First Year Academic Program

  

First Year Courses

2021 - 2022

CONSTITUTIONAL LAW (SECTIONS):

CONSTITUTIONAL LAW (LAW106H1F) (0101) Yasmin Dawood

First term:  5 credits

This course provides an introduction to the law of the Canadian constitution. It examines the Charter of Rights and Freedoms, federalism, Aboriginal law, the structure of the Canadian constitution, interpretive principles, and the role of judicial review.

Evaluation: will be by a limited open book, final 3-hour examination during the scheduled examination period in December (worth 90%), and a 10% participation score.

CONSTITUTIONAL LAW (LAW106H1F) (0102) David Schneiderman

First term:  5 credits

This course provides an introduction to the law of the Canadian constitution. The course examines the law of federalism, Aboriginal and treaty rights, and the Charter of Rights and Freedoms. We consider such things as the origins and structure of the Canadian constitution, the role of judicial review, general principles of interpretation with regard to the distribution of legislative authority, key principles arising under Aboriginal and treaty rights, and a selection of rights and freedoms under the Charter.

Evaluation:  will be by a limited open book, final 3-hour examination during the scheduled examination period in December.

CONSTITUTIONAL LAW (LAW106H1S) Richard Stacey

Second term:  5 credits

This course provides an introduction to the law of the Canadian constitution. It examines the Charter of Rights and Freedoms, federalism, and Indigenous rights. The course introduces the concept of constitutionalism and explores the nature of Canadian constitutionalism specifically. We ask what constitutions mean and what they are meant to achieve. We look at how the Canadian Constitution is structured and, in turn, how it structures public power in Canada. We consider the role of judicial review and the relationship between courts and legislatures, with respect to the distribution of legislative authority, constitutional rights and freedoms, and Indigenous rights. We will examine selected federal and provincial powers, Indigenous rights, and Charter rights in more detail.

Evaluation: will be by a final 3 hour open-book examination during the scheduled examination period in April. 

CONSTITUTIONAL LAW (SMALL GROUPS):

CONSTITUTIONAL LAW A (LAW136Y1Y) - Ariel Katz

Both Terms:  6 credits

This course provides an introduction to the law of the Canadian constitution. It examines federalism, the Charter of Rights and Freedoms, and Aboriginal and treaty rights. The course considers the structure of the Canadian constitution, the role of judicial review, and general principles of interpretation with regard to the distribution of legislative authority, constitutional rights and freedoms, and Aboriginal and treaty rights. Selected federal and provincial powers, Aboriginal and treaty rights, rights guaranteed by the Charter will be examined.

Evaluation: Written assignments (90%) and class participation (10%).

CONTRACT LAW (SECTIONS):

CONTRACT LAW (LAW101H1S) (0101) Brian Langille

Second term:  5 credits

This course examines a very basic and important component of, and issue for, our economy and society – the nature and role of contract. We will also confront some basic issues in legal theory. The matters considered include the requirements of enforceability, remedies for breach, the effect of contracts on third parties, and excuses for non-performance. These excuses include unfairness, unexpected circumstances, and public policy. Throughout there is strong emphasis on how contracts are formed and interpreted. NOTE: If the class is held in person (and not online) use of laptops and other electronic devices is not permitted during class. Computer notes for the class will be assigned on a rotating basis to two students for each class and circulated.

Evaluation: Final Examination (80%) and class participation 20% (attendance, preparation, active class engagement, pre-assigned in class oral presentations, note taking – see above). Note: class attendance is mandatory and students are to notify Professor Langille by email in advance if unable, for a good reason, to attend class.

CONTRACT LAW (LAW101H1S) (0102) Catherine Valcke

Second term:  5 credits

This course examines the enforcement of promises and agreements. The matters considered include the requirements of enforceability, remedies for breach, the effect of contracts on third parties, the effect of writing, and excuses for non-performance. These excuses include unfairness, unexpected circumstances, and public policy.

Evaluation:  will be evaluated by a 3 hour closed-book final examination in April worth 90% of your grade and 10% participation. 

CONTRACT LAW (SMALL GROUPS):

CONTRACT LAW A (LAW120Y1Y) Stephen Waddams

Both Terms:  6 credits

This course examines the enforcement of promises and agreements. The matters considered include the requirements of enforceability, remedies for breach, the effect of contracts on third parties, the effect of writing, and excuses for non-performance.

Evaluation: three assignments of equal value (90% in total) and class participation (10%).

CONTRACT LAW B (LAW121Y1Y) Angela Fernandez

Both Terms:  6 credits

This course examines the enforcement of promises and agreements. The matters considered include the requirements of enforceability, remedies for breach, the effect of contracts on third parties, the effect of writing, and excuses for non-performance. These excuses include unfairness, unexpected circumstances, and public policy.

Evaluation: First Term assignment (20%); Second-Term assignment (30%); Third end-of-year assignment (30%) and Participation (20%, 10% each semester). 

CRIMINAL LAW (SECTIONS):

CRIMINAL LAW (LAW102H1F) (0101) Kent Roach

First term:  5 credits

This course is an examination of the basic concepts of criminal law in the broad context of the entire criminal justice system, including certain procedural and pre-trial aspects, the Charter and the problem of the disposition of convicted offenders. The general principles of criminal liability are analyzed and applied to both Criminal Code and provincial offences. This is followed by an examination of general and specific defences that an accused may raise in criminal cases.

Evaluation: Students will be evaluated by a 3-hour open-book final examination (100%).

CRIMINAL LAW (LAW102H1F) (0102) Hamish Stewart

First term:  5 credits

This course examines the basic concepts of the criminal law through sustained attention to several core criminal offenses, notably the varieties of homicide and sexual assault. Along the way, we will also spend significant time considering inchoate crimes, accessorial liability, and defences of excuse and justification. Themes of the course include the impact of the Charter on the substantive criminal law and the scope of criminalization in a liberal society.

Evaluation:  Students will be evaluated by a 3-hour open-book final examination (90%) and class participation (10%).

CRIMINAL LAW (SMALL GROUPS):

CRIMINAL LAW A (LAW124Y1Y) Alan Brudner

Both Terms:  6 credits

This course examines the central concepts of criminal law--culpable act, culpable mind, outcome responsibility, justification, and excuse--as shaped by the interaction between statute, common law, and the Charter of Rights and Freedoms.

Evaluation:  written assignments (100%).

CRIMINAL LAW B (LAW125Y1Y) Martha Shaffer

Both Terms:  6 credits

This course examines the basic principles of the criminal law, including the concepts of acts reus (the physical element of an offence) and mens rea (the mental element). We will also examine different forms of participation (as a principal, an aider and abettor, and through common intention) and the kinds of claims that give rise to defences (mistake of fact, intoxication, mental disorder, self-defence, duress and necessity). Along the way, we will examine the impact of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms, and in particular the principles of fundamental justice, on the development of the criminal law. We will frame our exploration of these legal principles with an examination of the concrete impact of these principles in the real world, focusing in particular on the impact of the criminal law on Indigenous and racialized persons, as well as on the criminal law’s response to gender based violence.

Evaluation: First Term assignment (20%); Second-Term assignment (30%); Third end-of-year assignment (40%) and Participation (10%). 

CRIMINAL LAW C (LAW126Y1Y) Simon Stern

Both Terms:  6 credits

This course examines the central concepts of criminal law--culpable act, culpable mind, outcome responsibility, justification, and excuse--as shaped by the interaction between statute, common law, and the Charter of Rights and Freedoms. Time permitting, we may also consider some aspects of criminal procedure.

Evaluation: Three written assignments (90%) and class participation (10%). 

LEGAL METHODS (AUGUST 23 – SEPTEMBER 3, 2021)

LEGAL METHODS AA (LAW111H1F) (0101) Yasmin Dawood

First Term: 2 credits

One of the central goals of our JD program is to train students to “think like lawyers.” The Legal Methods intensive course is designed to introduce students to the foundational information and reasoning needed to make the most of the JD program from the outset.

The course will provide general background information on the foundations of the Canadian legal system, such as the important legal institutions, the distinction between private and public law, the sources of law, and the relationship between core first year courses.

The course will emphasize legal analytical methods and techniques used by law students. The course provides an introduction to analyzing and briefing cases, teaching students to identify key elements of a case and how to use precedents. The course also introduces students to statutory interpretation, the interaction between courts and the legislature, and an introduction on to how to prepare for and write law school exams.

Evaluation: This class is evaluated on a credit/no credit basis. To receive credit for the course, a student must attend all classes and satisfactorily complete two assignments: (1) a take-home briefing exercise; and (2) an in-class legal writing exercise. 

LEGAL METHODS BB (LAW111H1F) (0102) Adriana Robertson

First Term: 2 credits

One of the central goals of our JD program is to train students to “think like lawyers.” The Legal Methods intensive course is designed to introduce students to the foundational information and reasoning needed to make the most of the JD program from the outset.

The course will provide general background information on the foundations of the Canadian legal system, such as the important legal institutions, the distinction between private and public law, the sources of law, and the relationship between core first year courses.

The course will emphasize legal analytical methods and techniques used by law students. The course provides an introduction to analyzing and briefing cases, teaching students to identify key elements of a case and how to use precedents. The course also introduces students to statutory interpretation, the interaction between courts and the legislature, and an introduction on to how to prepare for and write law school exams.

Evaluation: This class is evaluated on a credit/no credit basis. To receive credit for the course, a student must attend all classes and satisfactorily complete two assignments: (1) a take-home briefing exercise; and (2) an in-class legal writing exercise. 

LEGAL METHODS CC (LAW111H1F) (0103) Martha Shaffer

First Term: 2 credits

One of the central goals of our JD program is to train students to “think like lawyers.” The Legal Methods intensive course is designed to introduce students to the foundational information and reasoning needed to make the most of the JD program from the outset.

The course will provide general background information on the foundations of the Canadian legal system, such as the important legal institutions, the distinction between private and public law, the sources of law, and the relationship between core first year courses.

The course will emphasize legal analytical methods and techniques used by law students. The course provides an introduction to analyzing and briefing cases, teaching students to identify key elements of a case and how to use precedents. The course also introduces students to statutory interpretation, the interaction between courts and the legislature, and an introduction on to how to prepare for and write law school exams.

Evaluation: This class is evaluated on a credit/no credit basis. To receive credit for the course, a student must attend all classes and satisfactorily complete two assignments: (1) a take-home briefing exercise; and (2) an in-class legal writing exercise. 

LEGAL PROCESS (WINTER TERM):

LEGAL PROCESS AA (LAW100H1S) (0101) Hamish Stewart

Second Term: 4 credits

This course provides an introduction to civil legal process. We will focus on legal thinking, rules and processes of civil procedure and dispute resolution. After a short introduction to the legal system, we will consider the rules, statutes, and common-law doctrines governing parties and proceedings. Topics to be covered may include: standing; justiciability; the joinder of parties; intervention by non-parties; pleadings; limitation periods; relitigation; jurisdiction; preliminary relief; discovery; confidentiality and privilege; summary judgment; class proceedings; and the interaction between the civil litigation process and other modes of dispute resolution. The focus, during all of these discussions, will be on the rationales for the rules, standards, and doctrines that govern legal procedure, in light of the various interests that must be accommodated: the plaintiff’s desire to be heard, the defendant’s wish to avoid needless litigation, the efforts of non-parties to have their interests represented, the needs of potential future litigants to have the law clearly set out on the basis of accurate information, and the public’s demand for an effective and efficient system.

Evaluation:  Class participation and a short writing assignment (10%); and an open-book final examination (90%) not to exceed two hours. 

LEGAL PROCESS BB (LAW100H1S) (0102) Angela Fernandez

Second Term: 4 credits

This course provides an introduction to civil legal process. We will focus on legal thinking, rules and processes of civil procedure and dispute resolution. After a short introduction to the legal system, we will consider the rules, statutes, and common-law doctrines governing parties and proceedings. Topics to be covered may include standing, justiciability, the joinder of parties, intervention by non-parties, pleadings, limitation periods, relitigation, jurisdiction, preliminary relief, discovery, confidentiality and privilege, summary judgment, class proceedings, and the interaction between the civil litigation process and other modes of dispute resolution. The focus, during all of these discussions, will be on the rationales for the rules, standards, and doctrines that govern legal procedure, in light of the various interests that must be accommodated: the plaintiff’s desire to be heard, the defendant’s wish to avoid needless litigation, the efforts of non-parties to have their interests represented, the needs of potential future litigants to have the law clearly set out on the basis of accurate information, and the public’s demand for an effective and efficient system.

Evaluation:  a two-hour 100% open-book examination to be written on the day the exam is scheduled (100%). 

LEGAL PROCESS CC (LAW100H1S) (0103) Abdi Aidid

Second Term: 4 credits

This course provides an introduction to civil legal process. We will focus on legal thinking, rules and processes of civil procedure and dispute resolution. After a short introduction to the legal system, we will consider the rules, statutes, and common-law doctrines governing parties and proceedings. Topics to be covered may include standing, justiciability, the joinder of parties, intervention by non-parties, pleadings, limitation periods, relitigation, jurisdiction, preliminary relief, discovery, confidentiality and privilege, summary judgment, class proceedings, and the interaction between the civil litigation process and other modes of dispute resolution. The focus, during all of these discussions, will be on the rationales for the rules, standards, and doctrines that govern legal procedure, in light of the various interests that must be accommodated: the plaintiff’s desire to be heard, the defendant’s wish to avoid needless litigation, the efforts of non-parties to have their interests represented, the needs of potential future litigants to have the law clearly set out on the basis of accurate information, and the public’s demand for an effective and efficient system.

Evaluation:  class participation (10%) and an open-book final examination (90%) not to exceed two hours.  

LEGAL RESEARCH & WRITING (FALL TERM) 

LEGAL RESEARCH & WRITING 0101 (LAW149H1F) Katherine Vitale Lopez

First Term: 2 credits

Legal research and writing introduces students to the way lawyers read, write, analyze and frame legal arguments. Students learn research and writing skills by engaging in numerous in-class exercises and preparing as assignments various legal documents including a legal memorandum and a factum. To maximize the pedagogical benefit to students, active engagement and participation in class is encouraged.

Evaluation: Written assignments (90%) and class participation (10%). The assignments are:

Assignment 1. case comment, 20% (due date for assignment 1, week 4)

Assignment 2. one-issue memorandum of law, 30% (due date for assignment 2, week 8)

Assignment 3. two-issue memorandum of law, 40%. (due date for assignment 3, December 20, 2021, last day for written work). 

LEGAL RESEARCH & WRITING 0102 (LAW149H1F) Katherine Vitale Lopez

First Term: 2 credits

Legal research and writing introduces students to the way lawyers read, write, analyze and frame legal arguments. Students learn research and writing skills by engaging in numerous in-class exercises and preparing as assignments various legal documents including a legal memorandum and a factum. To maximize the pedagogical benefit to students, active engagement and participation in class is encouraged.

Evaluation: Written assignments (90%) and class participation (10%). The assignments are:

Assignment 1. case comment, 20% (due date for assignment 1, week 4)

Assignment 2. one-issue memorandum of law, 30% (due date for assignment 2, week 8)

Assignment 3. two-issue memorandum of law, 40%. (due date for assignment 3, December 20, 2021, last day for written work). 

LEGAL RESEARCH & WRITING 0103 (LAW149H1F) Colleen McKeown

First Term: 2 credits

Legal research and writing introduces students to the way lawyers read, write, analyze and frame legal arguments. Students learn research and writing skills by engaging in numerous in-class exercises and preparing as assignments various legal documents including a legal memorandum and a factum. To maximize the pedagogical benefit to students, active engagement and participation in class is encouraged.

Evaluation: Written assignments (90%) and class participation (10%). The assignments are:

Assignment 1. case comment, 20% (due date for assignment 1, week 4)

Assignment 2. one-issue memorandum of law, 30% (due date for assignment 2, week 8)

Assignment 3. two-issue memorandum of law, 40%. (due date for assignment 3, December 20, 2021, last day for written work).  

LEGAL RESEARCH & WRITING 0104 (LAW149H1F) Daniella Murynka

First Term: 2 credits

Legal research and writing introduces students to the way lawyers read, write, analyze and frame legal arguments. Students learn research and writing skills by engaging in numerous in-class exercises and preparing as assignments various legal documents including a legal memorandum and a factum. To maximize the pedagogical benefit to students, active engagement and participation in class is encouraged.

Evaluation: Written assignments (90%) and class participation (10%). The assignments are:

Assignment 1. case comment, 20% (due date for assignment 1, week 4)

Assignment 2. one-issue memorandum of law, 30% (due date for assignment 2, week 8)

Assignment 3. two-issue memorandum of law, 40%. (due date for assignment 3, December 20, 2021, last day for written work).  

LEGAL RESEARCH & WRITING 0105 (LAW149H1F) Zach Morgenstern

First Term: 2 credits

Legal research and writing introduces students to the way lawyers read, write, analyze and frame legal arguments. Students learn research and writing skills by engaging in numerous in-class exercises and preparing as assignments various legal documents including a legal memorandum and a factum. To maximize the pedagogical benefit to students, active engagement and participation in class is encouraged.

Evaluation: Written assignments (90%) and class participation (10%). The assignments are:

Assignment 1. case comment, 20% (due date for assignment 1, week 4)

Assignment 2. one-issue memorandum of law, 30% (due date for assignment 2, week 8)

Assignment 3. two-issue memorandum of law, 40%. (due date for assignment 3, December 20, 2021, last day for written work). 

LEGAL RESEARCH & WRITING 0106 (LAW149H1F) Sam Greene

First Term: 2 credits

Legal research and writing introduces students to the way lawyers read, write, analyze and frame legal arguments. Students learn research and writing skills by engaging in numerous in-class exercises and preparing as assignments various legal documents including a legal memorandum and a factum. To maximize the pedagogical benefit to students, active engagement and participation in class is encouraged.

Evaluation: Written assignments (90%) and class participation (10%). The assignments are:

Assignment 1. case comment, 20% (due date for assignment 1, week 4)

Assignment 2. one-issue memorandum of law, 30% (due date for assignment 2, week 8)

Assignment 3. two-issue memorandum of law, 40%. (due date for assignment 3, December 20, 2021, last day for written work). 

LEGAL RESEARCH & WRITING 0107 (LAW149H1F) Bonnie Fish

First Term: 2 credits

Legal research and writing introduces students to the way lawyers read, write, analyze and frame legal arguments. Students learn research and writing skills by engaging in numerous in-class exercises and preparing as assignments various legal documents including a legal memorandum and a factum. To maximize the pedagogical benefit to students, active engagement and participation in class is encouraged.

Evaluation: Written assignments (90%) and class participation (10%). The assignments are:

Assignment 1. case comment, 20% (due date for assignment 1, week 4)

Assignment 2. one-issue memorandum of law, 30% (due date for assignment 2, week 8)

Assignment 3. two-issue memorandum of law, 40%. (due date for assignment 3, December 20, 2021, last day for written work). 

LEGAL RESEARCH & WRITING 0108 (LAW149H1F) Katherine Vitale Lopez

First Term: 2 credits

Legal research and writing introduces students to the way lawyers read, write, analyze and frame legal arguments. Students learn research and writing skills by engaging in numerous in-class exercises and preparing as assignments various legal documents including a legal memorandum and a factum. To maximize the pedagogical benefit to students, active engagement and participation in class is encouraged.

Evaluation: Written assignments (90%) and class participation (10%). The assignments are:

Assignment 1. case comment, 20% (due date for assignment 1, week 4)

Assignment 2. one-issue memorandum of law, 30% (due date for assignment 2, week 8)

Assignment 3. two-issue memorandum of law, 40%. (due date for assignment 3, December 20, 2021, last day for written work). 

PROPERTY LAW (SECTIONS):

PROPERTY LAW (LAW103H1F) Abraham Drassinower

First term:  5 credits

The purpose of the course is to introduce students to the core concepts that lawyers use in dealing with competing interests in land, chattels and other forms of wealth. The concept of "property" is examined as are the concepts of possession and ownership, and the consequences flowing from these concepts. The doctrine of estates in land, takings, concurrent ownership, findings, covenants, easements, adverse possession, and aboriginal title are among the other topics which may be covered.

Evaluation:  will be evaluated through a 3 hour open-book final examination worth 100% of the grade.

PROPERTY LAW (LAW103H1S) Jim Phillips

Second term:  5 credits

This course introduces students to the basic concepts needed for understanding the common law of property. We begin by asking what lawyers mean by the word 'property', and by looking at why and how the common law conceives of some things as property. We then examine the links between possession and ownership, and at how interests in land are arranged (estates in land, concurrent ownership, servitudes). There are also sections on de facto expropriation, aboriginal title and the allocation of rights of occupation on reserve land, and landlord-tenant relations.

Evaluation:  will be evaluated through a 3-hour exam with a closed book component and an open book component.

 PROPERTY LAW (SMALL GROUPS):

PROPERTY LAW A (LAW128Y1Y) Larissa Katz

Both Terms:  6 credits

The purpose of the course is to introduce students to the core concepts that lawyers use in dealing with competing interests in land, chattels and other forms of wealth. The concept of "property" is examined as are the concepts of possession and ownership, and the consequences flowing from these concepts. The doctrine of estates in land, takings, concurrent ownership, findings, covenants, easements, adverse possession, and aboriginal title are among the other topics which may be covered.

Evaluation:  Written assignments (90%) and class participation (10%). 

PROPERTY LAW B (LAW129Y1Y) Larissa Katz

Both Terms:  6 credits

The purpose of the course is to introduce students to the core concepts that lawyers use in dealing with competing interests in land, chattels and other forms of wealth. The concept of "property" is examined as are the concepts of possession and ownership, and the consequences flowing from these concepts. The doctrine of estates in land, takings, concurrent ownership, findings, covenants, easements, adverse possession, and aboriginal title are among the other topics which may be covered.

Evaluation:  Written assignments (90%) and class participation (10%).

PROPERTY LAW C (LAW130Y1Y) Douglas Sanderson

Both Terms:  6 credits

This course introduces students to the concepts lawyers use in dealing with competing interests in land, chattels and other forms of wealth. Property is a highly conceptual aspect of the law. The main purpose of this course is get students comfortable with understanding property as a legal construct, and the consequences flowing from these constructs. The doctrine of estates in land, takings, concurrent ownership, landlord-tenant relations, equity, future interests, covenants, easements, licenses, adverse possession, and Aboriginal title are among the topics that may be covered.  No laptops are permitted in class. Students are encouraged to take notes using pen and paper.

Evaluation:  Written assignments (90%) and class participation (10%).

PROPERTY LAW D (LAW131Y1Y) Jim Phillips

Both Terms:  6 credits

The purpose of the course is to introduce students to the core concepts that lawyers use in dealing with competing interests in land, chattels and other forms of wealth. The concept of "property" is examined as are the concepts of possession and ownership, and the consequences flowing from these concepts. The doctrine of estates in land, takings, concurrent ownership, findings, covenants, easements, adverse possession, and aboriginal title are among the other topics which may be covered.

Evaluation:  Written assignments (90%) and class participation (10%). 

TORT LAW (SECTIONS):

TORT LAW (LAW104H1F) Chris Essert

First term:  5 credits

The law of torts deals with the sorts of disputes which arise when one person has caused injury or property loss to another. The largest part of the course will deal with the tort of negligence, but intentional torts, strict liability torts, and nuisance may also be discussed.

Evaluation: a 3 hour open-book final examination (90%) and class participation (10%).

TORT LAW (LAW104H1S) Anthony Niblett

Second term:  5 credits

The law of torts deals with the sorts of disputes which arise when one person has caused injury or property loss to another. The largest part of the course will deal with the tort of negligence, but we shall also look at strict liability, intentional torts, defamation, privacy, and nuisance. Different theoretical perspectives on tort law will be analyzed and consideration given to alternative methods of compensation. We will also discuss the extent to which tort law will evolve in response to technological changes, such as artificial intelligence and robotics. 

Evaluation: There are two modes of evaluation. (1) Open-book 3-hour final examination worth 70% of the grade; (2) Six short writing responses throughout the semester, each worth 5% (for a total of 30%). 

TORT LAW (SMALL GROUPS): 

TORT LAW A (LAW132Y1Y) Peter Benson

Both Terms:  6 credits

The law of torts deals with the sorts of disputes which arise when one person has caused injury or property loss to another. The largest part of the course will deal with the tort of negligence, but intentional torts, strict liability torts, and nuisance will also be discussed. Different theoretical perspectives on tort law will be analyzed and some consideration given to alternative methods of compensating for personal injuries.

Evaluation:  evaluation will be based on 3 assignments: (1) a case comment (pass/fail, worth 10%) (2) Research paper (graded, worth 40%); (3) “thought piece” (graded worth 50%). 

TORT LAW B (LAW133Y1Y) Abdi Aidid

Both Terms:  6 credits

The law of torts deals with the sorts of disputes which arise when one person has caused injury or property loss to another. The largest part of the course will deal with the tort of negligence, but intentional torts, strict liability torts, and nuisance will also be discussed. 

Evaluation:  Written assignments (90%), class participation (10%). 

First Year Requirements

Academic Orientation:  Legal Methods

Required Courses

The first year curriculum consists of the following required courses:

  • Legal Methods (2-week long intensive course before first term)
  • Constitutional Law (first or second term)*
  • Contract Law (first or second term)*
  • Criminal Law (first or second term)*
  • Property Law (first or second term)*
  • Tort Law (first or second term)*
  • Legal Research and Writing (first term only)
  • Legal Process (second term only)
  • Legal Research and Writing (first term only)

*every student will have one core course that meets in the small group format.  The small group class will be a full year course.

There is no course selection in first year. First Year course descriptions (PDF).

Legal Research and Writing

Acquiring basic legal research and writing skills is a vital component of a well-rounded legal education.  First year students will successfully complete a 2-credit, 24 hour course on legal research and writing.  The Faculty believes that, in order to be effective, instruction on legal research and writing must be tied to a substantive area of law.  Therefore, further legal research and writing instruction is tied to our course offerings in the small groups.

The Law Library has also created an extensive online legal research and writing tutorial available to law students 24 hours per day via e.Legal, the Library's intranet. (Students will be given their username and password to e.Legal in early September, if not earlier)  Additional resources can be found at: http://wwww.law-lib.utoronto.ca.

Legal research and writing in upper years is provided through the Advanced Legal Research and Writing elective, involvement in moot competitions, working on law reviews or journals, working as a faculty research assistant and ongoing computer lab training.

Class Sizes and Formats

To increase pedagogical innovation, the sizes of the classes in which students take their courses vary across the first year program.  Each student will take:

  • Five of their courses in a section of approximately 60 to 90 students
  • One of their courses in a small group of approximately 18-20 students

Students will receive their class assignments in their orientation materials.

Each first-year student studies one of their courses in a small group, which allows for close, personal interaction with fellow students and a law professor. Small groups meet for 3 hours per week in both terms, which allows for more in-depth discussion. The intimate environment of the small group also provides students with a greater opportunity to complete and obtain feedback on written work, as well as gain exposure to the basics of legal research. There will also be a customized session on legal research and writing specifically geared to help you with your small group research assignment(s). 

Attendance

Attendance is particularly important in first year. Students are expected to attend class on a regular basis. "Attendance" contemplates active, engaged participation in class discussion.  Students should expect to be called upon to actively contribute to discussion in all their classes.  Students who are absent for a lengthy period due to illness or personal circumstances should inform the Assistant Dean, J.D. Program.  Any student whose attendance at lectures or whose work is, in the opinion of the Faculty, deemed unsatisfactory, may, at any time, have his or her registration cancelled and be refused admission to lectures and examinations.

Overview of Evaluation in the First Year Program

Large Sections

Faculty Rules mandate that evaluation in the large sections include:

  • a final exam worth at least 60% of the grade (and up to 100% of the grade)

Students may write a one-hour December test in their small group sections.  The tests will count for 20% of the student's final examination mark only if it is to the student's advantage to do so.  In effect, this means that a failure on the December test will not affect the student's final mark in the class.  The purpose of these tests is to provide interim feedback to students.  It is expected that instructors will grade December tests and return them by the end of the first teaching week in the second term. In this way, any problems which a student is experiencing can be identified, and hopefully resolved, before the second term is under way.

Legal Process

Instructors have considerable latitude in terms of the method of evaluation on Legal Process. 

Small Groups

Faculty Rules mandate that evaluation in the small groups:

  • be "substantially comprised of written work"
  • include a "substantial research component" (e.g. a research memo)
  • be of roughly equivalent weight across small groups.

Evaluation will vary from small group to small group, but Faculty rules mandate that student workload be roughly equivalent across the small groups.  Instructors may require a December test and/or April examination, but are not required to do so.  Aside from graded assignments, instructors may ask students to complete optional ungraded assignments.