Mother Cries Tears Of Joy As Christina Blake Earns Law DegreeNovember 6, 2022
Pauline Henry-Blake cried while reflecting on the sacrifice her daughter made to reach her latest milestone in her journey to become a lawyer.
Her daughter, Christina Blake, whose progress The Beacon has been tracking since 2019, graduated yesterday with a Bachelor of Laws degree (Honours) from the University of the West Indies (UWI), Mona.
In her final year, she also did one semester through an affiliate programme with the University of Birmingham in the UK.
Putting the icing on the proverbial cake, Christina topped her graduating class in Industrial Relations Law for which she will be awarded this week by the Faculty of Law.
“It’s a good feeling and I believe that, had it not been for my discipline and consistency, I would not have made it,” she declared.
Her biggest challenge, she said, was to adapt to sudden changes resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic. Those changes included the scrapping of face-to-face classes for two years.
“I only completed one semester of face-to-face classes as online school became the new norm. It became demotivating at times, but I remained consistent and disciplined,” added the Clarendon native.
She is now an attorney in training at Norman Manley Law School, located at UWI, Mona.
Christina, an alumna of May Pen Infant School and May Pen Primary, settled on the idea of becoming a lawyer during her sojourn through Glenmuir High School.
That dream was never far-fetched considering her academic accomplishments as well as the leadership qualities she exuded.
“I was always an advocate from high school and I am a people person,” she added.
Christina left Glenmuir High with 18 CXC subjects – 17 of which she obtained with the highest grade possible (Grade One).
She also served as the school’s deputy head girl, as well as president of its debating society and students council body.
“Many times I was told, ‘You are outspoken and good at debating and advocacy, so maybe law is the best career path for you’,” she recalled.
Christina added: “Even though I focused on business education subjects in high school, I thought law would be more challenging for me and so I decided to take up the challenge. And three years later, I completed the degree and I never lost that drive and passion for the area.”
Christina also told The Beacon that, after making up her mind about pursuing law, she used that decision to fuel her drive.
“My biggest motivation is the end goal; it is that dream of mine to become an attorney and practice in the Jamaican courts and represent my clients,” she asserted. “I always think of myself as being a lawyer already, and it reflects in my demeanour and how I interface with people on a daily basis. It’s about having the end goal in mind and knowing that these are the steps that you have to take to get there.”
One of the things that fascinates Christina about law is that it, according to her, is a multi-disciplinary field. “I think law is that discipline that allows you to learn a little bit of everything. You have to do forensic medicine, you have to do accounting, [and] you have to do business and international relations. Everything is combined in law. It is a very multi-disciplinary field.”
Christina, who is likely to make her name in general practice, encourages other students to aim for consistency.
“Always try and find an accountability partner and ensure that you take advantage of the resources that are provided at university itself. And just be consistent because you don’t want to look at it (studying) as a big burden; you want to take it in bite size,” she advised.
While she is grateful to all who have contributed towards her success, Christina named her mom as her biggest cheerleader.
“She is always there supporting me every step of the way,” she noted.
Her mother, Henry-Blake, who attended the graduation ceremony yesterday, is thrilled.
“I am a proud mommy always. Christina has always been excelling and so, for me, it is not surprising. I give God the glory; I feel really excited,” she told The Beacon. “Christina is like a feather in my cap.”
Henry-Blake also disclosed that she cried tears of joy a day before the graduation after remembering the sacrifice her daughter made especially during the COVID-19 pandemic.
“It was really a fight for her; it was difficult during the pandemic. To see what she has achieved now, I am really proud,” added the mother of two. Her other daughter, Tyesha Turner, studied international relations and law.
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