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Get to know Schulich Fellow Angela Lee

Posted by Jane Doucet on October 17, 2019 in News, Research, Students
(Photo: Jane Doucet)
(Photo: Jane Doucet)

The Schulich School of Law welcomes Angela Lee, who has joined us as a Schulich Fellow for the 2019–20 academic year and will be teaching a first-year section of Contracts in the fall term and an upper-year seminar on Animal Law in the winter term.

A doctoral candidate at the University of Ottawa’s Faculty of Law, Lee received her BA and JD from the University of British Columbia. Her recent research on new food innovations has been published in a variety of peer-reviewed journals, including the Dalhousie Law Journal, Canadian Food Studies, and the Canadian Journal of Women and the Law.

“My research is motivated by the desire to grapple with challenging questions that have profound practical implications for law and society,” says Lee, “and to give voice to groups, concerns, and viewpoints that are often marginalized.”

Why did you decide to pursue a career in law and academia?

My path both to law school and beyond has been winding. I wasn’t sure what I wanted to do with my life for a long time, but I knew I wanted to do work that I believed in and that I felt was making some kind of difference in terms of addressing the injustices I saw in the world. I ended up at law school thinking I’d go into public interest environmental law, but ultimately, practice didn’t seem like the best fit for me.

When I was at law school, I was lucky enough to have had a mentor who not only showed me what was possible in academia but who also set an exceptional example of the kind of academic that I continue to strive to be. At the University of Ottawa, I have continued to work with people who—through their own teaching, research, and service—remind me of the importance of the work that academics do on a regular basis.

What draws me to academia, and legal academia in particular, is the opportunity it affords me to delve deeply into issues I’m really interested in, and to leverage that research to influence law, policy, and society at large.

Tell us a bit about your academic and legal background.

I did my BA in Interdisciplinary Studies, which essentially meant that I got to take classes that interested me in a range of different disciplines. I became really interested in environmental issues during this time, which is something I carried through to law school and graduate studies.

After completing my JD at the Allard School of Law, I came to the University of Ottawa’s Faculty of Law, where I fast-tracked into the PhD program from the LLM program. My doctoral work critically considers the intersections between new and emerging scientific and technological innovations, the environment, various forms of justice, and the law, particularly in the context of food and agriculture.

What appealed to you about doing an academic teaching Fellowship at Schulich Law?

Spending time in different research and teaching environments is an important way to enrich one’s personal and professional development. I feel fortunate to be able to spend this year at Schulich Law—it has an excellent reputation in numerous areas that are key to my work, and I appreciate the school’s commitment to dynamic research, public service, and community engagement. I am keen to learn as much as I can from the faculty, students, and staff here during my time as a Fellow. I also look forward to the opportunity to engage with the robust research and activism on environmental justice and other related issues that is rooted in Halifax, and in Nova Scotia more broadly.

What do you like about teaching?

For the past two years, I have co-taught an upper-year seminar on Food Law at the University of Ottawa’s Faculty of Law. It has been immensely rewarding to see students develop their knowledge and skills over the course of the term and to start to think about contemporary issues and challenges in different ways. It is a privilege to be a part of that process.

In addition, one of the best ways to learn is to teach! Teaching demands not only a strong grasp of the subject matter but also the ability to convey it to students in a clear, engaging, and digestible manner. Good teaching also requires ongoing reflexivity and the ability to adapt to the needs of a particular group of students. Teaching Contracts will be a new challenge, albeit one that I am embracing, and I am really excited about the opportunity to teach the upper-year seminar on Animal Law this year, which is an area of particular interest to me.  

What will you be working on while you’re here?

I have a number of projects on the go. I’m part of a multi-year research project on environmental justice in Canada based at the University of Ottawa’s Faculty of Law, and we have a couple of initiatives that we are working on developing over the next year. I am co-editor of a forthcoming volume on Food Law and Policy in Canada that will be published this fall, which includes a chapter co-authored by Professor Jamie Baxter and Schulich Law alumna Jessica Rose, and we are making final touches to the manuscript. I’ll also be working on finishing my dissertation and hopefully developing a book proposal based on it.

Learn More

Angela Lee will be sharing her work in this year's first Mini Law lecture Why "Frankenfoods" Need Feminism on October 30th. Visit our events calendar for more details.