James Farley, Class of '66This donor profile is from the Spring/Summer 2012 issue of Nexus.

Before joining the class of ’66, the Honourable James Farley, QC, studied at Oxford University as a Rhodes Scholar. Spending time in those historic old buildings prepared him well, he says, for the ravages of Flavelle House.

“It was in very poor physical shape,” he remembers. “They tried to pretty it up by using wallboard to hide all the plasterwork in the ceiling.” Still, Farley and his classmates thrived. They played cards in between classes, and learned the law from such masters as the Honourable Bora Laskin, who went on to serve as Chief Justice of Canada’s Supreme Court and whose name now graces the law school library.

Farley too was eventually elevated to the bench, serving for 17 years on the Ontario Superior Court. These days, he is a senior counsel at McCarthy Tétrault, and boasts an open-door policy where young lawyers and students are welcome to drop by and chat about everything, from legal cases to baseball scores.

Farley and his fellow classmates have been solid supporters of the law school over the many years since they graduated. The new building, he says, is what their alma mater needs most right now. “I’m a great believer in comfort, lighting and ventilation. You need to have good facilities to attract great students and great teachers.”

By Karen Gross and Lucianna Ciccocioppo / Photography by Nigel Dickson