When the professor in charge of the Droit du sport (sports law) course announced that he was no longer able to teach, Philippe Boisvert, a recent University of Ottawa graduate, never thought that they would be calling on his services. However, Pierre Thibault, Assistant Dean and Secretary of the Civil Law Section remembers “immediately thinking of Philippe”.
Indeed, having recently completed his Licence en droit civil and the JD Common Law Program by following a more than exemplary course of study, Mr. Boisvert was the perfect candidate for the position.
“Philippe was selected for the Moot Court Competition where I noticed that he was an excellent student, quite at ease, with a strong presence,” explained Mr. Thibault.
“I was also a teaching assistant while studying for the bar and I had really enjoyed the experience,” Mr. Boisvert commented. “At the end of the year, I knew that I eventually wanted to be involved in the academic community and I expressed my interest to Mr. Thibault. But it certainly happened a lot faster than I expected!”
It is easy to imagine the new challenges arising from this transition from student desk to front of the class in the very same classrooms of Fauteux Hall.
“I had to prepare a course for the first time in very little time and that was a lot more work than I had thought,” confirmed the young professor, who is also a full‑time law clerk with the Federal Court of Appeal.
“I am younger than some of my students, which can be somewhat intimidating at the beginning! However, I certainly remember what it was like to be a student and so I always try to be prepared, dynamic and enthusiastic in order to compensate for my lack of practical experience.”
Regardless of the challenges, the Faculty’s senior staff does not regret the confidence they placed in Philippe and say that they are very satisfied with his work.
“We needed the position filled immediately and Philippe proved to be a very good choice,” admits the Assistant Dean. “The students liked him and everything went well; we are very pleased.”
“The ability to teach has nothing to do with age and Philippe Boisvert is proof of that,” confirms Jade Descheneaux, a Faculty of Law student. “He developed an outstanding course plan that clearly reflected his interest in law and his passion for sports. His dynamic delivery ensured that attending his sports law course on Friday evenings was not a chore but a pleasure for everyone. I congratulate him and thank him personally because, as a result of his course, this is a field of law that I hope to practice one day.”
Consequently, after teaching sports law in the fall 2011 session, Mr. Boisvert accepted the offer to take over the Droit des contracts nommés (nominate contract law) and Rédaction juridique (legal writing) courses for the session now ending.
Although he is not completely closing the door on a future career in teaching, Mr. Boisvert is presently concentrating on the nominate contract law course he will be giving again this summer, in collaboration with Gabriel Querry, and on his move to England next September. The young man has just been accepted at prestigious Cambridge University where he will pursue his law studies.
So, life as a student or life as a professor….which is better?
“You do not work as hard as a student,” says Philippe. “But you do not find that out until much later!” concludes Mr. Thibault.