From classmates to colleagues

Silver medallist Case Littlewood found success by putting competition to the side

Carmen Rojas - 08 June 2022

Case Littlewood, ’22 JD, knows that it’s tempting to view your classmates as competitors when you enter law school. But in his experience over the last three years, he realized that everyone can benefit by shifting this outlook.

“I’ve found it more personally rewarding and my accomplishments improved when I viewed classmates as my colleagues,” said Littlewood, who is the 2022 recipient of the George Bligh O’Connor Silver Medal in Law for achieving the second highest marks in his class. “I was fortunate enough to be surrounded by smart, kind, empathetic and wise friends off of whom I could bounce ideas.”

Originally from Cochrane, Alberta, Littlewood earned two philosophy degrees — a BA from the University of British Columbia and an MA from the University of Western Ontario — before deciding to pursue law.

As part of a unique cohort that attended law school during a pandemic, Littlewood acknowledges that dealing with the changes brought about by Covid-19 was difficult.

“I don’t think any of the law students graduating this year got the law school experience they signed up for,” he said. “[But] the professors were accommodating and understanding of the oddities of our experience. This really helped us get through the additional stresses Covid-19 threw at us.”

Amid all the shifts from in-person to online learning and back again, Littlewood was able to carve out a place for himself. He pursued an interest in public law issues, taking classes in constitutional, administrative, criminal and international law. He also completed an independent research paper in administrative law under the supervision of Professor Phil Bryden, who he said had a significant impact on him.

Outside of the classroom, Littlewood made strong connections with his peers through participating in extracurricular activities.

He cites his time as co-editor-in-chief of the Alberta Law Review during his final year of law school as one of the highlights of his experience. In this role, Littlewood helped lead a team of first and second year students through the ins and outs of running a major legal journal.

He also had an opportunity to work closely with students by helping them with the Legal Research and Writing class, during his time as a writing fellow.

“This was an exceptionally rewarding experience,” he said. “It’s easy to overlook the progress we each make in our three years in law school. Being able to help first-year students learn the basics was an excellent reminder of just how much we’ve learned.”

Littlewood was also a member of the Jessup International Law Moot team for two years in a row — as an oralist in his second year and as a researcher in his third year. “Preparing for and competing in that competition is among the hardest things I’ve ever done, but also the most rewarding,” he said. “The relationships I built with my colleagues on those teams will last a lifetime.”

Littlewood’s next stop is the Court of Appeal of Alberta in Calgary, where he will article for 10 months. He’ll then return to Edmonton to finish his articles at Reynolds Mirth Richards and Farmer.