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Canons 2020-2021 Issue #3: March/April

Greetings! We’re back with our third lörge issue of the year for March/April 2020-2021. This is our final large issue of the year, and boy do we have some goodies hot from the oven and ready for you. In this issue, you’ll find:

  • Our incomplete Online Hall of Fame, full of accolades from contributors about the profs they personally think really hit it out of the park this year in terms of online teaching 
  • A bunch of awesome music recommendations for getting through the tail end of this (deep sigh) uNpReCeDeNtEd year (yes, we’re tired of hearing that phrase too)
  • A bunch of awesome Korean movies (that aren’t Parasite) to distract yourself when you need a break and/or are feeling the tedium of this unpr*cedented year
  • Reality TV and the law collide again in our longform feature on the family problems of the über-rich 
  • Updates on this year’s Prizes & Awards program
  • Cute lil animals in our perennial Rule of Paw column
  • And much, much more! 

We hope this brings some momentary joy and/or entertainment. Check back next month for our most anticipated issue of the year: the Canons Big Book of Course Reviews, which contains reviews for every! course! the law school has to offer! and that you can use to definitively plan your 2L and 3L schedules. 

Until then, check out our March/April issue below.

Canons - Mar_Apr 2021

The Canons Ultimate Guide to 1L Recruit

IT’S HERE! By which we mean both the actual recruit itself and this special mini-issue of Canons focused on it are both upon us. Flip through the battle CAN of 1L recruit guides below and learn the low down on everything recruit-related you’ve wanted to talk to upper year students about but been too afraid to ask, including but not limited to:

  • How important is seeing Career Services for application prep? (Short answer: VERY.)
  • What are interviews like?
  • What other non-interview things can I expect from the recruit?
  • How do I figure out which firms I like?
  • How do you give first choice?
  • What should I expect on Call Day?
  • Other general tips and advice it never hurts to hear

And much, much more! So get on in there and out there and on the viLaw Portal if you’re gunning for a 1L summer position. You got this, you rock, you’re so cool, and we know you’ll kill it in those online firm-hosted Zoom social events. 

Canons - Ultimate 1L Recruit Guide

 

Canons 2020-2021 Issue #2: January/February

Welcome to the new year! Glad we can all leave 2020 in the dust. We’ve been working hard over the holiday break to create this: the new full-size Canons 2020-2021 issue for January/February! It’s 52 full pages of great, varied content. We’ve got Bachelor predictions. We’ve got more on QAnon. We’ve got THE DISBARMENT TEST, the best tongue-in-cheek law-themed version of the Purity Test out there. And we’ve got a 1L recruit preview for anyone who’s jonesing for any information about the recruit they can get their hands on. (We’ve going to be making a full mini-issue dedicated to the 1L recruit soon, but we’ve included a good primer in this issue in case there’s anyone out there who just! can’t! wait!)

Thank you for reading, godspeed to you all re: the brand new semester, and here’s to a new set of months of online solidarity. Love y’all. 

Canons-Jan_Feb 2021

The Canons 1L Midterm Guide

Greetings, friends. It’s late November, which means it’s scarily close to December, which means we’re like 0.2 seconds away from having to throw ourselves into studying for finals or, if you’re a 1L, your very first set of law school midterms. 

We’d tell you not to freak out, but you’re probably not going to listen. “Mysterious Canons Editor,” you say, clutching your metaphorical pearl choker, “Please! We need info, not pointless platitudes!”

Although “don’t freak out” actually is useful info and not truly an empty platitude, we also know entirely what you mean: one of the best ways to calm down and not freak out is by knowing what you’re getting yourself into. So here we are, once again, to dump upper-year knowledge on you. Maybe this time it’s solicited. 

Click through the PDF reader below to read our very first Canons 1L Midterm Guide, complete with advice from people who did incredibly well on midterms, people who suffered through dreaded technical issues and lived to tell the tale, and practical info on how to tackle each course, work Exam4, and destroy those exams. 

As always, email us at canons.ualberta@gmail.com if you have any questions. ♡

LEGIT FINAL copy midterm guide

Canons 2020-2021 Issue #1: November/December

HELLO!!! We’re back and better than ever with a supersized first “official” issue for the months of November and December. With tons of great content from your fellow students, we hope this issue will find you cozy and safe at home…while reminding you that yes, other law students do in fact exist and you’re not just doing law school in a weird vacuum. In this issue, vote in our bracket to determine who’s the Best Fictional Lawyer, digest our breakdown of the just-completed Alberta 2L recruit, learn about what it takes to pursue a clerkship, read about how to interpret the upcoming U.S. election results, and much much more, including fan favourite horoscopes and our perennial pets feature (which is, as we all know, the best part of mid-class breaks these days). 

Flip through the PDF embedded below to view the Fall 2020-2021 issue of Canons of Construction. ♥ (The embedder doesn’t embed links properly, so to vote in our Fictional Lawyer Bracket, click here.)

P.S. We’ll be back soon with a 1L midterm mini-issue for the next instalment of our 1L Series, and back after that with our January/February issue in the new year. ♡

Canons Issue 1 - Nov:Dec

The Canons Ultimate Guide to 1L

Hey, hi, hello, how are ya! No one asked, but we 2Ls answered: every single thing you should know as a 1L coming into the U of A. Flip through the issue below or click here to view the exclusive (!) Canons Ultimate Guide to 1L. <3

1L Handbook

 

My Hometown’s (Supposed) Experience with Satanism

Dylan Robertson (3L)

My hometown is a small city in Saskatchewan called Martensville. Calling it a city is something of a misnomer in my eyes, because aside from that title there isn’t anything separating it from the hundred other sleepy Prairie towns that dot the province. This includes the fact that, like any small town, Martensville has a secret that residents do not like to discuss. Unfortunately for residents, however, our secret is well known, as demonstrated by the repeated response I received during Articling Week last June when I told people where I am from: “Oh, I’ve heard of Martensville, but not for a reason you probably want to discuss.”

I am always interested in talking about that reason because it is one of the most abnormal, ridiculous, and ultimately tragic scandals to ever occur in Canada. Between 1988 and 1992, nearly 30 children came forth with accusations that they had been sexually assaulted while being cared for at a daycare run out of the home of Ron and Linda Sterling, two local residents with close ties to the municipal police force. Each child was between the ages of two and 12 when the improper conduct was said to have occurred. The initial complaints focused on the couple’s adult son, Travis, but quickly expanded their focus to include accusations of improper conduct from not only Ron and Linda, but other members of the household as well as members of the police. In total, more than a dozen people were charged with crimes related to the supposed events, yet in the end, only one person—Travis—was ultimately found guilty (R v Sterling, 1995 CanLII 4037 (SKCA)). One other person had their conviction overturned at appeal (R v TS, 1995 CanLII 3957 (SKCA)), while everyone else were either found not guilty or had their charges stayed.

What is notable about this case is not the crimes that were committed (and which are genuinely tragic), but the accusations of conduct that were found to be false. For a brief period, the sexual abuse was believed to be the actions of a Satanic cult—known as the Brotherhood of the Ram—which had infiltrated the community and that had used the daycare as a front to access children for ritualistic abuse. This cult supposedly included the Sterlings as well as members of three different police forces. Several children spoke of being tied up, thrown in the back of a police cruiser, and taken outside of town to a place known as the “Devil Church,” which several children identified as a blue shed. Here, they were subjected to horrific abuse, including being locked in cages, being stripped naked and placed in freezers, being sexually penetrated with an axe handle, and having their blood taken for use in Satanic rituals. Although these allegations seem unbelievable today, they gained significant credibility after a local pilot identified a shed six kilometres outside of town that investigators felt corroborated with the children’s stories. The allegations of Satanic cults became so great that the entire town was put on notice. Police who had been cleared of ties to the cult were told to be on the lookout for the high priestess, who was identifiable by a scarab beetle tattoo on her wrist. On April 24, 1992, police were told to bring their own guns and prepare for a Satanic invasion of the town and a potential human sacrifice, which obviously never occurred. Ultimately, in fact, no evidence of a Satanic cult or ritual abuse was ever found, and the hysteria died out as quickly as it had arrived.

So what exactly led to the escalation of the allegations? One key factor was that Martensville was far from the only community to be home to allegations of Satanic ritual abuse. In the decade prior, fears of clandestine cults abusing children were a common conspiracy throughout the Western world; Martensville—at the time a highly religious community—simply proved susceptible to such rumours. Another factor—and the one which allowed the allegations of Satanism to enter the conversation in the first place—was that the children were interviewed in a manner which encouraged them to generate stories that affirmed the suspicions of the investigators handling the case. The cops that handled the case completely botched the interviews with the children, as they were found to have consistently asked them leading questions and provided rewards for “correct” answers that aligned with their narrative. There is no better example of this than the stories surrounding the Devil’s Church. At trial, it was discovered that the reason so many children had corroborated the story of the blue shed as the site of ritual abuse was because they had been shown photos of it. It was this improper interviewing of the children—the only evidence that backed up many of the allegations—which led to the Crown dropping its case against most of the accused.

Following the scandal, many of the wrongly confused justifiably sought compensation from the police and government. In 2002, John Popowich, a former constable with the Saskatoon Police Service who had been charged with sexually assaulting a child a gunpoint, received a settlement of $1.3 million dollars from the Justice Department. The next year, Ron and Linda Sterling received the same amount in an out-of-court settlement. A decade of subsequent litigation, doubled with the humiliation the town feels for being the epicentre of such a scandal, continues to ensure that it is a story that no one in the town likes to openly talk about; I myself thought it was a schoolyard rumour until I was in high school. But it was a real case, and the community rightfully should feel embarrassed for allowing a botched investigation to inspire moral panic and ruin the lives of so many innocent people.

Toomba’s Tunes – October

Tunahan Uygun (3L)

 What up everybody it’s your boy Tunahan, aka Tuna, aka El Jefe, aka Toomba & I’d like to cordially welcome you to my monthly music column Toomba’s Tunes. For any of you who know me, you know I’ve always got something bumping through my headphones & I thought I’d share some of the music that I am listening to, inspired by & grooving to. Let’s get down to business. I am hoping the structure of this column will include a review of a new album every month, a new music roundup, wack track of the month, live show of the month, my Put it on Pre-order suggestion and Toomba’s Throwback Jam. Now that that’s settled, let’s get this proverbial bread.

Album of the Month: Norman F*****g Rothwell by Lana Del Rey

Though I am mostly known as someone who enjoys hip hop (this is true), I have a special spot in my musical heart for jams that’ll get me in my sadbag. Of the last decade, few have been as swift with the sadbag as the one and only Lana Del Rey. The first time I started spinning her latest album, Norman F*****g Rothwell, the first notes suggested a potential shift in direction for Lana. Though she hits a lot the classic beats that drew us in years ago, Lana’s growth as an artist is hitting a new peak here. Don’t get me wrong, it’s still an album with themes about less-than-stellar men and romanticized ideas of love and sadness, but her approach to these themes comes from a more mature place. It’s a welcome path for what her music may sound like moving forward. Personally, I love this album. The instrumentation and production breathes the cover art and lyrics to life, while Lana’s voice is as angelic as ever. Rothwell is, in my opinion, Lana’s most impressive display of song-writing to date. There are definitely some stand-out tracks for me including “F*** it I love you” and “hope is a dangerous thing for a woman like me to have – but I have it” but the best song of the album easily goes to “Mariners Apartment Complex.” Hot take: I think this is Lana’s best song ever. Just look at this lyricism, “You took my sadness out of context, At the Mariners Apartment Complex, I ain’t no candle in the wind, I’m the board the lightning the thunder, Kind of girl who’s gonna make you wonder, Who you are & who you’ve been.” Where them tissues at? 4 out of 5 stars.

New Music Roundup 

I’m gonna be honest with y’all, I have not been doing nearly enough due diligence on keeping up with new music this month. Was it the wave of events, responsibilities and appearances in September? No. Was it me going back to Igor, The Lost Boy and Bandana? Yes. What can I say? This summer produced some top-notch albums. That being said, I was able to catch up on some of what September had to offer. JPEGMAFIA came out with his sophomore album last week titled All My Heroes Are Cornballs, and although I haven’t given it the share of spins it deserves, I can say that it is an energetic follow-up to last year’s Veteran. There’s a radical uniqueness to JPEGMAFIA that sounds like a fusion of Lil Uzi Vert and Death Grips. If you’ve never listened to him before, and that doesn’t make you give him a chance, then I really don’t know what to say to you. Another album that came out this month was the soundtrack to the Netflix series Top Boy. For those of you who haven’t seen it, Top Boy is a follow-up to the BBC show Top Boy Summer House that follows the lives of London drug dealers in their climb to become “Top Boy” of the mandem. The soundtrack is a collection of songs from a variety of English rappers, and the two standout tracks for me are “Riding on E” by Nafe Smallz and “My Town” by Baka Not Nice featuring Giggs. Though I thoroughly enjoyed both the show and its soundtrack, it wasn’t without its flaws.

Wack Track of the Month – Behind Barz by Drake

I should’ve noted earlier that Top Boy is executive produced by Drake & Future which is very cool. Drake continuing to bite the sound of London rappers — to the point that he raps an entire song with a fake accent — is not very cool. Sorry Drizzy, but “Got all the tea and I’m hottin it up” just ain’t it.

Live Show of the Month – YBN Cordae

Last Thursday young rap superstar (yeah I said superstar) paid Edmonton’s Union Hall a visit, and I went to see if the prowess he showed on The Lost Boy translated live. It did. Coming off of one of the best debut albums in years, Cordae meant business, diving right into his set covering which included most of The Lost Boy, a couple of standout tracks from YBN: The Mixtape and a remixed rendition of “My Name Is.” Even though he is only 21, he had the crowd eating out of his palm all night: the way a veteran performer aspires to. He displayed the charisma of a platinum rapper, maintained his energy and breath control to the point that the set never felt laboured, and showed everyone in the audience why many, including myself, think Cordae is the future of hip hop. Cordae came through with one of the most fun live shows I’ve been to in years, and I’m excited to see what he does next.

Put it on Pre-Order – Jesus is King by Kanye West (release date: TBD) 

I want to put Danny Brown’s uknowhwatimsayin¿ as the Put it on Pre-Order album of the month. Danny Brown doesn’t do things like say the release date of his album is a certain day and then fail to follow through on the album. Danny Brown doesn’t do things like say he has an album coming out in a couple of weeks and then delay it a year. But alas, Danny Brown is not Kanye West. I’ve got my clown makeup ready to apply as I wait patiently for Yeezy’s much anticipated gospel album, Jesus is King. Is it going to be a full gospel album? Is it going to be gospelized renditions of his greatest hits à la Kim Kardashian’s Instagram stories? Is it ever going to actually come out? I don’t have answers to these questions. All I know is that Yeezus has us all waiting with bated breath for his next artistic endeavour like no other artist can. Who knows? Maybe by the time you’re reading this edition of Canons, Jesus is King may have been released.

Toomba’s Throwback Jam  – “Thriller” by Michael Jackson

It’s October, so that means one thing… we are officially in Spooky Szn. For me, nothing sounds quite like October like Halloween jams & the King of Pop is the King of the Scares with this 1984 classic. “Thriller” is the soundtrack to mini chocolate bars, scary movies about possessed houses, and overcrowded Halloween parties with people butchering MJ’s iconic dance. While you’re already there, I’d recommend exploring the rest of the Thriller album and listening to some it’s classics like, “Beat It,” “Billie Jean,” and “Human Nature.”

Courageous 3L Decides to Tough it Out and Complete Law School

Dylan Robertson (3L)

   After a long summer of conversations with classmates about her lack of motivation and interest in the legal profession, a 3L has made the inspirational decision to stay in law school and finish her degree, because she only has one year left. The 3L in question – who asked to remain anonymous – offered to share her courageous story with Canons in the hopes that it would help provide comfort to the handful of incoming students who are also asking themselves that important, age-old question: do I really want to do this, or am I only here because I’m too dumb to be a doctor?

“I’ve never really been sure that law is right for me,” the 3L was quoted as saying last Monday at Spencer’s exclusive pre-Pre-O event, N. “When I got here in 1L, I told myself, ‘okay, it’s just a year, so try it out.’ Then I decided to stay last year because all the upper years said 2L is when you actually learn interesting stuff. Now I’m a year away from graduation, so I might as well just tough it out and finish, right? It’s just a few thousand dollars extra in student loans and another year of self-doubt, anyway.”

A major factor in her decision to continue on is the fabled reputation of 3LOL, the phenomenon where the stress of studies magically becomes lighter in the face of indefinite 14-hour workdays. She expressed her relief that school was about to become a lot less like The Paper Chase and more like Legally Blonde. “I don’t know if I would be doing this if literally everyone hadn’t told me it gets easier at this point,” she said. “All my friends are really looking forward to this year after the grind that was 2L and Articling Week… though they all got hired, now that I think of it.”

 Is the 3L confident in her decision? According to her, yes. “Even if I still have no clue why I’m here, have yet to discover an iota of passion for the law, and my top Google prediction is ‘what happens to my student loan debt if I just leave one day and never come back,’ I’ll at least have a piece of paper that says the past three years weren’t a waste, right?”

 When asked about her future post-graduation, the 3L expressed her optimism that the skills she has gained with her degree will help create plenty of opportunities, although she could not pinpoint one that she felt particularly motivated towards. She also admitted that, despite a lack of clear job leads or an area of law that intrigues her, a career in law is ultimately not out of the question. “It will have taken me 60K to get this degree, so I suppose I should at least try to use it. Besides, getting an article is going to be the only way I can pay it all off, so I’m kind of stuck.”

Edmonton is Not the Worst

Robynne Thompson (2L)

 So, you’ve moved to Edmonton. Or maybe you’re from here. Either way, you may be feeling a bit disappointed about living in Alberta’s capital, especially given the recent decisions made in our Legislature. But that’s the subject for another article…

 It might be true that Edmonton’s best moments are during the summer. Folk Fest, Fringe Fest, Heritage Fest, and all the other fests make summer in Edmonton great. Except for Taste of Edmonton. Don’t even get me started on that one (why is it SO expensive?!). But, I’d like to make a case for Edmonton year round. Just hear me out. And keep in mind this article was written by a Chinook-loving Calgarian forced to move Edmonton for the sake of education. In case the Calgary-Edmonton rivalry is new to you, what I’m saying is that it takes a lot for me to like Edmonton. Though it might be hard to see on the surface, this city is actually a really great place to live. And you, too, can fall in love with Edmonton.

 10 reasons why Edmonton is not the worst:

 1.     The River Valley: The longest stretch of continuous urban parkland in North America and one of the first reasons I fell in love with Edmonton. Though it doesn’t replace hikes in the mountains, there are so many trails and pathways to explore.

2.     Edmonton is home to one of Canada’s best patisseries:Duchess Bake Shop is my life. Every moment of everyday I’m thinking about when I can go there next. Just trust me and everyone else and go there.

3.     Edmonton’s mural game is on point:For the past three years Edmonton has hosted Rust Magic, a street mural festival. It features local and international artists. Personally, I’ll be checking out Jill Stanton’s work and I’ll probably get Duchess on the way. Edmonton’s art scene is actually pretty cool, and the murals are but one iteration. This isn’t particularly surprising as Brutalism architecture does make a great canvas for street art.

4.     Edmonton has great coffee:Steve’s Hello My Friend Café has to be top of the list – especially because no one can cheer you up like Steve when you’ve just failed your Property final. For other spots, check out Transcend and Rogue Wave.

5.     You get to complain about the weather and no one will roll their eyes at you:Yes, it gets cold, but this just means you get to pretend you’re tough and hearty! And yes, Vancouverites, 6 months of rain doesn’t sound great (*eye roll*) but at least it’s not -40.

6.     The Iceways At Victoria Park and Rundle Park:The perfect places to practice your moves when you join Swift Justice and “know how to skate” but you really don’t know how to skate.

7.     Edmonton is full of interesting people:Whether it’s the Mad Hatter – Lucien Facciotti -on the train or your 94-year-old neighbour who has a whole lot of stories, there is always someone interesting to talk to.

8.     Whyte Ave is cool, and 124thStreet is cooler: Whyte Ave pretty much has it all when it comes to restaurants, shopping, and night life – it’s always exciting. If you prefer a slower pace, 124thStreet is lined with art galleries, unique shops, and great restaurants. It’s Whyte Ave’s quieter cousin.

9.     There plenty of ways to be involved: Edmonton has a reputation of being…“Deadmonton.” but that just means there are plenty of ways to get in involved the Community. And that. Is how. You pivot. You can join plenty of organizations and people working to make Edmonton a safe and inclusive place to live.

10.   At least it’s not Calgary: Edmonton has less traffic, shorter commutes, and slightly better transit service.

 Whether you’re transferring after one year, here for three, or you’re a lifer, Edmonton is not the worst. Edmonton is what you make it. Though you might not have a ton of free time to explore the city, it’s worth getting out of the law building every once in a while – even if it’s cold outside.