Sunday, January 30, 2005

Congrats to Prof Flanagan, our NEW DEAN

Saturday, January 29, 2005

Dating & Relationships

About a year ago, I attended a sample session of a course offered by Bar/Bri called an Introduction to Law School. Our salesman/ lecturer asked us, "how many of you are in a serious relationship?" More than half of us raised our hands. Then he asked, "and how many of you expect to maintain that relationship by the end of law school?" Of course, the same hands went up. "Well, I'm here to tell you that it will be a struggle." Yikes.

He was right. Within the present student body of Queen's law, there are more than a few broken hearts. One 10+ year relationship ended badly. An engaged couple split up. In fact, friend of mine just broke up with his long-time girlfriend. I imagine each break-up has its own story but I can't imagine that the combination of becoming lawyers (i.e. changing) and long hours help.

The only consolation might be that the singles seem to have fun. I've heard that the single women have a list ranking the men from the #1 Gent all the way down (I have no idea what criteria they use). Last year they organized a law school version of "Matchmaker" (although this year it was cancelled). And there are plenty of mixers/ parties for potentials to socialize.

Personally, I like the idea of having a partner outside of law. My fiancée and I maintain our relationship through constant communication and honesty. For all the other couples out there: do what you gotta do.

PS. That Bar/Bri guy ended his talk by telling us about a student he once knew. The guy started law school engaged to his fiancee but after 6 months she gave him an ultimatum: "the library or me." So, he dropped out of law school and they got married. I can't say if the story is fact or fiction (the guy was dubious at best) but I have to wonder if he married a woman who had his happiness at heart.

Friday, January 28, 2005

I couldn't resist:


and go to because law school made laura do this.

DivineAngst is Intentional Infliction of Emotional Distress. hehe

Thursday, January 27, 2005


Innocent man can sue his lawyer

A Hamilton man sent to prison for a sexual assault he didn't commit has won permission to proceed with a lawsuit against his former defence lawyer.
Caveat venditor

I can’t feel my fingers

I distinctly recall that weather forecasters stated last week it was going to get warmer. In fact, they said that it was supposed to get above freezing. I know, weather forecasters aren’t known for their reliability. But this week, it would have been nice.

It is indisputable: Kingston is bloody cold. The local radio “personality” reported that, with wild chill, it was -32 degrees Celsius this morning. I may just sleep in the law school tonight – I don’t want to risk meeting a Polar Bear on my way home. ;)

Wednesday, January 26, 2005

News: LLB/JD from Osgoode & NYU

Osgoode Hall has brokered a deal with NYU to offer a joint LLB/JD degree for students of either school. Wow. So if you spend 2 years in Toronto and 2 years in New York you come out with a golden piece of paper (NYU's colours are purple and gold).

For any Canadian thinking they might go south to practice law, this could be a major enticement to go to Osgoode. A friend in New York who's at Fordham Law School (ranked #3 within the Greater New York area) really wanted to go to NYU but he couldn't get in. Nationally, NYU is in the top 5. In fact, I wonder if this announcement might entice American students to choose Osgoode. It's probably the cheapest way to get a degree from NYU!

In fact, for anyone interested in working abroad might find this new offer attractive. A friend with experience working in Germany points out that an "LLB" translates as a "Bachelor of Law" degree, while a "JD" becomes a "Doctor of Law." Which do you think garners more respect?

BTW, since 2001, Windsor has offered a similar degree with the University of Detroit Mercy. But really, is there any comparison? ;)

Tuesday, January 25, 2005

To Read or To Burn

The first week back to class, I actually went to the gym 3 times. Unfortunately, I can't say the same for any subsequent weeks. I'm not breaking any New Year's resolution (I gave those up with Santa) but I still feel guilty. I should have enough time to get all my reading done and to burn some fat. Right?

Maybe I need to work on my time management skills. I've using Mac's "Stickies" program, and I find it's quite helpful. One step to becoming more organized. The trick is not to spend all your time organizing your life and then, consequently, not get anything done. I wonder if it would help if I created a Sticky that tells me to go work out.

A local gym (Goodlife) has a deal for students and I know some girls in the law school who are putting their money down. It's true: Queen's gym is lousy. But Goodlife is not for me. If I don't have the time to work out next door, then I'm certainly not going to find time for the trek to some fancy gym.

BTW, thanks for the insight into "Smoker", etc. Comments are always appreciated. :)

Thursday, January 20, 2005

Queen's lingo

Here's some campus jargon:

- a party organized for law students (smoking allowed outdoors)

- a party organized for law/ med/ MBA students to, you guessed it, mix

- a chance for alumni to visit the school and reminiss over pancakes & beer

[Can you see a trend?]

The Ghetto
- neighbourhood north of the university full of students (and the best parties)

- like a Smoker, but with a keg

The Hub
- an intersection of Kingston famous for bars, clubs and parties

[Non-party related:]

The Dungeoun
- the windowless basement of the school

The Lounge
- a common room with comfy chairs, couches, kitchenette and a seldom-used foosball table

Soit, Droit, Fait
- the school's French motto: "let the law be made" (or, "let right be done"); coined by Stuart Ryan

- an oral competition where students pretend to be trial lawyers

I'm sure I'm missing some, but that's off the top of my head.

Monday, January 17, 2005

Housing in Kingston

On Friday I was part of a panel giving information about housing & tenancy issues to undergraduate students. As a volunteer with Queen's Legal Aid, I suppose I have a smidgen of expertise in landlord/ tenant disputes. Here are a few points I'd like to pass along:

** Kingston has a glut of vacancies. It is a renters market and don't let any landlord tell you otherwise. Due to this fact, combined with provincial limitations regulating rent increases, potential renters are in a good position to ask for things like "one month free rent please" or "utilities are included, right?" These work much better than rent reductions because landlords keeping hoping for the market to tighten up and if they lower rents now it will be harder to raise then again once their hopes are realized.

** It is against Ontario statute to disallow pets. So, if you have a cat and love an apartment that says "no pets," don't fret. Get the place. The province will fight for your furry friend.

** Rents and utility costs vary greatly. One panelist is paying $845 for a 1BD apartment downtown while another (me) is paying $300 for a room in a house (I have 4 housemates).

(It feels way too early to be thinking about this!)

Thursday, January 13, 2005

Canadian Law School Blog

Setu's added a new post to his blog. He doesn't post often, but when he sits down to write, it's worth reading.

Check it out.

Reply from Time Magazine

You have to read this (a response to my letter):
Dear Reader:

We regret your disappointment over the selection of President Bush as TIME's Person of the Year. But perhaps we should remind you of the traditional standard by which the editors make their annual choice. The Person of the Year is not an award or a tribute. The question at the center of the selection process is, Who or what, for better or worse, has affected the way we live today? The answer to that question could be a force for good (for example, Winston Churchill, Man of the Year, 1940; Dwight Eisenhower, 1944) or for evil (Adolf Hitler, Man of the Year, 1939; Ayatullah Khomeini, 1979). And to the latter, President George W. Bush must be added for 2004 -- there is no one else whose agenda and actions in the past year had such universal impact. As managing editor Jim Kelly noted in his Letter From the Editor, Bush has had his highs and lows over the past four years, but in the end he prevailed in the 2004 election by "persuading a majority of voters this time around that he deserved to be in the White House for another four years."

Thank you for writing. We appreciated having the opportunity to respond to your concerns.

Best wishes.

TIME Letters
OK - did you catch it? Did you get the comparison between George W. Bush and Adolf Hitler? Am I just imagining it?!?! Here is the key excerpt:
And to the latter, President George W. Bush must be added for 2004
To the latter category? So, they mean the category with Hitler & Khomeini? So TIME MAGAZINE IS CALLING BUSH A FORCE OF EVIL? Woah! Please correct me if I'm misinterpreting this response.

Crazy, eh?

Wednesday, January 12, 2005

Quote from Prof

"Keep your mouth shut with gratuitous remarks."

Tuesday, January 11, 2005

New Toys

It seems like more and more Macs keep popping up on campus. Everybody's getting an iBook. Two potential convertees approached me last week and asked me about my Mac. I suggested they wait for a month or so until the prices fall. If you're thinking of getting a Mac, check out MacRumors buyer's guide for product cycles and inside information.

I had a strange iPod moment in class today. A classmate is now recording all of our lectures on his iPod and I mentioned this to a classmate sitting next to me. She responded by asking, "on a what? What's an iPod?" Wow. What planet does she live on?

The new iPod shuffle and the Mac mini look sweet. More toys to put on my Christmas list (2006).

Studying at the Castle

I have until Friday to decide if I'm going to England for May & June to study International Law at the Castle. It looks like a brilliant program. All the upper year students that I've spoken with have raved about their time at the Castle. But it is expensive - almost $9,000 for tuition, room and board (not including airfare).

I'm surprised by the high level of interest. Despite the costs, many OneL's are seriously considering it. (NOTE: This program is open to law school students across Canada - so if you're at UBC, for example, and you're interested in going, you can apply too.)We have been told that there is little chance of fetching a legal job during our first summer. So, we just as well spend the summer studying.

Friday, January 07, 2005

Intellectual Property Law Firm tour

Next week we're headed back to Bay Street. This is my third tour and I'm getting a pretty good idea of the opportunities out there. Generally, the realm of IP Law is filled with scientists and engineers so my chances of joining their ranks is slim, but it does interest me.

This year, the tour will visit Bereskin & Parr, Gowlings, and Smart & Biggar. During a lecture on IP Law, a prof told us about a room at Bereskin & Parr with all the items involved in their patent/ copyright claims. She described it as a "museum" of design and innovation.

An interesting tidbit that our prof shared with us: the sound of Harley Davidson's motorcycles is protected under copyright. Copyright sound?!

Searching for a new Dean

Yesterday and today the school has heard presentations from prospective candidates for the position of Dean. I have been very impressed with the open system of selection that the school is using to parse the individuals. After their presentation for faculty, staff and students, the candidates have a luncheon where they can meet and discuss issues directly with students.

I'll admit at the onset: I am bias. One of the candidates taught us Property Law (Doctrine of Estates) last semester. My impression (and only my opinion): extremely approachable & student-friendly, organized, great sense of humour, and a clear communicator.

The candidate we met today also seems well qualified. A comment that stood out was regarding tuition levels. She said that she likes the new Harvard model: any student whose family's combined income is less that $40k should not have to pay tuition. OK, but does that mean that she wants the rest of Queen’s students to pay Harvard-level tuition payments? Given her other comments, I would guess that she would answer 'no'. She described rising tuition levels across Canada as the "Toronto Syndrome" (UofT is raising their tuition as much as they can each year with the goal of $25k/ year, and other universities are following suit). And she has 4 children who have yet to start university. I imagine, both personally and professionally, she would want to keep tuition levels low.

It'll be interesting to meet the candidate behind door #3. ;)

Thursday, January 06, 2005

Government Work Con't

Thank you to the former public servant who offered his/her insight into working for the government. (BTW, within which department did you work?)

Rereading my comments from the MAG tour, I question if I was too harsh. I suppose at heart I am an idealist and I expect great things from government. When I went to the open house, I was expecting to meet the solid individuals who didn't care about the big $$ and chose, instead, a job where they could contribute to bettering our society. "Screw the materialistic hogwash that corporate marketers force through my eye sockets! I want to improve this world for future generations." Alas, perhaps I was begging for disappointment.

The stupid part is that I should have known better. I've worked for the BC Government (summer job) and for the Fed. Dept. of Foreign Affairs and International Trade (DFAIT). I know the flavour of government offices. Yet, I still expected more. I suppose I just wanted MAG to be different.
My bad.

Wednesday, January 05, 2005

We're back

Welcome back y'all. Classes for Queen's Law students resumed on Tuesday while the rest of the students don't start until Jan 10th. And, because most of the student body enjoying their vacation, the university is still in hibernation. Tim Horton's is closed. The caf is closed. Where are we supposed to get a coffee around here!?!

We got our midterm exam back for Criminal Law today. Our professor was quite disappointed with us. He was going to bell-curve our marks, but, he claims, our exams were so poor that he couldn't justify giving us such good marks. Instead, he opted to mark us based on our performance. Seven (7) students got an F. (I did okay.)

The law school is in search of a new dean. Our former dean (who seems very nice) was selected for the Ontario Superior Court (hope I got that right) so she took an early leave. This week they're interviewing candidates to fill the opening and students are invited to attend. I have no idea if we'll actually be able to give feedback on the candidates, but it's nice that the university is keeping the process open.