Adam Dodek, a professor of law at the University of Ottawa, has been appointed common law dean at the university’s law school. He will assume the position in January.
Dodek, a graduate of McGill University and Harvard Law School, clerked for the Supreme Court of Israel, the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, and the Supreme Court of Canada.
Dodek has written several books about public law and legislation, legal ethics and accountability, and served as chief of staff to the attorney general of Ontario in 2005-2006.
Constitutional law has long been of Dodek’s special interests and he has researched constitutions and communities in different countries because, he said, “constitutions are an expression of community and community values.”
This past year, as Canada celebrated 150 years of Confederation, Dodek participated in “Constitution 150,” a partnership of uOttawa, Université de Montréal and University of Alberta that worked to expand the knowledge and the dialogue about the Canadian Constitution between different groups in Canadian society.
“Historically,” he said, “lawyers are leaders,” and he plans, as dean, to teach students “to take charge of their groups.”
Dodek said he took on the position of dean “to be part of, and create, a sense of community: community within the faculty, between the faculty and the students, within the university, and within the larger community of Ottawa.”
Referring to the debate about the role of law schools for students, Dodek said that during his term as dean he plans to equip students with strong academic abilities and with practical tools and innovative creat ivity for future jobs.
“For example,” he said, “we have a partnership with the Haifa University law school that includes reciprocal visits of students from the two universities and focuses on tech law.”
Dodek said the Jewish community has been “a source of much needed support in challenging professional times.” As a community volunteer, Dodek sits on the boards of the Soloway Jewish Community Centre (SJCC) and JET (Jewish Education through Torah).
Last year during Limmud Ottawa, Dodek gave a lecture at the SJCC titled “The Jewish Dream Team and the Canadian Constitution” in which he discussed the contribution of Jewish Canadian legal experts to the 1982 repatriation of the Canadian Constitution and the development of the Charter of Rights and Freedoms.