Concordia’s jurist-in-residence is hard at work
It’s been a busy term for Concordia’s jurist-in-residence, Morton Minc, who has been mentoring students and bringing notable jurists to the university since he began his two-year mandate this fall.
“For the short time I have been here, I have been so impressed by the enthusiasm and the interest of the students — in the Minor in Law and Society Program and beyond,” says Me. Minc, former chief justice of the Montreal Municipal Court.
Minc’s appointment is the first of its kind for any English university in Quebec. The idea for the jurist-in-residence program came about after meetings with Concordia’s president Alan Shepard, Graham Carr, provost and VP of Academic Affairs, and André Roy, dean of the Faculty of Arts and Science.
Seasoned jurists, sold-out crowds
Since being appointed, Minc has wasted no time getting to work, organizing packed events featuring well-known experts.
On November 23, he hosted a fireside chat with the Honourable Justice Richard Wagner of the Supreme Court of Canada. The talk covered Wagner’s journey to becoming a judge and what it’s really like to be part of the Supreme Court.
“The sold-out crowd shows that there is interest and a keen involvement by students and faculty within Concordia with respect to the Law and Society Program.”
The jurist-in-residence moderated another sold-out discussion on October 19 on the legal and psychological implications of the maltreatment of children. A number of distinguished panelists took part, including the Honourable Patrick Healy (Quebec Court of Appeal) and the Honourable Martine Nolin (Court of Quebec, Youth Court Division).
‘I learned through experience’
Throughout the term, Minc has made students his priority, even spearheading a mentoring program.
“He’s really encouraging towards us and puts a lot of care and effort into what he provides,” says Katelyn Campo, a third-year student majoring in sociology with a minor in law and society. Campo first met Minc during a class lecture.
“I went to him the next day asking for help, and within the hour he provided me with resources and contact numbers to get a potential volunteering position.”
Minc also mentored the Concordia Moot Law Society for a legal debate competition against other Canadian universities. He helped student delegates prepare legal arguments and taught them about legal jargon.
“I learned through meeting different jurists that we future lawyers could gain even more interest in law programs,” says Stephen Roumeliotis, a third-year political science student who was part of the debate team.
As leader of the mentoring program, Minc aims to bring in lawyers from different disciplines, such as corporate law and criminal law, to spend the day with students. He also wants to arrange day trips to courthouses, from the Court of Appeal to the Municipal Court.
“We will sensitize students to the law and its future — to what the law looks like it’s going to be,” he says.
‘They’re getting involved’
The judge says he is pleased with how responsive students have been to the jurist-in-residence program.
“They’re getting involved in the things we have spoken about — whether it’s in the context of me giving a lecture, the questions that they ask or the time that they take to meet with me personally and with the other lawyers,” he says.
“It is thanks to the Faculty of Arts and Science and to Concordia that we are bringing these opportunities to students. I am very excited to see where the program goes next.”
Find out more about Concordia’s Law and Society Program.