Volume 93, Issue 60

Tuesday, January 18, 2000


U of T cuts TAs' classes

Law school ups average in national magazine poll

Quicker than a ray of light

Fund-raising up to par, but stadium remains unnamed

Western crimes still conventional

Coke's advertisements a sign of changing times


Law school ups average in national magazine poll

By Paul-Mark Rendon
Gazette Staff

Western's faculty of law has clawed its way up a few notches in a national ranking by Canadian Lawyer magazine.

Ranked sixth in the nation, with an overall B+ average, Western's law school moved up from its 10th place spot one year ago, said Mike Fitz-James, editor of Canadian Lawyer. Western also moved up to a second place ranking in Ontario, behind the University of Toronto.

The annual report surveyed over 1,000 of each law school's graduates from the past five years and asked multiple choice questions gauging overall curriculum, faculty, testing standards and facilities and the relevance of their education to the practice of law, Fitz-James said, adding a total of 17 schools were listed in the report.

"It's an improvement on previous years," said Albert Oosterhoff, acting dean of Western's faculty of law. "It vindicates us on what we've been doing over the last several years."

Oosterhoff attributed the move up in the rankings to increased efforts to recruit stronger students, faculty and staff.

An area earmarked for improvement was optional course selection, Oosterhoff said, adding the school would push for more variety in order to possibly move higher in the rankings next year.

Although Oosterhoff was initially pleased with the results of the survey, he said he expected the report to be met with skepticism. "There's always a question about the methodology used in these surveys," he said. "I think that's a legitimate question to ask."

Michael Rubinoff, president of the faculty of law association, said he could understand criticism surrounding the process of the survey. "I, like everybody, am skeptical, but this survey tracks the satisfaction of graduates. The fact that Western is an alternative to U of T in the province is massive," he said.

Fitz-James said he would not reveal the methodology used by Canadian Lawyer to compile the report, adding the rankings are based solely on how graduates feel about their alma maters. "We do not share methodology because these are trade secrets," he said.

Overall, Rubinoff said he was pleased with the survey's results. "I'm very happy with where we are, considering we're second in Ontario and sixth in the country."

He added Western's smaller class sizes and close-knit community were positives in attracting prospective students. "For me, it was staying here or going back home to [York University's] Osgoode Hall," he said. "[Western's law school is] a smaller school with a greater sense of community which, I think, breeds a different kind of lawyer."

To Contact The News Department:

Copyright The Gazette 2000