A team of faculty and students have published the second volume of TRU’s law journal.
The journal titled The Canadian Journal of Comparative and Contemporary Law features articles contributed by Canadian, American, British and Australian law practitioners and academics. It also includes articles from TRU members of faculty Craig Jones and Margaret Hall.
The articles focused on topics related to equity, a section of law that allows judges to order additional remedies in civil cases.
The journal was copy-edited by 15 upper-level law students who were managed by two of their peers and three faculty members. The students earned course credit and an insight into legal writing from prominent members of the law community.
Law faculty member Robert Diab, along with Chris Hunt and Lorne Neudorf, were the editors-in-chief of the most recent volume, and guided the student editors as they prepared for publishing.
Diab believes that involvement with the law journal has helped students improve on skills learnt in the classroom.
“They sharpen their legal research and writing skills because they are seeing examples of advanced legal research and writing. A number of the contributors are judges, professors or appellate lawyers, so they are working with advanced jurists,” Diab said.
“In the process they learn correct citation, and that’s something you need to know if you are going to practice law.”
Sofia Bakken was one of the managing editors for the current volume of the law journal. She has since graduated and is now articling with the criminal justice branch of the Ministry of Justice in Victoria.
Bakken says that the experience gave her practice in managing multiple projects and meeting deadlines while leading a team.
“The biggest thing for me was learning how to work well with other people in circumstances where we were often under pressure to get a large project completed,” Bakken said.
Sarah Fullbrook, also a graduate, who now is undergoing a clerkship at the Supreme Court of B.C. in Vancouver, was a managing editor for the second volume as well. She believes that her experience as a managing editor was a major reason for why she got her clerkship, a job which involves research and editing for judges in their cases.
“It was a really good opportunity to work closely with some of the professors that I really liked and otherwise would not have a chance to work with,” Fullbrook said.
Fullbrook and Diab both said that one of the most important skills learned through journal work is attention to detail, and the level of precision involved is something that, according to Diab, students may not be used to.
Law journals often have a practical purpose in courts, where judges may decide on a case partly based on an argument made by another lawyer in a journal article. It also opens a dialogue on issues that may come up with a change to the law by Parliament.
The selection process has already begun for student editors on the third volume, which will explore interpretation in the law.