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O Proofreader, Where Art Thou? Sloppy exam setting ignites the ire of Legal Process students SARA TATELMAN (2L) Last fall, there was a buzz around Legal Process. It is not that students were dying to discuss res judicata, but many upper-year mentors thought it prudent to warn 1Ls about one of the instructors. Congenial and equipped with slick PowerPoint decks, Professor Albert Yoon’s weaknesses came to light at exam time, when, year after year, students faced error-riddled fact patterns. Exams even included challenge sheets for students to f lag questions so poorly written they were incomprehensible. POW WOW DANCERS INVITE AUDIENCE MEMBERS TO JOIN IN FOR AN INTERTRIBAL SONG. PHOTO CREDIT: TEODORA PASCA (1L)

Learning on the Land Reflections from the Mississaugas of the New Credit Homecoming Pow Wow TEODORA PASCA (1L) On August 25 and 26, the Mississaugas of the New Credit First Nation hosted the 32nd annual Three Fires Homecoming Pow Wow and Traditional Gathering. Indigenous and non-Indigenous people came together to celebrate the community’s culture and continued resilience through song, dance, and ceremony.

coerce and dispossess Indigenous peoples. In light of that history, it is a remarkable and humbling thing when a First Nation welcomes newcomers like me to their land. And on the day of the Pow Wow, so long as we respected the people and the land that hosted us, we were more than encouraged to participate.

are descendants of the Mississaugas who met annually to exchange goods with white traders at Missinihe (“trusting water”), known to settlers as the Credit River. Water is sacred and precious to the Mississaugas, as it is to many First Nations. It is lifeblood that no being, human or otherwise, can do without.

The New Credit Reserve is located outside Brantford, Ontario, a short drive from the Grand River and roughly equidistant from the shores of two great lakes. Around 2,300 people are members of the First Nation, and about one-third live on reserve. On the weekend of the Pow Wow, the community welcomed visitors from far and wide, including a group of students and staff from the University of Toronto Faculty of Law.

Pow Wow ceremonies are a stunning whirl of colours and sounds. The procession of dancers opens the Pow Wow with the Grand Entry, entering “in a good way” through the eastern door to the ring. Lilting melodies and booming drums fill the air as dancers spin and step to their rhythms. There is something to take away from every song and dance at a Pow Wow, and guests that day were treated to a wide repertoire. Intertribal songs invite everyone to join the circle and dance; honour songs pay solemn respects to those who request them; and the clinking bells of the Jingle Dress dance (traditionally 365 of them, one for each day of the year) is meant to bring health to those who are ill.

Today the law school, like the entire university, is situated on Indigenous land. Our classrooms sit on the traditional territory of the Huron-Wendat, the Seneca, and the Mississaugas of the Credit River. The least we can do in exchange for the use of the land is to be respectful of its history, including the parts we may be ashamed to confront. If we want to do better, as future lawyers, we should work together to stop that history from repeating itself.

I was one of those visitors. I am a first-generation immigrant to Canada. My family has only been in Toronto for about sixteen years. I am newer to this land than the descendants of its colonizers, but I am still a settler who benefits, willingly or not, from the settler-colonial state. Indigenous communities have a long and painful history of protecting their lands and cultures from people who overstayed their welcome. Law itself—Western law—has too often been used to

It poured rain on and off throughout the festivities, and though the weather would otherwise have made me skittish, I didn’t mind it that day. The theme of the Pow Wow was “Our Story: Water is Life.” The Mississaugas of the New Credit

Spending a day at a Pow Wow does not discharge that duty, but it can shed light on how much we have yet to learn. I learned just as much that day at the Pow Wow as I would in a more traditional classroom. I purchased art, I tasted homemade bread, and I watched people of all ages, Indigenous and non-Indigenous, duck under the main tent and dance under the rain. And I will never again walk by water without being grateful that it is there.

This past April, “the exam was a disaster,” says Adelheid*, a 2L who was in Prof. Yoon’s Legal Process class. Most egregiously, one of the short answer questions was copied and pasted from the 2016 exam, and therefore referenced parties never mentioned in the fact pattern. Though Adelheid had looked at that 2016 exam while studying, she wanted to ensure she wasn’t missing anything and spent valuable time re-reading the fact pattern and trying to f ind the missing party. “In the end, I barely had enough time to f inish,” she says. Another essay question misidentif ied key parties, which caused signif icant confusion. “I originally wrote one of the answers addressing the question I thought was being asked. Only towards the end did I realize [Prof. Yoon] wrote the question about a different party,” says Horatius*, another 2L affected by the exam. “So I had to delete an answer that made a lot more sense to f it into his questions that turned out to be a mistake. ... It messed with the time management of everything.” Unsatisfactory solutions Many students wrote to the administration with their concerns about the exam. Eleven days afterwards, Prof. Yoon emailed all his students, apologizing “both for the errors and for any anxiety they have produced.” He and then-Associate Dean Kerry Rittich decided it would be “equitable and fair” to compare exam answers based on the inferences students drew, according to the email. That is, there were multiple curves, with Continued on Page 3







2 | September 26, 2018

Ultra Vires is the independent student newspaper of the University of Toronto Faculty of Law. We provide a forum for diverse viewpoints on topics of interest to our readers. We aim to foster dialogue on academic and social issues between students, the faculty, and the broader legal community in Toronto, Ontario, and Canada. Our content does not necessarily reflect the views of the Editorial Board. Ultra Vires is printed by Weller Publishing Company, Ltd.

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September 26, 2018 | 3

Letter from the Editors Welcome back and please, please submit pieces

HONGHU WANG (2L) AND CHLOE MAGEE (3L) It’s 2018. Tuition has risen to $38,183.45.1 The articling crisis looms larger than ever. And there’s a new McGill Guide. Welcome back, everyone. In fairness, Dean Iacobucci is championing fundraising for student financial aid, now that fundraising for the Jackman Law Building has finished. The Law Society is, at least on its face, welcoming dialogue from students on articling reform (see our report on Page 10 and an op-ed on Page 27). The law school continues to improve Indigenous programming, such as the Indigenous Law in Context Weekend (see Page 7). Of course, we also have a comprehensive review of the 9th Edition of the McGill Guide (Page 8). If none of the above succeeds in raising your spirits, perhaps a friendly reminder that legalized marijuana is right around the corner, in time for Halloween? Talk about a nice treat. This year also marks Volume 20 of Ultra Vires. With this milestone in mind, we hope to continue to fulfill UV’s long-

standing mandate of fostering dialogue on any and all issues of interest to the student community, including but not limited to tuition, articling, truth and reconciliation, and mental health (and probably not the McGill Guide, unless you’re one of the nerds on the law review).2 We are excited and humbled (read: terrified) by this responsibility. We have also digitized our archives, available online, and will be drawing inspiration from the yellowed pages of UV in upcoming issues (stay tuned).3 Most importantly, we strongly encourage you to submit your pieces and feedback to UV. We rely entirely on your ideas and stories, and we’re hoping to hear from an increasingly broad cross-section of our community. This includes your best and worst hot takes, illustrations, poetry—literally (almost) anything. As one former UV editor put it, “you’d be surprised how low our standards can be.” More accurately, we know all of our classmates are brilliant and we’d like to provide an outlet for the creativity that too often takes a

backseat to coursework. This year, we’ve been #blessed with an impressive array of editors to work with you in readying your pieces for publication. Together, we hope to hear everyone’s voices reflected in your newspaper. Fear not, the relatively sober tone of this letter in no way indicates that Diversions is taking a backseat. Quite the contrary. We’re bringing back cartoons, sharing the news stories we wish were real, and introducing UV Classifieds for the first time.4 In short, if you are among our faithful readers who rely on UV solely for a monthly dose of sarcasm, cynicism, and self-deprecation… well, nothing has changed. 1

In 1995, tuition was a mere $2,451. In 1999, the first year of Ultra Vires, tuition had increased to $8,000 for first-year students. 2 Disclosure: Honghu Wang (2L) is on the law review. 3 To be clear, we are referring here to the weathered pages, not the yellow press. 4

Probably. We haven’t checked the archives.

O Proofreader, Where Art Thou? From Page 1

By the Numbers $276,742: Professor Yoon’s 2017 salary $206,933: Then-Associate Dean Rittich’s 2017 salary 127: Students in Prof. Yoon’s Legal Process classes last year

students only being compared to their peers who had made the same assumption.

policy regarding how instructors write— and proofread—their exams, Ultra Vires learned from an Access to Information request.

“I don't think there was any good way to deal with [grading the exam], except possiProf. Andrew Green, Associate Dean of bly to eliminate the curve,” says ErmenStudents, admits errors in exam setting garde*, another 2L who was in Prof. Yoon’s have become an issue, though he isn’t sure Legal Process class. why the Faculty doesn’t “While deference was have a policy on exam given to some of the varisetting. “I think it's basi“We pay a punishing ous possible interpretaamount of tuition. … At cally that we relied on tions of the errors in the people to proofread their the very least, this should exam, no thought was own papers, and maybe given to the sheer amount give the students the right to there are better practices of time it took to divine out there that we need to some transparency in the Yoon's intent.” look at,” he says. “It's

issue of professorial

reasonable for me to “What I thought would standards.” think about the best way be an appropriate soluto go forward, to put in —Ermengarde (2L) tion was counting your place guidelines, to enthree best answers, and sure we minimize misyour fourth [would be] takes going forward.” discarded,” Horatius says. “I think that would account for the time management Ermengarde is all for a proofreading poliproblem that came out of having to adjust cy. “I can think of no other highly paid job for the mistake in the question.” where there is absolutely no quality conHoratius met with Prof. Yoon after grades were released. Nothing came of that meeting, or from his formal appeal. Prof. Yoon declined to speak with Ultra Vires. “Everything I have to say on the subject I communicated to my students,” he wrote in an email. “It’s a law school, for crying out loud” The Faculty of Law currently lacks any

trol,” she says. “To receive more than a quarter of a million dollars each year, and to be expected to produce a reasonable, well-edited, f ive- or six-page exam is hardly taxing. If conf identiality is an issue, the Faculty could require paid proofreaders to take an oath or sign something. It's a law school, for crying out loud.” But there are downsides to implementing a formal exam-setting policy, says Prof. Mohammad Fadel, who will be teaching one section of Legal Process this coming winter. He argues it will only add busy work, and,

since professors are internally motivated, won’t result in better exam questions. “[It will] just add a whole other set of steps to do, boxes to check off, records you have to keep. It'll introduce a whole other layer of supervision,” he says. “I'm self-motivated to write a good exam for students, and I'm sure that's the same for all my colleagues.” Prof. Fadel, who stressed he was unfamiliar with the complaints around Prof. Yoon’s 2017 exam, starts writing exam fact patterns about two weeks before they’re due, and estimates it takes him a day to write each one. He begins by reading recent cases about the law he wants to ask about, modif ies them and then sends a draft to his assistant to check. “She reads it very carefully and she proofreads for grammar, names and stuff like that,” he says. “She'll say this doesn't seem to make sense, at least from a story perspective. And so I'll go back and double check I didn't make a mistake.”

addressing exam-setting errors isn’t enough for many, especially since the 2017 Legal Process exam wasn’t the f irst time students have pointed out signif icant errors on f inals. “I would also like to have seen the Faculty respond by taking the competency concerns of the students seriously,” says Ermengarde. “We pay a punishing amount of tuition, and professors are rewarded handsomely for their service. At the very least, this should give the students the right to some transparency in the issue of professorial standards.” (On that note, when Ultra Vires f irst asked how the Faculty will try and prevent examsetting errors, Assistant Dean Sara Faherty declined to share any information, citing privacy concerns around human resources decisions. This inspired our Access to Information request.)

On September 5, the law school community received an email from Dean Edward Iacobucci announcing Prof. Yoon’s new role as Associate Dean of Curriculum and Further, Prof. Fadel argues that such misResearch, focused on takes on exam questions faculty research and, can actually help stuironically, building the “I'm self-motivated to write J.D. curriculum. dents in the long run. “I don't want to sound like a good exam for students, I'm preaching tough love Based on past Sunshine and I'm sure that's the here, but resilience is a List results, this change same for all my colleagues.” in position would not skill that will take you very far in life and in necessarily result in Prof. —Prof. Mohammad your career. If you're Yoon receiving a higher Fadel thrown a curveball, you salary. Nevertheless, the need to be ready for it… perceived promotion afIt’s all about tomorrow.” ter years of subpar exam-setting is sticking in the craw of some students, though they For his part, Horatius recognizes it would admit other instructors for Legal Process be diff icult to force proofreaders on every will likely benef it the student body. professor. But “when, for three consecutive years, you're having swarms of students “I just wanted some disciplinary action complain about the same professor's exam, against him,” says Adelheid, adding she then maybe you should put that under closwasn’t concerned about raising her grade. er watch,” he says. She simply sought “some sort of remedy that shows the school is with us, not protecting him for his stupid mistakes.” Raising hackles The Faculty’s wait-and-see approach on

*Names have been changed.


4 | September 26, 2018

Orientation Week Adds Blanket Exercise, Drake Hotel Semi-formal Students rave about new events JAMES FLYNN (1L) On September 4, f irst-year students at the University of Toronto Faculty of Law started classes after two weeks of fun, jampacked with orientation events. This year’s program, themed “Lawvengers”. The Orientation Week team introduced new events and venues to the program, such as the semi-formal event on the evening of August 30 at the Drake Hotel. Students participated in a blanket exercise at the law school and attended the Mississaugas of the New Credit Thirty-Second Annual Three Fires Homecoming Pow Wow on August 25. “I really enjoyed having orientation week structured around the Legal Methods course,” said Olivia Eng (1L). “It was nice to have the low-pressure introduction where I could let my nerves settle, while not having to feel guilty about

taking the time to attend social events.” As part of the introductory two weeks, the orientation team also created an accessibility guide that evaluated off-campus locations (i.e. accessibility of the entrance, transportation, and washrooms), in order to ensure a seamless transition for all incoming students. “We had certain goals this year, including making the semi-formal event more accessible,” said Erica McLachlan (2L JD/MPP), an organizing Co-Chair. Fellow Co-Chair Aaqib Mahmood (2L JD/MBA) praised the O-Week team’s cohesion throughout the period. “It was all worth it when we began to see the planning efforts come together at events—where the incoming class went from awkward hellos to high-f iving and jiving to great music on the dance f loor.”


Rotman Orientation Pushes Collaboration And you thought Legal Methods was bad enough ROBERT NANNI (2L JD/MBA) It was a warm Monday morning on August 20 as the Rotman full-time MBA class of 2020 gathered in the Rotman building (Desautels Hall, to be exact). Among the approximately 350 individuals were twentyf ive JD/MBA students, nervous about the experience to come, excited to meet new friends, and concerned about whether the additional $85,000 would be worth it. Long story short: Still nervous, still excited, still concerned. The week started with a welcome breakfast, as do many orientation weeks, where two jumbotron screens showed Dean Tiff Macklem, performing the infamous Kiki dance from Drake’s “In My Feelings”. This, along with the orientation team being called “The 6ix Squad,” was to purportedly hype-up Torontonian culture for a nearly 50% international class. They loved it. The JD/MBAs exchanged cringy glances. After a morning full of administrative discussions and endless clapping, the program’s collaborative nature began to shine through. The class divided into breakout groups and engaged in an activity called “the reciprocity ring”, where you identify something you want to gain, such as a skill, and the other members in your group iden-

tify whether they can provide that skill. The idea is to leverage your social and professional networks, thereby increasing access to resources you did not realize were available to you. This enlightening experience capped off the day for all but the JD/MBAs, who met with their career coach for an hour. In this session, they were guided through what our year would look like and discussed the daunting yet distant 1L Recruit. It was the f irst time the posse was in the same room together and it def initely helped to answer some burning questions (i.e., will I get a job? Short answer: I hope). The next day was initially reminiscent of Legal Methods, since we also had a twoweek intensive course during orientation, except our course was called “Leveraging Diverse Teams”. It was intended to help students effectively navigate teamwork. However, it ended up reinforcing the notion that group work is diff icult and oftentimes frustrating. Throughout orientation, teams of f ive had to produce two 1200word papers. (If you have never written a group paper, and I pray that you haven’t, it is hardly an eff icient experience). Despite the struggles, the value in working with individuals from different cultures, careers,

A few days later was a trip to “O-Camp” at Camp Winnebagoe, where students played sports, engaged in team-building acThe f irst week of orientation also had tivities, and had their alcohol intake monistudents work ing in larger teams of seven tored by upper years (while I’m thankful for to nine indiv iduals on a consulting chal- the connections I made as I had relatively lenge. Each of the f ive sober conversations with sections worked w ith a my new classmates, I dif ferent organization would not have com“Leveraging Diverse in Toronto, or the Cit y about a gin and Teams” was intended to plained of Toronto itself, on an tonic after that rough area af fecting povert y. help students effectively two weeks). This challenge tack led navigate teamwork. Sprinkled throughout tough issues such as However, it ended up the orientation were inhomelessness, shelters, reinforcing the notion teresting experiences and dig ital literacy. Dethat would fuel the spite the irony of hav ing that group work is students tack le issues difficult and oftentimes friendship among the JD/MBAs. This includrelated to povert y while frustrating. ed the irony of an allwearing expensive suits, carb breakfast during a it was nevertheless a good cause. This challenge proved dif f i- presentation on health and wellness, attacks cult in its own right, as students struggled on individuals’ presentation styles during a to nav igate dif ferent ideas w ithin a larger self-development activity, and the “Amazing Rotman Race”, which the JD/MBAs group setting. skipped in lieu of their own activities. Finally, the orientation ended w ith a Although it was a very tiring and stressful boat cruise, DJ’d by none other than a member of the Rotman administration start to a presumably very tiring and stresswho never lets the J Ds forget that he used ful degree, the Rotman MBA orientation to be on the recruitment team at the Fac- gave me at least twenty-four new friends, and for that I am grateful. ult y of Law. and academic backgrounds certainly has real-life applicability.


September 26, 2018 | 5

“I have a lot of views about pizza.” Professor Essert on the law school’s most ubiquitous free lunch food SHARI NATHAN (3L) Christopher Essert is a new Associate Professor in the Faculty of Law, teaching property, torts, and a unique course on homelessness this year. He also loves pizza. Prof. Essert says the great thing about pizza is the huge diversity of styles, and claims that this is the key ingredient missing from the Toronto pizza scene. In his opinion, “all of the best pizza places in Toronto are basically one style” - neapolitan. He told us that traditional style pizza was invented in Italy in the 1800s, and brought into New England by Italian immigrants in the 1880s. New England f lour was “harder” than its Italian counterpart and resulted in the crunchier, more bread-like pizza crust distinctive of New England-style pizza in New Haven, where Essert was a graduate law student.

One pizzeria in New Haven, which has been open for over 100 years, is known for its “really good” white clam pie that’s reminiscent of traditional clam pastas - it’s a white pizza with clams and garlic. Prof. Essert also likes Detroit-style pizza, which has “a complicated thing with the sauce. They put the sauce on top of the cheese after the pizza comes out of the oven,” he explains. It is “similar to Pizza Hut—but good.” As a Toronto native and alumnus of University of Toronto Schools, Pizza Hut is close to his heart. He remembers going with friends to the Pizza Hut at Bloor and Avenue, where if your $5 personal pan pizza was not ready in f ive minutes, it was free! On the secret to making pizza at home: stick to a pan pizza, since your oven will never get hot enough for Toronto’s favourite

neapolitan style. His method is to heat up a cast-iron pan on a very hot stovetop and get his oven running as high as possible for as long as possible. Then he puts the dough directly into the hot pan, adds the toppings, and gets it into the very-hot oven. “The combined heat of pan and the oven makes the pizza cook in the right amount of time, so you can actually make a pretty good fake Detroit-style pizza,” he says. When going to a new pizza place, Prof. Essert says to start simple: “my preferred pizza is pepperoni, and then margherita.” His current favourite pizza in Toronto is the pepperoni at General Assembly at 331 Adelaide Street West. His two go-to at home pizzas are a traditional margherita or pepperoni, and a white caulif lower pizza. His sample pizza party menu would include those two pies, cold

roasted vegetable antipasto, case salad, and an ice cream or fruit tart for dessert. He would pair that with a French sparkling wine, but not champagne, or a light lager like Howe Sound Lager. Controversial pizza takes: Chicago Deep Dish? Weird. Pineapple on Pizza? No. Dessert Pizza? Not a pizza. Sushi Pizza? Also not a pizza. Caulif lower Crust? Yet to try it. For more tips on pizza, Essert suggested checking out the pizza episode of David Chang’s Ugly Delicious and reading the Serious Eats food blog to f ind out how to make different styles of pizza.

New York Recruit Results Eighteen students flock south HONGHU WANG (2L)* This year, at least eighteen eager students from the University of Toronto Faculty of Law are heading down to New York, where they will be wined and dined by some of the top law firms in the United States (see chart). Of the eighteen, eight are JD/ MBA students. For comparison, sources who have worked in New York this past summer estimate their numbers between twenty-five and thirty, and the year before at about twenty (Ultra Vires did not report on the New York recruit in recent years). Ultra Vires also polled those students headed down to the Big Apple on the number of Hs they received in their first year. Thirteen of them responded: the average number of Hs is 7.7, with a range of 4 to 11. These figures are self-reported, so the usual caveats apply. While those who secured jobs in New York tended to do well in school, not all those who did well chose New York. At least one student, who declined to be named, reported receiving thirteen Hs while opting out of the New York recruit entirely. For that student, family and a better work-life balance in Toronto were deciding factors. New York associates are often expected to bill more than 2,000 hours a year, with some firms expecting 2,400 or more. Bay Street firms, by contrast,


Number of Students Hired

Cravath, Swaine & Moore LLP


Davis Polk & Wardwell LLP


Fried, Frank, Harris, Shriver & Jacobson LLP


Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton and Garrison LLP


Sullivan & Cromwell LLP


Shearman & Sterling LLP


Sidley Austin LLP


Simpson Thacher & Bartlett LLP


Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP and Affiliates


White & Case LLP


Weil, Gotshal & Manges LLP

1 Total

expect closer to 1,800 hours. For that individual, Toronto seemed, at least for the time being, the better destination. For others, the allure of New York proved irresistible. Starting salaries there recently increased to 190,000 USD, the equivalent of $246,000. In Toronto, articling salaries have not moved since 2007. It remains at $75,000. Money was not the only motivating factor, though. Olivia Hodson (2L) said, “professionally, New York is arguably the most challenging and


intense legal market you can find and for me that was appealing… it leaves you with great exit options in the long term. Living in New York is probably a super cool experience and having the opportunity to live there is hard to pass on.”

turn to their offices to meet more lawyers.

The New York recruitment process also proved straightforward in comparison to the Toronto process. After on-campus interviews (which were not on campus), firms invited compelling candidates down for a day of in-firm interviews. Successful candidates then had twenty-eight days to make a decision; many firms encouraged students to re-

He also commented, “our alumni network was a real standout… I had tons of insightful conversations leading into in-firms and OCIs. It was nice to see our brand and network have some carry.”

Harrison Perry-Daiter (2L) thought the twentyeight day decision period allowed him to make an informed decision.

*The writer participated in the New York recruit.

6 | September 26, 2018


Interview with New SLS President Solomon McKenzie Executives promise efficiency and responsiveness SHARI NATHAN (3L)


The Students’ Law Society (SLS) is comprised of three units: Executive Of f icers, Student Af fairs and Governance, and Social (St AG). We sat down with new SLS President Solomon McKenzie (3L) to talk about his plans for each in the upcoming year.


Social plans to increase its ef f iciency by holding a working retreat early in the semester to deal with funding applications, freeing up more time over the year for more substantive work. They are continuing to plan late-night, alcohol-fuelled social events such as pub nights, the Halloween party, and the Law Ball. In addition, Social is hoping to diversify its programming to potentially include more movie, board game, and trivia nights in the interest of commuters, non-drinkers, and those of us who just want more options. Solomon admits that addressing policy issues on the St AG side can be a huge and unwieldy task with many focus areas, but identif ied mental health, lawyer licensing changes, and f inancial aid as a few key areas. On lawyer licensing, St AG organized last week’s town hall with Treasurer of the Law Society of Ontario (LSO) and is in the process of writing a formal position paper to the LSO to provide input from law students about their ideal licensing structure. SLS is also aiming to build its relationships both internally and with other law student groups. Social and St AG will be holding constitutionally required plenary sessions this year that bring together all SLS members and executives from both branches; in previous years these meetings

have been overlooked. In addition, SLS is looking to foster a stronger relationship with the Graduate Law Students’ Association (GLSA) in order to provide joint programming and to take advantage of graduate students who are leaders in their respective f ields for academic programming and networking opportunities. Solomon explained some changes to the Equity Of f icer role, which had previously included a substantial amount of one-onone support to students seeking accommodation and dealing with equity concerns. Equity Of f icers will now be focused on policy and on raising equity concerns relating to St AG’s work, while historically the burden of raising these issues has fallen to a handful of particular St AG reps. Ref lecting on the incoming class, Solomon commented that the new 1Ls seemed to have a great sense of community and willingness to support each other. He also noted that this year’s 1L orientation was the f irst to include a blanket exercise as part of the schedule. Inclusion of the blanket exercise is part of the faculty’s larger commitment to truth and reconciliation. Despite these moving parts and numerous goals for SLS, Solomon’s most basic foundational promise is that SLS will be as eff icient and impactful as possible with its resources. He and other members of SLS have already begun to deliver on this promise by working through the summer to prepare materials and plan to continue working hard on policy and student response throughout the year.


September 26, 2018 | 7

Students, Staff Introduced to Indigenous Law at Cape Croker Indian Reserve Lindsay Burrows and Prof. Heidi Stark share Anishinaabe law stories IOANA DRAGALIN (2L) This September, I had the opportunity to visit Neyaashiinigmiing, the Cape Croker Indian Reserve, along with almost 30 students and professors from the University of Toronto Faculty of Law. Several members of the Law Society of Ontario, including Treasurer Malcolm Mercer, joined us to learn from Lindsay Keegitah Borrows and Professor Heidi Kiiwetinepinesiik Stark, experts on Anishinaabe law. Although almost all of the classes offered by the Faculty provide some exposure to Aboriginal legal issues, accounts of Indigenous culture and tradition are less common. My goals for the three-day excursion were to engage with the Anishinaabe community and surrounding landscape, learn more about Anishinaabe traditions and teachings, and inform my understanding of the duties that law students and legal professionals have with respect to reconciliation.

Stories are an important source of Anishinaabe law. Many lessons over the course of the weekend involved one or more stories that would illustrate various legal concepts. After listening to a story, we would break off into smaller groups and discuss the story’s meaning. At f irst, I found this exercise very diff icult—how are we supposed to f igure out the true meaning of a story without any prior exposure to Anishinaabe law? After listening to a couple of stories and f inding their vagueness frustrating, I came to a realization. From what I understand, the stories are meant to be ambiguous. In fact, it is possible for each listener to come away from a story with a different teaching or understanding of its underlying meaning. The point of the exercise is to explore the teachings that each story can offer you rather than to pinpoint a specif ic lesson for which the story is meant to stand.

Stories are an I am unable to share the Moving forward, I hope teachings that I received to approach unfamiliar important source of in detail as I am neither situations using this Anishinaabe law. Anishinaabe nor a methodology. As a law Knowledge Keeper and student and as a young am therefore unable to speak for the comassociate, it seems that there is often a fomunity. Instead, I hope that my ref lection cus on f inding the answer that someone on what I learned and experienced will enelse is looking for, whether they are a procourage other students to seek out similar fessor or a supervising lawyer. This mindopportunities to better their understanding set can create mental barriers that limit of Indigenous legal and cultural traditions. your ability to come up with creative solu-


tions to legal problems. By approaching new ideas with the goal of learning for yourself rather than for those around you, you put yourself in a better position to engage deeply with the material in a way that encourages creative and empathetic solutions. In addition to storytelling, the weekend included a sweat lodge ceremony as well as exposure to cultural traditions that I do not

have enough room to discuss. It’s diff icult to explain how or why I have felt closer to the environment since my return and impossible to describe how the sweat lodge ceremony I participated in affected my spiritual well-being and mental health. What I can say is that I hope this small glimpse into the program has convinced you to attend next fall, because the experience is unique and memorable.



8 | September 26, 2018

Canadian Guide to Uniform Legal Citation, 9th Edition, Review Palpitations for citations LAWRENCE VEREGIN (‘18) Actually, see the movie; here’s a list of the changes from the 8th Edition: Jurisprudence

• •

If there is a neutral citation, any additional citation is now unnecessary Online sources of jurisprudence (such as CanLII) now have the same status as unofficial printed reporters


Section 6.1 was called “Periodicals” in the 8th Edition; It is called “Legal Journals” in the 9th Edition

If two issues of the same volume are published at once, the issues should now be separated with a slash (/) instead of an en dash (–): 8th Edition: Antony Anghie, “The War on Terror and Iraq in Historical Perspective” (2005) 43:1–2 Osgoode Hall LJ 45. 9th Edition: Antony Anghie, “The War on Terror and Iraq in Historical Perspective” (2005) 43:1/2 Osgoode Hall LJ 45.


It has been four years since the McGill Law Journal (MLJ) last decided that every Canadian in the legal profession must change how they do their citations, only to create headaches for lawyers who learned under different styles. There are now more editions of the Canadian Guide to Uniform Legal Citation (McGill Guide) than there are The Fast and the Furious movies. However, just like The Fast and the Furious movies, the latest entry feels like nothing more than a money grab.

Parliamentary Papers

uniform legal citation than with mistakes on the inside cover?

8th Edition: House of Commons Debates, 42nd Parl, 1st Sess, No 317 (19 June 2018) at 21300 (Hon Chrystia Freeland). 9th Edition: House of Commons Debates, 42-1, No 317 (19 June 2018) at 21300 (Hon Chrystia Freeland).

The third citation, SkyDome Act (Bus Parking), SO 2002, c 8, Schedule K, s 2. should be, Skydome Act (Bus Parking), 2002, SO 2002, c 8, Schedule K, s 2. as per s. 2.1.4 on page E-23, which clearly states that statutes with years in the title should include the year. Further, the f irst jurisprudence citation uses a hyphen between consecutive pinpoints rather than an en dash, contrary to s. 1.5 on page E-13.

Each edition of the McGill Guide is a ref lection of its time. Who could forget the launch of the 7th Edition, which became the f irst feminist citation style guide? It addressed the number one complaint What better way for the Even better, there are amongst women: no citations that were incorMcGill Law Journal to more periods. [Editor’s in the 8th Edition that start off their uniform rect note: In an article covering still have not been f ixed. legal citation guide the 7th Edition, UV reThe example of the Civil ported, “one professor even than with mistakes on Marriage Act, SC 2005, c joked that the new McGill 41 (E-27 in 8th Edition, the inside cover? Guide must be pregnant." ] E-23 in 9th Edition)should The 8th Edition boldly be Civil Marriage Act, SC added one hundred more pages of citation 2005, c 33. Don’t worry, there are plenty of rule goodness. What visionary changes new errors to discover, like on page E-25 does the 9th Edition bring that captures the where the Holocaust Memorial Day Act and legal zeitgeist in 2018? Child Welfare Act, 1972 both incorrectly omit the comma after the year (an error which The cover of the 9th Edition is a glorious was not there in the 8th Edition at E-31). scarlet, with seas of white to its north and south. In a circle of white, the outline of a The marketing materials for the 9th Edition red tree grows in the centre. The design is raved about improvements in the section on reminiscent of a Canadian f lag. The look is electronic sources and digital content. The sleek, minimalistic, and modern. Its prede- whole three and a half pages on this topic cessor is a waning gradient of crimson, with (down from four and half in the 8th Edition) a ribbon seemingly modelled after cheap adds cutting edge digital content like PDF two karat gold. Its design completely clash- f iles (s. on E-102). es with the lawyer’s Rolex. However, the greatest improvement is that Flip the cover and the changes are also additional reporter citations are no longer stark and obvious. What better way for the necessary for cases with a neutral citation. McGill Law Journal to start off their guide to Even better, it only took about a couple of

Parliamentary papers now use hyphenated numbers to identify the legislative session:

Digital Content

A archive URL is strongly recommended to be included at the end of the citation in square brackets, in addition to the original URL

• • •

Time pinpoints are now placed in the middle rather than at the end of a citation The source of online content is now italicized Online videos must include “(video)” after the “online”: 8th Edition: CBC News: The National, “Beverley McLachlin reflects on Supreme Court career, dispute with PM Harper” (18 December 2017), online: YouTube < VLEogRtquaQ> at 00h:03m:42s. 9th Edition: CBC News: The National, “Beverley McLachlin reflects on Supreme Court career, dispute with PM Harper” (18 December 2017) at 00h:03m:42s, online (video): YouTube <> [].

PDF files should have a “(pdf)” placed after the “online” (similar to the video and podcast example): Health Canada, “Eating Well with Canada’s Food Guide” (2011) at 6, online (pdf): Health Canada < hpfb-dgpsa/pdf/food-guide-aliment/print_eatwell_bienmang-eng.pdf>.

• •

Comment and tweets now use the month spelled out in full (e.g. February instead of Feb)

Podcasts are redone to be more consistent with other digital content:

Reddit posts are now cited with “posted on” (just as in Facebook posts), unlike 8th edition which used “posted in” 8th Edition: “Divide and Conquer” (17 May 2018) (podcast), online: Revisionist History <>. 9th Edition: “Divide and Conquer” (17 May 2018), online (podcast): Revisionist History <>.

Other Secondary Sources

The 9th Edition moves the section on Historical Legal Materials, including Roman law, Canon law, and Talmudic Law to Foreign Sources; they are otherwise unchanged

The 9th Edition recommends a archive URL be included at the end of the citation of online newspaper articles, as demonstrated above with digital content

decades since the introduction of neutral citations for this epiphany to occur. The MLJ gives the term “uniform” a very broad and liberal construction. Uniform seems to mostly refer to the fact that this edition is uniform with the last: the text and examples are largely identical to the 8th Edition. The only noticeable change is that examples are presented in borderless grey boxes rather than black bordered white boxes.

FEATURES (e.g. “1st Sess, 38th Parl”) for bills, while putting the session after the legislature (e.g. “38th Parl, 1st Sess”) for parliamentary papers (like Hansard debates) was uniform. The 9th Edition embraces an even more revolutionary concept of uniform: those Hansard debates now use with hyphenated numbers for the legislature and session (e.g. “38-1”) (s. 4.1 on E-59), while preserving the style and order of bills (s. 2.4 on E-28). Uniform now means to be both inconsistent in order and style.

That’s not the only interpretation the MLJ has given to “uniform”. Uniform apparently means a book’s volume number Unfortunately, those hoping that this seshould be placed before publication inforquel would f inally resolve all of the great mation if the volumes are published under citation debates will be disappointed. The separate titles, but after if they are pubMcGill Guide remains a law journal-centric lished under the same title (s. 6.4.2 on guide as opposed to one targeted at the E-89). It also means that there should be practice of law. six different possible abbreviations for CaSources frequently citnadian jurisdictions, deed in practice, such as pending on the material (Appendix A-1 on A-5 to The McGill Law Journal transcripts of trials or examinations for disA-6). gives the term covery, aff idavits, evi“uniform” a very broad dence, statements of For digital content, despite stating that the full and liberal claim/defence, are only URL should be used, brief ly alluded to in the construction…. some of the examples use Edition (and only in Uniform now means to 9th the full URL and others the context of decided be both inconsistent in cases), and without any just use the URL to the home page without exexamples or attempts to order and style. planation. Making a create a “uniform legal reader search a site for a citation” (s. 3.16 on specif ic page seems to go against the point E-54). of a citation, but that just speaks to how Transcripts are particularly problematic, audacious this citation style guide truly is. because they use page and line number Further, the 8th Edition believed that pinpoints, a type of pinpoint never adplacing the session before the legislature

September 26, 2018 | 9

Foreign Sources

• Citations for Australian legislation should now include the year and number in the form year/ number:

8th Edition: Smoke-free Environment Act 2000 (NSW). 9th Edition: Smoke-free Environment Act 2000 (NSW), 2000/69.

• Citations for Singapore legislation and jurisprudence have been removed • Citations for the European Union have been added: Chocoladefabriken Lindt & Sprüngli AG v Franz Hauswirth GmbH, C-529/07, [2009] ECR I-4893 at I-4896. Appendix

• Appendix A-1 now refers to the common Canadian Postal Abbreviations for abbreviating Canadian jurisdictions outside of statutes, gazettes, regulations, courts, journals, and law reporters

• Appendix A-4 (Other Jurisdictional Abbreviations) now includes Hong Kong, which should be abbreviated as HK when referring to the jurisdiction

• Appendix A-5 includes more abbreviations (now Abbreviations in International Materials instead of Abbreviations of International Organizations)

dressed in the McGill Guide. I have seen “page 4–5, lns 14–3”, “4–5, lns 14–3”, “4 ln 14–5 ln 3”, “4–5:14–3”, and “4:14–5:3” all used to refer to the same pinpoint. Without the guidance of The McGill Guide to resolve these unanswered questions, there will surely be bloodshed amongst librarians. Should a f lame war start, I recommend attempting to change the subject to something less inf lammatory, like which superhero is the best or which religion is probably right. What does the 9th Edition tell us about life in 2018? It tells us that we should pay $76

for something that previously cost $66. Before, you could buy the McGill Guide and get a ticket to the latest The Fast and the Furious movie. Now it looks like you’ll have to pass on the movie. Or maybe you should pass on the McGill Guide. In either case, it’s just like the last one. [Editor’s note: The MLJ was provided with an advance draft of this piece. They respectfully disagree with some of the criticism (e.g., The McGill Guide is intended to give direction on citations as opposed to strict rules and that the Guide is aimed at law reviews, not practitioners) while conceding that typos are inexcusable. Their full comment is available on our website.]


10 | September 26, 2018

LSO Considers Changes to Articling Students, benchers, staff discuss four options; none perfect ANNE MARSHALL (3L)

The articling crisis. Law school’s boogeyman: an intangible monster with which few of our graduates have to grapple. Our published statistics show that only three to seven students are still looking for articling positions, as the end of the year rolls around, while 185 have secured positions. The other dozen of you are golden children, moving on to LLMs, clerkships, or other very prestigious things that are not in my vocabulary. Yet outside of our walls, the shortage of jobs is very real and it has forced the Law Society of Ontario (LSO) into action. Why should the rest of you care? Well, the articling crisis, and the solutions put forward by the law society, will likely affect you: either directly, through higher licensing fees, changing bar exam formats, and insurance fees for young lawyers, or indirectly, through changing roles for your juniors and a changing face of the legal profession.



Nothing will change

The Law Society is under pressure to do something and benchers have expressed that this is a very unlikely option.



Unpaid articling positions will vanish. Unpaid LPP work placements will vanish. Greater oversight and less variability across articling/LPP positions (in theory).




No change. Articling and the Law Practice Program (LPP) will be kept as is, with licensing fees will remain the same ($4,710 + HST). Half of the licensing fees paid by each graduate currently go to fund the LPP program. Each practicing lawyer in Ontario pays $25 to $27 per year to cover the remainder of the LPP program costs. Enhanced protections for articling and the LPP (presumably). All articling students would have to be paid at least minimum wage and complete a practical skills exam in addition to the existing exams. Licensing fees would roughly increase by $2,000 to $2,500 per candidate. Elimination of articling and the LPP, replaced by an exam only format. Costs would remain the same for graduates headed to f irms with more than six lawyers. For everyone else, costs would increase by about $2,000. Elimination of articling and mandatory completion of LPP for all law graduates. Fees for all candidates would increase by $10,000 to $12,000.

You’ll notice that none of these options are perfect. None of them address the increasing numbers of law students looking for jobs. None of them increase demand for legal services. None of them address student debt—or any of the reasons we have an access-to-justice crisis. None of these options solve the articling crisis. None of them deal

CONS Unpaid articling positions will vanish, decreasing numbers of available articling positions. Unpaid work placements will vanish, decreasing the number of LPP placements. Additional exam for all graduates. Additional $2000 - $2500 licensing cost.

This option will result in fewer articling positions and LPP work placements. There are also enforcement concerns: think of a law student faced with a principal that refuses to pay them while reporting them could cause unwelcome consequences. The practical result is an articling environment similar to what we already have, but with fewer existing positions. PROS


No more articling, so no more articling crisis. Faster path to licensing. One less barrier to becoming a practicing lawyer.

The LSO is considering four options:


CONS Nothing will change

CONS One more exam. Increased licensing fees of about $2,000 for those joining small firms or sole practices. Less or no structured practical legal training. Risk of more incompetent lawyers serving the public.

This option eliminates a barrier for law graduates but increases the risk of incompetent lawyers serving the public. It furthers the gap between new lawyers at large firms and those at small or solepractitioner firms. It also removes the structure and protections of articling, which could allow for more abusive employment practices in firm environments. Notes

There will be little change for new lawyers at large firms, which tend to practice business law. Graduates who immediately go into sole practice will suffer the most harm: there will be less training and oversight, in addition to higher start-up costs. These graduates will more likely serve clients on legal aid. The American experience showed that lawyers in this position do not provide high quality, competent legal services to the clients they serve. PROS


Guaranteed practical experience. Elimination of articling crisis. Increased fairness (maybe) as everyone will get the same training

CONS Increased costs of $10,000 to $12,000 per person. Possible requirement to move to a city that offers the LPP. Additional Exam.

Logistical challenges remain to be addressed with this option. Currently, only Ryerson and Ottawa offer LPP training, and part of the training must be done in person. There would either need to be an expansion of service providers, or a switch to an online model.


If this option is implemented, the law schools may be asked to incorporate LPP training into the existing schooling model by adding more time. This could allow students to qualify for OSAP funding to cover the increased costs. Feedback on the LPP program as it currently exists has been mixed. Some have found it very helpful in teaching practical legal skills. Others feel four months is not enough time to learn the practical legal skills needed to serve clients and that the simulated training provided is not realistic. It is unclear how firms would integrate this training if employers are required to provide work placements and how the work placement matching process would work.

with the real barrier to the legal profession—cost. But they will all have some impact on your career, if you choose to practice law in Ontario. On September 20, LSO Treasurer Malcolm Mercer, Bencher Peter Wardle, and Strategic Policy Counsel Margaret Drent came to the law school for a townhall on these proposed changes.

Mr. Mercer emphasized that the LSO exists to protect the public but has no ability to manage supply and demand in the profession. The LSO cannot dictate to law schools how many students to admit, or how much to charge students for the privilege of attending. It also cannot tell law f irms to hire more students or to pay them more. It cannot tell the government to properly fund

a legal aid system that serves its citizenry. And it cannot tell Canadians to stop getting law degrees overseas and coming back home with the expectation that they will be able to get licensed. Now is the time to inform yourself, and to provide your feedback to the LSO consultation on licensing before October 26.


September 26, 2018 | 11

When One Degree Is Not Enough With input from the friends that you no longer see around the law school ROBERT NANNI (2L JD/MBA) Finding yourself a little low on debt? Really looking to max out that line of credit? Concerned about the employability of a JD by itself ? Fear not—the University of Toronto Faculty of Law has several joint degrees. We interviewed several of these joint-degree students to hear about their experiences. (Responses have been edited).

sial subjects we covered in f irst year law, it is really hard to have a meaningful discussion about accounting. My background is in philosophy, so I loved analyzing cases and wrestling with conceptual problems and ideas in law school. There is not much, or likely any, of that in the MBA so far. A lso, Rotman has way too many stairs and not enough windows. Any advice?

Erica McLachlan, JD/MPP ‘21 Why the Master’s in Public Policy? It is only an extra year and it would help me improve my quantitative analysis. It will also help me develop the skills to become great at developing advocacy strategies, especially for non-prof its. I also really like that I have an extra year to f igure out what direction I want to go in for my career. For instance, it will expose me to what it’s like to work in government through the mandatory internship, which is something I know very little about. Pros and cons? I like the math so far! Having a right answer is really satisfying. I have heard there’s a lot of group work though, which can be very hit or miss.

Lauren Nickerson, JD/MBA ‘21 Why the Master’s in Business Administration? Since I do not have a background in business, adding the MBA would give me the skills to navigate the business world and understand clients' needs in a corporate law setting. It will also be useful if I decide to transition out of traditional law down the road. Beyond this, I think the degree combination will challenge me in complementary ways, because they require dif ferent skill sets and approaches to learning. Being successful in the joint program will require a certain degree of versatility and I think it will be valuable to develop this versatility now. Pros and cons? The MBA is a complete change of pace from law school. While 1L was heav y on academics and independent work, the f irst few weeks of the MBA have been very fastpaced (less readings, but more projects, assignments, and quizzes) and very peopleoriented. I think it is valuable because it pushes me beyond my comfort zone. The courses are not as interesting or stimulating as law: unlike the often-controver-

Talk to as many people as you can. When I was making my decision, I talked to upper year JDs, JD/MBAs, alumni, practicing lawyers, and in-house counsel to get an idea of how useful the degree would be for me. The variety of opinions and perspectives I received were really helpful, but ultimately the decision was mine. It is important to remember that there is no single path to success. When I was making my decision, someone told me that my path would not be "carved out" by me so much as it would "unfold". There are many routes to getting to where you want to be— don’t overthink it!

Ben Mayer-Goodman, JD/MGA ‘21 Why the Master’s in Global Affairs? I wanted to pursue a broader education and the MGA seemed like it would encompass broad aspects of business, economics, public policy, and international relations. This degree also contained the elements from both the MPP and the MBA programs that interested me most. Pros and cons? The people in the MGA are much more diverse than those from the law school and there are signif icantly more international students. A ll of the upper year MGA students I have met have been incredibly friendly, willing to give advice, and have been eager to include me in their conversations with other experienced MGA students. In addition, the course readings are, for the most part, actually engaging (no offence to CJ Bev; point-f irst writing can only get you so far). One major issue, however, is the lack of coordination between the JD and MGA administration. For example, the mandatory Public International Law class at the law school is scheduled right in the middle of the mandatory MGA decision making course. To make sure that I don't miss anything important, I have to attend the morning Decision Making course, leave halfway through and walk to the law school for International Law. Once the law class is done, I head back to attend the last half

of the afternoon Decision Making course. This makes it very dif f icult to fully engage in both courses. Any advice? The website can only tell you so much about a program, so speak to current and former students. I would also recommend evaluating your own personal reasons for pursuing the JD/MGA. If the goal is to get a leg up on the corporate job market, I would say reconsider (do an MBA instead). However, if you can af ford the extra cost and are genuinely interested in the subject matter and courses, then the MGA might just be right for you.

Lily Chapnik Rosenthal, JD/MSW ‘21 Why the Master’s in Social Work? I felt that it would be the most conducive to succeeding in my long-term goals, which is to practice law in a client-facing f ield with social justice-minded ideals. Pros and cons? The people are lovely and the professors seem very invested in our success, which is comforting. However, the material seems like it’s a little too easy at times. Any advice?

Brittany Cohen, JD/M A (Criminology) ‘20 Why the Master’s in Criminolog y? It is the same length and tuition as just a JD alone, so I f igured I may as well get another degree while I am here! I also think the joint degree is a great opportunity to gain a wider knowledge base and a deeper understanding of the criminal justice system. In this way, I hope the Master’s degree will complement my law degree so that, in practice, I have a fuller perspective on my cases and clients. Pros and cons? In contrast to many law courses, where you are simply being taught what the rules are, the master’s classes require you to look at research and theorize as to why something is the way that it is. The topics cover very interesting areas of criminolog y, including dif ferent aspects of youth crime and how criminological theory has shaped the criminal justice system. However, the grad school seems to operate at a dif ferent pace than the law school. That would not necessarily be a negative if you are only a graduate student, but having to juggle the responsibilities of two departments adds some unnecessary stress, as one is signif icantly more laid back than the other. Any advice? Understand that you are sacrif icing part of the “law school experience: by splitting your 2L and 3L years. You may feel weirdly stuck in the middle of not fully being a law student, but also not fully being a master’s student. I am someone that loves to get involved in the school community in every way that I can, but it is harder to do that when you spend half your time somewhere else. But if you are willing to put in extra ef fort on both sides, then it can totally be worth it!

If you want an edge in client-facing f ields, the MSW might be a good idea. It’s not a typical JD degree combination, so people seem very interested in learning more about your experience with it.

Emily Baron, JD/PhD (Philosophy) ‘24 Why the Doctorate in Philosophy? I love philosophy and thought about pursuing a PhD even before I considered a JD. Because of the combined program, I do not have to choose between them (or feel pressured into only choosing one) and I have a lot of career options open to me. Pros and cons? The combined program saves me a signif icant amount of time, since it is one year shorter than doing both degrees separately. A lso, since I am interested in legal philosophy, it is super helpful to have what I learn in law classes so present in my mind. Weirdly enough, the combined program is also less stressful. For example, I do not experience the same degree of pressure as other JD students to get a f irm job after 2L . The only negative comment I have is that it can be confusing to f igure out exactly how tuition, funding, and certain requirements work, since there is no one person to talk to about it. Dealing with two faculties can lead to misinformation and not everyone involved with the program is aware of how it has changed over the years. Any advice? If you want to do the program, do not let concerns about your chances of getting f irm jobs get in the way. The program certainly sets you on a dif ferent timeline and it is more of a challenge to f igure out, but it does not get in the way of job opportunities.


12 | September 26, 2018

Bacchanal or Banal: Decanting The Supreme Cork History of a wine club TOM COLLINS (2L)


One of my favourite scenes in the fi lm This is Spinal Tap is the introduction to Stonehenge. “In ancient times, hundreds of years before the dawn of history, lived an ancient race of people—the druids. No one know who they were, or what they were doing, but their legacy remains, hewn into the living rock …”

fi nancial aid up.” I digress.

The precise origins of The Supreme Cork have been lost to their own drunken haze. It was formed circa 1998, but the fi rst known reference to it appears in the fi rst publication of Ultra Vires from September 1999. It is only a brief mention of the society’s existence. No This summer, I had my own Stonehenge monames are given, but the blurb alludes to peoment, when Professor (and ple “who claim to have faculty sage) Jim Phillips acquired a vast knowledge “neophyte wine-tasters will of international wines” by told me that before In Vino Veritas there was another be amazed at how participating in the sociwine club: The Supreme ety. The author then quips fascinating, witty, and Cork. I laughed but, after half an hour, attractive their classmates that knowing Professor Phil“neophyte wine-tasters lips’s penchant for wittihave suddenly become.” will be amazed at how fascisms, I was unsure cinating, witty, and atwhether he was simply tractive their classmates trying out some new material. Could an anhave suddenly become.” cient race of law students really have come up with such a corny name? Yes. But why? I deThe next mention of The Supreme Cork cided to investigate. bookends its short existence. In March 2005, Adrian Liu (3L) lamented the death of the soMy journey took me deep into the moldering ciety, which had existed only in name and archives of the law school. Picture a scene SLS funding provision since late 2004. Apfrom The Cask of Amontillado. The archives are parently, the club’s “heart and soul” had gone nothing like that, but Poe’s imagery will make with alumnus Daniel Anthony, now a barrisfor a much more evocative experience. I fi gter and solicitor in patents and trademarks at ured that if any record existed of The SuSmart & Biggar’s Ottawa offi ce. preme Cork, it would be in Ultra Vires—a storied publication, easily on par with the Times, I reached out to Daniel, who was the society’s but with more pictures of cute animals. After president from 2002 to 2004, to see what I exhuming the delicate vellums on which the could learn. Daniel, it turned out, was a fount early editions were printed, I worked tirelessof knowledge. He was proud of his involvely by candlelight for at least ten minutes. ment and was eager to share his recollections with me. I was inspired by what I learned. To my surprise, people at the turn of the millennium wrote much as we do today. I ponDaniel told me that, during his tenure, the sodered what wealth of mystical wisdom lay ciety was somewhat like our own wine club, In between these yellowed pages. One comment Vino Veritas, in that it had no offi cial memberfrom a 1999 issue read, “fees need to go down, ship beyond a small executive board. Howev-

er, it never published anything substantial like wine reviews. Instead, The Supreme Cork’s focus was on events. It hosted about eight events, all wine tastings, over the course of Daniel’s presidency. Those usually drew a little over a dozen students. Yet, what is really interesting is that he hosted all of those tastings at school, something that In Vino Veritas has been all but forbidden from doing. Was the Faculty of Law more lax in the halcyon days of the early noughties? Hardly. Daniel was simply a renegade. About twice per term, he would slip a mysterious unnamed man $130 for wine. The plug was, allegedly, a sommelier, and he may have worked at the LCBO. No one knew for sure. Regardless, that plug would show up to the law school, after hours, with seven or eight bottles. He would have three whites, three reds, and one or two others. Under the cover of darkness, Daniel and the plug would set up the tasting in Falconer 105 or in Flavelle House, off the main foyer. They would draw the blinds to avoid detection. Then, they would open the bottles.

Despite The Supreme Cork’s popularity with students, over the years, the society received warnings and complaints from the University. It condemned the society, stating that it could not sell alcohol, that it needed liquor licenses, and that it could not book rooms at the school for such nefarious activities. “I skirted these issues in various ways”, Daniel recalled, “sometimes not advertising a price, saying the entire amount was an honorarium to the sommelier, or not listing the venue in ads and only telling those who had paid where it was (i.e., in the law school) a few days before the event. It seemed dumb to me that the University was complaining about a group of students discussing wine when two to three times a week there would be an open bar in the Rowell room for some launch… or reception.”

Unfortunately, The Supreme Cork’s clandestine existence was ultimately, its downfall. An unnamed faculty member once attended one of the secret bacchanals. Although that tasting went on, the society was shut down within a year. Unfortunately, The And that was that.

The wines were served from a brown paper bag. The plug fi lled up the glasses. Then, he would Supreme Cork’s give everyone a sort of But, like the druids’ scoring sheet, with numclandestine existence Stonehenge, The Subers 1 to 8 down one side: was ultimately its preme Cork’s legacy has a number for every wine. downfall. lived on in a name that, Everyone would smell the in spite of, or perhaps, bewine. They would swirl it cause of its banality, rearound and have a taste. fuses to be forgotten. Daniel is certainly They would write their impressions. The dilhappy about that. For him, the name was the ettanti would then try to guess the cost of best part. wine they were drinking. The reveal often led to shocked exclamations. Some $9 bottles of plonk drank more like $40 crus.


September 26, 2018 | 13

Review: A Summer as an Intern in the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights Human rights work and international politics in Geneva AAQIB MAHMOOD (2L) JD/MBA Learning the meaning of acronyms was my fi rst challenge when working for the UN this summer: OHCHR, UNHCR, HRTB, CRPD, CMW, CEDAW, and HRC were some of the many acronyms people assumed that I knew the meaning of and which I pretended to know as well. But, as soon as I picked up the lingo and began using the abbreviations for the “Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights” and the “Human Rights Treaty Bodies”, I began to feel like I was now on the “in” at my internship. It was a great feeling—that I had adapted to the milieu of an international human rights organization for which I had dreamed of working.

and felt their deep understanding of complex systemic issues that were barriers to equality. I also heard their tales of meeting our Prime Minister (and fashion icon) Justin Trudeau and his counterpart to the south, the orange man himself, President Donald Trump, at the G7 Summit in Quebec. Speaking of President Trump, I was also in the room when the president of the Human Rights Council removed the United States’ name-plate a day after Trump withdrew his country’s seat. Through many unique moments such as that, my understanding of international bodies and human rights work grew.

There were around forty interns working for Interning for OHCHR this past summer in GeOHCHR, all of whom were from different corneva, Switzerland was, ners of the world. Despite pardon the cliché, life the many cultural, linguischanging. Having complettic, and personal differenced a Master’s in Socio-Lees, we connected over our We connected over a gal Studies before law truth that we all know common passion for huschool, where my personal man rights. As coordinator but don’t always research revolved around for the Interns’ Council, I appreciate: human women’s rights issues, I organized many events, could not believe that I had like watching the FIFA beings are humans. the opportunity to assist World Cup matches, swimwith the 70th Committee ming at the UN Beach for the Elimination of Discrimination Against (though it did not have any sand), and having Women (CEDAW) session and its 72nd Prelunch at the cheapest shawarma joint. Sessional working group. We connected over a truth that we all know but Not only was I working on very high-level case don’t always appreciate: human beings are hufi les involving confidential information about mans. Despite being very different, we all Member States, but I was surrounded by the shared a lot of the same drive in life. This sentiworld’s leading women’s rights activists and acment was fitting for the work I was doing, as it ademics. I sat and observed committee memallowed me to connect more deeply with the bers discussing the ramifications of making a space and organization I was working for. It was public statement against State Parties for imbittersweet to end my internship in Geneva, prisoning a women’s rights defender, watched where my personal, professional, and social methem parsing out the most “diplomatic” landia growth surpassed my expectations. guage for criticizing a country’s government,




14 | September 26, 2018


Review: A Summer Internship at the Justice Sector Coordination Office in Sierra Leone Challenges of justice reform in an unstable democracy SAQIB MAHMOOD (2L JD/MBA)


On May 8, 2018, I received confirmation that I’d be spending the next three months on a legal internship in Sierra Leone along with Jonas Mutukistna (2L), Omar Saeed (2L), and Hiam Amar (2L).

As soon as we left the airport, there was a flurry of motion and, before we knew it, people were holding our bags and offering to carry them, a woman grabbed our passports and offered to get us tickets to the river ferry (from the airport city to the capital city of Freetown), and a sweet man But, there was a catch: “we must complete ninety snatched our phones to give us a SIM card. days in the country”. For Jonas and I, this meant Then, simultaneously, they gave us our posseswe had eight days to leave for Sierra Leone to be sions back and asked for money. We were Canaback in Canada before the start of our MBA. We dian, right? We pulled some cash out. I did not had to get our vaccinations, know how much we were buy tickets, pack, meet with giving them—what was friends and family, tie up any The daily routine broke 20 USD worth in Sierra responsibilities that we had Leonean currency? Probdown in early July… taken on for the next three ably not much, right? It something had changed was the first, but not the months, and get a visa. last, time we got swindled. in the office; people This last requirement proved were on edge. to be harder than we thought. We got to the office relaWe needed to have proof of tively unscathed. It was our vaccinations to receive a visa, and there is no then that we first met Dr. Henry Mbawa, the CoSierra Leonean embassy in Canada—the closest ordinator, and Shahid Korjie, the Resources and one is in Washington DC. Intern Coordinator, who were guiding figures of our experience. So, what did we do? We got our vaccinations on Friday, and then, four days before flying to Sierra Leone, the four of us drove to Trump’s (for the time being) white palace. The thirty-hour trip proved to be our first bonding experience of what was to be a crazy summer. In a heartbeat, Jonas and I were at Pearson International Airport on our way to Sierra Leone. On our stopover in Paris, the realization began to hit—we had no idea what to expect of Sierra Leone. Exhausted and excited, on May 21, 2018, we went to work for the first day at the Justice Sector Coordination Office, an organ of the Ministry of Justice.

In the following two weeks, Omar and Hiam joined us at the office as we moved our residences from the horrible YMCA (let’s not get into it) to the basement of a JSCO consultant, Dr. Ibrahim Bangura, who was kind enough to open his home for us. In the ensuing weeks, we saw, felt, and tasted all that Dr. Bangura had to offer. From the deliciously spicy food he fed us, the unfl inching personal questions he asked, and his instructions to get into his car for unannounced long trips, we got to know him really well. He also happens to be a member of the political elite, on the ticket for the next election. He was an interesting landlord, to say the least. We became comfortable in our daily routine: we


would go to work and get asked to do high-level government work, from reviewing and writing policy, to crafting political speeches (including one aired speech by the Vice President of Sierra Leone), and meeting with judges, lawyers, and politicians. My primary task with Jonas for the three months was to review a three-year Justice Reform Strategy for Sierra Leone for 2015–18 and then write the strategy for the years 2019–21. If this sounds like a monstrous task… well, it was. On weekends, we went to beautiful beaches and cafes to watch the FIFA world cup, a chimp sanctuary, and tourist resorts. Running water and constant electricity soon became commodities that we began to revere.

August 30—after all us interns were back in Canada. The news had spread about the confl ict, and many people at the JSCO started job-hunts in anticipation of how the upcoming resignation would impact them. Our daily work increasingly became editing resumes and job applications. The tension was palpable. But, we knew we could push through the remaining few weeks with Dr. Mbawa in office. On Friday, July 27, the Minister of Justice fired Dr. Mbawa, effective immediately, with an internal audit the following Monday. This was the straw that broke the camel’s back. That evening, we collectively wrote an email to the University of Toronto. Within three hours, we had multiple replies from various administrative stakeholders.

The daily routine broke down in early July: no one came to pick us up in the morning. We waitAt 8:00 am on Saturday, we had a Skype call ed for three hours before with Samer, the Director of taking taxis to work. This the International Human continued for several days. Rights Program at the UniAt 8:00 am on Something had changed in versity of Toronto Faculty Saturday, we had a the office; people were on of Law. We decided that it Skype call with edge. would be safer, and in line with university policy, if we Samer… we decided As it turns out, JSCO was left as soon as possible. The that it would be safer if having financial issues. Dr. next evening, we were at the we left as soon as Mbawa was attracting poairport leaving Sierra Lelitical attention and the possible. The next one. Minister of Justice refused evening, we were at the to release financial resourcA trip that started abruptly airport leaving Sierra es to the JSCO. A couple ended the same way. In the Leone. months before we arrived in process, we all learned valuSierra Leone, there was a able insights about the volatile political election world and ourselves. We arthat brought a new party to power. The new govrived on home turf with a phenomenal life expeernment was critical of former government leadrience, prominent contacts, and friends that will ers, including Dr. Mbawa. Initially resisting the stay with us for a long time. All in all, it was a pressure, Dr. Mbawa eventually gave in and ofsummer well spent. ficially submitted his resignation letter, effective


September 26, 2018 | 15

Review: A Summer at Blue J Legal Many perks of working at a legal startup HALEY PUAH (2L)


SUCCESS SUPPORT BREEDS SUCCESS At Gowling WLG, we’re passionate about helping our people learn and grow. It’s why we offer a comprehensive training program for law students like you. We place a huge emphasis on providing the right support and training so that you can reach your full potential — and achieve the best results for our clients. Join us to experience what it’s like to be a part of an innovative global law firm. Learn more at

Gowling WLG (Canada) LLP is a member of Gowling WLG, an international law firm which consists of independent and autonomous entities providing services around the world. Our structure is explained in more detail at

Question: What do singing at a talent show, attending a tech social, and researching case law have in common? Answer: These are all activities that I did as a Summer Research Associate at Blue J Legal. Let me start by describing what Blue J Legal is. Blue J Legal is a startup that leverages prior judicial decisions, machine learning, and artificial intelligence to predict the outcome of court cases. Users fi ll out a questionnaire, and the software generates an outcome of which way a court will rule and the algorithm’s degree of confidence in that judgment. For those of you who don’t know, three of the co-founders of Blue J Legal are professors at the University of Toronto Faculty of Law, including Professors Alarie, Yoon, and Niblett.

chine learning, and legal topics. One of the most exciting aspects of my summer was being around people who were passionate about both what they were doing and their business’s value propositions. Since the Blue J Legal team is relatively small, we had the opportunity to get to know everyone, including people in the marketing, sales, customer success, and strategy functions. At the weekly sprint reviews, the whole team would get together, and we had the opportunity to hear about every happening in the company, whether it was about weekly progress updates or fi nancing.

Blue J Legal is not only open, but welcomes better ideas. It was refreshing to be able to voice opinions freely, ask questions, and see suggestions get implemented almost immediately.

As a Summer Research Associate, four other students and I were tasked with researching cases, interpreting them, and feeding that information into the system, which would use the data to refi ne its predictions of future cases. The accuracy of this analysis is directly related to the accuracy of the algorithm itself in predicting outcomes. Prior to this experience, I hadn’t been exposed to the startup world, and it was defi nitely an enlightening experience. Since Blue J Legal is located at OneEleven, a startup incubator, we were surrounded by innovative startups at various stages of their life cycles. Because of this, we were exposed to informative sessions targeted towards startups and attended lunch & learns on statistical analysis, ma-

Blue J Legal is not only open to, but actively welcomes better ideas. It was refreshing to be able to voice opinions freely, ask questions, and see suggestions get implemented almost immediately. And, more often, to be the person leading the initiative. The biggest impact on me was seeing how much of a difference I could make.

On the social front, there was a bevy of activities to get involved in, including volleyball intramurals, a talent show (you haven’t lived until you’ve seen the Blue J Legal comedy band play a loop of the CTO yawning in slow motion while churning out a parody of an 80s rock song), Blue Jays game (of course, puns reign supreme here), and a tech summer social, which brought together founders, funders, industry, and talent to celebrate Canada’s tech ecosystem (refer to a picture of us at the event)! If you have the slightest interest in the tech space and legal research and want to work with great people, I would defi nitely recommend a summer at Blue J Legal.

16 | September 26, 2018

RIGHTS REVIEW The International Human Rights Program at the University of Toronto Faculty of Law An independent student-led publication Co-Editors-in-Chief: Anne-Rachelle Boulanger (4L JD/MGA) & Brenda Chang (3L) Senior Editors: Chelsey Legge (4L JD/MPP) & Emily Tsui (2L JD/MGA)


outside of a grocery store by a group of men. The homophobia she experiences is not limited to adults. Alexa mentioned that earlier this year, a toddler charged at her, shouting homophobic slurs at the encouragement of the child's father. In her affidavit, Alexa states: "My sexual orientation and gender identity should not prevent me from taking public transit, attending events, starting a relationship, or even visiting a doctor – but unfortunately, all of this occurs. I have faced constant harassment, threats, and violence from complete strangers to members of my own family. Outside of my own home, I do not feel safe. The police, the very people who are supposed to protect me, seem to contribute to the problem by not taking me seriously." She stressed that sections 9 and 12 of the Sexual Offences Act need to be changed, or they will continue to legitimize discrimination, harassment, and violence against the LGBTQ+ community in Barbados. The other two petitioners remained anonymous. They were worried about repercussions from contributing to the petition. In one affidavit, a petitioner stated: "All of this leaves me wanting to die. I want it to change here, but mentally, I die a little each day." All three petitioners want a future where they, and all LGBTQ+ people, will feel safe in Barbados. In particular, they hope that the younger generation of LGBTQ+ people will lead vastly different lives than their own, with far less harmful experiences.


In a historic decision released on September 6, 2018, India's Supreme Court unanimously overturned their colonial-era prohibition on consensual gay sex. This is a cause for celebration, as the number of countries which criminalize gay sex continues to decrease. In 73 countries around the world, certain sexual conduct between consenting adults is criminalized. Why? Because the type of sexual conduct predominantly occurs between adults of the same sex. In the Caribbean, these laws have rarely been enforced in recent years. However, they remain problematic as their continued existence helps maintain the culture of discrimination, harassment, and violence against LGBTQ+ individuals. On June 6, 2018, three Barbadians filed a petition to the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights, challenging two sections of Barbados' Sexual Offences Act that criminalize sexual conduct between those of the legal age to consent. Section 9 criminalizes buggery, which the Barbadian courts confirmed to mean anal sex. Section 12 criminalizes serious indecency. Both acts can result in imprisonment notwithstanding the consent of the participants.


The three petitioners – a trans woman, a lesbian, and a gay man – argue that not only do the laws violate the right to privacy for all Barbadians, they also legitimize the persecution of a minority group. Although they appear neutral regarding sexual orientation, the laws indirectly encourage discrimination and abuse against LGBTQ+ people, turning them into presumed criminals. The effects of this state-sanctioned homophobia are broad, resulting in an environment of hatred and fear. As such, LGBTQ+ people are reluctant to seek sexual health services, including critical HIV services, undermining an effective national response to HIV. The petitioners are not taking a novel position on the law. During Barbados' Universal Periodic Reviews, Barbados repeatedly rejected recommendations to decriminalize sexual conduct between consenting adults. The state’s stance on decriminalization is at odds with the international human rights treaties it has ratified and with jurisprudence from other countries in the Americas. In a recent decision from earlier this year, the High Court of Justice of Trinidad and Tobago declared that analogous provisions, which criminalized buggery and serious indecency, were unconstitutional. This decision follows a similar ruling in Belize in 2016.

The Canadian HIV/AIDS Legal Network, Trans Advocacy & Agitation Barbados, and the International Human Rights Program (IHRP) at the University of Toronto's Faculty of Law provided support to the petitioners. As a clinic student with the IHRP, I was involved in each step of the petition, from the initial research on the current situation regarding LGBTQ+ rights in Barbados to drafting legal arguments explaining how the laws violate the petitioners' rights guaranteed under the American Convention on Human Rights. I worked closely with the petitioners to draft their affidavits. Our lead petitioner, Alexa Hoffmann, is a human rights advocate and trans woman. The amount of passion she puts into her advocacy work is outstanding. While working on her affidavit, Alexa explained that the homophobic harassment, discrimination, and abuse she endured throughout her life is exacerbated by the existence of the laws criminalizing sexual conduct between consenting adults. She told me about minor issues, such as being physically blocked from getting on to a bus by the driver and her mother's unwillingness to travel with her due to concerns of being subjected to harassment. Alexa also spoke of very painful experiences, such as when she was viciously attacked with a meat cleaver and when she was physically assaulted

Maurice Tomlinson, a senior policy analyst with the Canadian HIV/AIDS Legal Network, was the backbone to this challenge. His expertise in LGBTQ+ issues in the Caribbean and experience challenging a similar law in Jamaica were indispensible to the petition. The support the petition received from Evan Rankin, IHRP alumni, and Yvonne Chisholm, pro-bono litigation counsel, was also invaluable. Lastly, this would never have been possible without the petitioners. Working on the petition was a highly valuable learning experience, from giving me a chance to further develop my legal research and writing skills in a human rights context to learning how to best advocate for the petitioners while navigating the politics surrounding LGBTQ+ rights in Barbados. However, it was the people that I had the privilege of working with that really brought this project together. I doubt I would have learned as much as I did about international human rights law and advocacy without them. It is uncertain when the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights will hear the petition. Nevertheless, the petition will serve a dual purpose. Not only will it directly challenge Barbados' discriminatory laws, but it will also serve as an advocacy piece on LGBTQ+ rights. It is an opportune time to rally for change in Barbados, as a new government led by Mia Mottley was elected in May 2018. Mottley, Barbados' first female prime minister, has previously spoken out in favour of decriminalizing buggery. I am hopeful that the new Barbadian government will bring forth changes that address the concerns raised in the petition.


September 26, 2018 | 17


Over the course of the summit, attendees also heard from several experts in the field of open source investigation, digital verification and human rights law. A number of speakers discussed their work with information credibility and reliability. Connie Moon Sehat, a lead researcher for the Credibility Coalition, spoke about efforts to establish a scientific and systematic way to assess credibility. The Credibility Coalition is an organization dedicated to developing a set of open standards to assess the reliability and credibility of information found online and in the news. In a similar vein, Hazel Baker, the Global Head of Social Media Newsgathering at Reuters News Agency, spoke to the importance of information credibility in the field of news gathering and how the changing reality of news requires major news institutions to have social media teams who are equipped to assess credibility of information. Hazel often receives photos and videos from civilians at the scene of a particular news event, and in order for Reuters to use the digital content, the content must go through a process of verification. Patrick Worral, who runs the FactCheck blog at Channel 4 News, also gave the attendees an inside look into how a newsroom operates and how news establishments make the call on what digital content is deemed credible and included in the news cycle.


The University of Toronto’s Digital Verification Team, now in its third year and housed in the International Human Rights Program, is part of Amnesty International’s Digital Verification Corps (DVC) and assists Amnesty International’s human rights research efforts by reviewing and verifying numerous hours of footage and raw digital content relating to alleged human rights violations around the world. Verified pictures and videos can serve as concrete pieces of visual evidence linking human rights violations to certain times, places and events and can help bolster Amnesty International’s case against perpetrators of human rights violations. This year, in connection with the Rohingya crisis in Myanmar, hundreds of videos and pictures of burning villages and fleeing communities were posted on social media platforms. If this content can be verified, it can help determine exactly when and where the violence against the Rohingyas took place, ultimately making it harder for the perpetrators to deny or ignore their crimes. Verifying this digital content and making that determination is the work of Amnesty International’s DVC. By relying on several different indicators of reliability, including external pieces of information that speak to the date and time of the event and the credibility of the uploader, the DVC can verify digital content, and with some precision, identify the date and place at which these events in question occurred. In collaboration with several other DVC groups, the University of Toronto’s DVC Team was able to review and verify the digital content posted from Myanmar during the Rohingya crisis. In addition, the University of Toronto’s DVC Team reviewed content from violent clashes in Iraq, state suppression of protests in


Russia, and ongoing incidents in the Syrian conflict. In addition, the DVC Team monitored several social media platforms for potential human rights violations related to the recent elections in Kenya and online abuse targeted at certain prominent women.

Second Annual DVC Summit In June 2018, the Faculty of Law provided funding for four students from the University of Toronto’s DVC working group (Alexandria Matic, Bethanie Pascutto, Ben Mayer-Goodman and Karishma Prasanna) to travel to the second annual DVC Summit at the University of Cambridge. They were joined by students from the University of Berkeley, the University of Essex, the University of Pretoria and, for the first time, students from the University of Cambridge and the University of Hong Kong. At the conference, DVC groups shared past projects and discussed how to best coordinate and collaborate in future endeavors. Over the past few years, several schools have worked together to verify large volumes of content. DVC summit attendees agreed that collaboration of this kind was essential, but that it was also necessary to increase lines of communication between all schools in order to streamline project work and increase efficiency. In addition, given the often violent and distressing imagery of human rights violations that DVC participants work with, summit attendees also discussed the negative psychological implications of viewing some of this imagery and shared some self-care tips on how to recover after working with such content.

The DVC’s work has real world impact. Amnesty International researchers took the time to share with summit attendees the impact digital verification work has on Amnesty International research. Pictures or videos found on social media platforms that can be verified give Amnesty International real time information on what is taking place on the ground. This verification becomes even more valuable in areas where Amnesty International is denied physical access to the location, because Amnesty International no longer has to wait until the crisis is over to look back and

evaluate the outcome. Verified content also arms Amnesty International with concrete visual evidence of potential human rights violations and this increases the accountability of local governments and ultimately changes the way Amnesty International interacts with these parties. Donatella Rovera, a senior crisis response adviser at Amnesty International, explained how verifying just one photo or video of an event can positively impact her work in the field by helping to identify locations and timelines. In particular, she discussed how open source investigations assisted in Amnesty’s investigation of the latest airstrikes in Raqqa, Iraq. She also highlighted how crucial verification can be to her work in locations where the local government does not allow journalistic or humanitarian aid access. Niko Para, a lead developer at Syrian Archive, also spoke to the importance of past and future DVC work with respect to the Syrian Archive. The IHRP DVC group has been involved with the Syrian Archive for the past two years by assisting with the verification of thousands of hours of footage of potential human rights violations captured during the Syrian conflict. With the inclusion of two more schools at this year’s summit, the University of Cambridge and the University of Hong Kong, the DVC continues to grow, and the work of DVC groups is becoming increasingly valuable. Given the speed at which information travels and the potential impact a single image or video can have on the way Amnesty International conducts its human rights violations research, digital verification continues to be an important and necessary skill. The University of Toronto Digital Verification Group looks forward to continuing to help Amnesty International’s crucial research efforts in this regard.

DVC AND CRIMES AGAINST HUMANITY IN RAKHINE STATE, MYANMAR By Calum Agnew (3L) The IHRP DVC group worked with Amnesty International to document and assess human rights abuses in Rakhine State, Myanmar. Since August 2017, Myanmar security forces have driven more than 600,000 Rohingya people from the northern province of Rakhine State into neighbouring Bangladesh. As ethnic Muslims in a Buddhist-majority country, the Rohingya people have long faced persecution and discrimination in Myanmar but the actions of the security forces in the last year were of an unprecedented scale. Bob Rae, adjunct professor at the Faculty of Law and Canada’s Special Envoy to Myanmar, concluded that there existed “clear evidence to support the charge that crimes against humanity have been committed.”

The IHRP DVC group worked with Amnesty International’s researchers to corroborate allegations of state violence against the vulnerable Rohingya project, culminating in Amnesty International’s June 2018 report “We Will Destroy Everything”: Crimes against Humanity in Rakhine State. Using videos taken by Rohingya refugees, members of U of T’s DVC working group identified the points at which refugees departed Myanmar and entered neighbouring Bangladesh. With the help of satellite imagery, the DVC was able to identify and corroborate the location of incinerated villages in Rakhine State. By working with Amnesty International’s on-the-ground researchers and contacts, the DVC is helping to hold Myanmar authorities internationally and publicly accountable for their human rights violations.


18 | September 26, 2018


PROTECTING INDIVIDUAL LIBERTY: GAPS IN PROCEDURAL FAIRNESS AT THE IMMIGRATION DIVISION By Anne-Rachelle Boulanger (4L JD/MGA) bers conduct hearings without fully appreciating the circumstances of the cases before them. The issue surrounding evidence is all the more troubling given the finding that ID Members often rely too heavily on previous decisions. As noted in the audit, “negative assumptions, not rigorously supported by the evidence, would sometimes gradually become part of the accepted history for the detained person.” As inaccurate facts become part of the detainee’s narrative, release becomes increasingly unlikely. It is easy to imagine how, in the context of a criminal trial, this could lead to the imprisonment of innocent individuals. A second overarching issue identified in the audit relates to the neutrality and independence of ID Members. Most significantly, ID Members were found to often rely uncritically on statements made by CBSA Hearing Officers. The audit cites examples of ID Members appearing intimidated by the CBSA Hearing Officer, or exhibiting “over-familiarity with CBSA Hearings Officers.” Again, in the context of a criminal proceeding, it would be difficult to trust or accept a conviction if the Crown had intimidated or exhibited over-familiarity with the judge.


Criminal proceedings and immigration detention reviews both implicate an individual’s right to liberty. In both, standards of procedural fairness are meant to protect that right, to the extent required by the Canadian Constitution. In the former, robust procedural fairness safeguards are set out to ensure that a judge is impartial and independent, a defendant knows the case he has to meet, and the Crown and defendant are able to hear, present and respond to evidence. Ultimately, the standards are set out to ensure that an individual is imprisoned only when they are guilty of a crime beyond a reasonable doubt. The immigration detention regime involves less robust safeguards. In contrast to the criminal justice system, adjudicators in the tribunals overseeing detention review hearings are not bound by technical rules of evidence. Instead, adjudicators may consider evidence that is “credible and trustworthy in the circumstances.” Even this less exigent standard applies only in theory. For several years, the Canadian immigration detention system has been the target of harsh criticism from advocates, including from the International Human Rights Program (IHRP) at the University of Toronto, Faculty of Law. In 2015, the IHRP published “We Have No Rights”, which examined the arbitrary imprisonment and cruel treatment of migrants with mental health issues. In 2016, the IHRP published No Life for a Child, which assessed at the legal underpinnings and practical implications of immigration detention for children. In 2017, the IHRP published Invisible Children, which reviewed at the impact of the immigration detention system


on Canadian children. Finally, in 2018, the IHRP, with other organizations, made a submission to the United Nations regarding immigration detention for Canada’s third Universal Periodic Review. Still, the government has made little progress in introducing meaningful and comprehensive legal protections in the immigration detention system. In July 2018, an external audit, commissioned by the Immigration and Refugee Board, reiterated many of the concerns that advocates have been pointing to for years. The external audit reviewed procedural fairness in detention review hearings. Through the examination of a random sample of cases in which detention lasted over 100 days, the audit found a range of issues relating to testing of evidence, adjudicators’ neutrality and independence, and barriers to release. The findings are troubling. In 2017, over 3,500 individuals were held in detention, and over 11,000 review hearings were held. Detention was ordered in 60% of hearings. The findings of the report beg the question: how many of the detention orders were justified? Just as a lack of impartiality obscures an evaluation of guilt in a criminal proceeding, the finding of partiality in a detention review hearing obscures an evaluation of the detention’s justifiability. At a detention review hearing, an Immigration Detention (ID) Member determines whether continued detention is justified on the grounds of flight risk, danger to the public, or unclear identity. The ID Member is to act as a neutral arbiter, hearing and evaluating evidence from both the detainee and the CBSA, which represents the Minister of Public Safety and Emer-

gency Preparedness. The first detention review hearing takes place 48 hours after CBSA makes the arrest, and if the ID Member finds that continued detention is required, another review hearing takes place 7 days later. If after 7 days, the ID Members again finds that continued detention is required, another review hearing takes place 30 days later. The exercise repeats itself until the detainee is released or deported. This process gives the ID Member “extraordinary” power “to detain individuals who are not guilty of any offence,” and to detain individuals without a clear end to release. There is no procedure akin to sentencing in a detention hearing. Although an indefinite detention is unconstitutional, there is no established time limit to immigration detention, and some detainees have been held for years. The longest instance of detention was 11 years. In the face of this extraordinary power, it is particularly alarming that the audit found the ID is missing “a shared tribunal culture that values excellence across the board in the conduct of fair and accessible hearings and in the quality and consistency of decisions.” The audit found several profound gaps in the detention review system. First, ID Members often fail to adequately test evidence, and may rely on inaccurate and inconsistent facts. For instance, ID Members fail to call relevant witnesses, such as Enforcement Officers, to present sworn or affirmed evidence as to whether a detainee is a danger to the public or a flight risk. ID Members also fail to allow detainees to test evidence presented against them. In fact, ID Members discourage detainees from presenting evidence and testifying. As a result, ID Mem-

Finally, the audit identifies several additional barriers to release. Lack of representation is a significant issue. In one region, the audit found that only 38% of hearings were conducted with counsel for detainees. The audit also found that many ID Members take a formulaic approach in their assessments of the need for continued detention. That is, in some cases, ID Members used decades-old criminal convictions or asylum claims to justify continued detention, instead of considering more relevant contextual evidence. Finally, the audit found that many ID Members fail to clearly express what is necessary or sufficient for a release. If detainees do not know what it is they need to evince in order to be released, such as a rehabilitation program, their detention is likely to be prolonged. Given the rights at stake, it is difficult to understand why the standards of procedural fairness have been so neglected in detention review hearings. There is an obvious need for reform in the ID and its detention review hearings. The audit makes numerous recommendations to improve procedural fairness, including increasing oversight of cases and developing tools to support more robust reviews. If implemented, these are likely to lead to some improvements. However, the bar needs to be set higher – at present, even simply providing access to decisions and transcripts in advance of a hearing would, in and of itself, be an important improvement. There is therefore a need to continue to engage on the topic of immigration detention reviews, until we can be assured that individuals’ liberty is not unnecessarily infringed. We must continue to ask why, in our society, in 2018, non-citizens are deprived of their liberty without the safeguards we expect for accused criminals. We must continue to question how we can justify the detention of non-citizens in the same jails as convicted criminals, with no release date in sight.



September 26, 2018 | 19

Review: A Summer at Jewish Family and Child Services Donner Fellow experience that combines law and social work LILY CHAPNIK-ROSENTHAL (2L JD/MSW) This summer, I was privileged to work at Jewish Family and Child Service (JF&CS) as a Donner Fellow. JF&CS is, among its other mandates, a children’s aid society, and I worked within this capacity. I am in a Combined Program with a Master’s of Social Work, which meant that this position was a perfect marriage of the skills and values imbued in both my programs. My experience was eye opening, and I am now seriously considering entering the fields of both child protection and family law upon graduation. My role at JF&CS had two distinct parts. The first was to update the agency’s Child Welfare manual to be in line with the Child, Youth, and Family Services Act, which came into force in April 2018. This legislation encompasses most of the existing law specifically relating to children, including all child protection provisions. The Act instituted many changes, two of the most notable being that all children under 18 can be found in need of protection and that the definition of who is considered First Nations has been expanded. When I started working, this legislation had only been in force for one month. I had never engaged in policy work nor worked so closely with legislation before. This was a valuable experience, especially as I grew to have an intimate knowledge of this legislation, which I hope will serve me well in my career moving forward.

The second aspect of my position was to write a brief yet comprehensive guide to child protection court procedures and processes for the social workers at the agency. Although I was privileged to have some real-life exposure to court during my tenure, ultimately I learned what I needed through the generosity of child protection lawyers and through secondary sources. It was challenging to have to piece together this complicated litigation process and to package it so that non-legal professionals could understand it, but I was successful in the end. I now feel that I have a comprehensive understanding of the inner legal workings of a child protection matter, from start to finish. There were many other perks of this summer position. The most impactful was that I was able to shadow JF&Cs’s counsel several times in court. Seeing them litigate was motivating and helped me get over my “litigation-phobia.” I also took the opportunity to speak to social workers in various fields within the agency, including those working in hospice and with the shrinking Holocaust survivor population. There was also a highly affordable gym and a kosher cafe in the building, which helped me keep my life in balance. My experience throughout the Donner Fellowship was highly positive, and I would recommend it to anyone who is considering it as an option this upcoming summer.


Review: A Summer at Davies Learning to live past unfortunate nicknames JOHN AZIZ (2L) I still vividly remember the putrid stench of rotten fish that had spread throughout the entire school’s basement locker area by the time I had arrived there from my last class of the day.

overlap in practice areas among corporate law firms in Toronto, it can often be difficult to discern how the student experience varies from one law firm to another.

As I walked toward my locker, the smell became overwhelming. A group of students had congregated around my locker and eagerly looked on as I pulled it open to find that a long-forgotten thermos of Manhattan Clam Chowder had exploded at the back of the upper shelf.

While I don’t intend to provide a complete picture of Davies Ward Phillips & Vineberg LLP (Davies), I hope that a description of my experience as a 1L summer student will help other students in their own decisionmaking.

The nickname “Chowder” stuck with me for the rest of high school. I’m pretty sure that a number of people from my graduating class never actually knew my name and would still yell “Hey! Chowder!” if they saw me on the street. My point is, don’t let an unfortunate nickname prevent you from getting to know someone. This lesson applies equally to law firms. With the 2L recruit looming, many second-year students are busily preparing for OCIs and trying to figure out which firms offer the best “fit”. Given the uniformly slick branding and broad

dents and younger lawyers to develop a broad skill set. In fact, the summer student program is structured without rotations to facilitate broad exposure to various practice areas and to allow students to work with a wide range of lawyers.

I was initially attracted by the firm’s strong reputation for high-quality work and its self-directed student program. Admittedly, I was intimidated by the prospect of doorknocking, but I was pleasantly surprised that the lawDavies is a highly regarded The quality of the work yers were eager to include a corporate law firm that dewas top-notch, and the student on their files and to scribes itself as “a law firm explain foreign legal and filawyers were equally focused on high-stakes matnancial concepts. Either talented. ters”. It is the smallest of the way, work always found me, so-called “Seven Sister” and there was the reassurfirms in Toronto and does ing support of the student not purport to be a full-service firm. program coordinators. Rather, Davies specializes in corporate transactional work and related practice areas (i.e., Tax, Competition, Litigation, Real Estate, Insolvency, Environmental). The firm embraces a "generalist approach" to legal practice and encourages stu-

At the beginning of my summer term, I primarily worked in the corporate practice area. My tasks largely involved due diligence for M&A deals and proofreading and summarizing agreements for other corporate matters. Even as a stu-

dent, the expectations are high and there were times when the work piled on, but I never felt overwhelmed, and I appreciated the trust that the lawyers put in us as summer students. One day in June, I received a call from a litigation partner who had seen that I was available on the student work allocation report circulated among the lawyers. He had a discrete task for me to complete and, although it had never occurred to me that litigation would be an area of interest, I found the work extremely compelling. As a result, I continued to seek out work in litigation and found great opportunities to take on substantive legal work involving interesting disputes. A highlight of my summer was a litigation fi le where I largely drafted two external client memos. My summer experience at Davies exceeded my expectations. The quality of the work was topnotch, and the lawyers were equally talented. I was given broad leeway to pursue my interests and to take serious responsibility on fi les. The student program was well-organized, and we had several fun student events. All this, and I went to sleep at a reasonable hour every night.


20 | September 26, 2018

Review: A Summer at the Women’s Rights Division of the Human Rights Watch Emotionally and professionally satisfying work in a new city MEHAK KAWATRA (2L)

tion and conscientious objection policies in the Americas. Especially in light of the anti-abortion policies arising under the Trump Administration, the WRD’s work has been voluminous and significant in this legislative sphere. For my U.S. projects, I developed HRW’s portfolio on child marriage in the U.S.—an American phenomenon that, while historically always problematic, has received more attention in the last few months. As part of my work for this project, I met with other civil societies and engaged in advocacy work to produce effective on-the-ground collaborations. We prepared documents to persuade senators to implement an under-18 child marriage ban and made the topic more accessible for laypersons and non-legal activists.


There are few things more exciting than being able to explore a new city while working in the field that you find emotionally and professionally satisfying. That, readers, is how I spent my summer of 2018.

Women’s Rights Division (WRD) at the Human Rights Watch in Washington, D.C., under Amanda Klasing, senior researcher, and just an overall remarkable, awe-inspiring legal advocate.

Sponsored by the International Human Rights Program (IHRP) at the University of Toronto Faculty of Law, I spent my summer interning for the

My work for the WRD primarily focused on reproductive health care rights and legislation in the U.S. with some transferable research on anti-abor-

Another project involved researching the roles of conscientious objection and religious rights in the U.S. and how they conflict with the provision of reproductive health care services. My research on the role of the right to conscientious objection as a rights-displacer was used not only to inform responsive policies in the U.S., but to challenge similar laws in Chile and Argentina that violate women’s health care rights in favour of institutional conscientious objection. My work posed solutions and questions to facilitate decision-making at the policy level for both HRW researchers and, ultimately, legislators. Of course, legal research wasn’t all I got to do. For one advocacy project, I wrote a letter supporting a petition already moving through the optional protocol of the Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination Against Women to hold a country accountable for its human rights violations. The letter ended up being submitted with almost no revisions

to the Committee, and the file is now under review. As a legal novice, being able to actually engage in the interplay between legal research and producing cogent legal arguments proved to be such a fulfilling exercise! But, perhaps the most perspective-shaping project came towards the end of my internship, when I became ready (or perhaps more ready) to explore the tensions between human rights law and its violations. I produced academic theses that best captured the global attack on women’s rights today. I used evidence of violations of the rights to family, reproductive care, water, sanitation, sustainable environmental development, equal pay, and workplace accommodations to formulate a framework on the state of women’s rights in the world. Although tremendously challenging, creating these arguments forced me to think precisely like a human rights lawyer—a lawyer who is attuned to varying interests as she presents cautious and wellfounded solutions to legal problems. All of these experiences were monumental for me. If I could say anything to fully capture my internship at the Human Rights Watch it would be this: it was my coming of age moment as a legal professional. In doing meaningful work, in meeting likeminded, intelligent interns, researchers, and lawyers, and in actually going to the very places where legislation is made and passed to influence policy, I broke out of the realm of discomfort and challenges to find my voice as a legal scholar and soonto-be practitioner. I’ll be forever grateful to the IHRP for helping me coordinate this project. If you, like me, came to law school to help make a global impact, I encourage you to seek out these opportunities early and enthusiastically!

Review: A Summer at The Canadian Wireless Telecommunications Association Using legal research and writing skills in the real world LAUREN NICKERSON (2L JD/MBA) This summer, I worked under the Vice President of Regulatory Affairs at the Canadian Wireless Telecommunications Association in Ottawa (CWTA). The CWTA is an association that represents wireless companies before several regulatory agencies and all levels of government. In June, the CWTA published a report in conjunction with Accenture Strategy on Canada’s path toward 5G deployment. I had two main responsibilities at the CWTA: first, mapping the development of wireless telecommunications in Canada and historical shifts in the regulatory landscape; and second, researching and writing memos detailing current and potential regulatory issues the wireless industry is facing. These issues included net neutrality, foreign investment policies, and regulatory barriers to small cell deployment. My work mostly consisted of independent research

and writing and I really enjoyed how immersive it was. I learned a lot about wireless telecoms while putting my newly acquired legal research and writing skills into practice. This job exposed me to the developing Canadian tech landscape: every morning I’d have an inbox full of news clippings to read about developments in the telecommunications industry and advancements in the Internet of Things, Smart Cities, and Artificial Intelligence. I was also invited to attend a 5G launch event and to participate in a roundtable discussion with Videotron executives. Working closely with the Vice-President was great: his broad view of the industry helped me contextualize my work within the Association and the industry, which made it seem relevant and meaningful. Another great aspect of the work was the fact that

the CWTA is located in my hometown, Ottawa. Besides occasionally raiding my parents’ fridge, the best thing about working in Ottawa was that the hours were lovely—I would come to work around 10 am, and by 4 pm I was usually the only one left in the office.

and got the position within 48 hours.

Besides work, I spent my summer in bookstores and espresso shops (the Black Squirrel in the Glebe is a personal favourite), riding my road bike in the Gatineau Hills, doing weekend trips to Montreal and Prince Edward County, going to concerts I got this position in a rather unusual way: in 2014, (Emanuel Ax, the Peptides, Bettye Lavette, the OtI befriended a lawyer who tawa Chamber Orchestra, was a customer of a candy Andrew Wan, and Angela store I worked at. Since I was This job exposed me to Hewitt), exploring art and interested in studying law, he photography exhibits at the the developing became an informal mentor National Art Gallery and the Canadian tech and we have been meeting new Ottawa Art Gallery, eatfor lunch a few times a year ing the world’s best ice cream landscape since. He recently moved at La Cigale in Chelsea, from BlackBerry to the Quebec, reading (not case CWTA and needed some projects done over the law for once), and attempting to keep my potted summer. Midway through the 1L recruit, I got a plants alive. message from him asking if I could come in for an interview. I hopped on a train, had my interview,


September 26, 2018 | 21

Review: A Summer at BLG Calgary Summering, stampeding, and socials, oh my! DANA O’SHEA (2L)


When I was asked to write this article, it was jokingly mentioned that I should discuss “selling my soul for $$$”. If this is considered selling my soul for $$$ then, not to brag, but I may have won some kind of soulselling jackpot. Whether you are from Calgary or only ever think about it in reference to cowboys and the Stampede, you may be wondering what it is actually like to work there. If you aren’t wondering what it’s like to work there, then hopefully the byline of this article was enough to pique your interest.

Essentially, the summer vibe can succinctly be illustrated by this anecdote from Stampede. I was working on a memo on a Wednesday at 11:00 am when a partner stopped by my door and asked: “are you going to sit inside and waste your life or are you going to go to the rodeo?” (I went to the rodeo).

During Stampede, the students made and placed decorations at the Sheldon Kennedy Child Advocacy Centre, one of BLG’s many charitable involvements. Associates and partners also participated in a “Battle of the Bands” night, composed entirely of inAs a native Calgarian, I have loved the addividuals practicing law in Calgary. During venture of moving to Toronto and exploring the day, we would go for ice cream trips, Ontario, and I did not exhave lunch in the park pect that I would want to downtown, and even return to Calgary for work. sneak away to a patio “Are you going to sit Every time I went back to on afternoons when it inside and waste your Calgary for the holidays, I was too warm to be in would take the opportunilife or are you going to the off ice (or as we prety to go hike or ski in the ferred to call it, “busigo to the rodeo?” mountains, take a day trip ness meetings”). to Banff with my twin brother, or visit a great brunch place downAside from all of the fun, we really did work town to catch up with old friends. There hard, I promise! I was part of a group of f ifwere many things about Calgary that I teen brilliant students from all over the grew to miss during my time in Ontario country. The f irst week was our orientation and so, when I was offered a 1L summer poweek, where we were met with a welcome sition at Borden Ladner Gervais LLP reception and educational seminars on how (BLG), I was excited to accept. I had no to be successful summer students and lawidea that this would be one of my most yers. Many associates gave presentations memorable summers yet. about their different practice groups and stopped by student off ices to welcome us to Discussing the legal work would only do the f irm. We were subsequently assigned justice to half of my experience as a sumassociate mentors who were open to quesmer student. BLG organized work socials tions at any time of day, but we were also for just about every event you could imaginformally mentored by many others. The ine throughout the summer. Some events f irm proved to have an open door policy include a weekend golf trip to Fernie, B.C.; throughout the summer. numerous Stampede events, including rodeos and concerts; a 100-km team race in On the litigation f loors, associates and Kananaskis; and a FIFA World Cup breakpartners took us to observe examinations fast. The students had a slo-pitch team, a for discovery and trials. It was not uncomlawn bowling team, and frequently went mon for our work to get sent straight to clibouldering together with associates at the ents or to have associates ask for our opinf irm. ions on certain legal issues.

On the corporate f loors, we would attend shareholder meetings, witness will signings, assist in deal closings, and so much more. We also had seminars throughout the summer on different areas of the law by experts at the f irm and had sessions on mental health and harassment in the workplace. We were encouraged to be entrepreneurial with our work in that we could request and seek out the type of work in which we were interested. There was always an opportunity to get involved in a research project, blog post, or an ongoing case in an area of interest (ranging from insolvency and employment litigation to cryptocurrency and cannabis companies). I learned so much more in four months than I could have expected and was honestly sad to return to law school for another two years before articling in 2020 (I am sure I will regret that statement at some

point in my articling year, but, for now, I stand by it). It is clear that BLG Calgary prioritizes a work-culture based on collaboration and mentorship. From articling students to partners, there is a dynamic, creative, and friendly work culture at BLG Calgary that I will truly miss while I am in Toronto. Calgary has a great mix between a corporate and recreational lifestyle, and I would encourage anyone to apply during the recruits. You never know what opportunity could be waiting for you in the charming (but still wild) west. P.S. In the photos with me is Sinem Ersoy, a fellow 2L who summered with me and who I am sure would be open to answering any questions about her experience summering at BLG (and about her new obsession with cowboy hats and two-stepping).


22 | September 26, 2018


Review: A Summer at Advocates for Injured Workers If you want to apply your theoretical knowledge to hands-on advocacy, a legal clinic is the best place to go SONIA PATEL (2L)


addition to assisting with WSIB claims, I also prepared and fi led a human rights application for one of my clients.


Advocates for Injured Workers (AIW) is a legal clinic that represents clients in their workers’ compensation claims. After workers have been injured on the job, they are legally entitled to certain benefits and services from the Workplace Safety and Insurance Board (WSIB). The role of AIW is to guide clients through the appeal process after their claims have been denied. This summer, I worked as a student caseworker at the clinic, and, in my totally biased objective opinion, it was the absolute best possible 1L summer.

As a summer student, each caseworker has sole carriage over ten to fi fteen fi les. The work is varied and interesting. Tasks include medical and legal research developing case strategy, communicating with and on behalf of clients, and written and oral advocacy. (I know so many medical terms now! Please do not test me on this!) No two fi les are quite the same; each has its unique quirks and challenges. This summer, in

ideas and with whom to commiserate about course selection. (Apparently everyone in this law school has great taste and chose Professor Dawood’s Democracy, Politics, and the Law course. Who knew waitrecommend lists could stretch so far?).

I distinctly remember starting my summer at AIW and feeling like I had no idea what was I highly going on. We had training sesgetting involved with Thank you to my cosions led by staff lawyers, legal AIW. workers for (re-)teaching workers, and experts from outme how to use the postage side the clinic spread over a few meter and for helping me decipher obscure docweeks. On the first day, we had a morning and an tors’ notes. To the many doctors undoubtedly afternoon session scheduled, with some room in reading this, please, please just type your notes. between to get up to speed on our new files. Instead, the second I sat down at my desk, my phone Throughout the school year, I had worked on a rang and I spent the next hour-and-a-half chatting research project with Industrial Accident Vicwith one of my new clients. tims Group (IAVGO), the parent clinic to AIW, as part of the Pro-Bono Students Canada UnionAlthough the level of responsibility can be dauntSide Labour Law Project. Over the course of ing at times, the staff lawyers are extremely pathat project, I read through more than 150 tient and generous with their time. All of the Workplace Safety and Appeals Tribunal deciwritten work that you complete is reviewed by sions, combing through for equity factors that the lawyers before being sent out, so you can be would give us insight into how the WSIB’s decisure that you are submitting quality work for sions may produce unequal effects for workers your client for which you won’t be sued. The lawfacing racial, gendered, mental, linguistic, and yers are meticulous in their reviewing and, as a other barriers. Following that research up with result, my legal writing has definitely improved tangible, hands-on advocacy as a clinic worker since the beginning of the summer. (I make no was incredible. The workers’ compensation syspromises about my non-legal writing.) tem can be a confusing, frustrating maze to navIn addition to the substantive help, the staff lawigate and helping clients through it was extremeyers at AIW go above and beyond to make sure ly rewarding. that you feel supported, not just in your work for If you have an interest in workers’ rights, labour the clinic, but also outside of it. (Seriously, this and employment law, public interest work, litigasummer, I got thoughtful and helpful advice on tion, etc., I highly recommend getting involved everything from job applications to course selecwith AIW, next year. There are so many ways to tion to what my younger sister could do with her do so, whether as a volunteer, summer caseworkbiochemistry degree.) er, or a for-credit student. Regardless of which Working with other law students also makes for a you do, you’ll get to do meaningful work with fun and collaborative work environment. There top-notch people. It’s just that if you’re a summer were nine of us in total this summer and it was student, you’ll get all of the above, plus three great to have peers around off of whom to bounce weeks of paid vacation. Just sayin’.


September 26, 2018 | 23

Review: A Summer as a Research Assistant How to make friends with a professor, hang out with your friends, and still finish work at 5 pm TOM COLLINS (2L) Honghu, our Co-Editor-in-Chief, recently approached me to write a piece about my summer. He alleged that he had pitched this idea to me earlier in the year. [Editor’s note: I totally did.]

a little bit of charm (i.e., references to Monty Python), I got the job.

For a moment, I admit, I actually got into the idea. Some mindless debauchery seemed bound to produce a story worth telling. But, as soon as I learned that single guys cannot get into Oasis, the whole reverie revealed itself for what it really was: a joke. I only wish that I had checked before getting a 40-Year-Old Virginstyle man-o-lantern wax and standing in line for half an hour!

First of all, the work itself was fascinating. In 1L, we are afforded only a cursory look at the law. You do not touch on legal history except in tangential ways. Yet, legal history is a great way to contextualize what you are learning. It is also frequently entertaining.

I was relieved but that bliss did not last long. Despite feeling confident about my grasp of property law, I only got a P in Prof. Phillips’s Here is what I actually remember: I was on a class. Now, just about every non-professor at patio with Honghu and a couple of other this school will have told you that Ps are good. friends, when someone proposed doing an inNo. In a relativistic grading scheme, Ps are vestigative piece. I would be sent into the field mediocre. So, I was suddenly confronted by to live life like a “real law student.” Apparentthe dreadful feeling of fraudulence. I was worly, spending all day reading and then eating ried that Prof. Phillips, leftovers in front of a Late who admitted to being surShow re-run wasn’t that. prised by my grade, would Legal history is a great secretly doubt his hiring After a brief brainstorming choice. While I was thankway to contextualize session—and another round of beers—it was dewhat you are learning. ful for my recent introduction to contractual obligacided that, despite being It is also frequently tions (I knew that I would vegetarian, I would go to entertaining. not be terminated in faHooters for all-you-can eat vour of someone more wings. Then I would hit promising) I was also anxOasis Aqualounge: “a sexious to redeem myself and to prove that I was a ual adventure playground”. Pending confi rmacapable employee. tion that Zanzibar had a breakfast buffet, I would also go there to pay homage before it Mercifully, everything worked out and this closed (?) or sold (?). No one was entirely sure ended up being one of the best summer jobs I what was going on with the storied Yonge have ever had. Although it took me a few weeks Street strip club. It will come as no surprise to regain my confidence, I found that working that the impromptu committee was composed as a research assistant was a pleasant, manageentirely of men boys, well into an evening of able, and fulfi lling job. drinking.

When Honghu heard my recollection, he clarified that he had meant a piece on my work as a research assistant. That made more sense. But for that story, we have to begin in the VIP section at the Brass Rail (I kid). Having failed during the January 1L recruit to woo any employers with my impressive collection of Ps, I was a little concerned about how I would pay my summer bills. I had nearly resigned myself to the idea of becoming the president of a successful company when my property law professor, Jim Phillips, advertised that he was looking for a Research Assistant (RA). I had worked as an RA in the past and my experience seemed applicable. Prof. Phillips was writing about legal history and I had studied art history. Prof. Phillips’s approach to legal history is more realistic than formalistic—rather than limiting his perspective to jurisprudential application of legal principles, he also looks at the societal factors that influence the law’s development. My art historical background took a similar approach: one inquires into the context in which the work was created to help decipher its intended meaning rather than using a fi xed set of aesthetic principles identified through a teleological analysis of artistic progression. With

For example, did you know that in 1891, when Clara Brett Martin was trying to become the Law Society of Upper Canada’s fi rst female student-at-law, William Ralph Meredith, future Chief Justice of Ontario and perhaps one of the most outspoken opponent of women’s rights of the late nineteenth century, argued that inherently fashion-conscious female litigators would never want to wear the same official robes as their male counterparts? Meredith succeeded, but, in 1897, Martin was admitted to the LSUC as a barrister and solicitor—the fi rst woman in the British empire to receive this designation. That is just one of the 10/10 would ninety-or-so daily facts I posted in “The RA Array”, a Facebook group that I created for my fellow research assistants to coordinate their schedules. And that leads me to the second reason that working as an RA is fun: you get to work with your friends. There were about thirty RAs, almost all of whom were friends of mine. That made for a uniquely collegial atmosphere at the library, where I spent nearly every day. It is also worth noting that the library is mostly empty in the summer. So, you basically have a quiet, air-conditioned workspace where you can hang out with your friends, who, for once, were not stressed and tired. That sanity is yet another benefit of the RA


lifestyle. If you have ever been on a Bay Street fi rm’s page for summer law students, you have no doubt read that “law is not a nine-to-fi ve job.” What they mean by that euphemism is that you will never see your family or friends ever RA again. again. All I am going to say is that I loved being kicked out of the library at fi ve o’clock because it meant that I was done for the day. I could go home, make a nice supper, have some wine, watch some TV, read in the park for a couple of hours, maybe get a few drinks with my friends, and go to bed whenever. I was free to do whatever I wanted. I do not mean to suggest that working as an RA entitles you to lounge around all of the time. You do have to deliver, but once you do, you have plenty of time to pursue your other interests. Finally, working as an RA gives you the opportunity to get to know your professor(s) on a personal level. This may be less true for casebook RAs, who cycle through several profes-

sors over the summer, but I was fortunate enough to work with Prof. Phillips for four months. That gave rise to a great working relationship and a familiarity that is all but impossible to develop in a classroom. I attribute some of my own experience to the serendipity of good chemistry, but Prof. Phillips is also just a friendly person. Regardless of who you work for, you have access to a compelling reference, should you need it. Working as a research assistant, then, has all the makings of a pleasant job. It’s interesting, it’s manageable. It’s community-building and it allows you to foster meaningful relationships with key legal theorists and career contacts. If you are as lucky as I was, it may also give you the chance to substantially expand your marketable skills: Prof. Phillips invited me to coauthor a paper with him on the origins of the division of powers in Canada—an amazing experience. Look for that paper in a few months. 10/10 would RA again.


24 | September 26, 2018

In Vino Veritas

Six great wines to start the year TOM COLLINS (2L) Welcome to another year of wine reviews! If you are new to the law school, then allow me to introduce myself. I am one of the copresidents of In Vino Veritas, the wine club, along with fellow 2Ls Danica Bennewies and Jason Lamb, and 3L Anne Marshall. My team and I will be writing monthly reviews, here, for your edif ication and pleasure. So, whether you are looking to impress, or just for something new to try we have you covered. *** It is hard to believe that by the time you read this, we will already be a month into the fall semester. If you are an optimist, then you might say that we are a quarter of the way to the winter break. If, however, you are jaded like me, then you might say, “go to hell!” I’m sorry. I am just missing summer. That is why, for this edition of Ultra Vires, we at In Vino Veritas decided that we would reject our reality and return to happier times. Danica, Jason and I have reviewed our favourite summer discoveries, as well as something to take the edge off the next month.




While I sampled a variety of wines this summer, the peak of my wine experience was a trip to Portugal. The great thing about Portugal is that a glass of wine costs pretty much the same as a bottle of water, but it’s twice as delicious. Upon my return, I was thrilled to find that a number of the wines I had tried were available at the LCBO (and at affordable prices too)!

This summer, I endeavoured to try a new wine every week. By chance, my favourite discovery was one of the first bottles I opened: Susana Balbo Signature Rosé 2017. A blend of Malbec and Pinot Noir, this extra dry Argentinian rosé is a light, poached-salmon pink. Its nose makes enticing promises: strawberry, watermelon, candied orange. And the palate doesn’t disappoint. There is a zing of refreshing citrus right away, followed by tart lemon, minerality, and a hint of strawberry. It is unquestionably the best rosé I have had for the price; it rivals many $30 bottles I have had. Chill and pair it with sunshine.

One humid afternoon, I discovered the delightful Lang & Reed Chenin Blanc 2016 in the LCBO’s clearance basket. It cost $39, but I jumped at the chance to try a Chenin Blanc from Napa, where the white vineyards are predominantly Chardonnay. As a connoisseur of France and South Africa’s cool climate versions of this varietal, I was wowed by the fruitiness and smoothness imbued by the warm California sun. I would be remiss to not mention the colour—an inviting greenish gold that stands out from Chenin Blanc’s typically watery appearance. The 2016 is increasingly hard to find but be on the lookout for the 2017 coming soon.

One of my favourite finds was the JP Azeito Syrah Rosé 2016 ($8.95 from the LCBO). This is a dry, fuller-bodied rosé, with lots of fruity red berry flavours and medium acidity. I highly recommend this rosé for when you’re craving a glass of red wine, but also want something cool and refreshing. And the best part is that, at a price-tag of less than $10, it fits the back-to-school budget! While in Portugal, I also discovered a love for port, the sweet wine which derives its name from the Portuguese town of Oporto. One particularly tasty and affordable bottle that you can get in Canada is Taylor’s 10-Year Tawny Port ($35.95 from the LCBO). While you can find ruby and white port in the LCBO as well, I love the tawny variety because it has a great toffee and burnt caramel flavor. This goes great alongside a bowl of vanilla ice cream but is also delicious mixed with tonic water as a happyhour cocktail.

Looking forward, now, I would recommend Piedra Negra Reserva Malbec 2015, especially if you tend to like big reds. Another Argentinian offering, this one is available for only $19.95. For that price, you get a beautiful, purply red wine that spares no flavour. This is a bold, full-bodied wine, but rather than being jammy and soft, it is very dry and taut; the mouthfeel keeps you sipping. The palate is spicy, even peppery, with notes of dried red fruits, earth, and fine tannins, and it gives way to a long, savoury finish. No discernable nose, though. This would pair phenomenally with the last barbecue of the season on a cool, autumn evening.

For those of you with more student-y budgets, El Gorú is back! I had the pleasure of sampling the 2015 vintage last year. This Monastrell blend from Jumilla, Spain is one of the most drinkable at its price point, a mere $13.95. Medium bodied with lasting fruit, its tannic structure is neither offensive nor lacking in complexity. It is certainly a great choice for grabbing a drink with a friend at a bar or restaurant, as it will often be one of the most affordable wines on the menu.


September 26, 2018 | 25

Travel with Tsui: Review of the Faroe Islands Emily visits Iceland’s little cousin EMILY TSUI (2L JD/MGA)

I was making use of the tourist off ice’s free WiFi that I discovered that a guide was required. It cost 440 DKK, or about $100 per person. Oops. Once you make it there, in every direction lies a remarkably beautiful landscape. Almost every thirty kilometers in the northern islands is connected to a hiking route, many with their own associated Faroese myth. From the famous “lake above the water” (Sørvágsvatn) to one of the highest promontories in the world (Cape Enniberg) to Mykines, the island of over a million puff ins (try telling a Faroese person that puff ins are going extinct, and they will serve you one for your next meal), it’s easy to see why even a small picture on a phone would entice anybody to go explore.

The Faroe Islands are located in the North Atlantic Ocean between Iceland and Norway. Behind the curtains of rain lie its dramatic landscapes. Its volcanic history has given the islands tall mountains, rocky cliffs, and breathtaking waterfalls. The Islands are a photographer’s and hiker’s heaven (and an acrophobic person’s worst nightmare). The three largest islands are connected by long subsea tunnels that feel like driving through an endless bunker. The rest are connected by perilous unlit one-way tunnels, ferries, or by government-subsidized helicopter. At about 110 Danish krone (DKK) a helicopter ride, or about $22, I suspect it is one of the best deals on scenic f lights in the world.

Tourist boards of the world have Instagram to thank for bringing visitors to previously undiscovered places. The Faroe Islands, a self-governing autonomous region of Denmark, is no exception, much to the chagrin of many of the 50,000 reclusive locals who pine for a renaissance of the Viking days when they could fend off invaders with force. Although it seems to currently be “hipster Iceland”, everyone, including myself, was attracted to this group of eighteen mountainous islands for its rugged beauty.

empty parking lots at night. And, the tourist boards appear to have forgotten the true gem of the islands: the kommuna. These are public facilities that include super warm showers, drinking water, and sinks to clean backpacking cooking equipment. The trailhead at Kalsoy (and the website describing the lighthouse trek) had zero indication that it was restricted access, so it wasn’t until the next day when

However, no trip is ever complete without a Couchsurf ing experience. My Couchsurfing host, a kind and deeply religious local from Tórshavn, offered to take me sailing in exchange for work as a deckhand. I informed him that I couldn’t tell port from starboard, but he didn’t seem to care, and he brought me on board. He took an old Faroese schooner made from Canadian oak to a water-access-only cave in Hestur, and a group of onboard musicians disembarked. The cave was nature’s amplif ier, and the music rang with a depth and range I had never experienced before. At the captain’s behest, the trip ended with a taste of the controversial whale blubber (not recommended), whale jerky (slightly better), and ræst, a wind-chilled molded f ish that was surprisingly delicious. For anybody going to Iceland, Scotland, or Scandinavia, the Faroe Islands is an absolute must for slightly off-the-beaten-path travellers who like to drive, hike, take photographs, birdwatch, and have a new culinary experience.

But the deals stop there. Everything else on these islands is prohibitively expensive— especially if you do everything by the book and with the advice of tourist boards. The barriers are comically numerous: there’s no “right to roam” (unlike Norway) meaning that there’s no free accommodation by way of wild camping, no sleeping in cars since all of the land is private (and there’s no unauthorized parking), and there’s restricted access to certain hiking trails. However, my nine days of travel across the islands were incredible, and I travelled without an infraction (luckily) by just renting a car and sleeping in it. Conveniently, the sparsely populated islands have a lot of


26 | September 26, 2018


Tali Rants on the Ghomeshi Comeback Gambit All the obvious trigger warnings for dudes defending sexual predators TALI CHERNIN (3L)


Ghomeshi just got published in the The New York Review of Books and it is precisely what you might expect. What is far more interesting is the absolutely batshit interview that his editor, Ian Buruma, did with Slate to justify running the column in the f irst place.


tal means, what the judge said in deciding Ghomeshi’s case, or that being acquitted of a crime does not come with a set forgiveness period like parole.

social opprobrium.” Here, Buruma equates not being found guilty beyond a reasonable doubt with being found beyond a reasonable doubt to be not guilty.

Buruma said he was not standing in defense of rapists, because “someIf you have a strong Buruma equates not thing like rape is a crime, stomach, I strongly recand we know what hapbeing found guilty ommend you give it a pens in the case of beyond a reasonable read (without ad blocker! crimes.” (It’s “Trials.”) doubt with being found Later in the interview, he Support journalism!). If not, just strap yourself in doubles down on this, beyond a reasonable for some choice quotasaying that, “Harvey doubt to be not guilty. tions about how an old Weinestein would be dewhite dude with no backnied an article, because ground in law speaks with equal parts conunlike Ghomeshi, he was accused of rape.” f idence and ignorance about how law works In contrast, Buruma claimed that he was and how it would affect his choice in subcreating a space for guys who just “behaved jects. badly sexually, abusing their power in one way or another”. So, I guess Buruma lives The Ghomeshi article was born of its auin a world where sexual assault and overthor’s desire to ref lect on what it was like to coming resistance by choking—Ghomeshi’s be “at the top of the world…, being a jerk in charges—are not crimes. And a world many ways, and then finding your life ruined where Ghomeshi did not stand trial. and being a public villain and pilloried” [emphasis added]. Indeed, Buruma’s deAnyway, since Ghomeshi wasn’t convicted, fense of the article relies heavily on Ghomehe made for an interesting subject as someshi’s acquittal, while seemingly failing to one “who has not been found guilty in any understand what a crime is, what an acquitcriminal sense but who perhaps deserves

Yet, Justice Horkins explicitly stated in paragraph 140 of the decision that “my conclusion that the evidence in this case raises a reasonable doubt is not the same as deciding in any positive way that these events never happened” [emphasis added]. Even though Buruma spends so long on how important the acquittal is to the story, the interviewer’s suggestion that the same type of space be given to another acquitted person, O. J. Simpson, was rejected out of hand. Why? Well, “he was found guilty in a civil trial.” To be clear, people are not found guilty at civil trials, and their liability is found on a balance of probabilities, a much less rigorous standard. Of course, Ghomeshi has not yet been subjected to a civil trial. So, on Buruma’s own logic, it seems premature to stand by his author’s innocence. Finally, even though Buruma concedes that Ghomeshi may deserve social opprobrium, by affording him a platform from which to vindicate himself, Buruma seems to dismiss

even that opprobrium as a sort of social prison, from which he must free Ghomeshi, regardless of his conduct in the time since his trial. Namely, making a list of all the people who haven’t backed him up and then patting himself on the back after managing to have a single conversation with an attractive woman where he doesn’t hit on her. And that cynical aff irmation of vindication is the key here. Men like Ghomeshi have been raised to believe that their position in society is their due. A loss of that social capital is therefore seen as theft. It is no doubt that same feeling of entitlement that allows them to treat consent casually, and to downplay the effects of such an attitude. It is the same logic that leads to concerns over Brock Turner’s swimming career, rather than over the future of the woman he violated. If nothing else, the Ghomeshi article did help to shine a light on how famously progressive people (Buruma has built a reputation around a belief in a pluralist society) can fail so transcendently in understanding their own privilege. [Editor’s Note: After this piece was written, Ian Buruma left The New York Review of Books.]


September 26, 2018 | 27

Tali Rants on Articling and the Future of Law LSO needs to hear from us about articling reform TALI CHERNIN (3L) With the proposed changes to the articling program, I’ve been thinking about the LSO’s strategic objective to enhance access to justice in the context of the proposed changes to the articling program. It is, I think, fairly uncontentious to say that the articling program as it is has tremendous problems: lack of actual learning in many positions, abusive practices, lack of livable wages, lack of variety in positions consistent with the variety of actual work in law, the massive obstacles facing racialized licensees, and of course, the ratio between students and positions available. But the solution to these problems is being discussed in isolation and that is a guaranteed way of fucking things up. The real issue here is that the way we choose to move forward with articles is indicative of the sort of legal system we want to have. Do we want to maintain the mysticism surrounding our profession that leads to “oohs” and “aahs” when we tell people at parties that we’re lawyers or do we want to be accessible both as a profession and as a service? If we want the latter, and I certainly hope most people do, none of the proposed changes go to addressing the real problems with accessibility.

actly the sort of people we’re trying to encourage to enter the f ieldo self-select out before they even start. Our school tells students that they ought to have “skin in the game”, as it were, as they dismiss calls for greater f inancial support, as if they could possibly know what diff icult decisions, opportunity costs, and sacrif ices beyond the cost of tuition a potential student is already subject to. Not only that, but the fact that our law schools have been historically deeply inaccessible to certain communities (often overlapping with communities underserved by the profession) also means that among the sacrif ices being asked of these groups is to

You have until October 26 to send in your feedback at

Instead, we’ve allowed problems like the outrageous cost of tuition, which leads ex-

enter what is often a hostile environment and to nevertheless succeed at the same rate as people for whom the system was literally tailored. And then we tell these students to go out and f ind a job in a profession infamous for abusive practices. I’m not sure what the right way of resolving the articling crisis is. On the one hand, many students at this school have been held prisoner by my rants about the inadequacy of our legal education in preparing us for actual practice. The idea of being allowed to represent clients without ever having the safety net of a supervising lawyer for your f irst few months leaves me cold. I think it is no surprise that lawyers working alone

make up more than half of complaints f iled with the LSO in 2017, regardless of their year of call. On the other hand, it is a system which perpetuates abusive behavior and consistently acts as an obstacle for exactly the sort of people we need more of in law. What I do know is that we can’t think about articling in isolation, and that the LSO needs to hear from us about the sort of profession we want to enter. You have until October 26 to send in your feedback at Don’t sit on the sidelines. This is our future, and we ought to have our say.


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28 | September 26, 2018


Profiles in Courage: Class of 2021 Meet some members of the incoming 1L class MADDY TORRIE (2L) Juan Elle

Constance Hetherington-Smythe

Victor Caratun

Nemo “DQN” Habit

Juan is a shining example of our interdisciplinary student body, with an undergraduate degree in Health Science from McMaster University. Having walked into the LSAT thinking it was the MCAT, he ingeniously only picked C, scoring 174.

Constance hails all the way from Rosedale, Toronto, travelling an impressive four subway stations (with transfers!) to attend U of T Law.

Formally a student at Trinity College, Victor knew he wanted to go to U of T Law for years. “Ever since I head those stories about U of T Law students tearing pages out of textbooks, I knew this was the right place with the right culture for me.”

Nemo exemplif ies the ambition the Class of 2021 brings to the law school. Nemo isn’t a single student, and is, in fact, three poli sci graduates in a trench coat. You can f ind Nemo in the cafe, the library, and looking furtively over their shoulder for Sara Faherty, who is desperately trying to f ind out how they only received tuition for one student, while giving out three students’ worth of f inancial aid.

When we asked Juan why he wanted to attend U of T Law, he responded, “what!? I thought this was a medical school.” Then he sighed, “well, I guess this is all the same to my parents anyway.” You can catch Juan in the hallways wearing his signature white lab coat.

Before law school, Constance personally ended the civil war in Angola, invented the smallpox vaccine, and completed two solo circumnavigations of Earth. When asked about her accomplishments, she responded, “you guys actually believed that shit I wrote on my personal statement? That’s hilarious. Holistic my ass.” Constance dreams of one day making a bunch of money on Bay Street and learning where Angola is located. She looks forward to “not needing a single handout to pay for law school” as well as staying at her parents’ resort in Cancun during Reading Week.

Victor has not been disappointed with his time at U of T Law so far: “once, I made a student cry when I told him he couldn’t be in our study group for Legal Methods. I really think the Class of 2021 might be the best one ever,” he said, elatedly. Victor plans on doing a joint JD/MBA to “experience being surrounded by the worst people the university has to offer. I’m especially excited for ‘The Art of the Deal II: What $130,000 can buy you’”.

Ariane Carmona (1L)


September 26, 2018 | 29

Straight HHs in Eleven Easy, Soul-Destroying Steps The official Follies’ guide to academic success RORY SMITH (2L)* So, you think that your peer mentor wasn’t entirely on the level when they said that grades don’t matter? Wanting to find out how to really succeed at law school? Then you’ve come to the right place. As the unquestionably most academically successful law students at the school, we here at Law Follies guarantee that following our advice will lead to you receiving straight HH’s.1 So without further ado, here are 11 steps to achieving academic immortality. 1. Study in public places The grading system at U of T can be a bit confusing, but leveraging the rank-based grading is key if you want to achieve straight HHs. The grading is relative and your fellow classmates are the enemy. Engage in some mental warfare by studying exclusively where you know your classmates will see you. Sure, public spaces might be more distracting than private ones, but the minor loss in your own studying will more than be made up for by the effect it will have on your peers’ studying. Nothing throws a law student off their game more than seeing someone studying more than they are. Make the library your home, don’t ever be seen without a book in hand, and always talk out loud about your rigorous study schedule. Remember not to overdo it though—students that drop out don’t count towards the curve, putting your hard work to waste. 2. Study alone Given that you’re now studying at the law school, you might be tempted to study with some of the

other 1Ls who also read this guide and are studying at the law school. Don’t give in to this temptation. Your classmates are your direct competition. Why would you risk studying with them and giving them a leg up? While you might think that it’d be a good idea to study with people smarter than you, it’s hard to identify the good students beforehand. Law students are full of surprises. Avoid the risk and study on your own; everyone you study with is just one more person that you need to beat come exam season. Sure, learning by teaching is one of the most effective ways to learn,2 but learning by being taught is much more popular. It isn’t worth the risk that you’ll give away a key insight to a fellow student. 3. Don’t make friends with others “Okay”, you think, “so, I can’t study with the other 1Ls, but surely that doesn’t mean I can’t make friends with them?” You’d think that—and you’d be wrong. By befriending people, you run the serious risk of accidentally studying with them. Law students love to ruin any social outing by talking about the law. First, they’ll suck you into an argument about the notwithstanding clause and, next thing you know, you’ve explained the difference between defeasible and determinable clauses without even noticing that all your “friends” have been writing down your every word. Don’t fall into this trap. 4. Seriously, don’t make friends with others This might just seem like the last step again (it is), but it bears repeating. Law school can be lonely, and it will be hard to not make friends. But your

classmates are sirens, waiting to seduce you with their talent, humour, passion, and generosity. Remember that you walk a narrower path. Any time that you’re spending with friends is time that you’re not re-reading your Legal Methods casebook in order to decipher the hidden exam clues (hint: you’re looking for anagrams of each of the case names). You’ll have plenty of time to make friends once exam season is over, or ideally, once you’ve graduated. With all those shiny HHs on your transcript, people will be falling over themselves to befriend you. And if it seems like you’re having a tough time, don’t worry—people are probably just too intimidated by your success to make the first move. Remember, getting straight HHs is easy, it’s living with straight HHs that’s the hard part.

goal. Anyone who tells you that hobbies help them “recharge” or “relax” are just trying to climb above you in the rankings. Leave recharging to the batteries and get back to those textbooks. 7.No going outside Nothing breaks up a productive study session like some sunshine in the great outdoors. That’s exactly why you must never venture outside. Remember that unwavering focus we talked about? In fact, don’t even sit too close to windows where stray sunlight might reach you and tempt you to go outside. Just pop a vitamin D pill every once in a while, and you’re good to go. 8.No physical activity

5. Don’t make friends outside law school either “Okay, okay” you’re saying, “I get it, no making friends with the 1Ls. But surely I can make friends with non-law people?” No. No you cannot. (see: sirens above) Non-law people are even worse than law people because they’ll remind you of the world outside law school. It does not do to dwell on dreams and forget to study, or something like that. 6. Non-law activities are also out You’re probably getting the hang of this by now. Just as with non-law people, non-law activities take up time and distract your brain from all of the readings you should be doing instead of cycling/baking/gently sobbing/insert hobby of choice. The only way to achieve straight HHs is to maintain constant, unwavering focus on that

Your brain consumes approximately 20% of your total energy output3 and you want to make sure that it has all the fuel it needs to do its job. Let those vanity muscles atrophy and allow your brain to luxuriate in the excess energy. Plus, any time you’re spending at the gym is time you could be spending in the library. Remember, work-life balance is just a buzzword that was made up by marketers in the eighties. 9. Plan your meals for optimal calorie intake On a similar note, optimize your grocery list to maximize energy consumption while minimizing expenditure. You are looking for foods with the most calories for the fewest dollars. This has the handy upside of reducing (slightly) your financial anxiety by trimming down your food budget. You can consult this handy list for a full guide but here are the highlights: flour is king, followed by white bread, pasta, rice, and olive oil. Other foods just can’t compare to the energy density these five foods provide and they all have a long shelf life. Get yourself a three-year supply and start fueling up. 10. Keep an irregular sleep schedule It’s important to practice under exam conditions. If you only study and write practice exams while well-rested, in quiet locations, and without desperately needing to go to the washroom, then you won’t be well prepared when those conditions arise during exam time. To that end, make sure that you have an irregular sleep schedule during the term— ideally starting as early as possible. Try to never go to bed or to sleep within an hour of the same time on consecutive days. It might take you a few days to get into the habit but remember: one good day of sleep can put your circadian rhythms right back into alignment. Stay diligent with separate alarms for each day of the week to avoid slipping back into regular sleep patterns. 11. Definitely don’t attend Law Follies on Feb 7. *Rory Smith is one of the head writers for Law Follies. 1. Keep in mind this is published in the Diversions section. Consider yourself warned. 2. https://onlinelibrary-wiley-com.myaccess.library.utoronto. ca/doi/epdf/10.1002/acp.3410 3.


30 | September 26, 2018

Intra Vires Totally real news from around the law school

Ultra Vires Introduces Classifieds! HONGHU WANG (2L) AND KEVIN SCHOENFELDT (‘18)

HONGHU WANG (2L) Pizza Pizza to sponsor hallway

Resourceful 1Ls drive bookstore out of business

3L drops “Financial Crimes” in disappointment

The Class of 2021 has driven the Lenczner Slaght Royce Smith Griff in LLP Bookstore out of business after soft-copies of popular casebooks were distributed online in the SLS Facebook group.

Emma Bee-Ay (3L) has dropped “Financial Crimes and Corporate Compliance” with Kenneth Jull after realizing the course was not about how to get away with white-collar murder ponzi schemes. “All I wanted to be was Bernie Madoff. Except, you know, without the getting caught part”, she reported to Intra Vires. “Bad enough that it was at 8:30 AM!” Emma also dropped Mediation once realizing that the class was not a zen meditation class.

Bookstore considers pivot to briefs Having taken inspiration from the Canadian retailer La Maison Simons, the bookstore was considering a pivot to selling briefs named after famous U of T law alumni. Clueless 2L cannot believe Peter Griffi n is a real person Jay Dee (2L), while at the Lenczner Slaght open house, could not believe that Peter Griff in was a real person. “No, really, what’s your name?” repeated Jay at least twice, according to sources, followed by, “oh, so, like, how did you come to join the f irm?”

New UV editors charged with murder Perhaps reading Shakespeare’s Henry VI a bit too literally, the new editorial board of UV has been charged with 600 counts of f irst-degree murder after the entire student body of the U of T Law school was reported missing on Sept. 4. The editors are currently soliciting donations for surety. Please send donations to Cheque, AMEX, and HH summaries are accepted.

Dean Iacobucci is expected to announce at the next Faculty Council meeting that Pizza Pizza Ltd. will be sponsoring naming rights to “that awkward hallway leading to the Moot Court Room”. SNAILS lodge noise complaint against Bora Laskin Library Students not actually in law school have f iled a noise complaint as librarians released streamers and balloons to celebrate the 500,000th visitor. Victoria Trinity, 19, an undergraduate biochemistry student, said “wow! It’s like Y2K all over again! This reminds me of MIDI f iles on MySpace!” It was unclear at press time just how old Victoria would have been during Y2K.

In a last-ditch attempt to fund the donut budget, Ultra Vires has decided to start accepting classif ieds for the low, low price of $1 per line. Email your ad by the print deadline to for inclusion in next month’s issue! Clubs: The Bruce Chapman Appreciation Club is meeting every other Friday by the bust of Bora Laskin. The next three weeks topics are as follows: “How does he keep his hair so well conditioned?” “What is res ipsa loquitur?” “Wait, isn’t he on sabbatical this year?” Textbooks: Selling Waddams on Contracts, 5th Ed. Light highlighting. Some underlining. Pages stained with tears from a sad and lonely 1L existence not understanding rescission. Find me sobbing softly by the bust of Bora Laskin every day except Fridays. Lost and Found:

Incoming 1L Pizza Consumption

Lost: Motivation. Been missing since 2L. If you f ind it, return it to...or, you know what, keep it, you need it more than I do. Found in the library: Student, aged approximately 19, carrying large stack of books with titles like “Implicit Differentiation of Enantiomers” and the “Stereochemistry of Elliptic Functions”. If this student belongs to you, please return her to her home faculty. She makes me feel dumb. Lost: Kevin Schoenfeldt. Found: Weird alumnus lurking in the Diversions section. Exploitative Labour Opportunities: Still looking for someone to write 50% of the UV Diversions pages and to provide 90% of the funny. Also, Shari, our “news” editor, says we need “serious” pieces too. Email


Missed Connections: You were the 2L crying in the basement hallway. I was the 1L also crying in the basement hallway. I couldn’t see you that well through my tears, but maybe we could cry together next time. Personals: Hot singles in your area. Send HH Hammer maps and summaries if interested.










Q4 Proj. Andrew Luba (1L)


September 26, 2018 | 31

Letter from the Editors The real letter HONGHU WANG (2L) Corporate sellouts, rejoice! Your new Ultra Vires editors have sold their souls (and the UV pages) to Bay Street. We would like to thank our sponsors, without whom our selling-out would not have been possible: the radiant Davies Ward Phillips & Vineberg LLP; the awe-inspiring Torys LLP; the exalted Gilbert’s LLP; the revered Gowling WLG (Canada) LLP; the worshipful Cassels Brock & Blackwell LLP; the magnanimous McMillan LLP; the most august Dentons Canada LLP; and Osler, Hoskin & Harcourt LLP. May their clients be plentiful and their events wellcatered. The editors would also like to take a moment to re-

mark on their favourite places within the law school: the beautiful Davies Ward Phillips & Vineberg LLP classroom ( J130); the lofty Torys LLP Hall in the Bora Laskin Library; the solemn Gilbert’s LLP seminar room ( J225); the airy Cassels Brock & Blackwell LLP Lobby, the contemplative Dentons Canada LLP classroom ( J125); and the Osler, Hoskin & Harcourt LLP Atrium. We strongly encourage everyone to apply to these amazing f irms, may their business always prosper and their clients always pay the hours that they are billed.

send us an email—especially Bennett Jones LLP, to whom one of the editors has already promised her their soul.

At this time, we would like to invite the other fortytwo f irms on Bay Street who have not yet thought about joining the pantheon of Ultra Vires to please

On an unrelated note, Ultra Vires has recently changed its editorial policy to only allow praise for Bay Street firms. Thank you for your understanding

Thank you again to our new glorious overlords: Davies Ward Phillips & Vineberg LLP; Torys LLP; Gilbert’s LLP; Gowling WLG (Canada) LLP; Cassels Brock & Blackwell LLP; McMillan LLP; Dentons Canada LLP; and Osler, Hoskin & Harcourt LLP. May the judge rule always in their favour and may the appellate courts always grant their appeals.

Got ideas? Submit pieces to *This is not legal advice. It’s life advice.

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