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Open letter from Marcus McCann to the Class of 2015

Open letter from Marcus McCann to the Class of 2015

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Published by Marcus McCann
SLS president candidate Marcus McCann talks about some of the unique challenges facing the 1L class.
SLS president candidate Marcus McCann talks about some of the unique challenges facing the 1L class.

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Categories:Types, Speeches
Published by: Marcus McCann on Mar 22, 2013
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05/14/2014

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Dear Class of 2015,Thank you for taking an interest in the SLS elections. I know that this is a busy time for you. I wish youthe best of the luck as you prepare for exams.Right off the bat: if I am elected, the SLS will organize next year's election at least one week earlier inthe semester, so that the next 1L class isn't caught between the study crunch and getting more involvedin the SLS.It's important to acknowledge that the Class of 2015 is uniquely impacted by many of the recentchanges at the law school. At the top of everyone's mind is the new grading system. While I amconfident that the Career Development Office has reached out to many of the big law firms in Toronto,their communications don't always reach past traditional employers or penetrate as deeply as we wouldlike. Next year, I want the administration to provide you with a pdf of a one page letter from the Deanexplaining the changes, which all students can clip to their CV when applying to jobs, especially jobsthat are outside of the OCI process.I also think it's important that the Faculty — or failing that, the SLS — track the results of the newgrading system. Did it make 1L less stressful, as the administration promised it would? I have mydoubts. How has it affected employer decisions? The administration — or again, failing that, the SLS — needs to evaluate the success or failure of the grading system so it can decide whether to carry onwith it.Secondly, changes to the mandatory curriculum have been abruptly announced with respect to bizorg/fiduciary obligations and ethics training. There's not much we can do about the requirements, sincethey come from the Law Society of Upper Canada. But we can control how those changes areimplemented here at the law school. We can hit pause and consult with the Class of 2015 about how best to fulfill the new requirements without unduly burdening students. What kinds of courses wouldyou like to see offered to fulfill the fiduciary obligations requirement? And, importantly, your classdeserves to know
when
the administration will have more information — which ought to be well beforecourse selection begins this summer.The temporary space will affect all students at the Faculty next year. But some of the knock-on effectswill be felt most acutely by you. For instance, we can reasonably expect that the transitional space willresult in more requests to study abroad in 2014-2015. You will make up most of that cohort. Let's startworking with the administration now to open up more spots for law students to study abroad, at leastfor the duration of the building construction.I have lots of ideas. The platform that I am running on was developped collaboratively by a group of about 15 people. It reflects my values both in content and in how it was built. You can find it here:http://www.facebook.com/pages/SLS-Candidates-for-Student-Experience-Accessibility-and-Transparency/136423696535457?fref=ts I believe that change is possible. I've spent the last two years making law school the kind of place Ithink it should be. I spearheaded a recommendation from the Class of 2014, which added three schooldays between the end of classes and the beginning of 1L exams. I worked with students and theadministration to introduce conversations about diversity into Orientation Week and JointProfessionalism Training. In the wider school, I oversaw The Varsity's fight for an increase to its

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