Fall 2020: What’s new at the Law School

Posted on Tuesday, September 8, 2020

The second floor of Fauteux with vines going up the building

The 2020 Fall Term is upon us at the Faculty of Law, Common Law Section. A number of changes, not all of them COVID-19 related, have taken place at the Law School since the Spring. Here is a brief look of what we tackled during COVID-19 but also an overview of notable announcements and appointments:

COVID-19 and how it changed our lives

As soon as public health organizations informed Canada of the confinement measures, Dean Dodek diligently updated students, faculty, staff and alumni on all the steps and measures taken in very uncertain times. Over 50 updates were sent, all of them to inform the Common Law community of the academic changes and also a means of remaining in contact with the community and recognizing the humanity in all of us. Dean Dodek shared personal insights and anecdotes on many occasions.

Within three days of the shutdown, all courses were offered online. Students and faculty successfully survived remote exam sessions and many tools have been set up to prepare a smooth and virtual Fall semester. Many initiatives were set in place to support students, faculty and staff.

Orientation 2020

The 2020 Common Law Orientation was led by Professors Kyle Kirkup and Anne Levesque and was, for the first time in the history of the Faculty of Law, hosted exclusively online. It kicked off over the summer with a number of activities, including four welcome videos, Brightspace pages were created, Q &A webinars were hosted and a bilingual podcast series for incoming students called “Baladroit uOttawa” was launched. Leading up to the first week of September, more community building activities were hosted and the creation of a virtual community of incoming students has blossomed.

Microprogram in Law and Technology

The Microprogram in Law and Technology is the first program completely offered online, by the Faculty of Law. It was created to specifically meet the needs of the legal community. The Microprogram will enable students to understand  the complexities of the relationship between law and technology, to understand the impact technology has on the legal profession and justice system, to acquire the basic computer programming skills that facilitate legal problem solving and to adopt a comparative perspective on law and technology in different jurisdictions: the European Union, the United States and Canada. The aim is to provide its graduates with a unique expertise in law and technology and the ability to tackle the new challenges of this digital era.

New Appointments and Nominations

Natasha Bakht appointed Shirley Greenberg Chair for Women and the Legal Profession (2020-2022)
A Full Professor, Natasha Bakht was called to the Bar of Ontario in 2003 and completed her LL.M at New York University School of Law as a Global Hauser scholar. Professor Bakht joined the Faculty of Law in 2005, where she teaches/has taught Criminal Law and Procedure, Introduction to Family Law, Advanced Family Law, the Walsh Family Law Moot, Multicultural Rights in Liberal Democracies, Children and the Law and Women, Religion and Law.
The holder of the Greenberg Chair works with a large  group of feminist scholars, all committed to women’s equality through law, to encourage women to enter the profession, to train legal professionals to deliver services to women, to connect women in law school with women in the legal profession, and to further law reform and research impacting on women as clients and women in the profession.

Florian Martin-Bariteau awarded University Research Chair on Technology and Society
Dr. Florian Martin-Bariteau, Director of the Centre for Law, Technology and Society (CLTS), has been awarded the University Research Chair on Technology and Society, a fitting recognition of his proven leadership and research record. His excellence, productivity and achievements since joining the Faculty in September 2016 have been recognized in the academic world and beyond. His tireless interdisciplinary research on issues of law and technology consistently highlight contemporary issues of importance to the entire international community.

Samuel Singer, Expert in Tax Law and Trans Legal Issues, Joined Common Law Section
Samuel Singer became an Assistant Professor on July 1st. Prior to joining the Faculty, Samuel was a member of the Faculty of Law at Thompson Rivers University (TRU) in British Columbia. Before academia, Samuel articled with the National Judicial Institute and clerked at the Tax Court of Canada. He then practiced as a tax lawyer with Stikeman Elliott LLP in Montreal. He went on to establish his own law practice in tax, charity, non-profit, and LGBTQ law. Samuel is a member of both the Québec and Ontario Bars. He is a graduate of Concordia (BA), McGill (BCL/LLB and LLM) and Osgoode Hall (LLM Tax).
Professor Singer is teaching Basic Tax Law, Droit fiscal, and Business Organizations in the 2020–2021 academic year.

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