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Alumni: Giving U of T more reasons to be proud

Alumni Portraits
Edward Greenspan
Current Industry: Arts & Culture, Entertainment, Law, Literature
Bachelor of Arts (BA) 1965, University College

Celebrated defence lawyer Edward Greenspan may be best known for two reasons: his success in representing high profile clients and his work as the host of the award-winning Scales of Justice on radio, beginning in 1982, and television from 1990 to 1994.

Almost 50 years after he graduated, Greenspan looks back on his undergraduate years at the University of Toronto with satisfaction:

"I was very involved in campus and it taught me a lot. There’s no greater urban experience in the entire country than U of T nor do I think there is in fact a better school than U of T in terms of both the content and the level of academia that exists there and what’s going on on campus. It’s a very very important place. I’m glad I went there."

Greenspan received his BA from U of T in 1965, his LL.B. from Osgoode Hall Law School in 1968 and was called to the Ontario bar in 1970. A senior partner in Greenspan Partners, he has been practising in Toronto since 1970. He taught at Osgoode from 1972 to 1981 and at the University’s Faculty of Law from 1972 to 1999. He is the author of Greenspan: The Case for the Defence, his best selling autobiography, co-authored with George Jonas.

In a 2009 article, the Globe and Mail noted that the “legal establishment has repeatedly toasted him as an ambassador for legal principle and a marvel in the courtroom.” In 2001, the Criminal Lawyers’ Association awarded him the G. Arthur Martin Criminal Justice Medal for outstanding contributions to criminal justice. And in 2009, he received the Advocates’ Society Medal awarded to those who have demonstrated their pre-eminence as counsel and who are acknowledged as leaders of the bar.

He has received honorary degrees from Brock University, the Law Society of Upper Canada and the University of Windsor.

Greenspan has no plans to retire. As he told graduating students recently, work on behalf of his clients gives him “an incessant undying tenacity of purpose. It has given me continual interest, a great deal of excitement and above all, infinite variety. It has offered me the melancholy of temporary failure and the joy of temporary success. I have always loved it and I always shall.”

Published November 2013

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