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McGill 1L which professor to go with?

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Hi folks I will be entering my first year at McGill Law in the fall, considering our health crisis and the stress of becoming a law student, I was hoping to get a bit of advice on which professors to enrol with. If anyone has any suggestion on advice please help a guy out!

Contracts:
Helge Dedek
Omar Mohamed Nour Nasr Farahat
Fabien Gélinas( French)

Torts:
Jaye Dana Ellis
Shauna Van Praagh,
Lara Khoury(French)

Criminal Justice:
Marie Manikis
Alana Klein
 Mugambi Jouet (French) 

Constitutional Law:
Colleen Sheppard
Vrinda Narain
Johanne Poirier(French)

Foundations:
Daniel Weinstock 
Kristen Anker
Sebastien Jodoin Pilon (French)
Victor Muniz‐Fraticell


Indigenous Legal Traditions:
Aaron Mills
Karen Sloan
Kristen Anker (French)

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Contracts: Gélinas if you're comfortable in French. Otherwise the two others should be decent.

Torts: Khoury is great if you speak French (had her for medical liability). I had Van Praagh for torts and would genuinely advise avoiding her if at all possible (in my year, she had us write children's stories for our final exam). I had public international law with Ellis and would say she's competent but maybe a bit disengaged.

Constitutional: Avoid Narain.

Foundations: I had Weinstock. Great professor but his section is more philosophical than the other profs' sections. I had Anker for common law property and she's also very good. If you have an interest in Aboriginal stuff, Anker's section may suit you better as that is her wheelhouse.

ILT: The only name I recognize here is Anker. If your French is good, I think she'd be great. Frankly I'm a bit surprised to see that she's teaching in French because I assumed (without evidence) that her French wasn't great.

 

 

Edited by msk2012
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1 hour ago, msk2012 said:

Contracts: Gélinas if you're comfortable in French. Otherwise the two others should be decent.

Torts: Khoury is great if you speak French (had her for medical liability). I had Van Praagh for torts and would genuinely advise avoiding her if at all possible (in my year, she had us write children's stories for our final exam). I had public international law with Ellis and would say she's competent but maybe a bit disengaged.

Constitutional: Avoid Narain.

Foundations: I had Weinstock. Great professor but his section is more philosophical than the other profs' sections. I had Anker for common law property and she's also very good. If you have an interest in Aboriginal stuff, Anker's section may suit you better as that is her wheelhouse.

ILT: The only name I recognize here is Anker. If your French is good, I think she'd be great. Frankly I'm a bit surprised to see that she's teaching in French because I assumed (without evidence) that her French wasn't great

Hey! I was wondering if any of these courses would be least daunting to take in French for someone who's first language is English? I haven't taken a class in french since CEGEP but would like to get back into it without being too overwhelmed.  

Edit: I'm judging from your post that I should probably avoid contacts and torts in french, but maybe the others?

Edited by Applicant2019

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16 minutes ago, Applicant2019 said:

Hey! I was wondering if any of these courses would be least daunting to take in French for someone who's first language is English? I haven't taken a class in french since CEGEP but would like to get back into it without being too overwhelmed.  

If I had to say, I'd probably say constitutional would be the least daunting course to take in French.

For constitutional law, you'll have access to good English language texts to supplement whichever French language textbook the class will be using. Likewise, all or virtually all the cases you'll be reading will be available in both English and French.

Similarly, constitutional law isn't really a transsystemic course. In practical terms, transsystemic courses are tougher because there aren't always high quality supplementary texts available and you are generally dependent on the coursepacks that professors cobble together from various sources.

Edited by msk2012
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Contracts: Gelinas and Dedek are both excellent.

Torts: Avoid Ellis. The other two are fine.

Criminal Justice: They're all good. Note that Jouet teaches more theoretically; he's American so he's not as acquainted with the Criminal Code as, for example, Klein.

Constitutional: Take Sheppard if you can!! Amazing human being. Fantastic professor. Great marker. Just a sweetheart overall. 

 

 

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Farahat, Van Praugh or Khorry, Klein, Sheppard, Weinstock, Mills and you should have a good year! :) 

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Contracts:
Helge Dedek - an absolute gem. Had him for contracts and it was tied for my favourite class, even though I'm a public law guy through and through. He's especially useful for 1Ls as he makes sure you understand how to read a case and prepare a brief. He went through facts, issue, rule, analysis, ratio on the more important cases and really worked to have you understand the method.

Torts:
Lara Khoury(French)

I didn't have any of them. I've heard great things about Khoury, and awful things about the other two.

But some people love Van Praghs approach. And she's certainly brilliant.

Criminal Justice:
Marie Manikis
Alana Klein
 Mugambi Jouet (French)

 

can't go wrong with either Manikis or Klein. No knowledge of Jouet. Manikis speaks like a mouse so sit close to hear. She's very kind and willing to help though.

Constitutional Law:
Colleen Sheppard
Vrinda Narain
Johanne Poirier(French)

 

poirier was great in the few plenaries I had with her. Sheppard bought me lunch once and she seemed very kind. She's very into human rights so if that's your jam, go with her. Avoid Narain at all costs.

Foundations:
Daniel Weinstock 
Kristen Anker
Sebastien Jodoin Pilon (French)
Victor Muniz‐Fraticell

Jodoin will probably make you work (think more assignments). He's also much less black letter law than your typical law prof. He's been a really great mentor for me. His sustainable development class is a gem at the faculty.

I had Anker for property. She's very smart. Very knowledgeable on Aboriginal law and history. She can be a very exacting grader, which I liked.

Weinstock makes foundations fun. Which is a difficult thing to do.

Avoid Fraticelli (friends have said this). Think very academic head in the clouds kind of guy.


Indigenous Legal Traditions:
Aaron Mills
Karen Sloan
Kristen Anker (French)

I only ever had Anker so see my comments above. Everyone has positive things to say about Mills. I'm happy they're teaching this in 1L now as a stand alone course!

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7 minutes ago, MaitrePathelinBeeee said:

Hi!

Do you know which professors prepare you best for practice in Québec or another Civil Law jurisdiction?

Thanks!

I don't practice in Quebec so the value of my response is probably limited. Having said that, I'd assume that folks who trained / practiced in civil law environments are maybe a little better. You can figure this out by looking at the professor's profiles online.

As a bit of an aside, I'm not sure if there's a particular pedagogical style that is better suited for common law or civil law. I suppose there's a greater emphasis on the Code and statutory interpretation on the civil law side but those the underlying skills are also useful for folks that intend to practice in a common law jurisdiction.

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Following up to add that law school is generally quite distinct from legal practice.

I think there are other schools where professors have spent more time practicing law but at McGill it seems as if a very large chunk of them graduated from law school, went on to clerk, got an LL.M. / doctorate, and then started teaching.

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23 minutes ago, msk2012 said:

Following up to add that law school is generally quite distinct from legal practice.

I think there are other schools where professors have spent more time practicing law but at McGill it seems as if a very large chunk of them graduated from law school, went on to clerk, got an LL.M. / doctorate, and then started teaching.

There are quite a few practitioner adjuncts though, since the school always struggles to offer enough courses/spaces.

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My advice is dated. Also, my year we just chose language and got placed into courses. I would never have willingly taken Antaki for Constitutional Law when Leckey was my alternative!

If you're aiming to stay in QC, obvs take more French-language classes. And more from the civil basket when possible. Imo,  English classes (outside of the 1L blackletter courses) had less emphasis on the civil code (outside of Leckey's family law classes. We had a good mix of both systems). I agree with make - constitutional is good 1L course to take in French if you're going to take one.

Contracts: Dedek! Very clear and concise. Gelinas also a good choice. Farhat wasn't teaching when I was in the fac so no clue.

ECO (I remember Saumier's rant. "It's not torts!")

I would opt for Khoury if your french is up for it. imo, was a very good lecturer. Ellis only taught environment and was a vice dean while I was in the fac so can't speak about her. Van Praugh is either loved and hated so it really depends on whether you mesh with her teaching style. She's been teaching the 1L eco class for a while so likely is very comfortable with the material. 

Criminal Justice: Whoa, McGill finally made criminal law mandatory in 1L? Neat. Klein is great. I had 2 classes with her. Enjoyed her teaching style and energy. Heard great things about Manikis. No insight to Jouet. 

Constitutional: Sheppard was a pretty strong lecturer. No nonsense and straight forward. I never had Narain but saw her in a guest lecture. I liked her but friends warned me she did well in smaller settings. Heard her con law class was quite all over the place. This was a few years ago so she might have tightened her teaching style. No insight on Poirier.

Frowndations: I had Anker. It was OK. The class was dull and felt very Intro to Philosophy. Very basic class discussions and terrible readings. Weinstock and Muniz are the most theoretical of the bunch. Muniz is cross appointed with Poli Sci so that's his approach. Friends hated his courses but Muniz has his fans. Honestly, take whichever course that fits your schedule.

Indigenous: new course so I can't offer much. This is Anker's field and wouldn't surprise me if she had a hand developing the course. I wasn't aware that her french was strong enough to teach in the language but that was also 10 years ago.

 

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Do you think language of a course could make a difference if you're an allophone who has an excellent mastery of both official languages (acquired through schooling in another country) but prefers to write in English? Asking because as someone on the waitlist I probably will have to sign up for the french sections

Edited by herpsderps123

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@herpsderps123 No, it won't ! You can submit all your assignments and exams in the language of your choice regardless of the language of instruction of the course. So, even if you end up in all French classes, you can still submit your assignments in English if you prefer writing in English (or vice-versa for anyone who prefers to write in French in an English course). 

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28 minutes ago, CommeCiCommeCa said:

@herpsderps123 No, it won't ! You can submit all your assignments and exams in the language of your choice regardless of the language of instruction of the course. So, even if you end up in all French classes, you can still submit your assignments in English if you prefer writing in English (or vice-versa for anyone who prefers to write in French in an English course). 

Thank you! What about textbooks and readings?  Will those be in French if I sign up for French sections?

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2 minutes ago, herpsderps123 said:

Thank you! What about textbooks and readings?  Will those be in French if I sign up for French sections?

You'll have French and English readings in all your classes regardless of the language of the courses you take. 

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Hello! Prospective 1L here :) 

Out of curiosity, were you able to choose your courses, or were you pre-enrolled by the department?

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There will be 2 English sections and 1 French section per 1L course. You will be assigned to one of the two English sections and then you will have the choice to register for either the English section you were assigned to or the French section. 

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Hi, I’m a little confused with the course selection process for 1L. 

Do we pick each prof we want or do we pick groups of profs so we stay with the same group?

Thanks! 

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