Ribbon Cutting

Brett Hughes (3L)

Another year draws to a close and we burrow into our textbooks, treatises, and upper-year maps and summaries, just like Falconer Phyllis burrowed into our hearts. A year at law school passes in what feels sometimes like an instant, and so does one’s tenure on Ultra Vires. As usual, we published six print editions this year, but easily could have published six more thanks to the thoughtful, creative, and wonderful editors on our editorial board and contributors in our law school community.

As promised in my inaugural Editor’s Letter back in September, we have endeavoured to keep you informed about the goings-on at the Faculty, foster discussion on a diverse range of issues, bring you interesting interviews and long-form pieces, and make you laugh. I like to think this issue is no exception. Whether it is reporting on Faculty Council, providing a platform for dialogue about civic engagement, letting you know what students think about #mousegate, and much, much more, Ultra Vires has you covered.

Exams are upon us, of course. Stay focused, study hard, check out past exam problems, and all of that. But also remember to take care of yourselves. Ask for help if you need, whether from friends, or through the accommodation process. Do your best, but remember that grades will not define you. Justice Michael Moldaver told us in October that he “ended up getting a C” on his first-year contracts exam, and he is doing okay.

Next year will bring new students, new course offerings, a new financial aid fundraising campaign, and the grand opening of our shiny new Jackman Law building, replete with individually-sponsored seats in the moot court room, a reading room brought to you by Torys LLP, and plenty of other branded spaces. The new building will surely help foster a greater sense of community at the law school and allow students and faculty to plan more events more easily.

But remember as well that the University of Toronto and its Faculty of Law together decided that it was worth spending $56 million for a building, while letting financial aid stagnate as tuition soared further. In my view, this was and remains a serious moral misjudgment. Canada faces a severe access to justice crisis, and there is woeful under-representation of students from backgrounds outside the top socioeconomic strata in the legal profession in general, and our law school in particular. Our legal education must be accessible to all. I hope everyone stays invested in this issue once the ribbon-cutting ceremony is over.

Thank you to everyone for reading what we write. Whether picking up the print issue the day it comes out and reading it cover-to-cover with a donut (or several), or reading and maybe sharing the occasional story online, our readers make this all worthwhile. We really appreciate it.

Finally, I am very excited to announce that next year’s Editors-in-chief will be Maud Rozee and Nick Papageorge. Both Maud and Nick have been engaged and ever-reliable editors, wonderful writers, and all-round great people this year. I know Ultra Vires is in capable hands and am looking forward to seeing what they do. Think about joining them and adding your voice next year—either by applying to the editorial board, or by contributing articles from time to time.

Good luck on exams, have a fantastic summer, and I hope you enjoy this issue!

Stay tuned for a forthcoming special online edition on tuition, financial aid, and the Faculty of Law’s budget.