What is federalism and how exactly does it work?
The late Peter MacKell, BA’48, BCL’51, was fascinated with all aspects of this area of scholarship, which is dedicated to understanding the relationships between central authorities and decentralized units in nations and communities around the world. Before he died in May 2011, MacKell provided for a generous $3-million bequest to establish the Peter MacKell Chair in Federalism.
The new endowed chair will attract to McGill a world-class legal scholar to explore fundamental questions related to federalism and contribute to the theory and practice of this governing philosophy, not just in a Canadian context but also universally and as a mode of governance within non-profit organizations, unions and corporations.
“Can federalism as an idea enable us to better define the role of cities and metropolitan areas in a pluralistic and changing world? Can we consider the challenge of global governance through the prism of federalism? These are key questions for the political life of all communities today, and we expect the holder of this new chair to lead the way in finding meaningful answers to these questions,” says Daniel Jutras, Dean of the Faculty of Law.
Born in Ottawa, MacKell was a gifted lawyer who specialized in commercial law, and mergers and acquisitions. He worked at several prominent law firms over his career, including over 30 years at Martineau Walker (now called Fasken Martineau), where he served as chairperson.
But despite the hard work and time pressures that came with his legal career, MacKell never forgot about his alma mater, volunteering his time as a member of the Faculty of Law’s Advisory Board and with the Friends of McGill Rugby and the Friends of McGill Jazz.
“Peter believed in giving back and helping others,” says Maurice Forget, BCL’69, a long-time friend and colleague at Fasken Martineau. “McGill provided him with an education that enabled him to succeed; he was always grateful for that.”
Courting success: McGill’s 2012 Supreme Court clerks. Back row: Adela Gotz, Anja Kortenaar and Annamaria Enenajor. Front row: Corey Omer and Michael Bookman. Not shown: Mary Race.
Many of Canada’s leading law firms are doing their part to help McGill contribute to building a just society. Thanks to generous support from several legal firms, the University’s Faculty of Law is moving forward with several key initiatives:
Davies Ward Phillips & Vineberg LLP is encouraging law students to put their knowledge and skills to work through its new Davies Ward Phillips & Vineberg Fund for Community Engagement, which will support internships in community organizations throughout the Montreal area.
To celebrate the life and career of lawyer Alex Konigsberg, BCom’59, BCL’63, Lapointe Rosenstein Marchand Melançon LLP provided the lead gift towards the Alex Konigsberg Management and Law Scholarship Award, which will be presented annually to an undergraduate student enrolled in the joint MBA/Law program.
The new McCarthy Tétrault Fund for Innovative Legal Education established by McCarthy Tétrault LLP will support events and activities that help law students enhance their professional and business skills.
Robinson Sheppard Shapiro LLP created the Robinson Sheppard Shapiro Endowment Fund to support law students participating in mooting and other academic competitions.
These organizations join Osler, Hoskin & Harcourt, Norton Rose Group Canada (formerly Ogilvy Renault), Fasken Martineau, and De Grandpré Chait among the law firms who have contributed to Campaign McGill.