Class of 1978

Although I had no intentions in this direction at the time of leaving U of T Law, I have become a legal academic! One encounter that attracted me to law school in the first place was a dinner speech given by Madame Justice Van Camp, the first woman on Ontario's superior court bench, given at the University Women's Club in Toronto. After practicing law for a few years, focusing on appellate and administrative litigation but also experiencing general practice, I returned to the University of Toronto to complete my BA (Trinity) and then my Masters of Library Science (in information science). This was part of my interest in studying the effects of computerization on the practice of law and the administration of justice. Ironically, at the time, there was no interest amongst legal academics in working with graduate students looking at this type of issue. While I was in practice, I had the experience of gowning in a "room" that was created by organizing banks of lockers (open to the ceiling) to create a "room" out of a corner of the men barristers' gowning room.

I did my Ph.D. at the University of Western Ontario, with a dissertation on access and personal data protection legislation (1992). I began to teach law at the University of Western Ontario in 1991. I was the first joint appointment at the University - fully appointed both to the Faculty of Law and the Graduate School of Library and Information Science in 1992. In the Graduate School of Library and Information Science (now the Faculty of Information and Media Studies), there was a strong cadre of women faculty and a great focus on empirical research methodologies, which parallel some of my own methodological preferences in research. Two of the doctoral students whose research in information policy I supervised have won international awards. At the Faculty of Law, there have always been fewer women faculty. In gatherings of intellectual property practitioners, there have often been few women present - but I have found all practitioners welcome and support the interest of Western's Faculty of Law in expanding the intellectual property and information law areas.

Over the years, I have helped Western's Faculty of Law to create its own graduate program. I have been Graduate Chair in the Faculty of Information and Media Studies while also acting as Director of the Area of Concentration in Intellectual Property, Information and Technology Law at the Faculty of Law. As Director, I regularly work with our student Western Intellectual Property Association to arrange careers panels concerned with the practice of intellectual property law - and every year I have had the support of women practitioners in being members of the panel (even though it frequently means traveling to London from Toronto or Ottawa). A full professor since 2002, I teach information law, governance and ownership of information, intellectual property, advanced intellectual property and international protection of intellectual property. Many of my law students, both women and men, have published articles from work done in my courses.