Jim Hildebrandt, LLB 1993, Paul McKenzie, LLB 1989, Scott Guan, SJD 2003
Jim Hildebrandt, LLB 1993, Paul McKenzie, LLB 1989, Scott Guan, SJD 2003

This donor profile is from the Spring/Summer 2012 issue of Nexus.

You don't have to live in Toronto, or even in North America, to feel an enduring connection to the Faculty of Law. More than 125 alumni currently live and work in cities and countries across the Asia-Pacific region, and many of them have joined ranks to support the building campaign, says Jim Hildebrandt, LLB 1983.

"The capital campaign is a great opportunity to get these groups together," says Hildebrandt, managing director of Bain Capital in Hong Kong. "It's also a good way to raise the profile of the school in the region."

Born and raised in Ontario, Hildebrandt has had a long and successful business career in Asia. He says the group will increasingly include more native-born alumni, who travel to Toronto to study but fully intend to go home when they're done.

That's exactly what Scott Guan, SJD 2003, did.  Now a partner at the Zhong Lun law firm in Shanghai, Guan has even held on to early, marked-up drafts of his dissertation and fondly recalls biweekly meetings with his thesis adviser, Dr. Hudson Janisch.

"Those meetings will always stay with me," Guan says. "The boxes traveled with me from Toronto, to Hong Kong, and then back to Shanghai." Beyond his cherished boxes, Guan maintains many personal ties to the law school. He and other alumni gather regularly for happy hour and to welcome university faculty when they come to town.

"U of T law school is very well known here in China," Guan says. "It's certainly the most famous law school to my seven-year-old son Dong Dong, who may be a future student there."

Both he and Hildebrandt agree the new building is a must.

"The buildings that were old and established when I graduated are now tired and outdated," Hildebrandt says. "We need to ensure that UofT law school remains the top school in Canada, and among the best in the world."

By Karen Gross and Lucianna Ciccocioppo / Photo by Eric Lee