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GOODExchange: Yonca in London, England

"Where in the world is: Yonca Umur. We wondered, and so we tracked her down and caught up with Yonca who is in London, England at Georgetown University - Centre for Transnational Legal Studies for the semester. Yonca summered at Goodmans for two years, so we had the pleasure of working with her closely during our summer at Goodmans. She's an impressive person overall, especially when it comes to her travel adventures. With her deep Turkish roots and her Toronto city upbringing, she is a multicultured, fabulous person with an exchange experience to match. This is what we found out."

- Articling Students 2017/18

Student: Yonca Umur

Law School: University of Toronto

Exchange Law School: Georgetown University, Centre for Transnational Legal Studies

Exchange Place: London, England

Why did you choose London?

I’ve always lived in and loved big cities. When the opportunity presented itself to study abroad, I had no doubt that I wanted to be in London. As the economic epicentre of Europe, and arguably the world, I knew I would learn a lot about the European Union and its legal and economic functioning.

London is also very culturally rich, both with regards to how much value the British place on going out and being social (pubs on every corner), and with access to free museums and tons of events, I knew there would never be a dull moment.

Lastly, I love to travel, and with ease of access to any European city, I knew that London would be one of the best cities from which I could explore all the little corners of Europe on a whim!

What has been your favourite moment abroad?

I’ve really enjoyed jumping on trains and planes last minute all by myself. It’s really freeing to roam the world at your own whimsy, and do exclusively what you feel like doing without having to acquiesce to the wants of someone else.

Have you discovered anything abroad you wished we had in Canada?

A less regulated social culture. In Europe, there are cafes on every corner with little-to-no monopolies. It’s nice that every restaurant is independently owned, can have patios without high fees, and people can have casual drinks lazily leaning on the outer walls of pubs and restaurants. This makes the streets very lively in the evenings as people are not holed up inside, but rather on the streets interacting with each other very jovially.

What about your legal education - what's the most interesting thing you've learned?

The degree to which globalization is impacting the practice of law. It is becoming increasingly important for nation states to cooperate, and we may eventually see the development of a formal international legal system. Of course this would carry its own serious implications, and these have all been very interesting to discuss and study.

Weirdest food you've eaten?

To be honest nothing yet. I’ve been eating well, but not weird.

Not really on topic, but: I love figs, and I find in Toronto they are tiny and expensive. Discovering that British figs are the size of apples, and you get 5 for £2 has been life changing.

What impression do you think you're leaving at your exchange school of a Canadian law student?

My program is interesting because I haven’t just integrated into a host institution. The CTLS is an exchange-only program, meaning we are all from different countries.

I think the main impression I have left is that Canadians are very different from Americans, and far more similar to the British (though still distinct), despite being so proximate to America.

Where to next?!

I have Dublin, Munich and Berlin, Nice, Monaco, Brussels, Amsterdam, Lisbon, Geneva and Zurich, and even parts of India (with Sheena, a fellow Goodmans student!) booked.


Yonca Umur is a third year law student at the University of Toronto. Yonca spent her last two summers at Goodmans and is returning to article after she graduates.

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