By Karen Gross / Photography by Lisa Kannakko

This donor profile is from the Fall/Winter 2016 issue of Nexus

Paul and Janet Morrison Like the deep roots of a majestic oak, their personal and academic histories are tightly intertwined with the University of Toronto.  That’s where Paul, LLB 1975, and Janet Morrison, MA 1975, met at a Christmas party on a day that also happened to be Paul’s birthday. And it’s where their relationship flourished, as Janet remembers with a chuckle.

“Most of the homework and studying I did was at the law school, because at the time Paul was a much more committed and conscientious student than I was,” she says. “The only way I could see him was to rub pencils with him at the library and then persuade him to take me out for a beer afterwards.”

Decades later, the couple’s commitments to each other and the law school have not wavered. While Janet established a successful practice as a clinical psychologist and became an adjunct lecturer at the Factor-Inwentash Faculty of Social Work, Paul is a senior litigation partner at McCarthy Tétrault in Toronto. He’s also president of the Law Alumni Association, and counts many of his law school classmates among his closest friends. Their younger son earned his JD in 2011.

“This has been a very important part of Paul’s ongoing life,” Janet says. “And I really applaud that. It interests him and engages him in a way that’s very energizing and good for him.”

Paul and Janet have led by example, contributing to the school’s growth on a consistent basis. Their most recent donation—to the law school’s financial aid pool—will help attract stellar students from varied backgrounds and cultures, who might otherwise consider U of T beyond reach. “We live in a world of enormously talented young people who are skilled beyond belief,” Janet says. “There needs to be enough money so they can start to dream and realize what they can accomplish.”

With an increasingly diverse student body, Paul adds, U of T will lay the groundwork for a truly representative legal system in Canada.

“There’s a tremendous need for diversity in our profession.  Law schools are supposed to feed it, and U of T is the leading law school in the country.”