Craig Bateman

Self employed
Copy editor, legal researcher, and writing consultant
Coquitlam, Canada
Vancouver, Canada
Why Constantine legislated Christian bishops into the role of state judges
Dennis Pavlich

What are your main responsibilities or activities in your current position?

Editing and consulting/advising on law-related documents including manuals for lawyers, cost of future care reports, and various other projects. I work on a contract basis for various public and private sector organizations.

How does your current work relate to your graduate degree?

My work relates to my graduate degree in that it is completely focused on helping people write clearly and persuasively. When I first began my graduate studies journey, I was encouraged to "write early, and write often" by Professor Doug Harris (UBC Law), and that advice has been a real gem over the years. Professor Harris gave this advice to a group of us entering our Master's program (LLM) at UBC Law. It turned out that I had many opportunities to hone my writing skills during my time as a graduate student, and the construction of my PhD thesis was an important example of that. I was also occasionally invited to write for publications or submit my work for publication in journals, and both of these helped me to better understand the practice of editing and writing.

What do you like and what do you find challenging about your current position?

In my current role as a copy editor, legal researcher, and writing consultant, I really enjoy the process of making writing more understandable and persuasive to the reader. In the work I do, the readers are often lawyers and, in the case of cost of future care reports, the court. One challenging aspect of what I do is making sure that what gets written reflects the actual situation of a person or area of law in the clearest way possible, because the legal rights and future care of people are often dependent upon it.

Is your current career path as you originally intended?

My career path was not what I originally intended. I originally planned to apply for work as a law professor somewhere in Canada immediately following the completion of my PhD, but a family crisis and partial disability meant that I was not able to do that immediately following my degree. I would still like to work as a professor and further my research, but for now, my role suits my context and I am happy with it.

What motivated you to pursue graduate work at UBC?

I was motivated to pursue graduate work at UBC by my passion for understanding the history and philosophy of law, and through the encouragement of Professor Ian Townsend-Gault, my PhD supervisor at the beginning of my PhD journey. Sadly, Ian had to take a medical leave and passed away in 2016, and a new supervisor was assigned, Professor Dennis Pavlich.

What did you enjoy the most about your time as a graduate student at UBC?

The most enjoyable part of my time as a graduate student at UBC was of course the people I was privileged to know. From my fellow graduate students to the graduate advisor at UBC Law who was such a help to me, Joanne Chung, to the professors I was privileged to work with in the roles of research assistant, teaching assistant, and as a PhD student with a committee of professors.

How did the graduate degree at UBC help you achieve your career and/or personal development goals?

The graduate degree helped me achieve my current career goals by making me a better researcher, writer, and editor.

What key things did you do, or what attitudes or approaches did you have, that contributed to your success?

As noted above, Professor Harris's advice to the new graduate students to "write early, and write often" helped a great deal. Based on my experience, I would also add that if you as a graduate student are invited to write on something, I encourage you to take those opportunities, even though you may feel hesitant or not qualified. Everyone who is "qualified" has to start somewhere, and even if you have to do a good deal of research to be able to write the article, review, or whatever it happens to be, you will be glad you did it once done, and it may lead to other opportunities for writing and research.

What is your best piece of advice for current graduate students preparing for their future careers?

"Write early, and write often; and welcome invitations to write." The other thing I would advise is to "keep going." What I mean by that is that life might throw you curve balls occasionally, or you may be forced to deal with a personal challenge or crisis of some kind, but I encourage you to remind yourself to keep going, even if the life challenge slows you down. This simple advice was given to me by a cherished relative who knew of my challenges, and I never forgot it and it helped me along the way. If you find yourself facing challenges in your own graduate journey, remember the resources you have at UBC in free professional counseling and the UBC Access and Diversity people. My experiences with them were very helpful. You can also reach out to me if you want, as someone who has traveled that road.


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