
If you’ve benefited from the publication, be part of its future.
Because MLS needs you.
Jacob Debets is a third-year JD student and the Managing Editor of De Minimis
*I use this term as loosely as humanly possible
**$30 in 2015 (being printing costs)