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Life Outside Law: A Professor Expose


Professor Ubaka Ogbogu


What’s my life like outside the law? If I had to describe it in terms of one catch-all, it has to be that I enjoy conversations. Especially if it relates to two topics: how my life would be much better with a butler in it, and how much I dislike cable TV and paywalls.

If you think that’s just boring, then consider the places I like to have such conversings (may or may not be a word, but I like how it sounds): places with my wife and two daughters in it (home, etc.), places with “European-style” happy hours, wine on tap and/or pizza with fresh figs as an optional topping (Sugarbowl, Central Social Hall, Rosso), and places where one or more friends are gathered (often at my prompting, as I am an unrepentant social convener).

I also spend an inordinate amount of free time at the following non-conversing places: music stores (Blackbyrd), Chapters (the bookstore, but also the best “posh” flea market in town), places where a certain style of men’s goods are sold (Jaisel, Harry Rosen), Vietnamese sandwich places (V Sandwiches on Whyte), poetry readings, and (a guilty pleasure of mine) summer garage sales.

On weekends I rise early to watch football (em, soccer), then I spend most of what’s left of the weekend doing family things. Or figuring out how to stick it to cable TV companies. Ask me about the subject someday, and I’ll tell you how to legally watch Key & Peele or Nollywood movies on a big screen TV without paying a dime (for the content, not the TV, obviously).



Professor Cameron Jefferies

I remember reading Canons when I was in law school. Strangely, I don’t recall it ever containing an expose on the life of professors outside the classroom. What has become of this once reputable publication?! I also can’t say that this is a topic I ever gave much thought to as a student. I guess I just assumed that my profs read a lot of Supreme Court jurisprudence and maybe watched some CPAC on Saturday nights.

And me? I enjoy long walks on the beach, deep conversation, and candle lit dinners. Jokes aside, I am not all that interesting. I like to ride my bike when it’s nice out, watch Habs games so long as they don’t conflict with CPAC primetime, and read anything about sharks that I can get my hands on.

Why don’t I take this opportunity to share with you some weird stuff I have experienced during my morning commute to work? My preference is to walk or ride, and this has brought me face-to-face with some interesting folks. One fine morning, I was stopped by a man on a bike who had a stack of sliced ham in one hand and a stack of sliced cheese in the other hand. He was really quite concerned about his inability to effectively locate downtown. After offering me a bite of his breadless sandwich, which I politely declined, he followed me pretty the rest of the way to the University.

What else? While walking my bike across an intersection at a four-way stop downtown I was hit by a truck that came to a complete stop; but, then, because it had something like a 4-foot lift kit on it and the driver couldn’t see me, proceeded to give me a gentle nudge with its cattle guard. Oh, Alberta.  

And then, there is real life. This summer, my wife and I welcomed a new addition to the family and, although he is only 14.5 pounds, he effectively captures most of my time and attention. You are probably already sick and tired of hearing about this elusive work-life-balance that you are all supposed to strive for as you enter the legal profession, but wee Finlay has really helped me figure this out. I mean it’s a bit hard to sweat the small stuff when you realize that you have lectured for 80 minutes with baby spit up all over the back of your shirt.