Pasadena brothers heading to law school on entrance scholarships from law foundation
© Paul Hutchings
Brothers Shane, left, and Ryan Belbin will be heading to law school this year after receiving two of only three Law School Entrance Scholarships given out by the Law Foundation of Newfoundland and Labrador.
PASADENA — Two Law School Entrance Scholarships from the Law Foundation of Newfoundland and Labrador have been given to two people in the same Pasadena family this year.
Brothers Ryan, 24, and Shane Belbin, 22, have received the prestigious scholarships and will attend law school later this year. Ryan will go to Fredericton, N.B. to attend the University of New Brunswick and Shane will attend Dalhousie in Halifax, N.S.
Shane just completed a geography degree at the St. John’s campus of Memorial University of Newfoundland after starting out at Grenfell Campus. Ryan finished his English literature degree two years ago, also in St. John’s after beginning at Grenfell. The brothers took a very different approach to their education, with Ryan taking two years off, travelling to New Zealand and Europe and working at a St. John’s law firm, and Shane diving directly into law school after just finishing his geography degree.
“I’d probably lose too much momentum if I took too much time off,” said Shane. “I chose to just jump right into it — get it done.”
Ryan understands that everyone is different, even those related. Taking the time off for him, he said, was the best thing he could have done for himself.
“I think it gave me more of a world perspective, showed me the different types of people out there,” he said. “I did it at a time in my life when I could actually get away with it. I actually recommend it if you have the time to do it.”
The brothers have different goals as far as the type of law they want to study as well, with Shane opting for environmental and Ryan thinking of family law.
Shane did a conservation biology course at Memorial and it helped him determine what he wanted pursue.
“We had policy people come in and from what they were saying, they didn’t seem to understand science,” he said. “So I found myself wondering how to fit into the middle ground.”
For Ryan it was his time at the law firm that made him choose his direction.
“I saw a lot of different situations that year, I saw some Christmas custody cases that show me how hard it was, but also how important,” he said. “I’m aware that family law is tough but it’s real life, with problems that I’ll have the capacity to do something about.”
The brothers say there has never really been much competition between them academically in the past, but now that they’re adults choosing to undertake the same educational path, there may be a friendly, family rivalry.
“We’ve been lucky that where we’ve gone hasn’t been really comparable, it’s apples and oranges,” said Ryan. “It’s probably for the best that we’re not going to the same school, but I think I’ll be keeping a close eye on what he’s doing.”
“Let’s give it a couple of years, we’ll see what happens,” Shane joked back.
The brothers both say they would like to stay within this province to practise law, but will wait and see where law school might take them.