Tag Archives: law school

Episode 40 (Dec 2012) – Race, Gender, and Social Context

Welcome et bienvenue to LegalEase: a monthly Montreal-based and produced radio show on 90.3 FM CKUT – a broadcast about law, cast broadly. Le collectif LegalEase est un groupe d’étudiants et étudiantes en droit de la communauté montréalaise.This month the program is entitled, “Race, Gender, and Social Context.”

Listen to the Episode Here

Host Garrett Zehr chairs an array of reflections on the subject of discrimination in Canada, specifically looking at race and gender. First, contributor Alyssa Clutterbuck presents a segment on the nature of discrimination. Sonia Lawrence, Professor at Osgoode law school, discusses the subject – “Is all discrimination alike?” Lawrence is the Director at the Institute for Feminist Legal Studies at Osgoode. Twitter – @osgoodeifls. This pithy presentation is worth listening to several times over.

Second, LegalEase remembers R v. RDS at 15 years – a seminal decision on race and and the judicial system. R. v. S. (R.D.), 1997 CanLII 324 (SCC), [1997] 3 SCR 484, In the case, the Supreme Court of Canada ruminates over the decision of Nova Scotia judge Sparks to take judicial notice of the systemic racism within the justice system. A finding of reasonable apprehension of bias against Sparks was overturned at the Supreme Court. Contributor Alyssa Clutterbuck sets up the piece, explaining why the case remains a chilling representation of the manner in which the Canadian legal system discusses race. Next, Legalease contributor Lillian Boctor interviews Dr. Esmeralda Thornhill James Robinson Chair at Dalhousie University and visiting scholar at McGill.

Finally, LegalEase revisits an earlier story presenting a study by Natai Shelson on the gendered experience of law school. You can find part of Shelson’s study at p 4 of the this edition of the Quid Novi, February 2011.

LegalEase on 90.3 FM is a radio program broadcast every second Friday of the month at 11am EST from Montreal, Quebec. Originally founded by the McGill Legal Information Clinic in 1989, LegalEase is now run by a collective of progressive of law students from McGill University. Our weekly radio show deals with legal topics of interest to the community, with the intention of making the law both accessible and engaging. Tune into our show, follow us on Twitter @LegalEaseCkut, email legalease[at]ckut.ca or check our podcast library for past programming.

Episode 30 (Feb 2012) – Addressing the Medium

Welcome et bienvenue to LegalEase: a monthly radio show on 90.3 FM CKUT. We broadcast law broadly. Le collectif LegalEase est un groupe d’étudiants et étudiantes en droit de la communauté montréalaise. This month the program is entitled, “Addressing the Medium.”

Listen to the Episode Here

The Medium is the message. Yes. This month LegalEase ‘instant messages’ the medium – in addressing the stale form of legal instruction and thought as well as the burgeoning role of social media in revolutionary struggle. Has the social media primary functioned as a catalyst for rebellion or mechanism for repression?

Seminal text

First, LegalEase delves into the ever-evolving topic of social Media and revolution. Specifically, we hear from a panel: Professor Payam Akhavan, McGill University Faculty of Law, on social media under Totalitarian regimes, Assistant Professor Julian Awwad, Concordia University, Department of Communication Studies, and recent McGill Law grad and Grotius Scholar Kirk Shannon.

Second, Garrett, Preeti and Lena break down the Winter 2012 student-initiated Critical Race Theory Seminar. Wikipedia defines Critical race theory (CRT) as “an academic discipline focused upon the application of critical theory, a critical examination of society and culture, to the intersection of race, law, and power.” Want the syllabus? Send a message to legalease@ckut.ca

LegalEase on 90.3 FM is a radio program broadcast every second Friday of the month at 11am EST from Montréal, Québec. Originally founded by the McGill Legal Information Clinic in 1989, LegalEase is now run by a collective of progressive of law students from McGill University. Our weekly radio show deals with legal topics of interest to the community, with the intention of making the law both accessible and engaging. Tune into our show, follow us on Twitter @LegalEaseCkut, email legalease[at]ckut.ca or check our podcast library for past programming.

“From Tortia With Love”: Creativity and Law School Summaries

Hello cruel and curious world:

For those interested in Tort law – or extra-contractual law (as we call it at McGill) – take a look at this summary. It is a comic book. Two creative students put it together and made it available to everyone without cost. It covers some of the rudimentary subjects in Canadian tort law, in both common and civil law. You can download the pdf here.

Comic Law!

Isn't this neat?

For those who don’t know – most law students do not do all the readings. Intricate systems of summarizing cases are devised for each course. Sometimes a compilation is a group effort. In the case above, it was done by a team. Usually, a summary is adapted from some earlier version of the course (and some earlier summary) and updated based on the new readings and slightly altered lecture notes. In some cases, summaries enable students to either a) skip class or b) spend the entire class browsing facebook.

If you do go to law school, take your time to venture beyond the bland commonplace – use your talents to create interesting study tools. It will help you learn better and will make you proud of your work, despite whatever grade you may receive (and odds are, you probably will learn the material better in the process).

Cheesy Law School Pop Song Knock-offs

You may or may not (depending on how far down you read this post) experience the following: cheesy law school renditions of pop songs using legal lingo.  It happens way too often.  I’ve decided to highlight this social phenomenon with a blog posting.

There is something in law school that inspires creativity. Or maybe creativity is not the right word for it. Law school and about the legal profession begin to filter life experiences.  It goes well beyond airs of  class superiority,  it permeates ways of thinking. Leonard Cohen apparently dropped out of law school for this very reason – in his first year at McGill law he told the dean that he didn’t like the way law school was making him think.

Some students take this new way of thinking and apply it to pop culture. Here is a short collection of law-related pop renditions. Students so enamored with the study of law that they ruined their favourite pop songs by making law school versions. Each of the selected videos have been viewed over 40,000 times. Just think about that for a moment.

Here is a classic tune from students at Queen’s University, “Tort Law Back”. It is based on the much more popular Justin Timberlake single “SexyBack“. Skip the first minute to get to the song. Don’t be deceived by the tacky Terminator II musical introduction, video is actually not so bad. Best thing to come out of Kingston, Ontario since, … , probably ever.

This next video is just lame. It purportedly is made by first year associates at Drew and Napier LLP in Singapore. It’s a cliché video lamenting the difficulty of law school to the tune of Blink 182’s All the Small Things. It’s a bit unbearable, I will forgive you if you can only stomach about 30 seconds.

Now we get to the good stuff.   “Snail In a Bottle” is fun to watch, trying to capture the rambunctious and rebellious spirit of The Police’s original Message in a Bottle.  The song references the famous tort case Donoghue v Stevenson. Overally, this one wins in the best video category. The song lyrics aren’t so bad, including the last line “I founded modern negligence”.   The creators of this video call themselves “Tongue in Cheek Productions”.  The main actor’s whig is available for purchase over EBay for an extremely affordable price.

To finish off this magical journey through the land of legal sounds, we have my personal favourite: the “Hearsay Exception”.  This one seems to be an original tune. The authors have some association with the following site. Based on the views, it beats the other videos by several thousand.  Not only do you have my own person vote of confidence, but the highly scientific indication that this video beats the others. I also like their use of lego – it’s nostalgic.

Here is one last addition to the list. The self-described “Law School Musical” has over 300,000 views. It goes through a 1L’s experience at law school. One or two humourous moments.