Students launch clothing drive for job seekers in need

Clothing donation

In competitive careers like law, first impressions can be last impressions if prospects don’t present a professional image. But for some law students, having the appropriate clothing for on-campus interviews or other formal occasions is not always a luxury they can afford. That’s why the Osgoode Venture Capital Law Society (OVCLS) is holding its first-ever clothing drive on Jan. 17 from noon to 2 p.m. in the Goodmans LLP Junior Common Room in the Ignat Kaneff Building on York University’s Keele Campus.

“Outside of the financial burden associated with attending law school, interviewing and recruitment periods also bear less obvious but equally burdensome costs associated with the process,” said Osgoode student Emma Kirwin, director of communications for the OVCLS.

“The cost of formal business attire can create an additional financial barrier that often goes unacknowledged,” she added. “Alleviating this burden can help students feel more confident, prepared and less stressed during an already stressful and arduous period.”

Emma Kirwin and Yianni Patiniotis
Emma Kirwin (left) and Yianni Patiniotis (right) of the Osgoode Venture Capital Law Society.

Yianni Patiniotis, a second-year student in Osgoode’s Juris Doctor/Master of Business Administration Program and the co-director of external relations for OVCLS, said the organization hopes the inaugural clothing drive will become an annual event that involves other Osgoode student clubs.

“During recruitment and at other times when we’ve been in corporate business settings, we’ve realized how fortunate we were to not have to stress too much about the business attire that we were required to wear,” said Patiniotis.

“If anything,” he added, “we had options to choose from. But we recognized that not all our peers and colleagues have that luxury.”

OVCLS is seeking donations of lightly used suit jackets, dress pants, dress shirts, belts, ties, dress socks and shoes, including heels or flats for women.

The organizers plan to donate the clothing collected to Dress for Success Toronto and Suits Me Fine at Toronto’s Centre for Addiction & Mental Health. Osgoode students who need business attire will need to access it through those charities.