Tuesday, May 3, 2016
image of writing a letter with paper and pen

In honour of Prof. Arnold “Arnie” Weinrib’s 50th year on faculty, and the student bursary fund named after him, we asked for memories of your Faculty of Law teachers in the form of letters. We received many charming letters about Prof. Weinrib, and you can read them here, but also letters about other U of T Law professors—and what they meant to you:


Dear Prof. Cook,

Thank you for opening doors for me into the world of international human rights law. When I was a student, you taught me International Human Rights Law, then hired me as your research assistant to help with a groundbreaking conference on women's international human rights. Later, you selected me for International Human Rights Program internships, which exposed me to the inner workings of the United Nations human rights system. These key experiences showed me that a career focused on women's international human rights law was not only possible, it was necessary. When I thanked you, you always replied: “My role is to help the next generation of international human rights advocates and teachers. When it is your turn, you can do the same.” I have taken these words to heart and have tried to be as generous and inspirational in my mentoring, first as a lawyer with the Department of Foreign Affairs and now as an international law professor.  

Best wishes,
Valerie Oosterveld, LLB 1993


Dear Prof. Nedelsky,

Thank you for your Feminist Legal Theory class. Your inspired readings, collaborative pedagogy and warm and open nature made it easy and engaging to approach you after class with my ideas when I needed to. Your encouragement in our conversations to attend graduate school and retain my aspiration for becoming a law professor gave me the confidence to do so when I thought I wasn't good enough. Here I am now, almost 15 years in, as a member of the Canadian legal academy at the University of Victoria, and thoroughly loving the life I lead. Thank you so very much for putting me on this path and all your support thereafter.

Maneesha Deckha, LLB 1998


Dear Prof. Sanderson,

Thank you for sharing entertaining haikus and beautiful days outside in Queen’s Park with our property law small group.

Jenny Yoo, JD 2013


Dear Prof. Shaffer,

Thank you for not only helping me to learn how to think, research and write like a lawyer, but also to get through some of the challenges I encountered in my personal life during my first year at law school. If you hadn’t been there to point me in the right direction academically and personally, I might not be where I am today. Thank you.

Rebecca M. Wickens, JD 2002


Dear Prof. Trebilcock,

Thank you for challenging me to seriously explore my interest in Canadian cultural policy.  A short debate in your class led to a friendly after-class discussion, which led to a summer job and ultimately a paper which we co-authored, and a publication by the Ontario Economic Council in book form, “Public Strategy and Motion Pictures.” Researching this paper opened the door to meet many key players in the Canadian film industry, several of whom became friends and colleagues, as I ultimately pursued a multi-faceted career as entertainment lawyer, film distributor, executive producer and (currently) government film financier and promoter. 

Dan Lyon, LLB 1981