Admissions Office Solicits Transfer Students from US Schools

Maud Rozee (2L)

Dean Iacobucci announced that, last month, the Faculty of Law had “reached out to some Canadian JD students in the US who may wish to transfer to U of T in light of recent events.” Ultra Vires received a message from one of those Canadian JD students, a 1L from Harvard who received the following email from Professor Ben Alarie:

I am writing to you because you told our admissions office last year that you were planning to attend a well-regarded US law school this academic year. On the assumption that this email now find [sic] you as a 1L at a US law school, I wanted to flag to you that the University of Toronto Faculty of Law will happily consider an application from you to transfer to the 2nd year of our JD program. If you have an interest in this idea, please visit http://www.law.utoronto.ca/admissions/jd-admissions/upper-year-applicants for details.

As there is an unusual level of interest in transferring to Toronto this year, and we wanted to make sure that the strongest candidates are aware of this possibility [sic]. And because you are a past admitted student to the faculty, we would be happy to offer you a fee waiver to help facilitate your application.

Professor Alarie’s email did not specifically mention Trump, nor the executive order banning citizens of seven majority-Muslim countries from entry into the United States. This contrasts with the message that, for instance, the McGill University Faculty of Law put out on Facebook, which specifically addressed students affected by the ban.

In response to an email request for more information, Professor Alarie told us that the Faculty will know the exact numbers of American transfer-student applications in late May.

The Harvard 1L pointed out that the offer seemed superfluous: “[As a Harvard Law student], you know that you could transfer. It’s not like they’re now offering transfers to people persecuted by Donald Trump… It’s not that benevolent of them.”

Regardless of U of T’s intentions, the student had no desire to leave Harvard. She pointed out that most elite American schools are in liberal bubbles; indeed, Harvard specifically sent out an email pledging that it would protect students from deportation. The tuition she had already paid was also a factor: “I thought about it but, honestly, no one cares that you did one year at Harvard and two years of U of T. It would just mean I wasted all that money.”

From her perspective, the current political situation didn’t change much: “Most of us knew what we were in for; it’s still the same America as it was before they elected Donald Trump. Now they’re being more open about it.”