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Lewis: The Women of U of T Law

SLS Halloween Party 2011

Atrisha Lewis tries to introduce some gender balance to our student newspaper

Remember that? Last month? You know, when you were happy?

ULTRA VIRES

Features, Page 8

Opinion, Page 22

First Edition

November 24, 2011 Vol. XIII, no. III ultravires.ca

The Independent Student Newspaper Of The University Of Toronto Faculty Of Law

Toronto OCI Issue

Hiring Lowest Since Lehman By Ultra Vires Staff

Toronto summer hiring slips to recession-era levels

U of T Law students leave the OCI hall at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre on Friday October 28th, 2011.

CARY FERGUSON PHOTO

The uncertain global economic outlook seems to have dampened the Toronto OCI job market. Total hiring for summer 2012 hovered around 400, down from 444 last year and the lowest since the recession began in 2008. Hiring at U of T dipped to 96, meaning 50.5% of the entering class secured positions through the process, down from 54.7% last year. Osgoode, Windsor, and Ottawa were also down. Elsewhere in Ontario, Queens and Western maintained hiring at around 45 and 55 respectively meaning students at that those schools cannot blame Greece for their employment woes. This year the Ultra Vires statistical team used (very slightly) more sophisticated analysis to determine how each school’s share of OCI positions compared to the their share of law school students overall. Not surprisingly, schools located in Toronto, Osgoode and U of T, and schools very focused on Toronto hiring, such as Western, punched above their weight. Schools less focused on Toronto, such as Ottawa, underperformed. The caveat to this type of analysis is that we do not know what percentage of students from each school applied for jobs through the Toronto OCI process. In comparing schools, our implicit assumption is that the average law student will be equally enticed by OCI jobs, which are generally a lucrative path of least resistance for most law student. That assumption, however, is controversial.


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NOVEMBER 23, 2011 ultravires.ca

ULTRA VIRES

LETTERS

Really it’s Not as Bad as it Looks By Matt Brown, Editor-In-Chief (2L)

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n this issue we try to address several of the complaints we have received about the paper so far this

year. I know what you’re thinking: why would anyone bother complaining about a organization that is so plainly irredeemable?

But despite my self-confessed inclination to use UV for self-promotion, that really isn’t my only goal. This paper is one of the few enduring student institutions at our school and I take the my responsibly keeping it healthy, reflective of our community, and packed with flattering photos of myself very seriously. One of the complaints we received is that our opinion section skews right without enough representation of opposing views. This has to be a first for a student paper in the western world. Personally, I would describe UV as neither right wing or left wing but more of a pathetic flight-

ULTRA VIRES

Editor-in-Chief News Editor Features Editor Opinion Editor Diversions Editor 1L Content Editors Production Editors Business Manager Web & Photo Editor Copyeditors

less bird. Nevertheless, to address to this criticism we have added a monthly column by Camille Labchuck, which will hopefully had some modicum of empathy and social awareness to this shithole. Another criticism I’ve received is that UV is a sausage fest. This criticism is apt: it’s a five-ring brodeo. Thankfully. Atrisha Lewis brought this issue sharply into focus. She also put her money where her mouth is by writing a great piece about the women of our school’s many accomplishments. I strongly encourage more women to submit articles to ultra.vires@utoronto.

Matt Brown Jessica Lam Patrick Hartford Andrew Robertson Drew Valenine Bhuvana Sankaranarayanan Josh Mandryk Todd Brayer Giselle Chin Jonathan Bega Cary Ferguson Annie Tayyab Andrea Wong

ca. You don’t have peruse these pages for long to realize that, if you submit something, we will just throw it in here. We like it raw (read: littered with egregious typos. See Supra.) Indeed, I encourage law students of all gender identities to write and send it my way. If you need ideas talk to to me or another editor. A profile of me is overdue, for example. Sorry–I mean a profile of Jess. Jess and me. We will be looking for new voices that contribute something beyond the mid level college humor you have come to expect from UV so far. Or just, you know, more of the same.

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 ultravires@ utoronto.ca

Advertising

Advertising inquiries should be sent to Business Manager Jonathan Bega at ultravires@utoronto.ca

Submissions If you have an article submission or a tip for us, please contact us at ultravires@utoronto.ca. The deadline for submissions is October 12, 2011. Ultra Vires reserves the right to edit submissions for brevity and clarity.


ultravires.ca NOVEMBER 23, 2011

ULTRA VIRES

3

NEWS

First ITLP Grad Called to Bar Shaw Hill beats the odds, but remains concerned about future employment prospects

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By Jessica Lam (2L)

he Internationally Trained Lawyers Program had its first call to the bar last month. Shaw Hill, who was trained in Jamaica, constituted the ITLP’s first cohort of students. The ten-month program prepares students to complete their accreditation requirements in Canada. At first blush, it seems odd that since the program’s inception in May 2010 only one graduate has been called to the bar. But in reality, licensing is a threestaged process. Students must pass their National Committee on Accreditation challenge exams, then pass the bar exam and then article. Most students will have to write five to seven NCA exams, sometimes more, depending on the jurisdiction that they were trained in and their grades in law school. Completing these exams takes about two years.That’s why the ITLP’s first call to the bar was such an achievement. Hill took less than two years to license because she received a waiver from the NCA and didn’t have to article. For most foreign-trained lawyers, it takes much longer to get through the program and meet all of the requirements to practice law in Ontario. According to the ITLP’s progress report, 136 NCA exams were written over the course of August 2010 to January 2011, and of these 75 per cent of exams were passed. But when the pass rates of individual exams are observed, the results are more disappointing. The most commonly failed exams were Administrative Law (67 per cent failed) and Criminal Law (50 per cent failed.) According to the Director of the ITLP Gina Alexandris, a 75 per cent pass rate is a positive number, particularly when compared to the 38 per cent pass rate of the overall foreign-trained lawyer population in Canada. Alexandris admits that students face

many challenges in the ITLP, including language barriers, time constraints and financial difficulties. “Part of the challenge is informing internationally trained lawyers before they train in Canada of these requirements,” she said. Rohit Suri, a student in the ITLP with 15 years of experience as a lawyer in India, said that the licensing process is very difficult for foreign lawyers. “I can’t say it’s the fault of the ITLP, but we have a very short time span to complete all the courses,” said Suri. Like many students of the ITLP, Suri has a wife and two kids to support, but because he is in full time-studies, he can’t work and doesn’t have access to financial aid such as OSAP. Despite current challenges and drawbacks, the program is a welcome improvement to the old scheme, where foreigntrained lawyers were simply given an online syllabus and had to prepare for exams by themselves without instruction. “[The program] is helping us to get familiar with the Canadian legal system and giving us all the background that we can’t get anywhere else,” said Suri. Alexandris said that the ITLP is planning to expand and make improvements, such as better English training in the program and more institutional support to secure internships and articling positions. This year, the ITLP was awarded an extra $1.2 million from the Ministry of Citizenship and Immigration. Since 2009, the ITLP has received $4 million from the Ministry, which has recognized the importance of this type of program. But the larger issue remains as to whether employers are open to hiring foreign-trained lawyers. “Who knows if I’ll get a job here?” said Suri. “It is quite difficult to feed into the legal industry here, because it is dominated by the local community.” “They don’t want other people to be part of the industry.” Alexandris recognizes that institutional barriers and resistance on the part

PHOTO COURTESY Of the INTERNATIONALLY TRAINED LAWYERS PROGRAM

Shaw Hill, the ITLP’s first graduate. She was trained in Jamaica. of law firms will prove to be the biggest hurdle for students coming out of the program. “Even though our targets and our main focus are on the internationally trained

lawyer, a lot of our work is the legal profession,” said Alexandris. “We have a huge responsibility to work with our internship hosts and ... we’re raising awareness of the challenges.”

Winners and Losers in Financial Aid Some students praise it’s “fairness,” while others believe it is patently unreasonable. By Vlad Calina (1L)

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hile throngs of jubilant law students cheered when financial aid was released this month, allowing us to now dine at fine restaurants like Pho Hung and China Garden, a number of students were left out cold. Naturally, this means student opinion is divided. These who feel that the process was fair praise it’s transparency and understandability. This group of students were “happy” with the aid they received and generally “grateful” for the aid received, which they

said made U of T Law “affordable” for them. The parental contribution calculation remains contentious, and many voiced disappointment that they received little to no financial aid even though their parents are not necessarily providing any assistance at all. “They don’t pay for school, but they’re still counted against us... I wish financial aid could do more for us,” said one student. This group felt their financial situation was not as secure as their final assessment suggested. A significant change for this year was the exclusion of international students. One 1L international student said he felt that his exclusion added a tremendous financial burden. International students pay higher tuition than domes-

tic students and a lack of financial aid makes it burdensome for them, especially if they intend to live and work in Canada afterwards. He said would like to see the Faculty remain in line with prestigious U.S. public universities, like Berkeley, which provides financial aid to international students. Daniel Bertrand, not speaking on behalf of the SLS, emphasized the positive changes from the previous financial aid formula. The old formula “provided bursaries equivalent to tuition for the bottom 20%,” he said. “[But] students who fell from the bottom 20% to the bottom 21% could lose 7,000-10,000$ in aid.” Just that happened two years ago, leading a revision and the present formula, which “calculates unmet need” and

ensures “the same proportion of unmet need would be met for everyone [who qualifies].” He said that the virtue of the system is predictability, nothing that disappointed applicants have an appeals process available to them to address their concerns. Lastly, Bertrand emphasized “students have an ongoing say in how the program is structured.” With regard to international students, he said, the reason for the change is a result of a U of T policy that international students be ineligible for most, if not all financial aid. The exclusion “was done to bring us in line with that policy.” Non-applicants continue to be refused financial aid. Their concerns have yet to be taken seriously by anyone.


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NOVEMBER 23, 2011 ultravires.ca

ULTRA VIRES

OPINION

The Wright Man | Louis Tsilivis Quest to Become an Ivy May Be Disservice to Students As the U of T Faculty of Law continues its push to become more like Yale or Harvard, perhaps we should step back and ask: Is this really a good idea for our JD students?

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his fall, Maclean’s once again gave the University of Toronto Faculty of Law the coveted #1 spot on its list of top law schools in the country. Not content with its Canadian conquests — like a Bond villain unsatisfied with his global empire — Toronto simply wants more. It wants to become Yale or Harvard, to build itself a tower of ivory, to wear a wreath of ivy leaves, and to bathe in the pretentious waters of the River Academe. While this piece may go against some of what I argued in last month’s edition of Ultra Vires, this article is about more than just tuition. I want you to think more critically about our school’s future. I am asking you to take an earnest look at the direction in which the Faculty is headed — one that would make us more like the elite Ivy League law schools that emphasize academia over practice — and to consider whether this could be a bad thing for U of T JDs.

On Becoming An Ivy Law School O

ur tuition is already the highest among law schools in this country, at $25,389. The current administration at Falconer Hall plans not only to keep our spot as the top dog of tuition fees, but to keep increasing them. Recent announcements have also have been made declaring a move from the traditional GPA system with lettered grades (the infamous C+ to A scale that put a meaty portion of the class in the warm and non-offensive B/B+ zone) to a new system of passes, honours, and “high honours”.

Keeping Up With the Rockefellers H

ere is the problem with trying to be the new Yale: it is impossible. Toronto will never come close to the kind of school that Yale is. This is not to bash our beloved school – which is the best in this country. I am simply saying that if our goal is to catch up to Yale or Harvard, then we will fail. Our $25,389 tuition – while high by Canadian standards – is roughly half of Yale’s (at $50,275) or Harvard’s

PHOTO COURTESY Of the THE UNIVERSITY OF TORONTO This picture clearly isn’t prestigious for the administration of University of Toronto Faculty of Law

($47,600). While tuition can be a signal for quality, it would take us a long (and unlikely) period of tuition increases if we want to signal our equivalence with these New England legal leviathans. When you add U of T’s status as a public and not a private university to the mix, the thought of matching the Ivies in tuition becomes a pipe dream. More dangerously, it means that the quest for more fees — like the merciless feudal lord forcing his downtrodden serfs to pay taxes for the building of his spacious baronial manor — actually hurts JDs by adding to student debt and stress, without much real payoff. But doesn’t higher tuition allow us to better keep academics from going to Bay Street — the kind of academics who enrich our understanding of the law? Hardly. Most professors are not keen to take up glass offices with client rolls. The ones that Bay Street does want are more likely to be the corporate law-types than the theoreticians, criminologists, or constitutional scholars who add to the

academic corpus of law in Canada.

Practice Makes Perfect T

he focus on academia and theory comes at a cost to students’ practical legal educations. While many students enjoy taking courses about legal theory, comparative law, and the sociology of law, we need to recognize that the first and foremost duty of our law school is to provide students — should they desire it — a practical legal education. This does not mean that I am advocating for the Faculty to offer only blackletter law courses. I am instead calling on the Faculty to ensure that students who do want to take courses like business organizations, family law, trusts, evidence, insolvency law, tax and advanced legal research and writing (to name but a few) can do so

without having to worry about their “lettering strategy,” and without having to rejig their schedule after ending up deep on the wait list. Having great theorists and academics does matter. But we should also strive to create a Faculty where students are assured that they can take any black-letter course before they graduate that they believe would be useful in their future practise. It shouldn’t boil down to the ones they letter with their “A,” “B,” or “C” or where they are lucky enough to win the course selection lottery. Finally, there should be an increased emphasis on developing the core competency in legal skills that lawyers actually use: advocacy, client relations, and research. Because at the end of the day — regardless of whether or not we make headway on our impossible quest to create an Ivy League law school in between the ROM and Queen’s Park — we should remember that our role is to be a school that trains lawyers in the real world.


ultravires.ca NOVEMBER 23, 2011

ULTRA VIRES

5

OPINION

‘Occupy’ A Doomed Failure By Ashvin Singh (1L)

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hate to be the one to break it to them. After all, who can be faulted for the romantic allure of leading a revolution à la Gandhi to reshape the social and economic context of a generation? But alas, Occupy protestors, this has been no Arab Spring. The movement has drawn much attention — but one has to wonder whether the peculiar view of society at an ad hoc campground is the right kind of publicity. Politicians are aware of the movement, but they are more concerned with risk mitigation and containment of the protestors themselves than drafting new legislation. I am certain that many of us relate to the ideas raised by Occupy Toronto. Diminishing corporate political influence and analyzing the root causes of growing inequality is important to many moderate voters. But the burden to be met by the Occupy movement has little to do with the intrinsic merits of their suggestions. Stamina is waning. The campfires are dying. And the protestors can’t decide whether they want modest financial regulation or economic nationalization. It is time to ask the movement what they stand for and how they plan to go about it. This internal confusion is no better epitomized than in the “condensed” 60-item list of demands generated by Occupy Vancouver.

Many stipulations are not unreasonable: stricter campaign finance regulations, improving healthcare and education and the closing tax loopholes for the exceptionally wealthy. Its credibility is undermined, though, when paralleled by demands that we end free trade, cap interest rates at 1%, withdraw from NATO, release all non-violent prisoners and close the oil sands. Take heed, law students, of an inexplicable requirement that all lawyers work in pairs so that “a lack of resources won’t be a factor in deciding a case”. We are now told by recent news releases that the widely perpetuated documents were not official. Such notice is redundant; the movement has no spokesperson or leadership. Nothing is official, and this is exactly the problem. Facetiousness aside, the consequences of this cacophony of mixed voices has been dire. Fringe elements encompassed by the movement — along with the tendency of radicals to reach for the microphone — has culminated in a widening distaste for the aims of the protest. Most Canadians do not consider themselves to be a subordinated labour class, but rather participants and stakeholders in our national economy. Attempts to portray a vicious class war are not compelling in a much better regulated economy than the United States with stronger social infrastructure. The phenomenon of a grossly enriched

1% is far less pronounced in the Canadian context and people are hesitant to declare that doctors, lawyers and entrepreneurs hold unfair amounts of wealth. When Occupy arguments are exceedingly radical or woefully unsupported, the movement and its aims ideologically ostracize the populace. Their means are also questionable. Even if they knew what changes they stood for, what leverage does a group of people in a park have to make broadreaching social demands? The absence of leadership precludes the group from engaging with the power structures of society in a legitimate and constructive way. Even if politicians wanted to negotiate with Occupy with respect to their demands, there is nobody to meet with and no concrete idea of what would be required to placate them. Further unfortunate is the nuisance brought about by these protestors, whether unlawfully blocking streets during rush hour or creating unsafe living conditions.

‘Occupy’ A Success O

By Danny Barrett (1L)

n the first day of Occupy Toronto, I spent about an hour and a half talking with people in the occupation zone. Why were they there? What were their ideas, thoughts, and hopes? One discussion I had with a middleaged woman still stands. Her wages have been stagnant for over a decade while her working hours have slowly crept upwards. Now she has gruelling 11-hour days. She spoke worriedly about her pension, which lost almost a third of its value after the stock market plunge. Of growing income inequality. Of the looming environmental crisis. Of the grim prospects for the world her teenage son was inheriting. I asked she thought people should be doing. She looked at me candidly and responded, “an international general strike.” When I told her that many would consider that a highly radical position, she pointed to a sign behind me that listed off many of the concerns she had just talked about. “Now that is radical.” It was in this same vein that it was once said that one must be as radical as reality itself. Looking at the last thirty years we see a neo-liberal assault on the livelihood of labour supported by political parties of the ostensible left, right and centre and the vast upwards transfer of wealth. The relentless privatization and dismantling of the social safety net amidst

escalating spending on the military, police and prisons; the ascension of oligarchic financial institutions alongside increasingly frequent financial crises; popular discontent with unresponsive political institutions captured by business interests; a looming environmental crisis of unprecedented scale and magnitude. Imagining a future based on the continuation and deepening of these trends is to envision a reality more radical than those who seek an alteration of the basic systemic forms that perpetuate them. The question is: what can those committed to engaging with these issues do? The answer, at least in part, lies in movements like Occupy. This nascent international coalition of forces may be the most important action the Left has taken since the 1970’s. It is critical in pushing into the public consciousness the idea that another world is possible. That there exists alternative social, political and economic structures to a system predicated on unlimited private gain, and that these alternatives must be openly discussed. In an era where international capital flows preside over the public interest, it is only an international movement that can break through contemporary structural malaise. As with any movement that challenges prevailing institutional forms, the criticism varies between virulence and haughty dismissal. Many complain that Occupy is ‘inconsistent’ in their refusal to articulate a few narrow reforms that may be drily re-articulated and ‘moderated’ in

order to ‘placate’ the ‘nuisance’. Setting aside the fact that these sorts of arguments paternalistically perceive basic democratic expression and serious conversation about core societal values as little more than a nuisance, this argument misses a basic point. The core of the movement is antisystemic. People are not occupying a park in downtown Toronto because they are generally satisfied with the capacity of our democratic machinery to respond to public concerns, but because our basic political institutions are seemingly unresponsive to anyone and anything but narrow private interests. Similarly, they reject political ‘moderation’ that means little more than acquiescence with a system that merely seeks to ‘placate’ the voices of the majority, while serving these same private interests. Ultimately, the Occupy movement is less about a specific tactic or reform as much as it is about mobilizing broad swathes of the population to get off their couches. Historically, large movements awaken slowly in fits and starts, but, once awakened, swell and expand quickly.

The complete lack of any mechanism of action by which the movement wishes to achieve its ends should certainly give us pause. This is not to say that Occupy cannot be salvaged. Competent leadership, moderate messages and connections to the political sphere could allow them to bolster their numbers. Conversely, without strong popular support, the respect of the political sphere and a mechanism through which to articulate their demands, Occupy Toronto is dispossessed of any capacity to bring about policy change, falling within an unfortunate chasm of social caricature.


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NOVEMBER 23, 2011 ultravires.ca

ULTRA VIRES

FEATURES

Law! Follies! Explained! O

By Marty McKendry (2L)

n a recent weekday, an Ultra Vires reporter sat down with fresh-faced, bright-eyed Follies Producer Patrick Hartford and grizzled, lingering ex-Producer Marty McKendry. We’ve reproduced their conversation below from notes scribbled on a pack of Belmonts.

LAW FOLLIES – CALL FOR SUBMISSIONS Law Follies is a legal sketch comedy show taking place on Thursday, February 16. Please send sketch ideas and scripts to patrick.hartford@utoronto.ca by the end of the term. There will be a call for actors, dancers, and stage crew in January.

Patrick: I want to look like Matthew McConaughey in A Time To Kill. “Yes, they deserve to die, and I hope they burn in hell!” *Tosses hair back like a dandy boy*

Patrick: Follies is the law school’s annual sketch comedy show. Marty: I thought I was going to talk first. Like we talked about in the car.

Marty: I want to look like Kevin Costner in JFK. “Back, and to the left… Back, and to the left… Back, and to the left…” *Tosses hair back each time, like a triple dandy boy*

Patrick: *Cruel impersonation* “Like we talked about in the car.” Next question.

Are Profs ever in the show?

What sets Law Follies apart from other extra-curriculars?

Marty: For high-functioning sociopaths, there’s the JD/MBA Students’ Association. Patrick: And for bad asses and the attractive women who covet us, there’s Law Follies. Can anyone be in Law Follies? Marty: Yes, anyone can be involved. We need writers, actors, directors, choreog-

Marty: I’m looking forward to “Bad Dad” with Andrew Robertson. And “Shirt Law” with Chris Lewarne, which ironically involves few shirts. I notice you both have large, blondish, windswept hairstyles. What’s up with that?

What is Law Follies?

Patrick: At our school, there’s something for everyone. For musty scholars with a passion for drudgery and footnotes, there are the journals.

ing to be amazing. “How will you plead?” “Not hungry.” What a riot!

PHOTO COURTESY of PATRICK HARTFORD Screenshot of the forthcoming Law Follies music video. Notice Matt Brown (2L) has uncharacteristically allowed himself to be upstaged... by Katy O’Rourke (2L).

raphers, and dancers. It’s very inclusive. Patrick: *Venomous look* Subject to my approval, Martin.

and the ultra-dark comedy writes itself. Patrick, it looks like Marty touched a nerve. Are you weeping quietly?

Why do you think lawyers like comedy so much?

Patrick: *Weeping quietly* No.

Marty: Most law students are intelligent and good with language. Add the heartbreaking self-loathing of a legal career,

Can you give us a little preview of what Follies has in store this year? Patrick: The “Food Court” sketch is go-

Patrick: There’s always a few. Every year Michael Trebilcock pitches us this concept for a short, black and white art film called For The Last Time, It’s Pronounced Trebilcock! This could be his year. One more question. I heard there’s a debauched after-party. Is it true? Patrick: Three words. Patrick and Marty: *In sync* Make. Out. City. *They high five* *Patrick and Marty say goodbye, then awkwardly walk in the same direction as interviewer, then say goodbye again even more awkwardly.*

Ultra News: Grading Scheme to be Re-Revised By Bryan Davis (2L)

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n anonymous tipster has let us know that there is a major revision of the major revision in the works for the Faculty of Law, which will come into effect September 2012. The rerevision will be announced early January. The scheme will be amended to include additional “honours” standings. At the moment the highest mark is “high honours.” There will now be several additional “honours” grades beyond “high honours.” “First there will be “super honours,” followed by “ultra honours,” the tipster said. “We will then provide grades based off famous judges,” she said. “A top grade earner will recieve either a Bora Laskin, Learned Hand or a Frank Iacobucci. “We believe that if a student gets even one Learned Hand, they will be employable in any law firm in the country. With two Learned Hands, he will be hired directly into equity partner at any seven sisters firm.” “A Frank Iacobucci is such a hard mark to attain that even the most genius of le-

gal minds, such as former Supreme Court Justice Frank Iacobucci, will have a hard time earning it.” The Faculty will also add a number worse marks beyond “low pass,” the current lowest mark. There will be “shockingly terrible,” and “absolutely terrible” followed by a number of marks named after famous judges, including “Lord Denning,” “Lord Haldane,” and “Justice Scalia.” “A student who earns a Justice Scalia will be immediately exiled to Siberia,” said the informant. “They will be forced to work long years in the gulag and will only be allowed back after decades of working in the cold north. “A Lord Denning will be somebody who messes up the law to such a degree that at least three professors of law tear their hair out. Lord Haldane is a grade specially reserved for the worst student in constitutional law. This student must completely misinterpret the Constitution Act, 1867 and the underlying precepts of federalism,” she said. The SLS plans on holding an angry sitin in the Dean’s office over the revisions, which were made without their consultation.

PHOTO COURTESY of PORKINS There will be much judging and the weighing of facts before new special marks will be assigned.


ultravires.ca NOVEMBER 23, 2011

ULTRA VIRES

FEATURES

UV Whiskey Review Part II

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Ireland is Next on Tour of World Whiskey UV Tasters travel back in time for a taste of the old blarney

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By Drew Valentine (2L)

rish whiskey is whiskey distilled in either the Republic of Ireland or Northern Ireland. It is largely distinguished from the earthier, twicedistilled Scotch as being smoother, largely due to the triple distilling. Most commonly found in blended form, like Jameson or Bushmills Original, but you can also buy single malt Irish whiskey, sometimes known as “pot still”. We decided to compare two single malt Irish

whiskeys- the Tyrconnell and the Connemara. In an effort to maintain better dexterity than our last outing we expanded the line-up of judges. In addition to our last panel consisting of Matt Brown, Danielle Glatt, Andrew Robertson, and yours truly, we added Akosua Matthews, Liam Churchill, Bradley Wiffen, and Charlie McDonald. We compared the two whiskeys side by side as shots and in a mixed drink setting, as well as the bottle’s design and packaging.

The Tyrconnell Looks

Shots of the Bulleit came with an upfront sweetness and hints of vanilla in the aftertaste. On the new law school grading scale we gave this shot an H for drinkability, and an HH for smoothness.

Elijah Craig went down like “a slap from your grandfather” according to one of our testers. This was partly to do with MB’s exceeding large pours. We gave Elijah Craig an H for drinkability and an H for smoothness.

On the rocks, the Bulleit’s corn flavor really came out in an almost syrupy way. The complexity was dense but not terribly nuanced. Very Heavy.

The Elijah Craig had a caramel like flavor, without the heaviness present in the Bulleit. The complexity was much more nuanced than the Bulleit, but not as over-bearing. This may be attributed to the older age of this whiskey.

There was some debate as to how well the Bulleit mixed with the ginger. Matt and AR enjoyed the sweetness, Matt calling it sweet, but not Long Island sweet. DV and Ms. Glatt found the sweetness too much. Glatt called it “a bitch drink”.

The Elijah Craig’s higher alcohol content “cut the sweetness of the ginger-ale” according to Glatt. All agreed that Elijah Craig paired very well with the ginger-ale.

The flavor was described as “nutty” and “brings out the dance moves”. There was very little dexterity remaining in the tasters palette at this point in the round. MB gave Bulleit neat two squinty eyes.

The Elijah Craig was described as “real as shit” and “the experience of a lifetime.” Apparently there was very little tasting that was occurring at this point, just drinking…

Winner: Draw

Shots Winner: Draw

Mixed With Ginger Ale Winner: Connemara

Winner Winner: Connemara

Winning Quotes

The Connemara

Looks: “There’s nothing wrong with a short and stubby” - Charlie, referring to the Connemara Shots: “It smells like papacy and tastes like Rome rule…” A non-Irishman getting into the spirit of the evening… Mixed: “To the successful completion of Keystone XL!” The unanimous toast to finish the outing.

This Month’s Winner of the John A Macdonald Wrought Iron belly award: Liam Churchill (2L) Liam arrived for the shootout as the other judges were on the final drink. He took down two shots and two mixed drinks in about 20 minutes and his votes were instrumental in allowing the Connemara to win the night.


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NOVEMBER 23, 2011 ultravires.ca

ULTRA VIRES

FEATURES

Law Students Look Fu

SLS Halloween party, or what will becom


ultravires.ca NOVEMBER 23, 2011

ULTRA VIRES

FEATURES

un and Well-Adjusted

me known as our final happy memory of 2011

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NOVEMBER 23, 2011 ultravires.ca

ULTRA VIRES

FEATURES

2011 Survey o Firm Recr

The Official Ultra Vires

The only issue anyone cares about anywhere. U pated in the process and received 130 response ployer – a 77% Did Not Say 1%

Disclaimer

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he presentation of these survey results is meant to provide helpful feedback to students, firms, the CDO, and anyone else who is interested in participating in the process in future years. The questionnaires are submitted voluntarily and anonymously. In past years, people have taken these survey results extremely seriously. While we hope that information is of value to our readers, they should be aware that this type of data is not without its drawbacks and that it is those students with the most passionate views – positive or negative – who are most likely to submit detailed comments. Furthermore, it is the students who secure positions who are most likely to respond to the survey which also biases the results Our job is to report on the feedback as it was presented to us – relaying the positive and the negative based on the data we have collected.

Women (43%)

Men (57%)

The Dirt

H

ere at UV we’ve learned some important lessons. First, despite our wideeyed optimism that we’re all stalwart upholders of the law and everything good in the world, the survey feedback provided by some students suggests that not all firms take the LSUC rules with the same degree of seriousness [didn’t they go to Ethics Week??]. Second, calling out those firms is a really bad idea since anonymous survey data is not the most reliable source for making such a grave accusation. Nevertheless, we think that it’s important to point out that a number of students claimed to have witnessed LSUC rules were bent or even broken. Consequently, we’ve made a point of highlighting survey comments in which students thought a firm did a good job sticking to the LSUC rules both in letter and spirit.

Did not Say 5%

Visible Minority 25%

Not a Visible Minority 64%

Visible Minorities 33 Visible Minority students got a job, while 90 students who said they were not visible minorities scored a position. 7 preferred not to say.

Never 47%

Pub Night Attendance Might be time to knuckedown. Students who never went to the SLS Pub Night were in the vast majority, with 60 students getting a job. 36 sometimes-goers and 20 often-goers got hired. Only 13 students who always go to the pub night got hired.

* Percentages may not add to 100% du


ultravires.ca NOVEMBER 23, 2011

ULTRA VIRES

FEATURES

of Toronto ruitment

UV sent our annual survey to those who particies out of 169 who applied to at least 1 OCI em% response rate.

Inside:

Student OCI feedback What schools top firms hired from 10 most “reasonable” moments

Page 10 Page 14 Page 13

Grades Students with Honours Standing won out, with 31 students getting jobs. The B+ students got 72, B students got 26. Only one student with a worse-than-B average found a job in this process.

Gender Division 73 Male (57%) and 57 (43%) Female students got jobs through this process. 1% declined to state

ue to rounding

Did Not Say 1%

Always 10% Often 16%

Honours Standing 24%

Conclusion: It’s still a very good idea to try hard in 1L.

B-Average 20%

Sometimes 28%

B+ Average 55%

11


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NOVEMBER 23, 2011 ultravires.ca

ULTRA VIRES

FEATURES

OCI Survey | Student Feedback Aird & Berlis Baker & McKenzie Bennett Jones Bereskin & Parr

Students found them to be pleasant, honest, and down-to-earth, although one respondent described their friendliness as “eerie.” (Evidently U of T law students don’t know how to accept human kindness.) Very friendly, informal interviews. Students enjoyed the “sweet coffee mugs”. Mixed responses – some found the interviewers energetic and friendly, others found them disengaged and reserved. Many students complained that they felt pressured to say BJ was their first choice during the dinner. Apparently it’s a bad idea to spend your whole OCI talking about Lil’ Wayne. Largely disappointing, interviewers were repeatedly described as ‘awkward’ and uninterested in the students they were interviewing.

Blake, Cassels & Graydon

Asked some random OCI questions like “what’s your favourite food” – some students found this fun, others (probably killjoys) found it silly & irrelevant. In-firm interviews got very positive reviews, with lunch & dinners repeatedly praised for being well-organized and fun.

Blaney McMurtry

OCI interviewers were described as down-to-earth, but several respondents complained that in-firms could have been more organized as the reception had too many people crammed into a crowded, uncomfortable space.

Borden, Ladner & Gervais

Mixed reviews for OCIs, with some students finding them too friendly & others finding them too formal (which could be indicative of variable student preferences). BLG was repeatedly complimented for providing an exceptionally good dinner.

Brauti, Thorning Zibarras

Described as nice, fun, and easy going interviewers.

Cassels Brock & Blackwell

Very friendly OCI process, but many students complained that the interviewers were “overenthusiastic” and “over the top”. Dinners and receptions were criticized as being awkward and without enough interaction with lawyers from the firm.

Dale & Lessman

OCI interviewers were harshly criticized, described as uptight and rude, causing at least one student to decline an in-firm interview. One student did point out that this is their first year doing the OCI process & thinks that it will improve.

Davies Ward Phillips & Vineberg

Students were largely happy with the OCIs. In-firms and events received great praise across the board for being well-organized and engaging, with a good matching between lawyers & students at the dinners.

Davis

Good OCIs, very conversational. In-firms were said to be very transparent and even fun. The dinners & other events were very well-received – one student claimed they did not want to leave at the end of the night. The firm was described as very respectful, with no efforts to monopolize your time.

Department of Justice

Friendly people, but the interview format was described as “the mutated brother of the OCI process”. One student complained that having them write down everything made the interview quite awkward.

Epstein Cole

Overall very positive reviews. One student found the firm too uptight, but another enjoyed the fact that they made an effort to introduce the students to everyone at the firm.

Fasken Martineau DuMoulin

Reviews were very polarized: some students said this OCI was their favourite, others complained of uninterested interviewers (maybe they just weren’t interested in you). In-firms were praised for a careful matching of students and lawyers based on experiences & interests, and the reception was universally considered a major success. Two words: chocolate fountain.

Fogler Rubinoff

The conversational interviews were liked by most students but were found off-putting to some. Consensus seemed to be that things went downhill after OCIs.

Fraser Milner Casgrain

Most students enjoyed the OCIs, describing the people at the firm as very genuine. In-firms were said to be less well organized, and the lack of nametags made it difficult to differentiate articling students from other applicants. The reception was criticized as somewhat overcrowded, making it difficult to mingle.

Goodmans Gowling Lafleur Henderson Heenan Blaikie Hicks Morley Hamilton Stewart Storie Koskie Minsky

OCIs were extremely favourably reviewed and in-firm interviews & events were described as organized and informative. The firm was repeatedly described as respectful and students appreciated the timely communication. Questioning style for OCIs was described as intense. Students felt that the firm seemed to be looking for a particular kind of person. Reception was considered to be good. Overall a ‘solid’ ranking. Many students complained that the OCIs were too aggressive. Specifically, they complained that starting with the question “why Heenan Blaikie?” at the beginning of the first interview was premature because there was not enough time to build a rapport & get a good sense of the firm. Overall, students were happy with the infirms and events. Received high praise for their OCIs, specifically the young and down-to-earth interviewers. Some students really appreciated the lack of events. Very positive feedback overall. Friendly people and solid OCIs, no events. Great feedback.


ultravires.ca NOVEMBER 23, 2011

FEATURES

Legal Aid Ontario Lenczner Slaght Royce Smith Griffin Macleod Dixon McCarthy Tetrault McMillan

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Generally positive feedback, students appreciate the laid-back panel & their selfdeprecating sense of humour. Students mostly enjoyed the conversational interviews, but a few commented that the interviewers were so chatty that the student did not get much of a chance to talk. Many enjoyed meeting top partners at the firm, and described the atmosphere as intense but friendly. At the OCI stage, students seemed happy and positive. Dinners were describe as fun, but slightly crowded. Intense but fair OCIs with lots of probing questions and classic interview questions like “what is your proudest accomplishment?” In-firms were well-organized, though a few complained that you won’t be taken seriously if you schedule them on a Tuesday. Praised as professional, and students were very impressed by theie strict adherence to the LSUC guidelines. Mixed-reviews of the OCIs ranging from “friendly” to “too formal”. In-firms were well organized and involved lots of tough questions and grilling of the candidates. Many were impressed that the firm followed the LSUC guidelines with “no winks or nudges”.

Miller Thomson

OCI reviews were mixed, but in-firms were found to be structured and organized without being too tense. The reception was a highlight for many students and considered a great opportunity to engage with articling students & others at the firm.

MAG – Crown Law Office – Civil

Every respondent cited how friendly they were during the interview process, which they found to be relaxed despite being substantive. They came across as genuine, but also into the “are you my first choice?” game-playing of the big firms.

MAG – Family Responsibility Office MAG – Constitutional Law Branch

Friendly, but the interviews were said to be unsubstantive, with some respondents claiming that MAG could have been clearer about communicating how the process worked. Described as a straightforward government interview, which is “painless and enjoyable if you like talking about constitutional law.” Students recommend that applicants be up-to-date on the most recent case law.

MAG – Ministry of Labour

This interview was said to be more awkward, with unnecessarily detailed questions that were stretched to fill the full hour. Students complained of too much repetition of information that could be easily found on their resume.

Norton Rose

Repeatedly praised for a solid OCI process. The dinners were considered very fun, although some felt that they were more of a “dinnerview” and could have been less formal. Some felt that there was not enough communication between OCI interviewers and in-firm interviewers, leading to students feeling a bit disjointed.

Osler, Hoskin & Harcourt

Received all-around praise for their OCIs, described as a good mix of professional yet friendly, and clearly experienced. In-firms were also well-received, but some students were a bit cynical & thought the presentation was too slick and that they were “too good at marketing”. Dinner was very much enjoyed – one student recommends not booking an early morning appointment for the day after.

Paliare Roland Rosenberg Rothstein

Relaxed interviews, but several students complained that the firm was too pushy at in-firms and too insistent on asking if you were their top choice.

Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrision

There was some concern amongst respondents that the OCI interviewer was bored & disengaged, but another student suggested that he was genuinely interested and just not great at showing it. In-firms were solid, with students appreciating engaging conversations without feeling like the firm was trying too hard.

Ridout & Maybee Shearman & Sterling Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom Smart & Biggar Stikeman Elliott Torkin Manes

Very unfavourable reviews. One respondent described the interview as awkward and another described it as “a joke”. The interviewers apparently spent most of the time talking to each other. Some found the OCI interviewers to be arrogant, others found them refreshingly honest. Students liked that due to the small office size, they had the chance to meet everyone at the firm. Recommended that you are prepared to work on capital markets. Some criticized the firm for being a bit of a boys club, with some students feeling disadvantaged by the fact that the interviews involved a lot of talk about sports. The Achilles heel of the U of T law student? Responses were universally negative, claiming that interviewers talked the whole time and did not ask questions. Several students complained of an unpleasant atmosphere and uncomfortable body language from the interviewers. One student wrote that they went in with high expectations but left very disappointed. OCIs received mixed reviews, which may have depended on the interviewer. There were complaints that interviewers showed up late for the OCI, causing the student to have to begin again. In-firms & dinners received better reviews, with students enjoying the two lawyer per one student ratio. Noted for their extremely friendly demeanour, even by students who realized that they would rather work in government or other firms. In-firm tour was praised for the opportunities to talk to lawyers who seemed genuinely interested in their work.

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NOVEMBER 23, 2011 ultravires.ca

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FEATURES Some were very happy with the OCIs, but more than a couple students complained of interviewers invading their personal space by sitting too closely. In-firms were very popular, respondents found that the firm came on strong but effectively communicated what they’re about. Also praised for being very respectful and following the LSUC rules to a T.

Torys

The OCI process was described as unconventional and weird by several students, particular because of random questions like “what do you do with your spare time?” (perhaps this says more about law students). In-firms were relaxed and natural, and many students enjoyed being taken out to a Leafs game in the box, with lots of food & drink.

WeirFoulds

Very friendly, but one student complained that it was a “total boys club” and that the firm was completely okay with this. Events were described as fun and more relaxed than at other firms.

Wildeboer Dellelce

O

offer.”

Questionable Behaviour

ne firm called me at 4.58pm on the Wednesday and talked to me for two minutes, fully acknowledging that it was not 5.00pm yet and they could not officially offer me anything. As soon as the clock hit 5.00pm, they made the

“At a dinner event, a student sitting very close to me from another law school clearly had too much to drink and spent the latter half of the evening talking over everyone else, making ridiculously inappropriate comments (including a rape “joke”), and just being terrible in general. Strangely, he was not hired by the firm.” “While talking to a senior lawyer at an unnamed firm: “Man, didn’t she have like EIGHT kids?”That is so messed up” (laughter). Later, while talking at dinner with a senior lawyer: ‘Well, the Chinese are less trusting. The Indians, however, were raised to serve’. Me: ‘Uh sure. Sure. Right’”

I

Requisite Dating Analogy

t’s like the worst dating game I’ve ever been on. The entire time I felt like some back-up prom date. It’s not a good feeling. I’m not sure what’s supposed to come out of this process, but it uses up so much time and energy it can’t be worth it for those who don’t end up with jobs at the end.” [Editor’s Note – you’ve been on other dating games?] The OCI experience can only be compared to dating. I felt during in-firm week, firms would get jealous when they knew I was with another firm and some firms went as far to ask me who else I was seeing/ other large firms or mid-size firms. It’s like having a clingy boyfriend who leaves messages on my phone 24/7 in an attempt to figure out if I was cheating on him/seeing someone else behind his back”

Talking about how you gave a female classmate a concussion is a bad idea” [Editor’s Note – only if she has the interview directly after yours]

Sage Advice

Stop smiling while looking bewildered in the PATH. It’s obvious you’re a second year law student.

CDO Earns Unprecedented Praise

T

he general assessment is that OCIs ran very smoothly this year and that this success is attributable to the hard work of our Career Development Office despite being unexpectedly short-staffed. The survey comments included an abundance of praise for both Emily Orchard and Suzanne Bambrick. Here is just a small sample of the many compliments in the survey feedback for Emily, thanking her for her tireless efforts to work with students throughout each stage of the OCI process – even offering to be a shoulder to cry on if need be (we’re really that screwed up). Emily is... “Absolutely amazing... supportive, patient, knowledgeable” “One of the greatest human beings to ever walk the earth” “Outstanding” “An angel” “A rock star” While everything ran smoothly, several students offered suggestions for minor improvements for future years: Arrange mock-interviews with 3Ls – this would be a good way to match up 2Ls with students who have succeeded through the very same process. Plus, what are 3Ls doing with their time anyway? Make sessions more available to out-of-province students – some of the CDO sessions were held in the late summer before students from other provinces (or countries) were finished their jobs and able to return. Arrangements should be made to keep these students in the loop. Don’t overwhelm students – this one is a bit tricky. The CDO does an amazing job prepping students for everything OCI related. But there is a good argument for also helping students keep the process in perspective. The world does not end if you do not get a job through this process and it is still very possible to wind up on Bay Street. Helping law students not freak out may be beyond the mandate of the CDO, but it would be a valuable service. w

Potent Potables

Wearing a tie is a responsibility. Try not to pee on it between interviews.

Depressing as Hell

One senior partner: ‘If you are not getting laid on a Saturday night, you might as well be in the office.’

“I think getting into law school might have been a fluke.”


ultravires.ca NOVEMBER 23, 2011

FEATURES

10 most “reasonable” OCI Moments By Michael Portner Gartke (2L)

OCIs: We laughed, we cried, we cried some more... all before getting out of the shower

10

When the guy with 4 As gets rejected by a firm at OCIs (i.e., he doesn’t get an in-firm invite). Even if that student got in-firms at the 13 other firms he interviewed with, you take pleasure in the fact that he must have screwed this one up. BADLY.

9

When, 3 minutes into your OCI, your interviewer slams her binder of resumes shut and asks, “So, what can we tell you about the firm?” While comically absurd, this is actually not funny at all. The fourth-year associate interviewer certainly has no idea how to answer “where do you think the firm will be in 10 years” or “how is your firm responding to the internationalization of law firms?” No, unfortunately, those particular questions are not made up.

8

When lawyers at the sponsoring firm for an important fall event that happened two weeks prior ask you: “Oh, I see that you’re doing __________. When does that happen?” This is especially ironic in an interview in which you profess your greatest strength to be “attention to detail.”

7

Talking to other people about OCIs. All you really want to ask is: “Where did you apply, who gave you OCIs, and who gave you in-firms?” What you actually ask: “Are you interviewing next week?” Or “how has fall been for you so far?” Or “Pumped for articling applications?” OK, that last one is made up. No one WOULD EVER ask that.

6

When your last-choice firm calls you first on call day, illegally, at 7:58 am. “Hey, sorry, but my 2 dinners and my entire day on Monday are already booked! Can you do a Tuesday morning interview and a lunch?” Their reply: “Oh. We don’t do lunches. Are you sure you can’t make a dinner?” Your reply: “Get over yourself; you’re clearly my last choice.” If people could just say what they meant, this whole process would be SO much easier.

5

Name-dropping. This is especially funny when the name is Andrew Robertson. It is also funny when the dropee happened to be the only student not to make it through the very un-rigorous summer-to-articling hiring process guaranteed-hire-back-unless-you-reallyscrew-up process. Some students switch law firms between their first and second year summers. It is probably a bad idea to name-drop those students when interviewing at their first year firms… And yet…this happens often.

4

Movember. Every male 2L who cares about men’s health and doesn’t love cancer goes through an intense internal thought process. “I care about men’s health, don’t love cancer, and don’t want

ULTRA VIRES

to be bullied by Andrew Robertson. On the other hand, I also want a job.” Some firms are noted enthusiasts for Movember, and so some candidates are tempted to wear their moustaches there. Like the New York Yankees, however, some firms are strict opponents of any kind of facial hair (and may or may not be strict opponents of any kind of charity). Hats off to those students who don’t shave from November 7th-9th.

3

When your interviewer attended a law school other than U of T. This means either one of two things. 1. Your interviewer is old and attended another institution before U of T had established itself as the best institution. This is not ideal because s/he may not believe U of T to be the best institution. 2. Your interviewer has an inferiority complex. This is not ideal for many obvious reasons.

2

When a firm invites you to events every day of in-firm week – I care before your first in-firm interview. about men’s health, don’t “Yes, I would love to interview love cancer, with you on Monday, have dinner and don’t on Tuesday, and want to be have breakfast on bullied by Wednesday.” On the bright side, Andrew the Tuesday dinRobertson. ner will be a great On the other opportunity to get loaded if, by hand, I also that point, a) anwant a job.” other firm has invited you back on Wednesday and b) the firm with which you are dining didn’t even call you back on Tuesday. Wednesday breakfast is just straight-up cockblocking.

1

All the questions that you REALLY WANT TO ASK. But can’t. Because you want a job. i. How many hours a week can I expect to work? By year? To be eligible for a bonus? ii. What is the average bonus? By year? iii. How many years before I can expect to make partner? Or before I am told that I’m hopeless? iv. You speak of a billable hours “target?” In practice, how many hours do lawyers actually bill? v. What is the average associate salary from Year 2 onwards? vi. Can you provide me with a chart, controlled for seniority, department, and law school attended, of what partners make? vii. How much more money did the firm have to pay you to poach you from your previous firm? viii. Do people at the firm actually like each other? Or does the word “collegial” appear on your website only for posterity? ix. Have you received any formal interviewing training? x. Have you even read my CV?

15

OCIs: An Outsider’s Perspective Features editor and OCI survey coordinator offers his thoughts on the process By Patrick Hartford (2L)

W

e did it! I thought this would be the year that we got trounced by Windsor, but we have once again kicked ass in an arbitrary hiring process that nobody cares about as much as we do. As the Feature Editor for UV, I had the pleasure of conducting the annual OCI survey and analyzing the data. It’s been very interesting and occasionally traumatic. If you stare into the abyss, the abyss stares into you. To be clear, I have nothing against working for a big law firm. I plan on doing OCIs next year. I do think, however, that there is a fundamental disconnect between how our school presents itself and the reality of our school culture. I think that our school downplays just how important OCIs are to our school’s culture. When I was applying to law school, I spoke to the admissions office and asked them if there was any truth to the rumour that U of T law is a Bay Street feeder school. They answered “no” and expressed frustration at having to constantly refute this “myth.” But OCIs are a big deal here, and that’s not necessarily a bad thing. According to Emily Orchard at the CDO, 169 students participated in the process this year – that’s nearly the whole class. We obsess about it. We worry about it. And the administration genuinely cares about how well we do. 1Ls arrive and quickly realize this. The administration genuinely tries to promote alternative career opportunities, and they deserve credit for doing so, but these just can’t compete with an intense student culture that treats OCIs like the be-all-and-end-all. It’s almost impossible not to be sucked in. Everybody else is doing it and it’s such a great way to get out of debt. Unless you have a very clear idea of what else you’d rather be doing, it makes a lot of sense to give OCIs a try. But here is the problem. The skills needed to get a job with a law firm are quite distinct from those needed to get into and succeed in law school. The way we freak out about grades in 1L you’d think that they mattered a lot more than they do. Grades are important insofar as they help get those first interviews, but after that substance becomes much less important relative to conversation skills and the ability to navigate complex social situations. You have to sound confident, come across as enthusiastic, and know how to play the “are you my first choice?” games with the firms. And yet in promoting ourselves to prospective students, we downplay this reality. We highlight IHRP, the back-end debt relief program, and DLS. And yet so few people enter careers that qualify for back-end debt relief while more than half the class gets job offers from OCIs. My point is not that OCIs or our school culture are terrible. I simply think that we should be upfront about how things

really are – about how many people pursue the Bay Street route and about what skills are necessary to get there. Why is this so important? Because a lot of people get caught off guard and are completely crushed. I know this because I had to read the OCI survey feedback. In the survey comments, one student dejectedly wrote: “I think getting into law school might have been a fluke.” But it wasn’t a fluke. There were lots of other comments just like this one. We don’t have entrance interviews and it’s very possiThe skills ble to have a great needed to GPA and LSAT score without beget into law ing exceptionally school are charming at a fordifferent mal dinner. The skills needfrom those ed to get into law needed to school are different from those get a job on needed to get a Bay Street. job on Bay Street. We could We could avoid a lot of unnecessary avoid a lot suffering if, as a of unnecesschool, we were sary sufferupfront to students about this ing if, as a fact fromw day school, we one. This would were upfront motivate the students who really to students want Bay Street about this jobs to practice infact from terviewing early, day one. and would encourage others to look into the other amazing career opportunities that are better matched with their particular strengths. To a large extent, we create our own stress and our own problems. Nobody forces OCIs on us. This is something that we do to ourselves. As a group, we go from obsessing about one thing to another: the LSAT, 1L grades, OCIs, making partner. I’ll do the exact same thing when I go through the process next year. But being in the joint JD/MGA, which delays OCIs for a year, lets me see how stressful things are for my year and it makes me wonder if, regardless whether or not it’s anyone’s fault, we could do anything differently. It’s an open question. Finally, on an unrelated note, I would like to say something about the UV OCI survey itself. In past years, the results have been discussed on Lawstudents.ca, firms ranked highly have bragged about it, and we’ve received unpleasant phone calls from other schools and firms who believe they were short-changed. You are all insane. I’ve put a lot of work into compiling the data and presenting it in an accessible format. I really think and hope that you find it helpful and informative. But at the end of the day it’s an imperfect school survey and, much like the OCI process itself, could stand to be taken a little less seriously.


16

NOVEMBER 23, 2011 ultravires.ca

ULTRA VIRES

FEATURES

2011 Toronto OCI Law Firm Rankings Boutique Rankings Overall Ranking 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10

Ranking (Previous Year) 17 3 5 6 14 4 16 7 15

Firm Name Shearman & Sterling Wildeboer Dellelce Hicks Morley Hamilton Stewart Storie Paliare Roland Rosenberg Rothstein Koskie Minsky Thorsteinssons Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom Lenczner Slaght Royce Smith Griffin Smart & Biggar Ridout & Maybee

OCIs

Events

7.57 8.00 8.13 8.50 8.00 7.60 6.45 6.61 5.44 5.67

10.00 9.25 5.00 6.50 8.50 7.00 0.00 6.83 7.67 10.00

Overall 9.00 7.86 7.83 7.75 7.33 7.00 6.33 5.92 5.40 3.67

# Responses (Overall) 7 15 6 8 6 5 11 13 9 6

Full Service Firm Rankings Overall Ranking 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25

Ranking (Previous Year) 27 6 12 25 3 4 2 11 8 1 21 14 18 19 26 24 15 28 23 22 20 7 5 13 -

Firm Name Baker & McKenzie Blake, Cassels & Graydon Norton Rose Davis LLP McMillan Osler, Hoskin & Harcourt Davies Ward Phillips & Vineberg Torkin Manes McCarthy Tétrault Torys Stikeman Elliott Bennett Jones Borden Ladner Gervais Goodmans “Fogler, Rubinoff” Cassels Brock & Blackwell WeirFoulds Aird & Berlis Gowling Lafleur Henderson Miller Thomson Fraser Milner Casgrain Fasken Martineau DuMoulin Blaney McMurtry Heenan Blaikie Dale & Lessmann LLP

OCIs 7.82 7.04 7.46 7.12 7.13 7.23 7.63 7.50 6.87 6.93 6.53 6.77 6.88 7.53 6.40 7.12 6.12 7.08 5.80 6.10 6.74 6.42 7.92 5.92 2.80

Events 7.50 8.31 7.20 7.80 7.81 8.50 7.30 7.00 7.45 7.69 6.79 5.67 7.50 7.08 5.33 6.56 9.00 2.00 6.27 7.83 5.82 6.08 4.80 6.50 6.50

Overall 8.00 7.97 7.80 7.75 7.46 7.44 7.38 7.25 7.06 7.05 6.90 6.86 6.74 6.65 6.50 6.48 6.43 6.17 6.15 6.13 6.07 5.92 5.86 5.77 3.80

# Responses (Overall) 6 33 39 12 48 40 13 14 18 42 43 22 34 20 6 21 26 6 20 30 27 25 7 13 5


ultravires.ca NOVEMBER 23, 2011

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17

FEATURES

Survey of 2011 Toronto Hiring Hiring was down slilghtly overall, especially at firms with historically large cohorts Toronto

Osgoode

Western

Queens

Ottawa

Windsor

1.     Aird & Berlis

2

1

1

2

1

1

2.     Baker & McKenzie

3

3.     Bennett Jones

2

3

2

3

2

4.     Bereskin & Parr

2

1

5.     Blake, Cassels & Graydon

18

8 1 7

1

6.     Blaney McMurtry 7.     Borden Ladner Gervais

7

8.     Brauti Thorning Zibarras

1

1

1

2

2

1

1

2

1

2

2

1

4

5

2

11.  Davies Ward Phillips & Vineberg

5

3

5

2

12.  Davis LLP

1

1

13.  Department of Justice

Did not report

15.  Fasken Martineau

3

16.  Filion Wakely

2

17.  Fraser Milner Casgrain

1

3

1

4

6

2

1 1

2

4

1

3

1

1

1

1

1

20.  Goodmans

2

5

2

3

21.  Gowlings

3

3

1

3

22.  Hicks Morley

1

2 2

2 2

1

2

1

1

1

2

1

2

2

2

24.  Legal Aid Ontario

Did not report

25.  Lenczner Slaught

2

1

27.  McCarthy Tetrault

6

4

2

29.  Ministry of the Attorney General – Crown Law Office Civil

2

2

30.  Koskie Minsky LLP

1

31.  Smart & Biggar

1

4

1

2

1

1

1

4

3

23.  Heenan Blaikie

2 1

1

4

1

1 1

2

1

1

4

1

2

1

1

32.  McMillan LLP

4

2

33.  Miller Thomson

1

2

34.  Norton Rose OR

6

1

5

35.  Osler Hoskin & Harcourt

5

2

5

36.  Paliare Roland

3

1

1

19.  Gardiner Roberts

2

4

1

1

2

3

1

2

7

1

1

2

1

1

1

1

1

2 1

1

1

39.  Rueter Scargall Bennett 40.  Sheaman & Sterling LLP

Other

1 3

38.  Ridout & Maybee

Dal

3

9.     Cassels Brock

18.  Fogler Rubinoff

McGill

1 1

41.  Skadden Arps LLP

1

42.  Stikeman Elliott

4

43.  Thorsteinssons

No students hired

44.  Torkin Manes

6

1

2

2

2

2

2

1

45.  Torys

5

7

3

4

46.  WeirFoulds

4

1

1

1

47.  Wildeboer Dellelce

1

Total

96

83

2010 Total

104

99

2009 Total

100

2008 Total 2007 Total

2

3 1

1

1

1

53

47

36

27

27

18

16

403

56

44

43

43

25

15

15

444

98

42

49

30

27

19

19

24

427

85

92

42

49

34

37

23

18

26

406

88

93

43

48

42

37

19

32

33

446

2006 Total

91

86

47

42

35

34

26

25

23

407

2010 enterting class size

190

290

165

168

280

217

167

168

% of class with OCI jobs in 2011

50.53%

28.62%

32.12%

27.98%

12.86%

12.44%

16.17%

10.71%

% of class with OCI jobs in 2010

54.74%

34.14%

33.94%

26.19%

15.36%

19.82%

14.97%

8.93%

% of total OCI jobs to that school in 2011

23.82%

20.60%

13.15%

11.66%

8.93%

6.70%

6.70%

4.47%

% of total OCI jobs to that school in 2010

23.42%

22.30%

12.61%

9.91%

9.68%

9.68%

5.63%

3.38%

School population as % of total students

11.55%

17.63%

10.03%

10.21%

17.02%

13.19%

10.15%

10.21%

1645


18

NOVEMBER 23, 2011 ultravires.ca

ULTRA VIRES

FEATURES

(Happy?) Fa


ultravires.ca NOVEMBER 23, 2011

ULTRA VIRES

FEATURES

aces of OCIs

19


20

NOVEMBER 23, 2011 ultravires.ca

ULTRA VIRES

OPINION

Point / Counterpoint

Legal Ethics: Why Oh Why oh Why U of T law degenerates debate whether you should pay attention during ethics week

1

By Pete Smiley (3L)

Ls - Are you feeling ethical, now that you’ve sat through a week of droning presentations the gist of which can be boiled down to ‘talk to your superior before you do anything stupid’? I too resented my ethics week like a cat resents its Ewok Halloween costume. But now I’m entering my twilight years I can say with some certainty that legal ethics are actually very important. Here’s why. Enter “lawyers are” into google. Watch as Google helpfully autocompletes your sentence with “rats,” “scum,” or “liars”. Now try “my lawyer”. Google will autocomplete with “screwed me,” and “is suing me”. When a dispassionate search engine views your entire profession as universally despised, lying parasites, you have a problem. Your grandmother might pretend to be proud of you, but deep down even she is wishing you chose an honest line of work, like ‘tattoo artist’ or ‘energy-drink promoter’. It says something that the most prominent representatives of our profession are John Edwards and Kim Kardashian’s dad. This doesn’t particularly bother Andrew Robertson, who is used to people recoiling from him on the street and not letting him hold their babies. But I’m tired of getting spat on by women at bars when I tell them what I do. So for my sake, please take Ethics Week to heart, because you have no idea how many opportunities for unethical behaviour your future profession will af-

ford. You will be able to personally profit by lying, cutting corners, cheating, screwing your clients, defrauding your partners, and insider trading every single day of your career. Your income will buy you access to all the sex workers and illicit substances your heart desires (and not those cheap ones that Andrew Robertson uses). And you will spend all your waking life around people like him who are way more familiar with the vagaries of prostitution laws than they are with the Bar Association’s Code of Professional Ethics. The more you give into temptation, the more reason you give people to hate lawyers, and, by extension, me. But if my self-interest isn’t a good enough reason for you to care about ethics, then how about your own? Your fellow lawyers are watching you like a vulture watches a daschund giving birth, just waiting for you to slip up so they can email the details of your transgressions to Above The Law and then forward it to everyone on Bay Street. Nothing will actually happen to you (you have to show up in court in a cape sewn from the skin of your victims before they’ll disbar you in Ontario), but people will chuckle behind your back as you walk through the PATH, which is surely punishment enough. In conclusion, it’s in your interests to be an ethical lawyer, but more importantly it’s in mine. So when you find yourself tossing up whether to trade on your knowledge of your client’s impending merger so you can pay off your coke dealer, I hope that you will picture my chiseled and handsome face, guiding you down the path of right.

PHOTO COURTESY OF PETE SMILEY Pete Smiley does a little googling. We’re not happy with the resulting column

PHOTO COURTESY OF ANDREW ROBERTSON Somehow libertarian blowhard Andrew Robertson didn’t get the memo and wrote a serious article about access to justice. This will be his final column.

S

By Andrew Robertson (3L)

miley tells you that it is important for you to be ethical, and I of course would never argue otherwise. Unlike Smiley, I’m not going to tell you to behave yourself just so I can lay on my thick accent in a desperate attempt to get laid in seedy hipster bars. Instead, I’m going to tell you why our profession is currently disliked, and why the people with a hate-on for us may actually be on to something. We all remember one of the main debates during ethics week: the everpresent problem of access to justice. The upper-middle and upper classes can afford lawyers, and because of Legal Aid, the very poor can also have access to legal help; however, there is a vast swath of people in the middle who are unable to access legal services. There are a ridiculous amount of ideas on how to confront this problem, but the solution is actually incredibly easy: require the law societies to drastically increase the number of lawyers licensed. The societies currently resist this idea, their argument being that an increased number of lawyers lowers the relative quality. This is undoubtedly true, but also inconsequential. In almost every other market you can think of (piano teachers, plumbers, engineers) there are those who are better and worse at what they do – and the market compensates accordingly. Currently, the law societies seem to think that it is better to not be able to get a lawyer than to get an averagely skilled lawyer. If you’re going to get sued, would you rather get a lawyer to represent you who went to a middling law school and was an average student, or would you like to self-represent? The answer is pretty clear. The other way in which lawyers have

been ridiculously good at perpetuating our monopoly is in the area of regulations. Admittedly, in a great many areas of life, regulations are a good thing– safety regulations and consumer protection comes to mind. But it seems regulations in other areas of life have become increasingly bizarre and complicated – ever tried to deal with your municipality for the slightest matter? Miles of red tape. And who profits from this, except for lawyers, who both write, and are the only ones who can interpret the regulations? It’s the most clear cut sign of a self-perpetuating job security scheme one has ever seen. Perhaps the most bizarre example yet I’ve heard of new, lawyer-made regulations come from the so-called “War on Terror”. Increasingly, when forces wish to conduct an air strike, or carry out a raid into a village, they have to consult first with a military lawyer, who can give them the go ahead. It use to be the rules of engagement were clear; but now, in order to go to war, you have to consult with an army of lawyers before using your actual army. Think of it this way: whenever two people want to come together, in ANY relationship one can fathom, a lawyer has to get in between them. Marriage? Pre-nuptial agreement. Divorce? Lawyer will help you figure out your assets. Employment contract? Lawyers have to determine the income tax. Sell a car? Lawyers in Ontario have constructed hoops through which you can jump. Want to kill Bin Laden? Lawyers say Geronimo, Geronimo, Geronimo. So, should we be ethical? Of course we should. But it’s a little disingenuous to argue for increased ethics in our profession when we are running a nice little racket. Instead of looking at surface problems (lawyers acting badly), the legal community should really take a look at the underlying issues of why the community at large doesn’t like us.


ultravires.ca NOVEMBER 23, 2011

ULTRA VIRES

21

OPINION

Marty McKendry: Neiman Marxist Deep down, champagne socialists are just conservatives with better taste in music ByDavid Colman, Brad Wiffen and Andrew Robertson (3L)

M

arty: I have the creeping suspicion that your warning about the omnipresence of young conservatives at this law school was inspired while drinking a glass of chardonnay! It may well have been written in-between your perusing Lisgar Collegiate Institute’s Alumni Magazine, Peter Newman’s Here be Dragons, or the rousing political speeches of Nick Clegg. It may even have been interrupted by a friend’s invitation to her Whistler chalet over winter break. That’s because, if there’s one tried and true political fact at this law school, it’s that one is just as likely to find a silver-spooned NDPer as a Paul Brandt-loving conservative (If you’re a champagne socialist, you’ve probably never heard of Paul Brandt. Start with “Small Towns and Big Dreams”). Do you remember your fist time voting Liberal? Had your parents just declared that you were “damned-well going to Queens”? “Shut-up, Dad, I’m going to McGill, I’m majoring in European Film, and I’m… I’m… voting for the NDP!” you shot back. Now, you probably backtracked on that last comment in the shrouded safety of the ballot-box (but not with your Marlboro-smoking friends

at Casa del Popolo, of course), instead opting for the only other legitimate party that your parents didn’t vote for. Boy, did you have it made! You could send links deriding Stephen Harper at the same time as you shared music on Pitchfork, AND you could rebel against your parents at the same time as you voted for a party that stood for the same things as the Conservatives! You were a Neiman Marxist! I guess that’s why I feel so betrayed, Marty. I never saw it coming. After all, we seem to agree on all the same things. And I’ve never even met your parents! But let’s put that behind us. We’ve got to look to the future if we’re going to make things work. And the immediate future looks, well, conservative. We’ve got one opposition party running a leadership race, the top contender of which quotes the Communist Manifesto in the Globe and Mail, and another opposition party whose saviour is Justin Trudeau! Conservatism reigns across this great nation, and it reigns in your heart. So take the plunge, and join the U of T Law Conservatives. You already come to all of our events and ask critical but respectful questions; now it’s time to put your name on the mailing list - merely email us at utlawconservatives@gmail. com or write us a quick note on your family’s gold-embossed stationary. We’ll even treat you to a lunch at Cana-

Scanned Photo Curtesy of Patrick Hartford Dave Didiodato’s (1L) Halloween costume invited law students to scrawl their greating fears on her person. Who knew there were so many ways to express the fear of being poor.

da’s oldest private club, the Albany Club. The membership may be conservative, but the feeling of old money and privilege will be familiar to you. You see, we’re generous too - but with our own money, not someone else’s. Perhaps it comes from the fact that - contrary to the statement in your article - most young conservatives do not come from money; but we do know the value of working hard to make it. Everyone else: Gone are the days when

On

the

you had to quell your inner love of free markets to fit in with the cool crowd. You are now free to admit that you never really bought into the Green Shift. We’ll continue to deliver senior cabinet ministers and gourmet pizza at all our events; all you have to do is show up. Sincerely, The U of T Law Conservatives Executive

Other Hand

Staying true to that thing you said in your personal statement

M

By Camille Labchuk (3L)

ost of us will never forget our first real taste of law school: Orientation Week. I wasn’t quite sure what to expect when I showed up to O-Week 2009, but I was pretty sure of two things. One, that there would be a lot of praise for the brilliance of the incoming class, with the Faculty reassuring us that each of us had made the best possible choice for the future – not only for our own futures, but for the future of our communities, our countries, our planet, and so on. Our law degrees would allow us to have meaningful careers and we would each leave our mark. This expectation was met. My second prediction was that U of T’s corporate-focused reputation would be validated. I thought most of my classmates would express a strong interest in Bay Street, business law, and big bucks. As someone whose interests lay decidedly in the realm of public interest, I was expecting to find myself in the minority. To my surprise, most of the people I met during O-Week professed to have come to law school out of an interest in human rights, public policy, poverty, refugees, civil rights, the environment, or some other public interest-type reason. I was surprised, and impressed, by the variety of interests and past experiences of our incoming class. By the end of the week, I felt that perhaps my public interest leanings wouldn’t make me an outsider, after all. Fast forward to 2L, and the landscape was different. Most of the students who said their interest in the law was prompted by a desire to work for the greater good went through OCIs, and many of them landed sweet jobs at downtown law firms. Every year, it’s the same – so many of those who dream of practicing public interest law find themselves seduced by the many charms of working at a law firm. Before going any further, I want to make it clear that I don’t consider working on Bay Street to be morally insupportable or “selling out”. That said, working in this environment means working to advance the interests of individuals

and corporations whose pockets are deep enough to pay the legal fees. It means giving up one’s evenings and weekends in pursuit of clients’ goals and firm profits, leaving young lawyers with less time to spend advancing the issues they care about. It’s a long way from working in the public interest, and let’s not pretend that pro bono work makes up the gap. The factors that lead students down this path are well understood. We want to pay off the overwhelming debt load that many of us have accumulated to get to this point. We’re risk adverse, and unwilling to forgo OCIs and take our chances on finding a law job later in the year. We desire the prestige of working at a top law firm. And underlying all of this is the idea that we can get out at any time, and start pursuing our public interest dreams. But if you came to law school because you care about the problems that plague our world, then why settle for a career that is something less than this? Why settle for a job that pays well, but isn’t fulfilling in the same way? Yes, it’s more work. There’s no easy, OCI-like consolidated process for public interest positions. Yes, there’s more uncertainty. Most public interest jobs aren’t posted until second semester, and it can be stressful listening to classmates discuss their law firm positions while you’re still looking. But there’s nothing more satisfying than acting out of concern for those individuals and groups who face daily challenges and marginalization. The Faculty recognizes that many of us decide on law school out of a desire to effect positive change, and happily reassures us during O-Week that our law degrees will be an invaluable tool in this regard. Yet many students soon find this purpose overshadowed by the intense focus on OCIs and firm jobs. There is comparatively little attention and effort devoted to how students can use their degrees in the public interest capacity. If the Faculty wants to live up to its OWeek rhetoric, then maybe it’s time to provide more support to students who chose law school because they want to do public interest work.


22

NOVEMBER 23, 2011 ultravires.ca

ULTRA VIRES

OPINION

Ensure Ultra Vires is Relective of the School Community it Serves This important institution is in danger of becoming a vanity project for its male editors

W

By Atrisha Lewis (3L)

omen are underrepresented in senior level positions and still have yet to achieve pay equality with male counterparts. The newest battle women face is equal representation in UV. Last issue of UV featured only one picture of a female student and she was part of the Grand Moot Special. On the other hand, the issue featured twelve pictures of male students. Only 6 of the 30 articles were written or co-written by women. The most egregious incident in the last issue was that only the male fashion columnist was asked to be photographed for the paper and his picture was included in the female fashion column. Admittedly, I was the writer of the female fashion column. That is aside the point. I am worried that UV is becoming the personal PR machine of the male students in our faculty. In my attempt to circumvent this trend, I have decided to write this article as an ode to women in our Faculty. They do a lot of noteworthy things. For instance, our women’s intramural basketball team gets slaughtered every week by 18-year-old undergrads, but we still return valiantly on a weekly basis to play. The Women and the Law club hosts several amazing events for students ranging from a fireside chat with an SJD student to a panel on the retention of women in private practice. Akosua Matthews (2L) prepared a Charter Challenge trial for DLS and the judge told her that her factum was better than most facta written by real lawyers. Camille Labchuk (3L) was one of the keynote speakers at an Ontario Bar As-

sociation event on Animal Law. Last month, Meghan Lindo (2L) and Morgan Sim (3L) helped the Equality Effect raise nearly $9,000 to help fund constitutional test case litigation in Kenya. The fundraising efforts were specifically directed at securing justice and protection for girls who were raped. Maya Ollek (1L), Kiran Arora (1L), Stefania Zilinskas (3L), and Morgan Sim (3L), members of the Feminist Law Students Association, are working with student parents and the SLS to persuade the Law Faculty to produce an official accommodation policy for students who are or who become parents. Martine Garland (2L) made it all the way to last year’s hockey finals with the semi-professional Toronto Furies team while attending law school full time. Last year, Melissa Royle (3L) was identified as a future leader of Newfoundland, and received government sponsorship to travel to Labrador to study the Upper Churchill hydroelectric project and local legal, political, and Aboriginal issues. Renatta Austin (3L) expanded the scope of the event See Yourself Here to include all underrepresented minorities. The See Yourself Here event is designed to encourage prospective students from equity-seeking groups to apply to law school, and under Renatta’s leadership, the event had the highest turnout in recent memory. This is only a small sample of the amazing things that the women at our school have accomplished. I hope that this article triggers some systemic changes to UV. I want UV to make a concerted effort to include more female content by proactively seeking out female writers. While I criticize UV for being the personal PR machine of men, I also think there is a reciprocal duty on female law

students. Female students should be actively pitching news stories to the editors of UV and accepting requests to write articles. We cannot stand aside and let media such as UV shut us out. If the men in our law school will use UV for their own self-promotion, so should we. The social science phenomenon of how women are less likely to self-promote or celebrate their achievements is documented in many articles, including a recent Globe and Mail article. I think this phenomenon exists at our law school. I received very few responses from women when I solicited accomplishments through my Facebook status updates or through an e-mail to the Women and the Law listserv. I was able to accumulate my list only through cornering people at the library. This is unfortunate because the response rate is inconsistent with the very impressive things done by the women at our school. After I started asking for referrals and abandoned soliciting for personal achievements, I received an impressive list of accomplishments. I want to see more pictures of women, more articles written by women, and more content featuring women. Hopefully, this marks a turning point for our school year. I’d like to thank UV for listening and I’d like to urge the editors to follow up on this issue. I have no doubt that female law students will also step up. I am also willing to heed my own advice and I will make a concerted effort to write an article for each subsequent issue of UV. If you have any article ideas, please send them my way at atrisha.lewis@utoronto.ca. PHOTO by CAREY FERGUSON Stefanija Zilinskaite (bottom left), Meghan Lindo (bottom middle), Morgan Sim (bottom right), Akosua May Matthews (middle), Atrisha Lewis (top). All women who have accomplished great things in the field of law and deserve recognition.


ultravires.ca NOVEMBER 23, 2011

ULTRA VIRES

23

DIVERSIONS

U of T Law Fashion Crimes

Our school’s most brutal fashion offenders (Yes, Matt Brown is in here)

W

By Za Fazon Policia (2L)

e have noticed that law students typically find themselves falling into a number of fashion categories. If this isn’t one of you: kudos, you weren’t interesting enough for us to categorize. 1: The Ultra-Hipster Only a few law students in this category. They are identifiable by their awkward clothing and mixture of styles. Some of these factors, though not dispositive, form a contextual matrix on which to determine Ultra-Hipster status: hammer pants that went out of style before they were ever in style, a t shirt that looks like something a value village pirate would wear and an asymmetrical haircut. Example: 3L Robert Kitz 2: The Quasi-Hipster These people adopt one or more of the hipster contextual factors without reaching status of full blown hipsteritis. A good number of law students are fitting in to this category. Some hipster factors include:  the black-framed glasses that are thicker than their jeans  the haircut -- it will usually look either asymmetrical or like rapping justin bieber’s haircut.  the vee-neck and toms

 the skinny jeans  year round participation in Movember -- here’s a hint: it’s called Movember because you do it for one month. Please start practicing proper hygiene. 3: The Bay Street Boardroom Hopeful These individuals wear dress shirts, slacks, dress shoes and/or suits to school. They typically are clean shaven. They are always trying too hard. There is a tendency to find correlation between members of this category and members of the Conservative Party Club. You can dress the part when you actually have to follow a Bay Street dress code. Until then, tone down the “trying too hard factor”. Bay Street can smell your desperation. Caveat: they could be working for DLS, in which case, you are not only exempt, you are commended for your actual humanity, a quality lacking in many of us. 4: Board Game Club Look This is usually pretty self-explanatory. They clearly did not read our debut column, in which polo shirts were declared OUT. Just being nerdy doesn’t count anymore, because everyone in law school is a nerd and nerds are in. This look is more aptly known as aggressively unfashionable. If you look like your mom would be incredibly proud of this look for your Grade 6 school photo, you are doing it right (aka doing it wrong).

5: The Always Somehow On the Way To or Back From the Gym These healthy individuals will typically be sporting basketball shorts, a second bag, and a slick sheen of sweat. They usually wear t-shirts, or that weird sweater + shorts combo that’s in when it gets cold. Look for them to either be wearing well used running shoes, or carrying them around conspicuously so everyone knows how health conscious they are. Examples: Colin Cameron-Vendrig and Cary Ferguson. (We’re secretly jealous of your dedication to fitness). 6: Exam Season This will surely be a popular look in the coming weeks as students start to realize that our entire future lives are based on a few short hours of exam and/or paper writing. This look is characterized by sweatpants, no make up (guys, we notice when you stop wearing your bronzer), a lack of shaving, coffee stains, and streaks of dried tears. We sympathize and we will be joining you in your shame. The smell of stress lies thickly upon this group also known as sacrificing personal hygiene for extra 15 minutes with that treatise. 7: Matt Brown update Still looks like a strung out junkie justin Bieber, just with at slightly more OCI-inspired haircut. Yes, it’s pretty damn depressing. Dear Dr. Valencia, If the recruiting lawyer snuck out and left money on the dresser the next morning, is that taxable as a signing bonus? - Ashley Extra-Mile

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SAME LAW, DIFFERENT FIRM. Love your job at one of the most dynamic legal practices in Canada. Contact our Assistant Director of Student Programs, Leigh-Ann McGowan, at lamcgowan@casselsbrock.com or visit us at students.casselsbrock.com

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Please PRINT a hard copy of the file and either FAX it or SCAN and EMAIL it back to

Dear Ashley, I should start by mentioning that I am not a lawyer, and this is not legal advice. Unless you were left a really significant amount of money, don’t deposit it and don’t mention it. If it is discovered you may find yourself in a bad place. Obviously if you don’t work for that firm it most certainly couldn’t be considered a signing bonus, as you never signed. The only way trouble will come about is if it is assessed as income from a business by the Minister in an audit. If there is no paper trail you should be fine. There is nothing more damaging to your reputation than having a public official call you a whore on the record. In No. 275 v. MNR (1955) the court described the taxpayer who was claiming that her income from prostitution was non-taxable, as “sordid and contemptible”. Obviously I find your actions savvy and commendable, and I’d hate for you to face the same verbal beat-down as Ms. 275, especially since you will no longer have the luxury of a number assigned to cover your name. Spend that money ASAP. I would recommend doing something completely frivolous with it. Go buy yourself a ridiculous hat and go to the horse track to blow that cash on mint juleps and trifectas. Buy yourself a new handbag or an eight-ball of blow for all I care. Just don’t deposit it. - Dr. Valencia

Ask Doctor 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. If you are looking for relationship advice, please write Dr. Valencia at ultra.vires@utoronto.ca Dear Dr. Valencia, Before law school started, I had a great relationship with my girlfriend.  Now that I’m in 1L, however, she complains that all I talk about is case law & law reform, and that I’ve lost my capacity for normal human interaction.  So my question is, where can I find a new girlfriend? - Totally well-adjusted 1L Dear Totally well-adjusted 1L, Be a good man and cut that poor girl loose immediately. There is nothing worse than having to talk with some jerkoff and all they want to do is huff and puff about case law. God that is like talking to republicans brutal! Being stuck dealing with social ineptitude, thinly-veiled by a crappy attempt at pretending to be genius is simply unbearable. In fact if you ever see the good Doctor out and about, I will kill myself immediately upon hearing the words “law reform” mentioned. I hope you never find a girlfriend that is capable of carrying on a meaningful discussion with you, because I fear for the cocktail party that must deal with whatever you may spawn. Thus I recommend you go the opposite route and find a girlfriend that is too devoid of cognizance to realize you are speaking English. I’m thinking you’ll be able to find this person in a faculty meeting, possibly on the Admin Law roster. Or at one of the Occupy protests in Canada. After reading the last edition of Ultra Vires, any one of the editorial staff will also suffice. Actually, upon further review, I’m going to refer you to a colleague of mine, Dr. Kevorkian. - Dr. Valencia


24

NOVEMBER 23, 2011 ultravires.ca

ULTRA VIRES

DIVERSIONS

A Glorious Ode to Glories of the Great Bora Laskin Library I

By Lance Roamnce (2L)

n coming years, the law school will undergo a massive physical transformation. The familiar hallways and classrooms we have all come to know and grudgingly inhabit will be no more. In its place will stand a modernist triumph that - unlike literally every other building constructed in the last ten years - will be a large asymmetrical box of glass and steel.  At such a time, it seemed appropriate for UV to pen a belated appreciation of our building, and in particular, our library. We admit - it’s ugly at first glance. But nothing breeds beauty like familiarity.  An Ode to Bora Laskin Library Bora Laskin Library! You offer great art and truth for those who have the eyes to see it. Our muses are not the ordinary - pseudophedrine in place of opium, stress not love. Alcohol still there, though. In the southeast corner, a table stands inches higher than the rest - a monument to hubris. Each year, enticed by the notion of a taller, better table, some sit here. Their mistake is quickly revealed as awkward elbows try to rest, to type, and find only frustration. 

a purpose: the library is trying to break down the emotional distance between us. But the library cannot understand love, and so it’s attempts are clumsy and crude, like the child of a failing marriage forcing father’s hand to mothers.  The windows, mirrored to the outside world, reveal an ever changing panoply of candid moments, speaking volumes about both watched and watcher. In spring, middle aged bureacrats sneak away together behind bushes to trade tender kisses - they could be young lovers, were it not for their obvious age and office bodies. In summer, beyond the view of the streets, a young bro sells weed to an old, boring man. They sit together and lay in the grass, rolling joints across the generations. Some of these things could be accidents, though this is not what I believe. Some of you may not want to believe that this library brims with intentionality, with art, with provocation. But there is at least one aspect of this library that cannot be explained any other way. It is simply too ridiculous, too obvious an error, for it to have been anything other than a conscious, deliberate statement.  The first floor bathrooms have walls made of paper, and everyone can hear everything you do in there. Why, Bora? Because some of us get A’s, and some of us get C’s, but we all make the same sound when we pee.

We walk between the stacks: large enough for two people to pass - but only just. Never large enough that they can pass without incidental, innocent physical contact. It has

Heather Burnett Eats a Pie

Cary Ferguson found Heather finishing an entire pie. What an accomplishment!


Use your smartphone’s camera and the free ScanLife app to scan the barcode. You can get the free ScanLife app at www.2dscan.com. TORONTO • NEW YORK • CALGARY


26

ULTRA VIRES

NOVEMBER 23, 2011 ultravires.ca

DIVERSIONS

The LPPE Talk 2Ls talk about their first times doing “it”

Y

By Carey Ferguson (2L)

ou're getting to the time in your life when you're going to start having questions about your LPPE exam. Your first

time. It counts. You probably have a lot of strong feelings going on right now. You don't know what to do. That's why you're getting the se... er, LPPE talk. You might be a little bit apprehensive at first nervous even. You might panic. Don't worry. It's a rite of passage that everyone goes through. Don't be ashamed if you're older and self-conscious - it will all come to you. It's important that you're well-rested. When you start, take a few deep breaths. Try to forget the fact that you're going to be judged against every other person in your class. Ignore the noise that everyone is making around you. Make sure you use protection - you know, earplugs. There might be screams. There will definitely be grunting. You may have practised by yourself, but it's just not the same. Even if you've experimented with someone else, you need to have a game plan - a solid outline of where you're going. Work your way into it. Don't rush. You want to pace yourself. It will take two hours. This might seem like a long time at first; in reality it's over before you know it. Probably sooner than you want. Hopefully you'll be with someone you know, but there could be strangers next to you. It will be painful, but don't let your mind wander. You have to focus on getting through the task at hand. Don't even think of trying to please anybody. This is all about you getting what you want. At the same time, be prepared to settle not everyone can be above average. Remember: It's not how big an issue you spot; it's how deep you go. It's knowing how to use what you've got to hit all the hot spots hard. If you get confused, just go with what feels right. Trust your instincts. Bang it out and never look back. It's OK to cry, but try to wait until the end. It's distracting, awkward, and disheartening if you cry in the middle. There's always someone who's really into it, going at it really loud with an intense, flushed look of ecstatic passion on his face. Sit far, far away from that person. It's probably just an act, anyway. Keep in mind that what you see in the movies is not always an accurate representation of reality. When you're finished, quietly put on your coat and leave - but remember to clean up your mess first. It's natural to feel relief. Later you might feel dirty or cheap, like it didn't mean anything. You might want to smoke afterwards. But whatever you do, don't talk to others about how it went... you'll just end up thinking that you did something wrong.

I

By Lawrence Krazinski (2L)

started slow, thinking I had all the time in the world. But after just a few short minutes I found that the end was coming up faster than I had anticipated. As a result of this hurried race to the finish, I tried to do as many things as I possibly could to impress. The result, though, was not a fluid transition from one position (P said...) to another (D said...), but instead came off as if I had no idea about any of the positions involved. As the end neared, I became well aware of the high level of anxiety that surrounded me. The guy beside me was breathing heavily and the girl behind me was going at a furious rate. I was impressed because I was at a loss for what one could expect to do as the end approached. After it was over I felt humiliation. Everyone was talking about how badly they did, but I know they were just trying to make me feel better. I had no flow! No natural instinct! In short, no success. The worst is now I know that as my performance is evaluated, my shortcomings will become even more apparent. They will talk about my evident panic, my inabilities, my inadequacies! The first time is the worst. I am so glad I never have to do that again. By Jacob Bee (2L)

M

y first time was interesting. I was anxious, but felt prepared. I had drilled and drilled and drilled for this, often on my own, once experimenting alongside Luke. Itn’t like my dad always told me practice makes perfect. So there I was when it all started, a bit worried, but mostly ready to go. The first three quarters of it felt great. I took it slow and smooth at the beginning, but I built up a solid pace and soon I was hammering away furiously. It felt so good to be deep inside the question, exploring the crevices of the exam in ways I had never imagined possible, and feeling my way through the nooks and crannies in ways that I was sure nobody else had ever done before. I finished right on time, neither too soon to feel inadequate, nor too long to feel like I had overdone it. I was breathing heavily as I approached the last quarter, a heavy sweat on my brow. But it was here that my first time went from magical to horrible. I hadn’t expected or prepared properly for what LPPE now asked me to do. It demanded things that I had never done before, and asked me to enter theoretical places that I had never even imagined entering. Weird places, uncomfortable places. Places that required more time, patience, and mental lubrication than I had readily available. I wanted to stop, wanted to go back to the other part I was happy with, but the test was insatiable. I tried, by God, I tried to please, but in the end, I just felt dirty, unclean. I went home and showered. I cried in the shower. The stench wouldn’t come off.

PHOTO COURTESY of FREE-EXTRAS

By Gilligan Lucas (2L)

A

ll I can say is that my first time involved Bobby’s hand bleeding. You figure it out from there.


ultravires.ca NOVEMBER 23, 2011

ULTRA VIRES

27

A VERY SPECIAL MESSAGE FROM AARON RANKIN

Where Does All the Money Go? T

dues. To that story, we devote the majority of this column. This year, however, there is a second big story. The SLS has accrued a large surplus in recent years, as explained by last year’s SLS executives in these pages (an archived version is on the UV website). Since these surpluses result from the structural mismatch between funds nominally allocated at year’s start and funds actually pent by year’s end (for reasons of accountability, we have an ex anteapproved and ex post facto-reimbursed model for funding clubs), we expect they will continue. We believe that asking you directly, via referendum, how to allocate surplus funds is the best way to proceed with them. So, the second part of this article is a brief request for your suggestions about allocating this surplus, and any future surpluses. 1. Annual Operating Revenue (A) Clubs Funding Last November, the SLS passed a bylaw that requires the SLS’s Affairs branch to publish an annual budget (see the figure published with this article). The rationale was twofold: (i) to increase the transparency of the SLS’ programming and financial decision-making, and (ii) to improve our accountability to the entire J.D. student community. Two external but important bulwarks of transparency and accountability are (i) the itemization of SLS fees on ROSI and (ii) the annual, external audit of the SLS, conducted in accordance with the policy of the U of T Office of the Vice-Provost. The lion’s share of the SLS’s spending decisions involve clubs funding. Accordingly, the SLS takes great care in its clubs funding application and approval process. At the application stage, each club must detail its expenses and revenues for the coming year. Clubs provide a breakdown of anticipated events and associated costs, and explain which expenses would require SLS funding and which will be defrayed via external funding. At the application review stage, the SLS considers specific expenditures (e.g., lunches, speaker gifts &c.) individually, which is why we require an itemized list of expenses. To avoid arbitrariness and achieve fairness in the funding process, the SLS adheres to a schedule of maximum allowable sums in relation to particular expenses. Clubs are, however, invited to make requests for amounts outside the schedule, and to support such

requests by explaining the expense’s necessity, what alternatives were considered, and the reason(s) the club can offer why the expense should be covered by the SLS. The upshot of these policies is to maximize the amount of information available to the SLS as it makes funding decisions. We believe that this information-rich process allows us to balance two desirable goals of a clubs funding programme. On the one hand, there are clear advantages to decentralizing programming decisions — after all, clubs spring up in relation to causes that inspire their passionate volunteer leaders to create them, and their members to join them, in the first place. Centralized programming could never be as responsive and flexible. On the other hand, we must attend to accountability and welfare-maximization concerns — students have a legitimate expectation that their dues will be allocated by their elected representatives, with a preference for funding programs that benefit (at least potentially, in the sense of being open to) large numbers of students. For the curious, the SLS’s funding policies 2011-12 are as follows: A maximum of $150 was allocated per lunch/meal, with an annual maximum of $300 for lunch/meal events per club.  Lunch/meals were not provided for purely student-run events (events without outside speakers). A maximum of $60 was allocated per non-meal catered event, with an annual maximum of $240 for non-meal catered events per club. A maximum of $20 was provided per speaker gift. The SLS does not subsidize gifts that are alcoholic in nature. A maximum of $5 per movie rental.$15 for movie snacks. Clubs were entitled to up to $10 for their Clubs Fair tabling costs. Up to $5 per event was provided for printing costs. The SLS does not provide funding for: food at internal meetings, paid student positions, year-end parties, student travel costs, or for professional coaches/ paid speakers. In addition, alcohol is never subsidized by the SLS. This year, 36 clubs applied for SLS funding. The total amount of funding that was requested was $20,342.58. The total amount of funding that was granted was $13,905.08. The SLS applied its policies (as detailed above) to “standard” requests. The entire Affairs branch discussed requests that fell outside the scope of standard SLS policy. Each club’s application was considered, with an emphasis on factors such as: the necessity of the requested item to the club’s mandate, the number of students that would benefit from the expense, and any possible more cost-effective alternatives. A decision was reached in each case

Revenues: Fees

$54,685.00 $54,685.00

Expenses Audit Charges

$4,400.00

Banking Charges

$150.00

SurveyMonkey Account

$200.00

Bouncy Castle for Dean’s BBQ

$450.00

Website Hosting Fees

$240.00

Gifts for Dean

$60.00

Mewett Teach Award and John Willis Award for Spirit trophies for convocation, as well as inscribing the SLS Partnership Award

$300.00

(B) SLS Public Interest Fellowship

Globe & Mail

$275.00

Club Funding

$18,805.00

In 2006, a referendum question passed that established an SLS Public Interest Fellowship fee, amounting to a per-student tariff of $15 per semester. Proceeds from this fee amount to $18,000, and are used to fund Fellowships for which any first- or second-year U of T Law student can apply (via the procedure outlined on the law school’s website [CDO > Public Interest Fellowship]). This year, the SLS is adopting the harmonized application and offer schedule of the school’s other fellowships. We are, in addition, reviewing the selection criteria and procedure of the Fellowship to ensure they reflect the best practices of the school’s other Fellowships.

Aboriginal Law Club

$515.00

Artists’ Legal Advice Services

$345.00

Aboriginal Law Students Association

$710.00

Business Law Society

$635.00

Canadian Lawyers Abroad

$480.00

Classical Music Club

$0.00

Chinese Law Society

$175.00

East Asian Law Students’ Association

$350.00

Environmental Law Club

$495.00

Feminist Law Students Association

$330.00

Golf Club

$0.00

Health Law Club

$535.00

In Vino Veritas

$270.00

International Law Society

$285.00

Intramurals

$1,502.58

JD/MBA

$440.00

Jewish Law Society

$395.00

Law Conservatives

$500.00

Law Follies

$100.00

Law Games

$0.00

Law & Politics Club

$460.00

Let’s Play Board Games!

$115.00

Litigation Association

$570.00

Muslim Law Students Association

$200.00

2. Referendum on surplus allocation

Out in Law

$250.00

Peer Mentorship Program

$477.50

The SLS is very interested in hearing how you think we should allocate the surplus that has accrued in recent years. We expect to hold a referendum in March, at the same time as the Spring SLS elections. One idea is be to create an endowment, the proceeds of which could be used either to increase the amount of money available annually for clubs funding, and/or to fund individual applications for conference-related travel and expenses (which are currently not funded). What do you think of this idea? How do you think the money should be spent? Please email your ideas to sls.law@utoronto.ca.

Running Club

$260.00

Sports & Entertainment Law Society

$495.00

SPINLaw

$510.00

Student Animal Legal Defense Fund

$125.00

Tax Law Society

$495.00

TIP

$695.00

Typographical Society

$175.00

Women and the Law

$540.00

Venture Law Group

$475.00

Reserve for Second Semester Funding

$4,899.92

Coffee Houses

$450.00

Goodwill Events

$175.00

Law Ball

$4,000.00

Office Supplies

$400.00

Osgoode Sports Event

$500.00

Public Interest Advocacy Summer Employment Program

$19,155.00

Reserve for O-Week

$5,125.00

Student Law Society President Aaron Rankin proposes a referendum on how to spend the considerable surplus here is normally one big moneyrelated SLS story each year: how the SLS’s Affairs branch allocates and spends your annual

SLS Budget, 2011 - 2012

via a vote of the Affairs branch.

$54,685.00


ultravires.ca NOVEMBER 23, 2011

ULTRA VIRES

28

DIVERSIONS

UV Eats out: Everyone’s Favourite Regret New Sky By Drew Valentine (2L)

W

ho wants late night Chinese? I know, nobody does until it is 12:37 AM and you’re bombed. Well if you’re cruising the Spadina strip, don’t be afraid of New Sky at 353. I rolled in with a crew of 8 around midnight and we were seated immediately- a great sign. Unfortunately for us, the famed waiter Jimmy wasn’t there, but Paul was an admirable fill in. Upon arrival he informed us that we had to pay for the food. Needless to say this blew our mind. We arrived early enough not to need cold tea, so we went with Tsingtao, one of the world’s premier regrets. We were seated at the front of the joint at a round table with a large Lazy-Susan which made wanton soup for 8 a dream. The soup was good, but the General Tao’s really won the battle. The lemon chicken got mixed reviews, with large ambivalence towards the battered, fried then sliced chicken breast approach. The crispy ginger beef was solid, as was the BBQ Pork. The Szechuan noodles were thick with sauce but good. As noted above the service left a bit to be desired. At one point a certain member of our party began making demands and

PHOTO COURTESY of BLOGTO New Sky Restaurant. A fine dining establishment in Chinatown. The are so clean they wash their dishes each time a customer uses one!

sought clarifications, that to many of us spelled disastrous additions to our cuisine, but in fact resulted in speedier service. The tunes New Sky had bumping were pretty sweet…and by sweet I mean

L S

terrible; the Eagles and Eddie Money (sorry Banff crew) don’t go well with shrimp fried rice. But the joint was clean, which is a huge plus for late night grub. All in all, New Sky was solid. The Food

was good and the environment was better than some of the dives I’ve been in late night. Again the service was suspect, but maybe if Jimmy was there it would be a different experience. I’m giving New Sky 2.5 Jim Beam shots out of 4.


UV November 2011