What I did on my summer vacation
Sell out, or follow your “dreams?”
2Ls desperately try to justify their bad choices and hopeless employment prospects
Andrew Robertson and Pete Smiley debate the merits of selling out
Opinion, Page 13
Features, Page 6
September, 21, 2011 Vol. XIII, no. I ultravires.ca
The Independent Student Newspaper Of The University Of Toronto Faculty Of Law
New Grading 1Ls Excite at Tight N’ Bright Night, Alright Scheme Imminent Faculty to annouce changes in grading policy this month
By Jessica Lam (2L)
new grading policy is set to be unveiled this month when the proposal for a modified system will be finalized. Although Dean Mayo Moran was mum on the details, the new grading policy is likely to resemble those used by Ivy League law schools in the United States, where courses are graded honours, pass, or fail. Professor Sujit Choudhry, who recently left U of T to join the NYU law faculty, “chaired a comprehensive review of the grading system, which recommended the adoption of an honours/pass/fail system,” as stated on his profile page on the NYU law website. “We thought that it was a good time because top tier institutions have started looking at their grades,” said Moran. The new system will not be implemented this academic year. Rather, there will be a gradual roll out. Although the particulars of the new grading policy are uncertain, Moran said that the modified system is intended to diminish student anxiety, better reflect the excellence of students and create a clearer sense of the class composition. Nevertheless, there is some concern amongst students that if the modified system collapses the B+ and B grades into a single “pass” category, it will unfairly eliminate the distinction between those who score above the curve. Moran said the changes are not intended to be “mass grade inflation,” but to more accurately indicate the composition of the class at U of T. “I find it challenging to explain to employers and to others how good our students are,” she said. The SLS has been informed of these changes but has decided not to broadcast them until the formal announcement. They plan to have a meeting on the issue in coming weeks.
GEORGIA BROWN photo
Toronto American Apparel stores were blind-sided by O-Week’s Wednesday night Tight and Bright event at Crown Night Club
Choudhry Caught by NYU Recruiter Professor’s exit lastest in string of high-profile departures from the University of Toronto Faculty of Law
By Matt Brown (2L) & Jessica Lam (2L)
he rash of high-profile departures recently have prompted some soul searching at the University of Toronto Faculty of Law. When Lorne Sossin departed to take the helm of Osgoode Hall Law School, the Faculty mourned the loss of a respected teacher and productive researcher. Then, over the summer, Sujit Choudhry announced he was accepting an appointment at New York University Law School. Choudhry’s resignation from U of T speaks to some common anxieties at the faculty. He is a preeminent researcher among his other accomplishments he was awarded a Trudeau fellowship in 2010 — and was very active in the administration of the faculty, in particular the first year
program. The faculty lost a leading figure to a law school with far greater resources. Tuition alone at NYU is $46,196. Add the law school’s endowment, which was valued at over $200 million before the financial crisis, and you have an institution with significant financial heft. Losing top faculty to American law schools has always been guiding anxiety at U of T: keeping up with American schools in the race for academic talent was the primary reason former Dean Ronald J. Daniels presided over the large tuition increases that made U of T the most expensive law school in the country. Dean Moran concedeeded that Choudry’s departure is a “huge loss” but also “tribute to how great we are” since faculty “go on to do amazing things.” Moran expects that U of T will always struggle in the competition for talent
against American law schools and that U of T has to be “more creative” about recruiting and maintaining faculty. She points to the high quality of the student body as well as the impressively interdisciplinary faculty members as ways she sells the school to prospective hires. In fact, the faculty has been using those “creative” techniques to hire two new tenure-track professors for this academic year. Moran explained that hiring was put on hold when the financial crisis caused the endowment to collapse but that, this year, the faculty took advantage of the buyers market in the US legal world. She noted that, because of the “brutal” job market in the US, there “were just in-
See New Hires, Page 4
SEPTEMBER 21, 2011 ultravires.ca
Hey Everyone Look at Me
By Matt Brown, Editor-In-Chief (2L)
f I’m lucky, you’re reading this while dropping a deuce in the basement of Falconer. If I’m unlucky, only my mom will ever read this. It has always been unclear what this page is for, so I think I’ll just use it as an vehicle for vanity and naked self-promotion. Like everything else I do at law school. This issue has something for everyone (except for 3Ls because... do you guys even go here?) I actually felt like a 3L last week after I was shut out of e.community for non-payment of my tuition. I am a deadbeat. Little did I know, that when you don’t pay your tuition they also take your photo off stalkerbook like a defecting athlete in the USSR. Those of you who know me will realize that this really hit me where it hurts: if someone who sees me in sitting in the back in evidence/awkwardly hitting on some poor MGA student at wreck room and likes what they see, I want them to look me up. That has never, ever happened, but I want to be prepared. Hopefully, though, now that my face is on this page I’ve made stalkerbook redundant. On the other hand, it means that you are going to associate my face with that deuce your dropping right now. Who knows--it may be an improvement. As I was saying, there is something in here for everyone--from filler about clubs, to filler about Oweek to filler advice for 1Ls. There is filler left right and centre. Relatedly, if any one you are interested in writing for UV I urge--nay, beg--you to hit me up. Take a look at the 283 words you just read and appreciate just how low our standards are. Thanks for checking us out. It is going to be a great year.
ULTRA VIRES Editor-in-Chief News Editor Features Editor Opinion Editor Diversions Editor Production Editors
Matt Brown Jessica Lam Patrick Hartford Anderew Robertson Drew Valenine Todd Brayer Giselle Chin Business Manager Jonathan Bega Web & Photo Editor Cary Ferguson Copyeditors Qurrat-ul-ain, Tayyab Andrea Wong
Ultra Vires is an editorially independent publication. We are open to contributions which reflect diverse points of view, and our contents do not necessarily reflect the views of the Faculty of Law, the Students’ Law Society, or the editorial board.
Errors If you find any errors in Ultra Vires, please email firstname.lastname@example.org
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Submissions If you have an article submission or a tip for us, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org. The deadline for submissions is October 12, 2011. Ultra Vires reserves the right to edit submissions for brevity and clarity.
ultravires.ca SEPTEMBER 21, 2011
A Salacious Blow to Muscutt? Skate through OCIs with a cursory knowledge of high-profile legal issues
By Liam Churchill (2L)
riminal Code provisions aimed at activities relating to prostitution are the raciest of topics on which higher-level courts will decide this year, but other important issues on which rulings are expected include assumption of jurisdiction and a review of the revised Ontario summary judgment rule. The Ontario Court of Appeal’s decision in Bedford v Canada is sure to receive considerable public attention. The federal government has appealed the ruling, handed down last September by the Ontario Superior Court, that three Criminal Code provisions aimed at preventing prostitution were unconstitutional. The judge determined that sections 210, which criminalizes maintaining a common bawdy house, and 212(1)(j), which criminalizes living off the avails of prostitution, violated the applicants’ section 7 rights and could not be saved under section 1 of the Charter. Furthermore, the court held, section 213(1)(c), which criminalizes communicating for the purposes of prostitution, was held to violate the applicant’s section 2(b) rights to freedom of expression and could not be saved under section 1. A major determination of the trial judge in Bedford, and one that will be central to any decision in the appeal, was that social conditions, the jurisprudence and the evidence available had changed so significantly since 1990, when the Supreme Court issued its opinion in a reference on two of the provisions in question, that the court was not bound by the Supreme Court’s opinion. The Bedford case will not doubt have important implications for constitutional law and the doctrine of stare decisis in Canada, but the Supreme Court’s decision in Van Breda v Village Resorts Limited will have a significant effect on the assumption of jurisdiction. A 2010 decision of the Ontario Court of Appeal concerning when Ontario courts ought to assume jurisdiction against outof-province defendant, Van Breda revised the court’s 2002 decision in Muscutt v Courcelles by attempting to clarify how to assess whether there was “real and substantial connection” between an action and the jurisdiction in which a plaintiff was attempting to bring suit. The OCA held that the grounds for ser-
PHOTO COURTESY OF TERRI-JEAN BEDFORD
Terri-Jean Bedford , a dominatrix , is challenging the constitionality of Canada’s anti-sex trade laws. vice rule outlined in rule 17.02, with two exceptions, would also serve to presumptively establish a real and substantial connection that could justify a court assuming jurisdiction. The court also moved toward a process more responsive to the first two “Muscutt factors,” the connection between the plaintiff’s claim and the forum and the connection between the defendant and the forum.The remaining six factors, the court concluded, should be treated as “general legal principles that bear upon the analysis” rather than as “independent factors having more or less equal weight.” In their factum at the Supreme Court,
PHOTO COURTESY OF IDEACITY.CA
Alan Young in 2006 about to lecture at Ideacity, “Canada’s Premier Meeting of the Minds.”
Club Resorts urged that Canadian courts adopt “standards or jurisdiction that are consistent and coherent across Canada.” In addition to other concerns, they also argued that fairness should be considered not during the analysis of whether there is a real and substantial connection, but rather only following a decision that a real and substantial connection exists. The Ontario Court of Appeal has heard arguments relating the provinces recently adopted summary judgment rule, Rule 20.04 (attention 1Ls in Simon Stern’s LPPE class; this rule is the answer to everything), which compels a judge to grant a motion for summary judgment when there is “no genuine issue
requiring a trial” and allows a judge to hear and weigh evidence and assess credibility. The court’s determination on the meaning of the change to the rule could have a significant impact on how litigation proceeds in Ontario courts. Another important issue is unrelated to what issues will face the courts this year but rather about who will fill two of the seats on the country’s highest court. The federal government has not yet announced who will replace Justices Ian Binnie and Louise Charron, whose retirements were announced in May, following that month’s federal election. As they were Ontario judges, their replacements will likely be Ontarians.
Profile: Professor Alan Young
ounsel or Ms. Bedford is Professor Alan Young of Osgoode Hall Law school. He has spent much of his career “challenging the criminalization of consensual activity by state authorities:” he was the driving force between R v. Clay, the landmark charter challenge to marijuana prohibition that was dismissed by the Supreme Court of Canada in 2003. He was also behind the 1999 case of R v. Parker in which the Ontario Court of Appeal agreed that prohibiting the use of marijuana for medical reasons was unconstitutional. But S&M, or at least Terri Bedford, has always been close to
his...heart. He was counsel for her on the infamous 2000 case of the “Bondage Bungalow” where he argued that the services she performed there (bondage, whipping, cross dressing and other fetish activity) was not prostitution at all but instead a kind of erotic theatre. The Provincial Court judge, however, Roy Bogusky, (in some very stimulating reasons) held that the sexual activity in the bungalow involved “cock and ball stimulation,” as well as “Ass play... [which] involved the shaving of the anus area... [and] the insertion of dildos.” As a result, “The genitals received much attention” and the acts qualified as sex.
SEPTEMBER 21, 2011 ultravires.ca
Dean Finds Fresh Faculty in U.S. New Hires, From Page 1 credible people on the job market.” Moran was able to lure two of those “incredible” academics to the Faculty of Law. Vincent Chiao comes to us from Harvard Law School, where he was on a research fellowship. Before joining the faculty, he was a law clerk for the Hon. Juan R. Torruella ANTHONY NIBLETT of the United States New Law and EcoCourt of Appeals for nomics Scholar at Faculty of Law the First Circuit. When asked why he was drawn to U of T, he said that “for someone who is interested in philosophy and the law, U of T is one of the top five in the English speaking world.” His research interests lie in criminal justice policy and sentencing. This year, Chiao will be teaching a small group Criminal Law class, as well as working on a manuscript about the civil-criminal distinction.
Anthony Niblett, and Australian law and economics scholar, received his economics PhD from harvard and comes to the faculty from The University of Chicago, where he was a Bigelow Fel- VINCENT CHIAO low and Lecturer-in- Professor Chiao also cross-appointLaw. ed with department From his cramped of Philosophy office on the 3rd floor of Falconer, Niblett explained that “the “people on this floor”-Michael Trebilcock, Ed Iacobucci, Ben Alarie, Albert Yoon--made U of T one of the best law and economics faculties in the world. He pointed to a textbook on his shelf on economic regulation, written by Trebilcock, which he used during his undergraduate law degree in Australia. Niblett said the opportunity to collaborate with faculty here was an enormous draw. Niblett is teaching a contracts small group for the 2011-12 academic year.
Justice Abella Pushes for Plentiful Pro Bono
By Emily Hubling (3L)
here is a dire need for reforms and improved access to justice in Canada, which the Canadian legal profession must address for the greater good of the Canadian people, said Supreme Court Justice Rosalie Abella. Speaking at the Pro Bono Students Canada 15th Anniversary Dinner held June 2, Abella noted that the Canadian legal system has been stubbornly reluctant to evolve, streamline procedures and reflect the changing demands in Canadian society. “I cannot for the life of me understand why we still resolve civil disputes the way we did centuries ago,” she said. “Any good litigator from 1906 could, with a few hours of coaching, feel perfectly at home in today’s courtrooms.” Abella noted that other professions, such as medicine, had been more willing over the last century to experiment with techniques and procedures, which has led to improved outcomes and delivery. The event also paid tribute to Ronald Daniels, the founder of PBSC. Describing the Canadian justice system as “magnificent but fragile,” Faculty of Law Dean Mayo Moran credited him with changing the pro bono landscape in Canada and
PHOTO COURTESY OF SUPREME COURT Justice Abella of the Supreme Court
making it part of the very fabric of the Canadian legal landscape. Abella also credited Daniels with showing “the toxicity of injustice.” PBSC was established at the University of Toronto Faculty of Law in 1996. It now has 21 chapters across Canada and channels 1500 students into 500 different public-interest groups world-wide.
At our firm, you don’t work for us, you work with us. Ogilvy Renault has joined Norton Rose Group 2600 lawyers 5 continents 1 vision thenortonrosedifference.com
9/14/2011 2:32:27 PM
ultravires.ca SEPTEMBER 21, 2011
Law School for Realists
How to speed your transformation into a grizzled 2L By Heather Burnett (3L)
o all 1Ls, welcome to UofT Law. According to the administration, you’re on a road that invariably ends in bright, shiny, high-profile success. But you’re not there yet. Over the next three years, you will face the unique challenges that only law school can provide. You’ll also be forced to reconcile your existence as an aging undergraduate with your ever-inflating sense of self-worth. To help you navigate the dire straits ahead, here’s the Upper-Year Guide to U of T Law (Insider’s Edition). It’s all the things you didn’t know you needed to know, in convenient list format. You’re welcome.
Best Party Bar (aka Best Bar to Avoid Being Picked Up)
Face it: you’re too busy for love. Even lust requires some time and effort. When law students hit up a bar, they’re chiefly interested in its stock, not its clientele. When you’ve come to accept this piece of wisdom, take a stroll down College and check out the Cloak and Dagger. Much as the title implies, it’s an ideal venue for the slow and stealthy destruction of one’s innermost pain. The music is decent, but more importantly loud enough to preclude even basic conversation. The vast variety of draught options will add spice to your life in a predictable and nonthreatening fashion.
Some join journals, clinics, and clubs out of interest, but many students just latch on to extracurriculars in the hopes of impressing firm recruiters. Want to really stand out? Join the intramural inner-tube water polo team. You’ll create a resume bullet-point that simultaneously screams ‘individual’ and ‘team player’.
Best Chill Zone (aka Best Nap Space)
Best Campus Lunch Under Ten Dollars (aka Best Meal Substitute for less than $4) Class starts in two minutes, but you’re nearly blind with hunger? No problem, just pay a quick visit to the friendly street-meatvendor stationed outside of the ROM. Professors will forgive your late entrance upon catching sight of your bounty: at Flavelle High, an artfully loaded hot dog doubles as a hall pass.
Most Impressive Extracurricular Activity (aka Most Basic Resume Booster)
Best Coffee (aka Most Appropriate Coffee For Someone of Your Station) If you’re the lucky recipient of faculty financial assistance, bring your coffee from home. Alexis Archbold will personally cut you if she catches you in a Starbucks.
Time management is the key to success. If you’re relaxing, but not fully comatose, you’re not being maximally efficient. When looking to nap between classes, take a chance on the stuffed armchairs in the northeast corner of Bora Laskin, third floor. The library setting offers a bit of silence, and a convenient support beam blocks your propensity to drool from public view. Alternate options include the sweet, sweet couches in the SLS office (limited-access), and the pool table (less comfortable than it initially appears).
Great mentors require great students. That’s why we look for smart, motivated students who relish the opportunity to receive invaluable exposure, guidance and mentoring as they contribute to our firm and clients.
Learn more at oslerstudent.com Osler, Hoskin & Harcourt LLP
Toronto Montréal Calgary Ottawa New York
Best Study Library (Three Ways to Upgrade Your Bora Experience) Perhaps you’ve heard tell of the mythical libraries that U of T has to offer: the old-world elegant Trinity; the sterilely mod Pratt; or even the labyrinthine juggernaut that is Robarts. Forget what you’ve heard. None of those buildings matter, because only Dear Bora offers the reserve materials that will become so crucial to your educational experience. Here’s how to improve your time together: Seating – the third floor of Bora is home to a legion of exceedingly uncomfortable “leather” chairs. The way these monstrosities hammock your lower body is ideal for the propagation of spinal difficulties. If you prize your health, it’s worth your while to carry up a plastic chair from the main floor. Beverage – caffeine seems like the obvious choice, but it dehydrates you. No one thinks clearly when parched. The drink of champions is in fact G2 Gatorade and vodka, mixed three parts to one. If you add a miniature umbrella, you’ll feel like you’re on vacation. Weaponry – every 1L has a meltdown at some point. Statistically speaking, there is an excellent chance that your break with sanity will occur at Bora, triggered by a fellow studier’s inordinately loud typing (you know who you are). When the time comes, you’d feel foolish not to have a blunt object on hand with which to demonstrate your newfound understanding of justice. Might I suggest The Candlestick.
SEPTEMBER 21, 2011 ultravires.ca
How to Spend Your 1L Summer Like a Respectable Human Being By Josh Stark (2L)
Colin spent the summer working for the United Nations Development Program in East Timor, where he experienced transformative personal and spiritual revelations. We greet him in a glorious meadow filled with radiant morning light. Michael “Miles Per Gallon” Portner-Gartke (2L) spent the summer working at an important, yet indistinguishable, Bay street firm. We greet him at a massive conference table anointed with scented oils. UV: So Michael, tell us about your initial reaction to securing one of the coveted first year firm jobs. How did it feel? MPG: It felt great. Really great. Top notch. It was hard to resist lording it over all my impoverished friends on Facebook, but, well, they don’t call me the “reasonable man” for nothing. UV: Indeed. MPG, what our readers really want to know is: what exactly goes on in a law firm? Really, most of us have absolutely no idea. MPG: Well, as far as I can tell from my experiences this summer, it mostly involves transcribing long tedious documents called “discovery transcripts”. Occasionally, it also meant going to court where we learned uncomfortable facts about desperate men. UV: Thrilling.
Mary Phan (2L) spent the summer working at DLS this summer in the tenant housing division. We greet her in the Rowell room, because there are no humorous locations associated with DLS. UV: Mary, in many ways you had some of the greatest responsibilities of any summer student: actually representing people who rely on you in a court of law. What’s it like to work under all that pressure?
UV: So Colin, tell us what you did in East Timor. Colin: I saved it. UV: I’m sorry? Colin: I saved East Timor. Ferried across the country in a UN helicopter, I rescued babies from floods, fed the hungry, and negotiated settlements between rival militia. It is estimated that more than 20,000 lives were saved as a direct result of my actions. UV: Incredible. If only all summer jobs were so rewarding, and had such direct and tangible effects on peoples’ lives. How did this experience change you as a person?
Ryann Atkins (2L) spent the summer working as a research assistant (RA) for a professor. We greet her in the law library, because memory and understanding of the outside world have long since faded from her mind. UV: Ryann, one of the great features of this job is getting to spend a lot of time getting to know your fellow RAs. What was it like to spend all that time with them in the library? Ryann: Oh, it was swell. That is, of course, until the Usurper came. UV: The Usurper? Ryann: Once, he went by the name Andrew. But it was He who first waged war against us, The Peaceful Ones, in order to acquire more study carrels. But the carrels are ours! They were given to us by the Holy Prof’surs!
Colin: As my skin tanned, so did my body harden. My muscles swelled and came to resemble bundles of sticks wrapped in the finest silk. As my body changed so did my mind, and I grew to understand that charity, as the aspect of love focused most directly outwards, is at the heart of all good in this world.
UV: Ryann, are you suggesting that over the last four months the RA’s have been so isolated that they have developed tribal identities, and engaged in violent struggle in order to acquire more study desks? So isolated indeed that names have been forgotten and replaced, and the Professors you work for have been raised and worshipped as unlikely gods?
UV: And what will you be doing next summer, Colin?
Ryann: Yes, exactly.
Colin: Making phat $$$ on Bay Street.
UV: Ryann that is f** up.
Mary: Look, DLS isn’t some game like all this other bullshit. I learned things. Things maybe I wish I didn’t know. Things maybe I wish nobody had to ever know. But most of all, I learned that law is war, and war is won through highly coordinated asymmetrical attacks on your opponents weakest kneecap.
UV: Great, we don’t really have the budget for that. So, tell us -- what hurt more: discovering that no one truly appreciated the work you put in this summer, or knowing that your life is forever ruined by the ravages done to your mind and body by that noxious Satan, methamphetamine?
UV: If this is a bad time, I could come back at some oth--
Cary: I would say the lack of appreciation. Once I began abusing crystal meth - or “ice” as my friend Gravy Dave calls it - I soon lost the ability to understand future consequences or a normal life.
Mary: The tenants, they don’t know. Who else will protect them? Who will defend the innocent when the heating system breaks or a damage deposit is demanded? We will. We are the watchers in the night. Until the mountains grind to dust, and the seas raise over the land, or the establishment of a reasonably accessible justice system, we alone guard against the horrors of th-UV: Wait, landlords can’t require a damage deposit? Mary: No they cannot.
Cary Ferguson (2L) spent the summer planning O-week - a process which left him mentally and physically damaged. After receiving insufficient appreciation from his peers and 1Ls for his tireless dedication, Cary fell into a thick depression and became addicted to terrible drugs of Midwestern origin. We greet him in his home - the dank cellar beneath Gabby’s Pub & Grill.
Mary: Trial by ambush.
UV: Son of a bitch.
UV: Cary, tell us: do you require immediate medical attention?
UV: ...I’m sorry?
Mary: ...would you like to see my swords?
Cary: No, but I appreciate your asking.
UV: Troubling. Well Cary, I’d like to tell you that many 1Ls did in fact appreciate all your hard work. Many have written into Ultra Vires to express precisely that sentiment. You are loved, Cary! (At this, Cary’s eyes glossed over as a tremor passed over his body. It was not clear he had heard me. After a few moments I got up to leave - it seemed an appropriate time, before his madness seized him again. But as I turned away, a hand reached up and grabbed my arm--) Cary: Josh. I’m coming with you. I’m going to beat this. I’m coming... back to Bora.
ultravires.ca SEPTEMBER 21, 2011
The “Very Reasonable” Guide to 1L Summer Jobs
How to sell your free time, your life, your soul, and look good doing it, as a summer student on Bay.
By Michael Portner Gartke (2L)
L’s can look forward to securing one of three kinds of jobs next summer: 1) more schoolwork, 2) an international travel experience, or 3) a real job. Of those three options, one is underpaid, one doesn’t pay, and the other pays well. I’m referring to 1L summer firm jobs, which, despite what you might hear from jilted upper years, do indeed exist. They are actually very attainable and worth going for, even if you don’t get one. Here’s how the Toronto first-year job process works: Last year, 11 firms interviewed 1L students. Of those 11, six are fullservice firms, one is a labour and employment law boutique, and four practice IP law. Applications tend to be due during the third week back from December break, and require only 4 things: a 1-page cover letter, a resume, and copies of undergraduate and law school transcripts. The 2nd-last Friday of classes before Reading Week is Call Day, and all of the firms who decide to interview you will call you between 8:00 am and 8:07 am that morning. Most firms who call will have helpfully e-mailed you the week before to inform you that a phone call is coming. Interviews take place during the first three days of Reading Week. Firms like to interview promising candidates several times during that period, so it is important to try to schedule interviews with each firm on the first day. That way, you can be called back for subsequent interviews on the second and/ or third days. Interviews tend to last 1.5-2 hours, and involve meetings with a number of lawyers, often with two or three at a time. Some firms also schedule firm dinners on the first and second nights. Attending a firm’s dinner is an important signal to that firm that you are interested in working there. The Law Society of Upper Canada (LSUC) allows firms to call you with offers beginning at 5 pm on the third day of Reading Week. Candidates have 24 hours to accept or decline such offers, so unless your first call comes from your first choice firm, it is advisable not to accept it immediately. Toronto firms tend to hire between 10 and 20 U of T 1Ls each year. How to Prepare Contrary to what most upper years will tell you, you do not need unbelievable grades to get a 1L summer firm job. A single A (and mostly B+s) will often suffice. That said, there is no golden rule for what kind of grades will get you an interview. Firms highly value business backgrounds and work experience, as most firms tend to work primarily with big business.
Your cover letter and CV give you the opportunity to tell firms how your particular background would make you an asset. It is important not to place too much stock on any one thing that is present or missing from your resume. At the same time, grades do matter, so if you are interested in a 1L firm job, you cannot afford to slack too much first semester. In an ideal world, you would try to put your resume together before the December break, and maybe even schedule a CDO appointment to go over it with you. In an even-more-ideal world, you would also write your cover letters during the December break. In the real world, many of us miss our first week of class after the December break, then spend the next 1.5 weeks putting our resumes AND cover letters together. Do not worry. That is still plenty of time. Here’s why you should want to put in that time: Law firms pay really well ($1450-$1600/week). Working at a law firm makes you a more efficient and effective Law student. Firms almost always hire you back for next summer. If you unambiguously want to go back, you can skip 2nd-year OCIs. And if you are amenable to going back but want to consider other options, LSUC says that you can hold your offer and recruit anyway. Having an offer already makes recruiting much less stressful. And here are arguments against working a 1L firm job. Interviews take place during Reading Week. It could be unfortunate to pass up a cool trip AND STILL not get hired. The counterargument to this is that interviews take place during U of T Reading Week. Unlike students at some other law schools, U of T 1Ls do not have to miss classes for interviews. Interviewing and not getting hired or applying and not getting interviewed can still be useful and positive experiences. The 1L recruitment process is an abridged version of the 2L one, so any experience will be helpful preparation for fall 2012 – especially in composing your resume and cover letters. Some upper years will tell you that 1L summer is your last chance to have fun and to do something that does not involve working at a law firm…the implication being that you will do this for the rest of your life. That is both a) depressing and b) untrue. Most firms give you extended breaks between the bar exam and the start of articling and between the conclusion of articling and starting as an associate. These are two future opportunities to travel and to relax. For me, 1L summer was about experiencing a legal career and supporting myself financially during 2L. I had an incredibly positive experience and would recommend it to everybody.
Things I Wish I Knew at the Beginning of 1L By Patrick Hartford (2L)
10 9 8
No one understands the admin law jurisprudence.
Readings can be skimmed.
The law school coffee shop is a rip-off and Wymilwood Cafe, across the street at Victoria University, has better hours, variety, quality, and prices.
7 6 5 4
Getting work done on Friday is highly overrated. Many mandatory sessions aren’t that mandatory. Treatises are amazing.
Anyone who uses more than five colours of highlighters is in serious need of psychiatric care.
Being a student at U of T gives you a free membership to the Athletic Centre.
Despite the sign on the door, no one minds if you drink coffee in Bora.
Gunners are people too. Poorly adjusted people.
SEPTEMBER 21, 2011 ultravires.ca
ORIENTATION By Cary Ferguson & Promise HolmesSkinner, O-Week Co-Chairs
hinking back on our planning, we could tell you about all the little things that went wrong: the podium that went missing; the t-shirts that almost weren't; the postal strike that nearly killed our fundraising efforts. While those minor setbacks stick out most on reflection, they pale in comparison to the successes of O-Week. Although we got most of the glory, we couldn't have put together O-Week alone. To our amazing, wonderful executive team, who rose to the occasion no mat-
ter what we threw at the them and never complained: thank you. Thanks to our fundraising team of Ryann, Louis, Andrew, and Diego, whose efforts raised over $31 000. Thanks to Matt and Sabrina, who beat the world's worst logic game by successfully organizing our Friday night pub crawl and all the other external events. Thanks to Luke and Hayley, who overcame hurricane-filled vacations and mono to put together our internal events, like the Coffee House and Board Games night. Thanks to Andrew and Fidelia, who fed everyone quickly and efficiently.
ultravires.ca SEPTEMBER 21, 2011
N WEEK 2011 Thanks to Marta and Tatiana, who saw to it that we weren't spending ourselves into the ground. Thanks to Jeremy, who was integral in putting together the 1L Guide. And thanks to Cam and Jon, who made sure we had tables to sit at, chairs to sit on, and a tent to sit under. We couldn't have done it without you. And they didn't do it alone, either. To the upper year students who missed class, stayed out late and got up early to help new students transition smoothly into our unique and quirky community: thank you. To the Faculty's administrative staff who emailed students, signed for packag-
es, and helped whenever possible: thank you. To the Assistant Dean of Student Services, Alexis Archbold, whose support and guidance kept us sane and focused: thank you. To our sponsors, whose generous donations keep O-Week running year after year: thank you. And to all the new students who came out to the events, listened dutifully during long academic sessions, and made all our planning efforts worthwhile: thank you. Thank you, thank you, thank you. We hope that you had a fantastic OWeek, whichever part you played in it. We certainly did.
SEPTEMBER 21, 2011 ultravires.ca
The Wright Man | Louis Tsilivis
Second Thoughts about a Seventh Law School
n July 5th, Thunder Bay’s Lakehead University received the green light from the Ontario government to open the seventh law school in this province. Having already received approval from the Law Society, the new law school will be the first in the province since 1969. The provincial government is also giving $1.5 million to revamp an old building for the faculty, as well as an estimated $800,000 annually in new operating revenues. With admissions preferences to aboriginal students and those from northern Ontario, it has been anticipated that the new law school will train a new generation of lawyers servicing the needs of aboriginals and smaller communities in the north. While there are undoubted benefits to having a law school in the north of the province, there is a serious problem with the plan that has not received any attention in the media.
Whither the North or South? T
he people who will be most hurt by the increase in lawyers are new law graduates themselves. Law school is expensive. This year’s tuition at the University of Toronto is $25,389; Osgoode Hall’s was $17,631 last year. A Greek chorus that runs from your parents’ mainstream TIME (“Too Many Sourbellies?”) to your edgier Slate (“A Case of Supply v. Demand”) warns of the overabundance of lawyers and of the dangers of mounting law school debt. Not only do we ask law students to spend their savings or take on debt to cover law school, we also ask them to take three years off out of their working lives – the prime of many of their lives, when they could be advancing in careers and earning for their futures – and spend it in a classroom (often, in a windowless basement). It is tremendously harmful to give smart, ambitious law students hopes of bright careers as clever lawyers, only to have them graduate into a legal market that does not have enough jobs for them. The amount of disappointment and humiliation from these wasted years is absolutely destructive on a human being.
Mo’ Lawyers Mo’ Problems W
ith an expected initial enrolment of 55 students in 2013 – and the ability to expand the program – the new law school will increase the number of law-
PHOTO COURTESY OF LAKEHEAD UNIVERSITY The New Lakehead Faculty of Law building. It will begin matriculating students in 2013 after the building is fully renovated.
yers in Ontario. Considering there are far too many lawyers in the province – the fact that we graduate more law students than there are articling positions available is an especially pernicious sign – creating more is going to exacerbate the problem. Proponents of the plan rightly point to the lack of lawyers and unfilled articling spaces in the north, and correctly categorize the glut of lawyers as a problem with the southern legal market. If the new students could fill that unmet demand for northern lawyers without adding the surplus of lawyers in the south, then this proposal would ameliorate those access to justice issues without creating more problems for the south. Such a claim is nothing more than wishful thinking. First, northern Ontario doesn’t have the demand for an extra 55 lawyers a year. If all of the new graduates stayed in the north, it would eventually create a glut of lawyers in the north of that province. Second – and more realistically – a sizeable portion of the class will leave for southern Ontario, and will add to the excess of lawyers in Toronto’s legal market. Full-service corporate firms recruit from all law schools, and Lakehead’s will be no exception. Backers of the plan point to the Northern Ontario School of Medicine (run by Lakehead and by Sudbury’s Laurentian
University), 60% of whose graduates stay and practice medicine in the north. The difference with the new school is that the regional pay disparities between lawyers is higher than with doctors, and so the allure of taking a job in the south – say, a corporate law gig on Bay Street – is even greater with law graduates.
Paved With Good Intentions W
hile this proposal would likely solve some of those problems regarding access to justice among aboriginal and northern communities, it is insincere to talk about the plan’s benefits without discussing the very real dangers of an overcrowded legal market and the harms to all law graduates. If I were going to design an education system for the province from scratch, there is no question that a law school should be placed in the north. There’s not a single law school between Winnipeg (nine hours away from Thunder Bay) and Toronto (14 hours). However, we’re dealing with a system that already has six schools and an oversupply of graduates. So how do we solve these access to justice issues?
For one, we could create new spots (or reserve existing ones) at schools in the south or in Winnipeg for aboriginal and northern students. This is essentially what Newfoundland and Prince Edward Island do: both lack law schools in-province, and so reserve spots at schools in the other two Atlantic provinces. You could tailor admissions criteria not merely to students from northern communities, but to those who have actually shown commitment – for example, by spending several summers volunteering – to their communities. These are the kinds of students more likely to return north. You can also increase the attraction of taking jobs up north by excusing student loans for lawyers who have worked for some time in such communities, similar to the federal program for northern doctors instituted in the last budget by Finance Minister Jim Flaherty. It may seem Toronto-centric of me to make the effect on the southern legal market a focus of this piece. But it’s a real and deleterious effect that needs to be discussed – and has been absent from both Lakehead and the media’s treatment of the new school. Continued economic uncertainty in Europe and America will likely create a bleaker job market for young graduates.
ultravires.ca SEPTEMBER 21, 2011
Surviving Law School as a believer in markets, personal responsibility, and freedom of contract. Oh, also, and having a good chop at Toronto libraries, daycare, and transit.
By Ben Oliphant (2L)
f you’re a conservative, put your hand up. Did you put your hand up? Because don’t do that. Put it back down for the love of God and come up with an excuse, pronto. Say, “I was stretching”. Good, very good, nice save. Lets be honest here, law school isn’t always a ‘safe zone’ for conservatives. Your God can’t help you here. Lefties are the prevailing social and intellectual force. And they bite. Hard. Watch out for the marauding band of vegans in particular, led by the one they call “Camille”. They have teeth as sharp as daggers, and if a vegan bites you, you become one of them. I read that somewhere. I think it was in National Geographic. Or maybe the Bible. Either way, it’s science. Wait, what am I talking about again? Oh yes, conservative survival guide. Now, I’m not a conservative personally. Goodness no. I’m hot to Trotsky. I vote Marxist-Leninist, but only because there’s no Anarcho-SyndicalistEnviro-Feminist party (and they wonder why kids are disengaged these days). But there’s nothing wrong with being a moderate, principled conservative in law
school, as long as you know the ropes. Obviously, I’m not addressing the inane, self-refuting, tea-partying, everyone-leftof-Ronald-Reagan-is-a-communist, Andrew-Robertson-style conservatives that plague modern society. They’re despicable, ignorant human beings, and utterly beyond salvation. But for the rest of you, some tips: 1. Try to fit in – It’s nice to be committed to something, or so I’m told. But don’t start baying at the moon right out of the gate. Save your Reagan lunch pail and your Barry Goldwater thermos for the next underground gathering of Stephen Harper’s Evil Secret Agenda Taskforce. (Don’t miss next week’s meeting – Murdoch’s bringing his crab puffs again. They’re delightful.) 2. Forsake your principles - You know when Professors say “I don’t care what your opinion is, as long as you defend it well”? I mean, I think it’s absolutely adorable that you believed that, but for Hayek’s sakes don’t fall for it. Professors have spent their lives lounging around in their ivory towers and debating some of the greatest legal minds in the world. They’re significantly smarter than you are, and are entitled to think they’re right. And then some 23-year-old jackass with a commerce degree up and tries to
tell them how their oeuvre is crap? Get serious. Don’t be a hero, Leonidas. This isn’t Thermopylae. Just toe the line and keep your head down. 3. Know the vocabulary – So, don’t say “personal responsibility”, say “pervasive social inequality”; forget “fiscal prudence”, try “necessary social entitlements”; “individual freedom” is out, “collective rights” are in. It’s not “there should be equality of opportunity” it’s “equality of opportunity is impossible due to the oppressive white capitalist patriarchy”. Ok, pop quiz: instead of saying “people should be held to all contracts freely entered into” you say… correct: “Rob Ford is a slovenly, woman-hating fascist”. That’s the ticket, comrade! 4. Take a bunch of business-y courses – Tax, securities, you know, business-y. You may even meet a few fellow conservatives, normally of the quasi-Kantian ‘I Spend Friday Evenings at the Albany Club’ school of conservatism. You know the type. They’re handsome and charming, wear polo shirts and khakis, talk about sailing and cottages, are named David Colman, etc. They can be insufferable at times, sure, but at least they won’t sneer at you dismissively for having dangerous, retrograde, human dignity-obliterating ideas like ‘hey, maybe we
should take a quick gander at the budget implications before we officially read a right to a comfortable family sedan into the Charter’. 5. If you get ‘outed’, become defensive/ sarcastic/aggressive – This is your last line of defence. If you get backed into a corner, say stuff like “Oh, well sooorry, your majesty, if I think we should at least consider the death penalty for traffic offences. God forbid those hardened criminals learn to use their blinker.” Or “I guess you’re right, children should receive free health care, because it makes perfect sense to reward them for being indolent leeches on the productive members of society.” Then - and this step is crucial - when people stare at you appalled and dumbstruck, push them down and run away. Check and mate. To summarize, if you’re a conservative, and want to survive law school with as few enemies as possible, you can do any one or a combination of the following: pretend you’re not a conservative; actually stop being a conservative; hang out only with other conservatives; spend three years shoving people to the ground and then running away. Doesn’t seem so bad when I put it that way, does it?
SEPTEMBER 21, 2011 ultravires.ca
Point / Counterpoint
Bay Street: Sell Out or (Pretend to) Follow Your Dreams? E
By Andrew Robertson (3L)
arlier this year, I had the privilege of meeting some of the incoming students at the welcome event in the spring. I was impressed with the breadth of experience and education of the new students, and was, as always, inspired by their answers to my questions as to their legal aspirations. “International Human Rights” was a common refrain. “Plaintiff side class actions” was another. And in their first week, their dreams were no doubt confirmed. Remember this exercise: “Look to your left, look to your right,” you were told – “one person might be Prime Minister, and another might invent a TV show”? Criminal defence, human rights, class actions – the legal world is your oyster! Play time is over, children. Let’s do this exercise for real. Look to your left. Now to your right. On both sides are future corporate lawyers. Sure, somewhere among you, there is definitely a corporate litigator. Heck, one of you may even see the inside of a courtroom one day (I’m excluding those who will be charged in a personal capacity for public lewdness; I’m looking at you Matt Brown.) But most of us have planted ourselves firmly on the conveyor belt to Bay Street. And here’s the dirty little secret the faux public interest Pete Smiley types don’t want you to know – it’s a helluva destination. And why? Three words – skills, thrills and dollar bills (yes, I may have lifted that slogan from a Nike tshirt, but that doesn’t make my point any less valid). Ever heard of the market? Well, it’s not just something that exists in your Macroeconomics 101 class. Believe it or not, the market actually does allocate resources quite efficiently in real life too. This means that the best skills’ training happens to come from the places with the most money to spend on it –that’s not personal injury in Whitby, but Bay Street. On Bay Street is where you have access to the most up to date research tools and resources, the brightest minds in the game, and cutting edge legal cases and deals. The skills you learn on Bay Street will be a tremendous benefit to you no matter what you ultimately decide to do with your life. Thrills? Look no further, man. I could go on and on about the cutting edge deals and front page cases that regularly happen on Bay Street, where the law is changed on a daily basis...but law students are generally a hedonistic lot, so let’s talk about personal thrills. I’m talking swanky golf tournaments. Sumptuous dinners at top restaurants. Box seats at the COC’s production of La Traviata.
Private tours of art galleries. Firm retreats to Florida. Private booths and bottle service! You like having Grey Goose poured down your throat for free? Bubbly on ice? Men/women throwing themselves at you while you bust a move in your Canali suit? I thought so. Welcome to the good life. The Wu-Tang once told me that Cash Rules Everything Around Me – and they were right. Think you’re going to pay back 100K in debt working for the Canada Geese Defence Clinic? Think again. Channel that inner Gecko (not that whiney, Gecko ’10 eunuch, mind you – the real deal Gecko circa 1987). And it’s not just for you – treat your girlfriend/boyfriend/mother/children. Buy your Mom that beautiful coat she’s always wanted; treat Dad to a new Omega for Christmas. How many of you out there have been working your ass off for years, through undergrad, postgrad, a career, a failed business, and now law school, hoping to make a dollar after all
PHOTO COURTESY OF ANDREW ROBERTSON Self-Professed “Libertarian Blowhard” Andrew Robertson argues the meaning of success is a healthy RRSP.
of this time? Well, make the right choice, and the money comes in heaps and kids love you in the streets. Or, take the advice of the moralizing tree-hugger (literally!) opposite. Your dates will LOVE meeting you on Tuesday afternoons at the neighbourhood filthy diner, as you sheepishly explain that you can’t afford a decent meal or vehicle due to crippling student debt and an income level just below that of your current waiter. After all, Pete took the advice himself, and will be doing his articles at....wait what? He’s going to be a corporate lawyer in New York? Decided to sell himself to the highest bidder? Well played, Smiley. Skills, thrills, and dollar bills my friend.
By Pete Smiley (3L)
i 1Ls! Welcome to the first of many riveting Ultra Vires point/counterpoints. What grim personal failing would drive a person to go to law school? It’s a question we’ve all asked ourselves while weeping quietly in the Bora Laskin disabled toilets. Here are the three acceptable answers to that question: 1. I have a stupid liberal arts degree, the economy is doing something terrible that I don’t understand (thanks, major in African Literature), and I’m scared. Don’t worry! As nightmarish a career as corporate law is, at least it’s better than whatever job those ‘MODELS WANTED’ flyers around the University are advertising. Probably. 2. I just want to be a big-shot corporate lawyer and bill 2,000+ hours of diligence for four years so that one day I can eat at Canoe with my i-banker clients who all make five times more than me. No seriously man, that sounds awesome. Good for you. But before you commit to that, take a good look at the sweaty, emotionally crippled man-child writing the counterpoint. Is that really what you want for yourself? 3. I also have a stupid liberal arts degree, but I have some vague ideas about making the world a better place. Furthermore, corporations suck. The good news is that you can totally do this! The bad news is that you’ve found yourself in an institution that could, if it chose, advertise itself as ‘the Bay Street conveyor belt’. Unless you’re very careful, you will wake up at South of Temperance in 4 years, drinking 12-dollar mojitos and talking about golf clubs with Andrew Robertson. I have seen the darkness, and it is even worse than it sounds. So how do you avoid being sucked into the black hole that is Bay Street? First, and most importantly, how loaded is your dad? If ‘very’, then you have no excuse. Go litigate on behalf of some ducks or something. Trust me, it will be infinitely more fun and rewarding than the alternative. Being a public interest lawyer is like being on vacation FOR EVER. You’re crazy if you don’t do it. On the other hand, if your dad, like mine, is an artisan goat farmer, things will be a little harder for you. Whether your debt on graduation will be ‘crushing’ or just ‘astronomical’ depends on how much the school jacks tuition and slashes financial aid over the next 3 years. Perhaps you’d like to pay that shit off before you die, maybe even buy a nice pair of shoes once in a while? Well there’s a reason Ghandi and Jesus both died poor and sans nice shoes. Your reward for martyrdom is that you don’t have to spend 14 hours a day performing mundane admin-
istrative tasks to help ruthless, amoral corporations exploit regulatory loopholes in order to bankrupt mom-and-pop investors by selling them garbage securities, or whatever heinous thing it is that your clients are into. And while your Bay Street classmates are squandering their hard-earned paychecks on jet-skis and Ritalin for their spoiled and nihilistic kids, you will be spending every evening and weekend with your children, who might actually come to love and respect you and eventually remember you fondly as a decent person with dreams and aspirations beyond ‘die rich.’ “But Andrew Robertson promised me a life of glamour and hedonistic thrills!” I hear you saying. Well remember that Andrew Robertson is from suburban Vancouver, and his idea of ‘glamour and hedonistic thrills’ derives entirely from a DVD box-set of ‘Entourage’. In reality, the 2000+ hours per year of valuable due diligence experience you will be getting
PHOTO COURTESY OF PETE SMILEY Though Pete Smiley personally sold out harder than than you can imagine, he encourages you to pursue whatever it is you said in your personal statement.
on Bay Street will leave very little time for getting crunk. Your few hours of precious freedom will be spent trying to overcome your crushing work-related anxiety enough to sleep, and if you do go out the only men and women throwing themselves at you will be either jaded prostitutes or blatant gold-diggers who couldn’t find a banker for the evening. While such bleak assignations may be Andrew Robertson’s best and only shot at happiness, you deserve better for yourself. There’s hundreds of nice NGOs out there desperate to let you wear jeans to work, surf their internet for hours, and take Tuesday afternoons off to go on dates with people who respect you. Go do it.
ultravires.ca SEPTEMBER 21, 2011
Attack Ads Destroy Elections
With the current Ontario provincial election, we’ve seen a new crop of attack ads arise. Do they help? Do they hinder? Much evidence shows the answer is “yes”.
By Camille Labchuk (3L)
remain hopelessly unable to wrap my head around his assertion that attack ads are somehow good for democracy. And now that the Harper government has been found in contempt of Parliament, triggering what promises to be a vitriolic election, the topic is worthy of more attention. The truth of the matter is that attack ads contribute nothing to the national political discourse. Neither do they play a meaningful role in election day deliberations, and voters most certainly do not need political attack ads to help them make sophisticated, informed decisions at the ballot box. No. The effect of these ads is decidedly detrimental. There’s no question, of course, that attack ads work – otherwise, politicians wouldn’t pay big bucks to air them. It’s how they work that is the problem. Political attack ads chip away at the essential underpinnings of any functional democracy: citizen engagement and participation. They don’t simply provide voters with helpful information upon which they can assess their political options – attack ads encourage voters not to vote at all, and trivialize political discourse. But how does driving down voter turn out help a political party? Look again to
the last election – the nastiest ads were run by the Harper Conservatives. The function of these ads was not to encourage voters to support the party that ran them. Rather, the point was to discourage voters from casting a ballot in the first place. An Angus Reid poll found that Conservative “roll-the-dice ads” on thenLiberal leader Stéphane Dion and his green tax shift plan may have persuaded 11% of Canadians not to vote at all. Even though some of those who stayed home were Conservative voters, the ads still delivered electoral advantage to the Conservatives, because about half a million more Liberal voters than Conservative voters didn’t bother to vote. US researchers have linked exposure to negative ads with lower turnout in both local and national elections. This trend has appeared in Canada, too. Attack ads first became prominent in Canada in the 1993 federal election, when voter turn out was 72%. Only 15 years later, we see that voter turn out has plummeted to a record (and disturbing) low: a mere 58% of eligible voters bothered to exercise their democratic right to vote in the October 2008 federal election. And recently, the use of poisonous attack ads has ceased to be confined to the writ period. The Harper Conservatives have perfected the art of going negative between elections, and without electiontime spending limits in play, the sky’s the
limit. They have also pioneered the use of personal attack ads against their Liberal opponents, as a pre-writ, offensive move – an attempt to shape public opinion not simply on issues, but on personalities. Whatever your political leanings, I hope we can agree that the Dion “Not A Leader” ads, and the Ignatieff “Just Visiting” and “He Didn’t Come Back For You” television ads were slanted personal attacks that were at once an embarrassment and did nothing to inform voters about the actual issues. Presenting an idea for honest discussion has intrinsic value, but personal attacks are merely attempts to divert attention away from real problems. So why do political parties get away with it? You may be surprised to learn they are exempt from broadcast advertising standards. That’s right – Tim Horton’s couldn’t run attack ads against Starbucks the way Harper can against his opponents. Shouldn’t political parties be held to a higher standard than coffee vendors? Higher standards might help, but there’s a better solution. We should follow the lead of other countries like the UK, South Africa, Belgium, Chile, Sweden, Ireland, and more, and disallow political parties from buying TV ad time in the first place. If we don’t do something about attack ads soon, it won’t be long before Canadian politics looks even more
like the vitriolic brand of politics we see south of the border – an atmosphere we see fueled year-round by biased, misleading, and personal attack ads. The Canadian public is clearly ready to rid our airwaves of vitriol and spin. Take, for instance, the recent Green Party attack on attack ads. The Greens launched an anti-attack ad campaign, and within mere days, the ad had racked up nearly 50,000 hits on YouTube. The Conservative anti-Ignatieff ads, on the other hand, have been online for several months, and are stuck at around 20,000 views. The idea of ending attack ads has been met with overwhelmingly enthusiasm. The disgust Canadians express toward the sensory and intellectual assault of attack politics is equally strong. People around the world are taking to the streets to take back democracy. Yet in Canada, our own democracy is being manipulated by backroom political operatives and spin doctors who seek pure partisan advantage, rather than dialogue on real issues. Democracy cannot function without an engaged electorate capable of honest debate on topics of importance. Attack ads are antithetical to this goal, and it’s time to send them packing. Let’s tell the federal political parties that we’ve had enough and demand that this election campaign remain focused on dialogue and ideas, not personalities and attacks.
Has the CRTC Failed Us? By Camille Labchuk (Articling Student)
he recent controversy regarding the decision of the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission to permit Usage-Based Billing has created many questions in the minds of consumers. Citizens took to various forms of social media to ponder openly about whether the CRTC had perhaps outlived its usefulness and failed to protect the interests of Canadians. In determining whether deference should be accorded to the CRTC, it is useful to consider its mandate and the role it is supposed to play in Canadian society. According to their official materials, “Parliament has given the CRTC the job of regulating and supervising the broadcasting and telecommunications systems in Canada.” With respect to the first head, broadcasting, the CRTC believes that Canadian broadcasting should reflect “Canadian creativity and talent, our bilingual nature, our multicultural diversity and the special place of aboriginal peoples in our society.” In the case of the second head, the CRTC is supposed to ensure Canadians receive reliable telecommunication services at affordable prices. With regard to broadcasting, there is little doubt, in my view, that the CRTC has been fairly successful at protecting Canadian pro-
gramming. Many consumers are familiar with CRTC rules which prioritize Canadian programming during peak viewing hours (between 7PM and 11PM), that switch Canadian commercials for U.S. ones even for U.S. television shows, and that require a certain percentage of music played on the radio to be by Canadian artists. Without these types of policies, it is doubtful that shows such as Corner Gas or Royal Canadian Air Farce would get the airtime they did, let alone become the domestic hits that they were. Unfortunately, this is only half the picture. The CRTC is supposed to be responsible for regulating telecommunications as well, and in this area, the CRTC has, at least in my view, largely failed. Consider the Canadian cellular market, which has only three national providers, namely: Rogers, Telus and Bell. In addition to these, there are several “discount” carriers, such as FIDO (owned by Rogers), Koodo (owned by Telus), Solo Mobile (owned by Bell), and Virgin Mobile Canada (owned by Bell). It should hardly be surprising that Ca-
nadians continue to pay ridiculously high cellular bills compared to other developed countries. In 2007, Canada was 23rd among the 30 OECD countries for cellular prices. By 2009, Canada had fallen to 28th. As of 2010, Canadians now rank as the world leader in expensive cellular bills among OECD countries. It is quite the alarming trend if you are a Canadian consumer, despite the recent introduction of many discount carriers to the Canadian cellular market. These new carriers are often reliant on the national carriers--Rogers, Telus and Bell--to purchase wholesale time on their cellular towers. There is little reason for these companies to permit or desire this new competition, and I am certain that they would gladly stifle it if they could. Returning to the original controversy, in the context of Usage-Based Billing, Rogers and Bell managed to successfully lobby the CRTC to permit them to implement a system that will effectively guarantee their continued monopoly on the provision of telecommunication services. Should Usage-Based Billing be permitted to stand, these companies can and will charge between $1 and $5 to wholesale purchasers like TekSavvy for each
additional GB of data used, despite the cost being mere pennies to provide it. The best evidence that they will in fact do this given the chance is that they already do it to their own consumers. It must be remembered that the CRTC in 1999 studied the Internet and decided not to regulate it, largely because access to Internet services was competitive. It would be ironic indeed if, twelve years later, a CRTC decision on UsageBased Billing made access to the Internet a monopoly for a select handful of companies. As we have seen with the cellular market, there is no doubt that in the end, it would be Canadian consumers who would pay the price. In short, I do not agree with the proposition that the CRTC serves no purpose or has outlived its usefulness. There is no doubt that with respect to traditional broadcast mediums, it has done an excellent job at ensuring Canadian content is given the attention it deserves. However, I do believe that given the failings of the CRTC in successfully regulating the telecommunications industry, it is perhaps time to re-imagine the scope of the CRTC’s responsibilities. My suggestion would be that the CRTC be rebranded and refocused as the “Canadian Radio and Television Commission,” while creating a new agency, perhaps the “Canadian Telecommunications and Technology Commission,” to handle the issues of the 21st century.
SEPTEMBER 21, 2011 ultravires.ca
The Prisoner’s Course Selection By Kate Dalgeish (2L)
How to Make Sure People Don’t Hate Your Sorry Ass in Law School By Leo Elias (2L)
ey 1Ls. So you made it to law school. Good for you. Your parents are really proud of you and you are lying to all your friends about what type of law you want to practice because you have no freakin’ idea. That’s great. Now that you are here you need to up your game on one of the more important things in law school: making sure people don’t hate you. Law is a small field and the friends you make here will last a lifetime. But, with that, you can’t forget that the enemies you make here will last a lifetime too. So let’s focus on some friend maximization and minimize those enemies there. Here are ten useful tips to keep you from pissing off too many people. 1) Don’t talk about your LSAT score. Ever. The LSAT is a very good test and gauging your ability to apply logic in many different ways in a very short amount of time. It is not a good gauge of much else. Don’t talk about your 174. It’ll just make people hate you. 2) Don’t talk about yourself constantly. We all want to do it. It feels great when someone listens to you. But, just like change machines, fornication and charity fraud, it’s a give and take. And you have to exercise some moderation. Bubbe, ask a couple questions about them, will ya? 3) If everyone starts chanting “I am the LAW” like Judge Dredd, don’t be the jackass that doesn’t get in on that shit. Law school is mostly a gulag of case summaries and self-pity. We have so few good things. Don’t ruin this for me. Seriously. I’ll be mad pissed. 4) Gunners. Don’t be that guy. You may not know what gunners are yet but a couple weeks of classes will reveal them. There is a three-point test put out by the SCC on this: 1) Is there an
off-topic/overly laboured question? 2) Is it purely to show how smart the asking person is? 3) Is the majority of the class annoyed? Boom. Lawyered. That’s the gunner. (But don’t let this discourage you from asking questions. Seriously, ask questions. But make sure you want to know the answers.) 5) Don’t hog the prof. If you’re second in the five person lineup after class to talk to the prof, don’t talk about your some obscure policy initiative you think would vastly improve traffic in Toronto. 6) If you’re going to commit Lawcest, don’t be an idiot about it. Law school is a pent-up crucible of deadlines, circuitous academic analysis, and broken dreams. You’re bound to sleep with the wrong person. Don’t be an idiot about it. Treat him or her with respect. And if you don’t want to, remember that you never know how that person’s dreams of revenge will screw you over later. Eye on the prize, not the thighs. 7) Don’t wear a suit to class This applies to tennis whites as well. When in doubt, look to Justin Nasseri. He has established the UT Law Practices & Procedures for looking damn good at school. 8) Don’t support Michelle Bachmann ‘Nuff said. 9) No one likes Admin Law. Don’t be that guy. We all hate admin law. The only thing that saying that you like it accomplishes is pissing off everyone around you. If you like it, keep your mouth shut and get an A in that class. This will prevent people from punching you in the back of your head. 10) Don’t write condescending articles for UV While this will ensure that people don’t hate you, it will also significantly limit how much fun you have. There you have it. How to not be hated. Won’t work on bigots though. Those jerkfaces will hate anyway. Let’s s.319 those bastards.
t is July 20, 2011 – the dead of summer. Today, instead of enjoying the fine weather or getting real work done, the upper year students of UofT Law are hovering over their computers. They are waiting for 10:00am to roll around and the first-come-first-serve second round of course selection to open. The more paranoid of them have been hitting refresh for five minutes prior, but now, as the hour approaches, F5 buttons are mashed in anticipation of being the first one in to pick classes. The appointed hour comes … and goes. The website is not yet open. It takes until 10:02 for the first enraged messages to crop up on Facebook. Panic ensures; they will not be able to sign up for their classes, they will not be able to fulfill their credit requirements, they will not get summer jobs, they will end up penniless on the streets. On dozens of computers in a myriad of cities, the refresh key is being mercilessly mashed. At 10:18, an email arrives from the registrar apologizing for the delay, but with no clear timeframe. More angst on Facebook, but nobody is willing to stop hitting F5 in case the website goes up. At 10:29, Stalker Book is updated, much to the chagrin of students. 10:36, and an email comes again in apologizing for the delay and telling the students that the course selection will be open at 11:00. The registrar is not believed – not a soul is willing to get up for a bathroom break and miss their chance. And yet, at 11:00, they are true to their word, and the course selection opens. It takes most students all of 30 seconds to register. And yet, in that one hour of delay, Facebook statuses are filled with hundreds of comments full of panic, irritation, and dark humour. But, why did the website fail to open on time for such a crucial moment? It is the students’ own faults. The students were inadvertently participating in two mass events, one technological, one psychological. Technologically, the students had
perpetrated upon the school’s website an accidental Denial of Service (DoS) attack – normally the realm of Ukrainian botnets and Anonymous. A DoS attack involves organizing multiple computers to saturate a target website with constant information requests in order to overwhelm the servers and crash the site. Normally computer programs are used, since no sane group of people would sit around mashing keys for hours. The paranoid law students, however, with each hit of F5 or click of refresh, managed to successfully overload the school’s servers enough to keep the registrar from updating the website in time. The psychological effect that caused this may be familiar to anyone who has studied game theory: Prisoner’s Dilemma. This dilemma is an old friend to any student of economics or politics, and consists of the following: Most often, when played as a one-off event with no communication between ‘prisoners’, most people opt to defect and rat out each other on the chance that they will go free, despite this leading to both parties receiving the longer sentence, since both parties go through the same thought process of “duping” the other. This is exactly what happened on the day of the course selection. If all the law students refrained from mercilessly mashing buttons and straining the server, it is likely the website would have gone up on time. However, the students would need to work together to achieve this result, but cannot – not due to a lack of communication, but because of internal barriers; the students would not have felt themselves able to trust each other not to ‘defect’. Defectors, that is, those who would have stealthily continued to refresh despite agreeing not to, would hypothetically have been first in line for course selection when the website opened. In prison terms, they would go free and the others get a jail sentence. So, no agreement was attempted and all the students proceeded to defect and hammer away at the website, thus crashing the site for an hour and making it a losing, albeit egalitarian, solution.
ultravires.ca SEPTEMBER 21, 2011
DIVERSIONS caution to the wind, I fled BLH with a shriek of desperate lasciviousness to the upstairs bathroom in the Bora Laskin library, where the actus reas commenced. Should I be concerned? - Ladue Godiva
Ask Dr. Valencia Dr. Valencia has a Phd. In relationship studies from the University of Rangoon. He has been given the annual Dr. Ruth prize for achievement in relationship counseling seven times in his six year career. He is recently divorced. Dear Dr. Valencia, In the midst of my 1L year, I noticed I was undertaking in odd behavior that left me concerned about my sanity, sexual health, and general wellbeing. It began in the Dubber Crim section with the reading of Sansregret, when I became mildly aroused. This arousal escalated during Pappajohn to a semi-frenzied state, and finally boiled over in class with Ladue to the point where, throwing
Dear Ladue Godiva, Do not be concerned. While those cases test the limits of humanity’s putrescence, they were not the cause of your arousal. You issue here is not with consent, but with confidence. Everyone knows that a man’s confidence level is directly proportional to the level of interest he receives from would be suitors. Unfortunately for you, you happened to be exposed to the pinnacle of confidence at U of T, maybe even all of Toronto. I’m talking about cock-of-the-walk – the great Markus Dubber. This man’s confidence leads to a type of animal magnetism that makes late Flynn, Sinatra, Richards and Jagger look like a droopyeyed, armless children. So much confidence, the man needs cargo pockets on every pair of pants because there is little room for anything else on his person. I’m talking about shrugging off a packed BLH to work on his batting practice confidence. This combined with the man’s hand size and deep voice, quite frankly, has me amazed you lasted as long as you did. Further, if you have read any of his brilliant work or noticed who published it, you’ll see that Dubber is no doubt a strong challenger to the great Stephen Waddams in who has the biggest dicta. This Doc prescribes a healthy dose of boring classes this year, with the exception of tax, as you may have similar issues with Alarie. - Dr. Valencia
Dear Dr. Valencia, I hooked up with an upper year during O-week. After my initial concern that this may be the wrong way to enter into a new social circle I began to look for a silver lining. Is there any why I can use this hook up to my advantage? - Joey O-Week Dear Joey O-Week, Unless the O-Week fling taught you some new moves, I’d say you are out of luck on finding a silver lining. Obviously you sink or swim on your own merit when April comes around, so you’re not gaining anything in terms of grades. Upper year summaries and maps are a dime a dozen and will be thrown at you from anyone within earshot upon request, so check that one off the list. No self-respecting upper-year is gonna proof-read any paper or go over practice exams with you, so from an academic standpoint the answer is no.
By Za Fazon Policia
rientation week’s best dressed: David Didiodato, who sported the tie/ vest combination doing his best Ari Gold impression. Also looking good was Marta Rochkin, always on top of her game. But why does she wear her name on her neck? Orientation week’s most bad-ass: Zaire Puil-Dalhouse, who showed up to the Welcome BBQ with ripped jeans and motorcycle helmet in hand. Orientation week’s tightest and brightest: We have a tie between Lee Webb who was a golden gem and Jarrod Hone who masterfully pulled off the blondewig-look. By our thorough and uncompromising research, we have established that the Fedora hat became a fashion crime in 1933. Convicted felon: Jonathan Bright. Matt Brown Update: Attire is still
By Sanfrisco Holmes (2L)
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O-Week Fashion Winners and Losers
Surprise! The NFL has a season
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Assuming the upper year still wants to talk with you, or is willing to admit that they “fell into the 1L ditch”, it will be nice to have a friendly face to which you can put a name. Although, it should be noted that some time on stalkerbook will provide you with similar results, just without the climax. Listen Joey, if hooking up isn’t a means to the end of finding a friend or lover, or merely an end in itself, than you got the wrong idea. O-week hookups are fine. Looking for advantages from them makes you sound like a misguided gunner. The Doc recommends a heavy dosage of stop being a douche, and start focusing on your studies. [Editor’s note: if you want to take advantage of an upper year hook-up, please email Matt Browm at email@example.com] - Dr. Valencia
he NFL season is upon us once again, and I’m here to give you the skinny on how 2011 is going to shape up. For those of you not familiar with the glory of the NFL, I’ll give you a run-down in future editions of Ultra Vires, but understand it is a sport of specialization, scheming and strategy. For those of you that know and love the sport, I’m going to provide you with my picks for division, conference, and Super Bowl winners. First some breakout points: The Patriots and the Packers are going to be great…again. Duh.. The debate that has been going on for the last three years about whether the Steelers or Cowboys should be America’s team is over. The Cowboys are America’s team, because just like the US, they
very much hipster, but starting to look more and more like a strung out junkie Justin Bieber. Dean Moran Update: A new haircut has brought new life to our Dean – and a new flirty edge. Check her out at Muffin Madness. SEPTEMBER’S IN & OUT IN: V and Deep V t-shirts are in full effect.For gents: a light cardigan, casual jackets, and light scruff or a moustache are the way to go. Ladies: colour blocking is totally IN, along with skinny jeans, casual button downs, and flattering bus-cas jackets. OUT: For gents: Polo shirts. Sorry, now that Osgoode is taken to the Polo trend that started a decade ago, we have to call it quits. Also out are neckbeards, goatees, and jorts. Ladies: tights that are loose at the bottom, baggy sweatshirts, oversized sunglasses and bangs. You heard us, next time you get a hair cut don’t you dare utter that ‘b’ word.
haven’t done anything to be proud of since the 1990s and will continue to decline this year. The Detroit Lions will play the dark horse this year if Stafford and Megatron stay healthy. I’m thinking they both do, and Detroit is boss. See the following for Division Winners and Wildcards: AFC East – Patriots AFC North – Ravens AFC South – Texans AFC West – Chargers AFC Wild Cards – Steelers, Jets AFC Championship – Ravens vs. Patriots AFC Champion – Ravens NFC East – Eagles NFC North – Packers NFC South – Saints NFC West - Cardinals NFC Wild Cards – Lions, Giants NFC Championship – Lions vs. Packers NFC Champion – Packers Superbowl – Packers vs. Ravens Superbowl Champion – Baltimore Ravens (in the words of Clay Davis, “sheeeeeeeeeeeeeeit”)
SEPTEMBER 21, 2011 ultravires.ca
All the Food that’s Fit to Eat... Kinda Sneaky Dees
By Drew Valentine (2L)
s it 1:30 AM? Have you been drinking to the point where your flat-belly diet is getting abandoned like Kate plus eight? Then I have the joint for you. On the corner of College and Bathurst you’ll find a Tex-Mex gem, made for the late-night eater. The cow skull with swirling druggedout eyes logo should be enough to lure in both the inebriated and those lacking any sense of self-preservation - considering that you’re in law school I’m assuming you fall into one of these categories. Sneaky Dees is a two floor establishment, with the upstairs a live music venue, and the lower level a restaurant and bar. In all its glory, it is an ugly brick building covered in shitty graffiti, both inside and out. This aesthetic lends the joint a salt of the earth, indie/punk rock vibe only matched by wait-staff. While the menu is pretty decent in size, there are some clear standouts, including the King’s Crown, vegan nachos and the half-rack and wings combo. For vegetarians and vegans there are a number of meatless Mexican favorites, and the all-day breakfast is a nice choice for those requiring late-night Huevos
DREW VALENTINE photo If you aren’t content with the number of blackout drunk undergrads you meet at the Athletic Centre, Drew Valentine has the joint for you
Rancheros or French toast. I should note, this is not Mexican food by any Mexican’s standard, but it doesn’t suck for Toronto. And if you want to keep it gringo and just get a club sandwich, you won’t be disappointed. Late-night pitchers of beer are a regular occurrence, but beware – this may
lead you to the Sneaky Dees mat. What is the Sneaky Dees mat, you ask? I’m talking about the squared-circle, the gauntlet, the octagon…the bathroom floor. [This is unconfirmed -Ed] The Sneaky Disease bathroom floor hosted an epic wrestling match this summer that made Wrestlemania seem fake…err…you know what I mean.
I won’t discuss the participants (luckily I wasn’t one of them), but I can say it was a David v Goliath matchup, where Goliath woke up the next day with a bruised head. This author has no intention of giving this slop house fine dining marks, but in terms of night-owl, boozy eating, Sneaky Dees gets four out of five Jim Beam shots.