Dr. Virginia Torrie
Faculty of Law, University of Manitoba
Winnipeg, Canada, R3T 2N2
Barney Sneiderman Award for Teaching Excellence, 2017
Dr. Torrie takes her teaching seriously and has conscientiously sought out educational opportunities to enhance her teaching and students have rated her teaching highly across all of her courses whether mandatory or elective.
She has been innovative in her teaching practice by introducing new course curriculum, using technology to enhance her connection with students, providing weekly audio recordings of all her lectures to enable students to clarify difficult areas and using gamification to enhance student engagement.
One of the most unique aspects of Dr. Torrie’s approach to teaching excellence is her effort to reflect on her performance to continually revise and improve. She is currently working on more online techniques of course delivery that can be blended into our traditional course presentation.
Endorsements from Former Students:
“Dr. Torrie is an excellent lecturer, who is able to explain a complicated area of law in a manner that is understandable for students. Dr. Torrie’s approach to delivering lectures involves utilizing a combination of traditional lecture, smaller group work, media materials, guest lectures and interactive class activities. This combination of different teaching methods on the part of Dr. Torrie allows her to explain complicated, dry and often abstract areas of law and the policy rationales behind them in an effective and engaging manner. This combination of teaching techniques allows Dr. Torrie to interact with her students more directly in the classroom, allowing her to assess students’ understanding of the material discussed and to adjust and explain concepts and ideas in different ways if necessary.”
JD Class of 2017
Public Interest Law Centre of Legal Aid Manitoba
“Professor Torrie’s willingness to implement student feedback, ability to ensure class participation and the effort she puts into teaching make her an extremely effective professor. The effort she put into the class for the students went above and beyond anything I have seen during my time in school.”
JD Class of 2017
“Dr. Torrie provides excellent resources for individual learning, and positively influenced the way I studied and learned in all of my courses in law school.”
JD Class of 2017
LLM Candidate, King’s College London
Dr. Virginia Torrie’s primary areas of teaching are bankruptcy and insolvency law, business organizations, legal history, and legal research and writing. Her academic research explores the interplay between bankruptcy and insolvency law and secured creditor rights. Her interdisciplinary research approaches and draws on ideas from historical institutionalism and socio-legal theory to study cycles of legal change.
Dr. Torrie holds JD and LLM degrees from Osgoode Hall Law School of York University and a PhD from Kent Law School, University of Kent. She is the winner of a SSHRC Canada Graduate Scholarship as well as research grants through the University of Manitoba, Osgoode Society for Canadian Legal History, and the Legal Research Institute of the University of Manitoba.
Dr. Torrie joined the Faculty of Law at the University of Manitoba in 2015. She is the 2017 recipient of the Faculty’s Barney Sneiderman Award for Teaching Excellence. She coordinates the autumn term of the legal research and writing course, and uses blended learning and interactive teaching strategies to promote classroom engagement in all of her courses. In 2018, she is running two teaching workshops through the Centre for the Advancement of Teaching and Learning at the University of Manitoba to share these strategies for promoting classroom engagement.
Her professional experience includes consulting as a legal expert in the areas of bankruptcy and insolvency law, receivership, federalism, statutory interpretation, legislative history, and consumer protection. Her research is cited by the Ontario Court of Appeal and courts of Queen’s Bench. She regularly presents her research at Canadian, European, British, and American conferences, including the Constitution 150 Conference, INSOL Europe Academic Forum, and Annual Meeting of the Social Science History Association. Upon special request, her PhD dissertation on the history of the Companies’ Creditors Arrangement Act is on file with the Library of Parliament for consultation.
Dr. Torrie is the Book Reviews Editor for the Banking & Finance Law Review, a leading international financial law journal. She has published her research in Canadian, British, and American law journals. She sits on the Board of Governors of the Legal Research Institute of the University of Manitoba, as well as the Law Faculty’s Distinguished Visitors Committee and Academic Accommodations Advisory Committee.
Dr. Torrie is a member of the Law Society of Manitoba, Canadian Bar Association, Manitoba Bar Association, Canadian Law and Society Association, Canadian Association of Law Teachers, Social Science History Association, and Osgoode Society for Canadian Legal History. She is a frequently-invited guest lecturer, and has contributed to continuing professional development programming through the Legal Education Society of Alberta. She is also a mentor through Manitoba Bar Association Law Student Mentorship Program.
- Book Review: Jennifer Payne, Schemes of Arrangement (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2014), (2016) 58.3 Canadian Business Law Journal 345-354.
- Case Comment: Saskatchewan (Attorney General) v Lemare Lake Logging Ltd., 2015 SCC 53, (2016) 31.2 Banking & Finance Law Review 403-409.
- Book Review: Thomas G.W. Telfer, Ruin and Redemption (Toronto: University of Toronto Press for the Osgoode Society for Canadian Legal History, 2014), (2016) 31.2 Banking & Finance Law Review 427-432.
- “Farm Insolvency in Canada” (2013) 2 Journal of the Insolvency Institute of Canada 33-66 (co-authored with Stephanie Ben-Ishai)
- “Restructuring the Third-Party Asset-Back Commercial Paper Market in Canada”, in Rebecca Parry, ed., Too Big to Fail?: Large National and International Failures under the Spotlight (Nottingham: INSOL Europe, 2013), Chapter 4, 59-73 pp. [Published papers from the INSOL Europe Academic Forum & Joint International Insolvency Conference (Nottingham, June 2012)]
- Book Review: Jay Lawrence Westbrook, Charles D. Booth, Christoph G. Paulus & Harry Rajak, eds., A Global View of Business Insolvency Systems (Boston: The World Bank and Brill, 2010), (2011) 25:5 Journal of Business Law 528-531
- “A ‘Cost’-Benefit Analysis: Examining Professional Fees in CCAA Proceedings” (2010) Annual Review of Insolvency Law 185-212 (co-authored with Stephanie Ben-Ishai)
- “Weathering the Global Financial Crisis: An Overview of the Canadian Experience” (2010) 16:1 Law and Business Review of the Americas 25-51
- Translated into Spanish and republished in a Colombian law journal: (2012) 1 Precedente: Anuario Jurídico 227-262
Conferences, Workshops, Panels, Lectures
- Presenter, “Foreign Debt Capital and Restructuring Practices during the Great Depression: A Canadian Case Study”, 20th Annual INSOL International Academics’ Colloquium, INSOL International Academics’ Group (London, UK, 12-13 July 2018)
- Facilitator, “Strategies for Promoting Classroom Engagement: Examples from the Faculty of Law” Teaching Café Workshop Series, Centre for the Advancement of Teaching and Learning (Winnipeg, 8 May 2018)
- Presenter and Symposium Co-Organizer, Alternate Histories: An Interdisciplinary Symposium, University of Manitoba Institute for the Humanities (Winnipeg, 7 March 2018)
- Facilitator and Panelist, “Promoting Classroom Engagement: A Panel Discussion among Students and Professors”, Lunch Hour Workshop Series, Centre for the Advancement of Teaching and Learning (Winnipeg, 13 February 2018)
- Presenter and Panel Co-Organizer, Twentieth-Century Developments in Economic Institutions: Legal, Political, and Organizational Change “Changing Social Connections in Time and Space”, 42nd Annual Meeting of the Social Sciences History Association (Montréal, 2-5 November 2017)
- Discussant, Historical GIS and the Study of War, “Changing Social Connections in Time and Space”, 42nd Annual Meeting of the Social Sciences History Association (Montréal, 2-5 November 2017)
- Presenter, “Farm Insolvency and the Politics of Canadian Federalism: A Socio-Legal History of the Farmers’ Creditors Arrangement Act, 1934”, Power, Politics, and the State in Canadian History: Confederation and Beyond, Liu Institute for Global Issues, University of British Columbia (Vancouver, 29-30 September 2017)
- Co-Organizer, Comparing Commercial Law on the Farm and on the Reserve: A Workshop on “Lost Harvests”, Faculty of Law, University of Manitoba (Winnipeg, 27 June 2017)
- Panellist, Roundtable on Building an Inclusive Corporate-Commercial Classroom, “Educating the Whole Lawyer” Canadian Association of Law Teachers Annual Conference (Victoria, 10 June 2017)
- Presenter and Panel Co-Organizer, “Should Paramountcy Protect Secured Creditor Rights? Saskatchewan v Lemare Lake Logging in Historical Context”, “Federalism in Action: Bankruptcy” Panel, The Canadian Confederation: Past, Present, and Future, Faculté de Droit, Programme de Common Law, Université de Montréal (Montréal, 16 May 2017)
- “Legal Aspects of Farm Succession”, Lecture delivered to Succession/Transition Considerations in Farm Management Course, Agriculture Diploma Program, Faculty of Agriculture and Food Sciences, University of Manitoba (Winnipeg, 17 March 2017)
- Panellist (Law), Panel Evaluating Projects completed as part of Management Planning Project Capstone Course, Agriculture Diploma Program, Faculty of Agriculture and Food Sciences, University of Manitoba (Winnipeg, 13 March 2017)
- Panellist, Roundtable on Teaching Insolvency Law, Faculty of Law, University of Alberta (Edmonton, 10 June 2016)
- Panel Chair, The Constitution in the Insolvency Toolbox – Symposium, Legal Education Society of Alberta (Edmonton, 9 June 2016)
- Presenter and Panel Co-Organizer, “Farm Debt Compromises, 1930s-1940s: An Empirical Study of Morden County, MB”, “Law, Insolvency and Freedom of Contract” Panel, “Energizing Communities” Canadian Law and Society Association Annual Conference (Calgary, 28 May 2016)
- “Legal Aspects of Farm Succession”, Lecture delivered to Succession/Transition Considerations in Farm Management Course, Agriculture Diploma Program, Faculty of Agriculture and Food Sciences, University of Manitoba (Winnipeg, 21 March 2016)
- Panellist (Law), Panel Evaluating Projects completed as part of Management Planning Project Capstone Course, Agriculture Diploma Program, Faculty of Agriculture and Food Sciences, University of Manitoba (Winnipeg, 15 March 2016)