Best graduating HWLS student, Guyanese Rea Harris urges classmates to unite to effect change

The Trinidad-based Hugh Wooding Law School (HWLS) graduating class of 2023 valedictorian, Rea Harris, a Guyanese national, delivered her speech on Saturday last, urging her classmates to let their voices be heard and to unite to effect change.
“We will use the law as a social institution and as a mechanism to handle the social plights in the Caribbean that are unique to Caribbean territories. As we go out, we will be concerned with the constitutional frameworks that make up each of our territories,” Harris told her fellow graduates.

Rea Harris addressing her classmates over the weekend

She added, “We will let our voices be heard. We will unite as brothers and sisters to effect changes and to advocate for many things…”
Supporting the Caribbean Court of Justice’s (CCJ’s) Appellate Jurisdiction, which will replace The Judicial Committee of the Privy Council as Commonwealth Caribbean Member States’ last appellate court, is one of the many things that must be done, she pointed out.
She reminded the class that their successful completion of the law school’s Legal Education Certificate (LEC)—the final academic qualification to practise as an Attorney-at-Law in the Anglophone Caribbean—is a victory to be celebrated as it is a representation of how hard work and diligence pays off.

The Hugh Wooding Law School Guyana graduating class of 2023 (PC: Christopher Anthony Belfield/Facebook)

Reflecting on the comradely nature of students attending the institution, Harris expressed, “May our bond remain as strong as ever, and may we always remember how we would have helped each other climb this ladder. May you add this qualification to your toolkit and utilise it to effect positive changes in the law and legal systems of the Caribbean.”
“Each one of us is capable of enhancing the regional jurisprudence of the Caribbean. And I am excited to see the direction in which each of you will steer your ship next.”
The Council of Legal Education (CLE) first welcomed students to the Hugh Wooding Law School in September 1973, which was 50 years ago. The Hugh Wooding Law School in Trinidad and Tobago, Norman Manley Law School in Jamaica, and Eugene Dupuch Law School in The Bahamas are all run by the regional organisation known as the CLE.
Harris was in high praise of the HWLS, asserting that it is the epitome of a world-leading centre of academic excellence. Her hope is for the law school’s next 50 years to be “even more fruitful.”
Apart from being named the law school’s best-graduating student, Harris also copped the Mediation Board of Trinidad and Tobago Prize for Excellence in Mediation Studies, the Book Specialists Prize for Best Overall Performance – Academic and Extracurricular Activities – and the Book Specialists Prize for Second Outstanding Year II Student.
While reading for her LEC, Harris completed her law school in-service training at the Attorney General’s Chambers in Georgetown.
She completed her Bachelor of Laws at the University of Guyana (UG), attaining a cumulative Grade Point Average (GPA) of 3.8 on a 4.0 GPA Scale, and was named the Law Department’s best-graduating student in 2021. For this stellar accomplishment, she was presented with the Pro Chancellor’s Award by Education Minister Priya Manickchand.