By McGill Reporter Staff
It has been said that the only certainty in life is death and taxes, but a more local variation might also tout the certitude that a healthy number of McGill Law students will be selected to clerk at the Supreme Court of Canada (SCC) every year.
As announced last week, six McGill students have been chosen to clerk in 2014 – an impressive number considering top law graduates from across Canada are in competition for only 27 positions. The McGill six include Marc-André Roy, Nicola Langille, Zain Naqi, Molly Krishtalka, Ian Dahlman and Marcus Moore, all in their third year of the BCL/LLB program.
While it is quite a feat for one school to land so many of the prestigious clerkships, it has become almost commonplace at McGill. Five Law students secured Supreme Court clerkships for 2013, six the year before that, seven in 2009, and so on. Daniel Jutras, Dean of the Faculty of Law, says that this kind of sterling record is no fluke. “The Supreme Court works in French and in English, and shapes the development of civil law and common law in Canada,” said Jutras. “In these respects, it shares key characteristics with the Faculty of Law at McGill. Our students are bilingual, and know how to navigate different legal traditions. That is why they do so well as law clerks at the Supreme Court of Canada.
“It is a huge honour to be selected to clerk at the Supreme Court of Canada. Dozens of brilliant law students from across the country are interviewed each year by the justices of the Court, and in the end, only twenty-seven are chosen,” continued Jutras. “Each of them will have an opportunity to work in the chambers of one of the greatest jurists in the country, addressing many complex and significant legal issues facing us right now.”
Here are brief bios of McGill’s newest Supreme Court clerks:
Born and raised in Calgary, Ian Dahlman is a former MVP water-polo player who holds an MA in Communication and Culture from Ryerson and York (joint program) and a BA (Honours) in Psychology and Comparative Literature & Culture at the University of Western Ontario. Dahlman earned awards and prizes every step of the way, most recently the Faculty’s Harry Batshaw Prize and Fern Gertrude Kennedy Prize in Jurisprudence. He has also distinguished himself as a teaching assistant, research assistant and member of the Dean’s Honour List.
Dahlman co-founded the Cultural Capital Project (cultcap.org), an initiative dedicated to rethinking the digital music industry, and co-edited a special comics edition of the open-access journal, Law Text Culture. Dahlman currently clerks at the Superior Court of Quebec and, in 2014, will clerk at the Supreme Court of Canada for Justice Louis LeBel’s successor.
The Editor-in-Chief of the McGill International Journal of Sustainable Development Law and Policy, Molly Krishtalka will clerk for Justice Andromache Karakatsanis in 2014. Krishtalka is a member of the McGill team for the Jessup International Law Moot and a tutorial leader for the Legal Ethics & Advocacy course. She has also worked as a research assistant and volunteered at McGill’s Legal Information Clinic. She holds a BA in International Development Studies from McGill (First Class Honours with Distinction), with a minor in Spanish.
Krishtalka has earned many prizes and awards at the Faculty of Law, including the Daniel Mettarlin Memorial Scholarship, the Blake Cassels & Graydon LLP Scholarship, the Borden Ladner Gervais Professional Excellence Award and the Thomas Alexander Rowat Prize, as well as a spot on the Dean’s Honour List.
Hailing from Nova Scotia, Nicola Langille holds a BA in Political Science (Honours with high distinction) from the University of Toronto, and expects to graduate from McGill with her BCL/LLB in December of 2013. She is on the Dean’s Honour List at the Faculty of Law, where she has been an active member of the Laskin moot team, the McGill Law Journal editorial board, and McGill Student Advocacy. Langille won the Brett Code Scholarship for Criminal Law in 2012.
Langille is also an accomplished musician and jazz vocalist who practices long-distance running, swimming and many intramural sports. She will work at Lenczner Slaght, a litigation boutique in Toronto, this summer, complete her degree, and then clerk for Justice Morris J. Fish’s successor in 2014.
In 2014, Chief Justice Beverley McLachlin’s roster of clerks will include Marcus Moore. A dual citizen of Italy and Canada, Moore hails from Ontario. He holds a cum laude Bachelor’s degree in Mathematics from Harvard University and is an active volunteer in the field of injury prevention. Moore has given guest lectures at the Faculty as well as at other law schools, worked on projects at the Paul-André Crépeau Centre for Private and Comparative Law and the Centre for Human Rights and Legal Pluralism, and assisted several professors with legal research.
Moore has received the Judge Leo Kolber scholarship, the Eric Feigelson Obligations Prize, the Alexander Morris Exhibition Prize, the David Litner QC Scholarship and the Henry Benson Prize and is on the Dean’s Honour List.
Justice Michael J. Moldaver selected Zain Naqi as one of his clerks for 2014. Naqi earned a BA in Economics from Queen’s University, after which he worked as a research analyst at the Bank of Canada in Ottawa. At the Faculty of Law, his honours have included the Fasken Martineau Scholarship for Academic Excellence and the Stephen A. Scott Award for highest standing in Constitutional Law.
Naqi is on the editorial board of the McGill Law Journal and is a research assistant to several professors. Naqi was also a member of this year’s Laskin Moot team, and brought home the prize for top pleader in the competition. Along with his activities in law school, Naqi maintains a long-standing involvement with the Citizen’s Foundation, a charity that builds and operates schools in his native Pakistan.
The fluently bilingual Marc-André Roy hails from northern New Brunswick. He holds a summa cum laude Bachelor’s degree in Political Science and History from the University of Ottawa and served as Chief Page in the Canadian Senate. Roy is the French Executive Editor at the McGill Law Journal and has widely published on constitutional law topics
Roy has worked as a Research Assistant for a professor of the Faculty of Law at the University of Ottawa, as well as at the Office of the Senate Ethics Officer, has presented a paper at a UQAM colloquium on “Les États généraux du Canada français, 45 ans plus tard.” After completing his BCL/LLB later this month, Roy will article at Heenan Blaikie in Vancouver, and then begin his clerkship for Justice Thomas A. Cromwell in 2014.
– With files by Bridget Wayland