Winter term dispatch: News and opportunities for the new year

January 19, 2023

As we welcome back students to campus for the winter term, we’re sharing a roundup of recent faculty news and forthcoming opportunities and events.

Professor Christopher C. Nicholls serves as Acting Dean

Dean Erika Chamberlain will be on an administrative leave between January and June 2023 to catch up on research. During this time, professor Christopher C. Nicholls is serving as Acting Dean. Professor Nicholls holds the W. Geoff Beattie Chair in Corporate Law and is Director of Business Law at Western Law as well as Co-Director of Western University's Interdisciplinary Centre for Financial Innovation and Risk Management (CFIRM).

In 2013, professor Nicholls was named a Western University Faculty Scholar, and in 2016 received a Canada-U.S. Fulbright Scholar award. As the W. Geoff Beattie Chair in Corporate Law, he convened Western Law’s inaugural Business Law Symposium in November 2022, Charting the Path for Law, Governance and Regulation of Corporations and Financial Markets, hosting some of the world's most influential business and law scholars, including Nobel laureate Oliver Hart.

"I extend my best wishes to students as they enter the winter term. I hope they find the term, including our exciting new courses and experiential learning opportunities, to be an enriching academic experience," said Nicholls. "In the coming months, I look forward to continuing to connect with our accomplished and dedicated students, sharing the stories of our esteemed faculty and alumni, and maintaining momentum on important academic, development, and EDID initiatives at Western Law."

New intensive education offerings

The winter term at Western Law brings unique, intensive education opportunities for students. In January, the three-week intensive course period promotes active learning on advanced topics. During this period, students learn from distinguished visiting professors and participate in experiential opportunities including advocacy exercises and externships such as the Ontario Court of Justice Placement Program.

New courses for this year’s January intensive period include Assisted Reproductive Technologies (Noy Naaman); and Corporate Crime, Crisis and Culture (Robert Richardson and Shane D’Souza). Students will also be able to partake in short intensive courses concurrently with regular Winter Term classes. This year’s new intensive courses focus on Election Law (Scott Lemke and James Ayres) and Hate Speech in Canada (Sunil Gurmukh).

International learning experiences

This semester we're pleased to have eight exchange students studying with us – two from the United Kingdom, one from France, one from Hong Kong, two from Singapore, one from Sweden, and one from Denmark. We’re also welcoming back 29 Western JD students who spent their Fall term on exchange all over Europe.

Western Law has established exchange partnerships with 18 leading law schools around the world, allowing students to study legal issues from a new perspective, explore expanded curriculum options, and create a network of international contacts. The application for 2023-24 exchange is January 22.

Upcoming distinguished speaker events

The Distinguished Speakers Committee – currently led by students Rheanna Geisel and Safiya Nanji alongside faculty advisors, professors Nadia Lambek and Joanna Langille – invites prominent members of the legal profession and related fields to lecture at Western Law and share their extensive knowledge. Featured speakers are all at the top of their respective professions and include members of the judiciary, high-ranking politicians, and experienced practitioners.

Topics can involve current social and ethical issues in the legal field, valuable advice to take into practice, as well as unique perspectives from specialists outside of law, such as medicine or international politics. Lectures are open to students and faculty and sometimes to the broader London community.

In February, the committee will present Justice Ranjan Agarwal (Judge of the Superior Court of Justice of Ontario) and Joanna Birenbaum (litigation lawyer and Director of Capacity Building for Canadian Centre for Legal Innovation in Sexual Assault Law Response). On February 6, Agarwal will speak about his journey to the Ontario Superior Court of Justice and on February 13, Birenbaum will speak on sexual violence.

We also expect to announce other exciting speakers and events throughout the winter term.