The Wonder Years

“Dave Carley’s work stands out for its questing intelligence, warm humanity
and engaging storytelling”.


Dave Carley was born in Peterborough, Ontario, Canada, the son of Margaret and Bob Carley. He grew up in that city, attending Queen Alexandra public school and Adam Scott Collegiate, before going to the University of Toronto (University College). He graduated from U of T with a General B.A., having studied mostly History, Geography, Political Science and English - ironically, just about everything but drama. On the strength of a surprisingly noble LSAT score, Dave trundled off to Law School at Queens University in Kingston, Ontario.

No mention of Peterborough, Ontario would be complete without including a shot of the world-famous Liftlocks. Going over the Liftlocks is like riding a bathtub into the sky.

While at Queens, Dave began a life-long involvement with civil libertarian and human rights concerns via Amnesty International. He lived for a period in New Zealand and, while there, he worked for that country's national office of Amnesty International, travelling the country starting up AI chapters. He is also a longtime member of the Canadian Civil Liberties Union.

Dave's preoccupation with the law apparently began at age 6. Despite this early obsession with law enforcement, offering as it did both travel and money, by age 7 Dave had settled on a career as a variety store owner (better access to candy).
Dave Carley
Dave Carley

After graduating from Queens Law, Dave articled in Peterborough. There was much about the practice of law that he found enjoyable - the logic, the give and take, the constant interraction with people from all walks of life. However, he didn't enjoy courtroom nor was he much good at it (invariably discovering his most cogent arguments in the hours immediately following the trial). On the other hand, he was hugely fascinated by property law and, in particular, the process of searching land titles. Every Deed tells a story, and writs, statements of claim, judgments and wills - they are the beginning, middle and ends of others. Dave's fascination with those stories was the clue to his eventual choice of profession.

In Ontario, it is necessary to follow the articling year (a kind of applied apprenticeship) with six months of exams called the Bar Admission Course. Upon successful completion of the Bar Ads, students are called to the bar - unless, of course, they get waylaid…