Canada’s online legal magazine.

Is This the Job You Want? How to Find the Right Fit – and Then Sell Yourself in the Interview

On the face of it, interviewing should not be all that difficult – particularly for lawyers. As members of a profession who primarily make their living either writing or speaking, the idea that having a conversation about your interests and abilities in your own profession sounds both logical and easy.

But throw the words “job interview” into the mix and a whole new paradigm emerges. With seemingly so much at stake, job interviews take on a new meaning for people who ordinarily would not shy away from talking about the field they have chosen and the background that they bring. . . . [more]

Posted in: Law Student Week

Constructing Competence: One Student’s Experience in Legal Education

Since entering law school, people have told me their personal “horror” story regarding their experience with a lawyer. They generally follow the same narrative arch: “I paid X amount of dollars and the lawyer did nothing for me. They were so incompetent!” As I often stand steadfast in the defense of my chosen profession, there is a voice in my head that whispers, “maybe they’re right”. Though the law society has formed a comprehensive definition of competence, in my experience, there has been little done in the rearing of new lawyers to meet it.

The Law Society of Upper Canada . . . [more]

Posted in: Education & Training: Law Schools, Law Student Week

The Need for a Broader Public Safety Exception: Ethical Duties to Survivors of Intimate Partner Violence

The ethical duty of defence counsel to evaluate information under the public safety exception to solicitor-client privilege should be broadened to require disclosure when an offender is being released back into an environment where intimate partner violence will likely reoccur.

Consider a situation of domestic violence.[1] A woman calls the police to report an assault by her husband. It was not the first time he assaulted her, but she did not previously report the abuse. Charges are laid. A psychological assessment is conducted, an expert stating that the defendant has violent tendencies and is likely to reoffend. The defendant . . . [more]

Posted in: Justice Issues, Law Student Week

The Real Lesson of the WikiLeaks Vault 7 Document Dump

Some days are just more interesting than others. You could almost hear the mournful wailing of spooks (the CIA kind) as WikiLeaks released thousands of documents describing sophisticated software tools used by the Central Intelligence Agency to break into smartphones, computers and even Internet‑connected televisions.

The New York Times reported that the documents, at first review, appeared to be authentic. The initial release, which WikiLeaks said was only the first part of the document collection, included 7,818 web pages with 943 attachments. The entire archive of CIA material consists of several hundred million lines of computer code according to WikiLeaks. . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Technology

Something to Twitter About…

♫ Don’t hold me back I want to feel vulnerable.
Disregard everything that I’ve been told.
Don’t blend in stand out and be bold.
Today’s the day that we break the mold… ♫

Lyrics, music and recorded by Austin Jones.

The Provincial Court of BC will break the mold for the 2nd time and hold a second Twitter Town Hall on Thursday April 6, 2017 between 11:00 AM and 1:00 PM Pacific Time. Chief Judge Crabtree will again answer questions tweeted to #AskChiefJudge.

You can expect a lively dialogue with legal discussion provided not only by the Chief . . . [more]

Posted in: Practice of Law: Future of Practice

Talk Claims Prevention With Your Articling Students

This article is by Nora Rock, Corporate Writer and Policy Analyst at LAWPRO.

While it’s easy to view students as a source of extra help, the primary purpose of articling is to provide a valuable apprenticeship to the student, not simply to lighten the lawyer’s load. Today’s law school curriculum has a strongly theoretical focus. Students spend a great deal of time learning to research the law and to “think like lawyers”, and limited time learning about how to operate a law practice.

That’s where articling comes in. As an articling principal, you are charged with teaching students about how . . . [more]

Posted in: Law Student Week

The Limits of Codes of Professional Conduct and the Value of a Lawyer Following Their Own Conscience: Lessons From Atticus Finch

“Is it or is it not an ethical dilemma?” “Does such a behaviour violate the ethical rules in the Rules of Professional Conduct?” These are questions that we students were asked each day in our Professional Responsibility class. However, day after day, we were often unable to reach a conclusive answer to a myriad of ethical dilemmas. I found myself often pondering why it was often so difficult to reach a conclusive answer to an ethical issue.

As law students, we are trained to unfailingly following rules, such as the Law Society of Upper Canada’s Rules of Professional Conduct, . . . [more]

Posted in: Justice Issues, Law Student Week

Wednesday: What’s Hot on CanLII

Each Wednesday we tell you which three English-language cases and which French-language case have been the most viewed* on CanLII and we give you a small sense of what the cases are about.

For this last week:

1. R. v S.B., 2016 NLCA 20

[43] If the complainant had denied having the affair and said that she had been truthful in her statements to police, one can see the rationale for defence counsel putting to the complainant, “Don’t these messages show that you were having an affair and, therefore, you lied in your statements to the police?” But when . . . [more]

Posted in: Wednesday: What's Hot on CanLII

Longer Monopolies and Single Legal Proceedings vs Generics – the Gift of CETA to Canadian Drug Patentees

Canadian pharmaceutical patent owners can expect two substantive changes in the next year following implementation of the Canada–European Union Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (“CETA”):

  • certificates of supplementary patent protection (“SPC”) of up to 2 years will be available to compensate for regulatory approval delay
  • an overhaul of the NOC litigation procedure is expected, with current “not-so-summary” proceedings to be replaced by one action, similar to US ANDA litigation

The recently released draft implementing legislation (“Bill C30”) provides an overview of the timing and steps for SPC, with details to follow in subordinate regulations. Procedures regarding the modified NOC litigation . . . [more]

Posted in: Intellectual Property

“Truth, Justice, and the Ethical Way”: The Legal Ethics of Government Lawyers

Ever wondered what government lawyers and superheroes have in common? Although you are unlikely to see counsel in capes, flying through the metropolis, government lawyers and superheroes serve the public in the pursuit of justice. Both are accurately described as guardians of the public interest, albeit in very different contexts. Government lawyers and superheroes also hold great power and must use it to advance the public interest ahead of all else. And with great power comes great ethical responsibility.

The intersection of professional responsibility and the public service situates the unique role of federal and provincial government lawyers in the . . . [more]

Posted in: Law Student Week, Legal Ethics

20 Tips for a Smooth Transition From Student to Lawyer

For Law Student Week on Slaw, here is an abridged version of the LAWPRO article: “20 tips for a successful transition” – a guide for law students through the transition from student life to legal practice. See practicepro.ca/20tips for the full article.

  1. Honestly assess your strengths and preferences to identify what makes sense for you in terms of the type of firm and area of law you want to practice.
  2. Consider all the options: big firm, small firm, solo practice, government, in-house. Don’t just pursue the opportunities everyone else is pursuing – reflect on what is the best fit for
. . . [more]
Posted in: Law Student Week

Lawyers Behaving ‘Badly’: Should Lawyers Be Breaking the Rules?

The Faculty of Law at the University of Ottawa is known for its expertise in social justice and in my experience many of my colleagues decided to attend this institution for this reason.[1] When I applied and accepted my offer of admission to the University of Ottawa I did so because I hoped that my professors would provide me with the knowledge and skills that I will need to practice law within a system of laws that is not “always a system of justice”.[2] I have not been disappointed in this respect. However as my time as a . . . [more]

Posted in: Justice Issues, Law Student Week