Ultra Vires


Where the 1Ls Are

UV October 2013 Cover - National GeographicIt is said that a single pride of lions can require up to 100 miles of hunting space. In the past, the same was true of 1Ls, except the 100 miles of space was “most of Bora Laskin Law Library and the Rowell Room”, and the hunting  was “highlighting entire Torts casebooks”.

However, recent development activities in the old 1L habitat including the clearing of the library for the creation of a bigger, more glossy study area and the demolition and degradation of the Moot Court Room in hopes of a new, sparkling (and heat controlled) legal sparring space have forced this year’s 1Ls to flee into the wilderness of Victoria College. Here they must pursue new territory where they can study, eat and nap uncomfortably in semi-public spaces without becoming prey to undergraduate students and laptop poachers. If they do not succeed, the species faces extinction.

However, there is now a crisis in the law school ecosystem. Although last year’s painstakingly accurate UV admissions statistics demonstrated with 86% confidence that the administration did in fact let some new students in, there seem to be no 1Ls to be found in the designated “law student conservation areas” set up by the school administration on Vic campus. The 1Ls simply must still in fact “go here”, but upper year students cannot find them.

So, where have they gone?

UV staff members took a dangerous and unbelievably high budget trip deep into the uncharted wilderness of Victoria College to track the remaining population of 1LS, assess their endangerment status and find out, uh, where they go to study and stuff. Here are the findings.

1. Upstairs at Goldring Student Centre

Across the narrow,  treacherous and BMW filled St. Charles Street pass lies a sparkling glass structure with a coffee watering hole at the bottom that even the upper year herd will periodically exit their lairs to access. However, most of the secrets this magical space holds are shrouded in mystery, as the upper floors of “The Goldring” are seldom accessed by anyone save undergraduate chamber musicians and, as it turns out, these 1Ls.

1Ls snuggling at the Goldring Student Centre

1Ls cluster together in this fashion both to conserve heat as energy and to appear larger, which deters undergraduate attacks.

I showed these images to an upper year student who immediately expressed both shock and admiration for the 1L species’ creativity and resilience during these times of adversity.

“Where the f*ck is that? That’s not even law school”, he noted.

2. Pratt

Previously a refuge for only those law students who “used to go to McGill” and were “tired of the Bora scene”, Pratt library has now become a central meeting ground for a wide variety of focused, reading 1Ls. An ideal 1L spotting ground is the basement, as this space offers the easy access to espresso machines, inexpensive ju-jubes and rare glimpses of natural light so integral to 1L survival through the long winter months.

Where the 1Ls are- Pratt

While subtly observing this 1L’s reading habits was necessary for research and species preservation purposes, it is unsafe to interrupt a focused 1L in the wild in this way, and this should not be tried at home.

3. Birge Carnegie

While sparse in the way of sustenance and too small to house the entire species population, some 1L students can be spotted making camp in the Birge Carnegie Conservation area.


Ultra Vires Editor in Chief Emily Debono was fortunate enough to spot this herd of 1Ls in the reading room. She primarily identified these students as 1Ls due to their open textbooks, apparently intact social skills and Denning jokes.


1L student Claudia Dzierbicki hydrates in preparation for the long migration to Goldring Student Centre.


The insidious erosion of the 1Ls’ exclusive hunting grounds for the development of “shared study and relaxation spaces” has made some 1Ls into aggressive protectors of their couch territory. Proceed with caution.

4. The Gym

Some 1L students, unable to secure any of the aforementioned couch space, have adapted by resorting to new survival strategies previously unseen in the 1L species, such as regular physical activity.


5. Home

In rare cases, the absence of a 1L home territory has seemed to expedite the evolutionary development of the species, resulting in the tragic loss of their capacity to dress themselves while “studying at home” far sooner than is the case in nature, where only 3Ls typically forego pants.



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