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Canons 2021-2022 Issue #1: November/December

Hello again! Can’t believe it’s already November, but luckily in this gloomy month we have the first-ever edition of Canons for the 2021-22 year hot off the virtual presses. Read all about the controversy around leadership courses, our rundown of the recent elections and the first few Faculty of Law events of the year, and check out what the stars have in store for you in our horoscopes section…and more! 

Thanks for reading, for being here, and for being awesome. Read our gorgeous November/December issue below.

Canons Nov_Dec Issue FINAL

The Canons Big Book of Course Reviews: 2021-22 Edition

You thought that the Canons team was just sleeping after finals? You think Monica, one of our Editors-in-Chief who’s living in Korea and on a completely different time zone and taking exams at 3:00 AM and also heads up our beautiful layout, was resting after a slew of exams that ended scant days ago? You think Cailey and Victoria, our other EICs, were recuperating from the hamster wheel of the semester?

WRONG! We’re back AGAIN with our last offering of the 2020-21 academic year: our big book of course reviews. Flip through it below to see what U of A law students past and present thought candidly of the courses on offer next year. We’ve done our best to cover every course we could get our hands on a review for, and although there are a few missing either because nobody in the entire school has taken it in the last two years (because it wasn’t offered) or because nobody wanted to give their thoughts on it, we’ve done a solid job of covering over 90% of the courses on offer for 2021-22. Sick, right? We think so too. 

So check it out below if you’re curious what courses you should take, which profs teach in which styles, and tips and tricks for different classes. And may the odds be ever in your favour on course registration day…especially to you soon-to-be 2Ls. 

And have a great summer!!!!!!!!!


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 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.”