, 01.24.2018 08:44 AM

Professor Kinsella, I presume

I am heading to Calgary tomorrow – to start teaching at my alma mater, the University of Calgary Faculty of Law.

I am going to be teaching communications to second and third-year law students.  And I am extremely nervous.

It isn’t the teaching communications part – I’ve done that for years with Prime Ministers, Premiers, Ministers, CEOs and whatnot.  It’s “giving students their money’s worth” part – it’s the “giving them something they will later find useful” part.

When I was studying law at U of C – and I started on September 4, 1984, the day Brian Mulroney won a massive majority in the House of Commons, and the Liberal Party was all but wiped out – there were “hard law” courses (like Contracts, where I was taught with an iron hand by now-Supreme Court Justice Sheilah Martin) and “soft law” courses (like, perhaps, the one I’m going to be teaching).

Except I don’t think better communications by and for lawyers should be an elective.  In my view, there are few groups worse than lawyers, doctors and engineers at communicating.  They/we stink at it, generally.  Better communications by professionals should be mandatory.

In their rules of professional conduct, the various bar associations require lawyers to advocate on behalf of their clients in the media.  And that’s good.  But they don’t teach them how to communicate.  That’s bad.

I’m going to be teaching the class in person, and over the Interweb thing, for the next few months.  I’m going to be in Calgary a lot.  And it’s going to be a bit intimidating – but, hopefully, somewhat useful for the students I’m privileged to teach.

Because, above all, I hope to be useful in life.  And to you, O Gentle Reader.

Ras Pierre Schenk and me in Calgary, shortly before my law school days.

Not exactly as pictured.

5 Comments

  1. Pedant says:

    This is going to sound weirdly stalkish, but it’s just on account of a good memory….but I could’ve sworn you once stated that you were on a plane the evening of the 1984 election?

    Good luck with the new role.

  2. Ronald O'Dowd says:

    Warren,

    Bits and pieces: And you think you’re getting old… I was in seventh heaven, what with Brian in power while I was there. The limo and single RCMP escort car followed me twice down Colonel By Drive on the way to campus. (But I digress.)

    Contract Law: who the hell taught me that? Ogilvie, Davidson? Don’t think it was Mitchell.

    Good Luck!

  3. Kevin says:

    Nervous? Give them something they’ll find useful? I’ve heard you speak. You’ll do just fine.

    But you really have to ditch that bogus photo. We can tell it’s bogus because the guys in the photo are good-looking.

    Good luck.

  4. Lee Hill says:

    On a vaguely related note…RIP Mark E Smith, may your rebellious jukebox play into eternity.

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