Editor’s Note: The Smallest Acorns May Grow the Greatest Oaks
Updated: Nov 14, 2021
By Heidi J. T. Exner
Well, here we are in the final stretch of 2021 already! How did that even happen? I swear I blinked in August…
On campus we made it through one close call in September, when I would have bet money on us returning to ZoomU (glad I did not!). The fourth wave of COVID in Alberta left all university students feeling more “on edge” than ever, as we have seen first-hand that the fragility of our in-person learning experience is all too real. Here at The Moot Times, we were counting on meeting our peers face-to-face (mask-to-mask?) to plan the upcoming year, expand our leadership, and expand our pool of contributors. The goals for our little ‘zine relied, and continue to rely, on our ability to assemble and retain the right team of students: ones who have a lot of enthusiasm and heart! We all know how difficult this sort of endeavour can be via Zoom.
Since our last issue a lot has changed at The Moot Times. For starters, you might be reading this on our new website! We went live with our new site in the first week of November, and we continue to nip and tuck here and there, but overall, we are thrilled to have a real website again! This is all thanks to our new Online Content Editor Emily Zheng, who designed a far better layout than I know I would have designed (remember the old website – yeah, that was my sub-par Wix handywork). Emily is the Hero The Moot Times needed!
If you are reading this on the glossy pages of our print publication, you might notice that the layout keeps improving as we go! Our fabulous Layout Editor Ro Burrington is responsible for this. Our 1Ls and 2Ls never did see the old issues of our publication, so this is a great time to bust out a flashback photograph of a printed issue from The Moot Times’ 2019-2020 year. To be fair, we are law students, not graphic designers. Thankfully, with the right attitude some of us, like Ro, can be both!
We’ve come a long way, baby!
Whether you are reading this online or in print, perhaps you might also notice typing errors are a thing of the past at The Moot Times! Our new Copy Editor Athina Pantazopoulos and I have developed content submission protocols and procedures that ensure an “all eyes on deck” publishing process. Athina has developed our new Style Guide (yay!), and together we have established new content submission guidelines and procedures for each of our contributions. Thanks to this work, my left eye will longer twitch upon reading and noticing the odd error.
We have also been very hard at work connecting with all kinds of partners. You will see some of our community partners in our print publication right now, including a special message from our American “Twitter celebrity” friend, whose identity I shall protect with my life! We continue to build relationships with entities and groups that enhance the lives of our peers, so we can provide them with information about events and initiatives that may be of use to them. Of course, this also includes events and initiatives that student clubs organise and put together for law students and the legal community. In this issue we have three exciting guest contributions from the Chair of the Black Law Students’ Association (BLSA) National Conference at Windsor Law in Ontario, our friends at Alberta Lawyers’ Assist, and UCalgary Law 2018 alum Britta Graversen, who started her own law firm in the middle of a global pandemic!
Ifrah Mukhtar is our new Communications go-to for organising all of this. She is the woman behind our Instagram, and she also does a lot of work herding law students within our group, for everything from meeting coordination to gathering bios (this requires a lot more work than one might think, trust me!). She is currently moving into our external communications with community partners, student clubs, the Society of Law Students (SLS), and faculty. As our information hub-keeper, you’ll see her name under our “What’s Happening on Campus” section of The Moot Times, too. It is wonderful to have Ifrah on board!
And last but not least, we have our Treasurer Randann Sargent. Randann and I work behind the scenes to make sure we don’t write any bad cheques (kidding, but not really!). We are currently revising our financial planning and budgeting in a way that is easy to hand over to our successors. In fact, everyone’s work on the editorial and leadership team has been, and is currently, designed with transfer of leadership in mind. We want to ensure this publication can continue to grow and flourish for years to come, long after we are students at UCalgary Law.
Whew! (*wiping sweat off my brow*). The most exciting part of all of this news is the above-described activity is just the beginning! We have so much on the horizon between now and Summer 2022, and we are excited to share it all with you in due time. I want to thank our firm and community partners for joining us, and I encourage you all to check them out over the coming months as well. My personal hope is that you enjoy the work of your peers and contributors from the broader legal community in this issue, and for many issues to come. If you are interested in joining or partnering with our growing happy bunch then please feel free to reach out to any of us, at any time!