Joanna Nairn is a member of the Supreme Court and Appellate Litigation group at O’Melveny & Myers LLP. She lives and works in Washington, D.C. Joanna graduated from the University of Toronto in 2006 with BA in Political Science, and received a J.D. from Harvard Law School in 2009. Following law school, she clerked for Justice Morris J. Fish at the Supreme Court of Canada.
Hart House 2003–2006
- Secretary of the Debating Club
- Secretary of the Debates Committee
- Competed in debating tournaments on behalf of Hart House including two World Championships, two North American Championships, three National Championships, and the Oxford and Cambridge IV tournaments
“The biggest challenge of my time at the University of Toronto was the size of the campus and the student body, and how easy it was to get lost in the crowd. I transferred to U of T after spending my first year of university at another school, and having missed the frosh experience, felt at first that it was going to be difficult to navigate campus life and meet new people. I really appreciated Hart House because it fostered a sense of community and introduced me to people I never would have otherwise met, who were at different colleges or were in different programs. Most of my closest friendships and best memories from my time at U of T came about through the activities I participated in at Hart House.
“I was a member of the Debating Club and the Debates Committee. My proudest accomplishment was winning the 2006 World Universities Debating Championships with my partner, Michael Kotrly, and seeing all four of the teams that Hart House sent to that tournament qualify for the elimination rounds—virtually unheard of for a North American school.
“Hart House introduced me to incredibly interesting and smart people who have gone on to do amazing things with their lives. In addition to the people I met at U of T, Hart House’s funding of my participation in debating tournaments made it possible for me to take part in events I otherwise wouldn’t have been able to, and to meet people across Canada and around the world. Those people have in turn helped me at every stage of my life since, from encouraging me to go to law school to, helping me with the clerkship application process to, talking through career options and introducing me to potential employers. I don’t think there’s any chance that I would be where I am today if I hadn’t walked into Hart House ten years ago and signed up for one of its clubs.”