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Whither English-Canada Law Schools?

Ryerson University in Toronto recently announced that its new law program will allow students to include what would otherwise be post-graduate training as part of their law school stage of legal education (or perhaps more accurately, avoid training after graduation). The school’s curriculum will adopt the Integrated Practice Curriculum (IPC) concept. This follows the same design as that of the Bora Laskin Faculty of Law at Lakehead...
Posted in: Education & Training: Law Schools

Why Allowing Alternative Business Structures Could Help Articling Students

Recently the Toronto Star published an article on abusive workplaces for articling students. Although the broad range of abuse was not covered, it has been noted before by Dean Adam Dodek that the abuse ranges from unpaid or underpaid work, termination without cause, harassment, and the absence of proper supervision or feedback. In response, Dean Dodek called on the Law Societies to investigate the abuse of articling students. He suggested that...
Posted in: Practice of Law

Special Convocation on the Future of Licensing

The Law Society of Ontario is holding a Special Convocation tomorrow to determine what the future of licensing will be in Ontario. The articling crisis, which can find its roots in trends over a decade ago, lead to the creation of the Law Practice Program (LPP) in 2013. Of the 4 models contemplated by the Professional Development & Competence Committee, only two are being contemplated tomorrow: (a) Current Model with Enhancements (Option...
Posted in: Education & Training

At Whose Expense? the Intolerable Human Cost of Articling

We know that there is significant discrimination and abuse in articling. We’ve heard the stories and we have the stats too. To cite just a small amount of recent information we have in Ontario: Over 100 articling students responding to a 2017 Law Society survey reported unwelcome comments or conduct related to personal characteristics (age, ancestry, colour, race, citizenship, ethnic origin, place of origin, creed, disability, family status,...
Posted in: Legal Ethics

Time for an Articling Student Union in Ontario

Tomorrow is Labour Day across Canada, where everyone in the country is provided a statutory holiday under s. 166 of the Canada Labour Code. The federal Interpretation Act, designates in s. 35(1) the first Monday of the September as Labour Day, and every province has employment standards legislation mandating the day as a statutory holiday as well. The origins of Labour Day go back to March 25, 1872, when the Toronto Typographical Union went on...
Posted in: Education & Training, Justice Issues

Bridges Over the Chasm: Licensing Design and the Abolition of Articling

Carl Irvine Noel, As a starting point, if we're going to compare the law practice program (the "LPP") with articling, we need to make a point of comparing like with like. Articling training is provided for free - or, at least, it comes at the cost only of a student's time. Indeed, most articling students are paid (some quite well) for their services. In contrast, people pay for the LPP. While the cost of the LPP has been hidden over the past...
Posted in: Legal Ethics

The Future of Lawyer Licensing: In Defense of an LPP-Like Program for Articling

Knowledge is fundamentally what the professions offer. As we transform from a print-based society to a technology-based Internet society, the role of the profession will change. In “The Future of the Professions”, Richard and Daniel Suskind define knowledge as having particular characteristics. Its use by one does not diminish what is left for others. It can be turned into machine-processable bits. It is difficult to prevent...
Posted in: Practice of Law: Future of Practice

The Future of Lawyer Licensing in Ontario – Consultation on Four Options

On May 24, 2018, the Law Society of Ontario released a consultation paper to launch the second phase of its comprehensive analysis of the lawyer licensing process. Developed by the Professional Development and Competence Committee, the document outlines possible options for a long-term appropriate and sustainable licensing system for lawyer licensing candidates in Ontario. The consultation paper follows last year’s Dialogue on Licensing, which...
Posted in: Practice of Law, Practice of Law: Future of Practice

The Never-Ending Debate: What Should Be Required in Order to Become a Lawyer?

The qualifications required of new Ontario lawyers has been the subject of virtually continuous debate for generations. Starting in the late 1950s, being called to the bar required (i) a law school degree, (ii) practical training through the bar admissions course and (iii) an articling apprenticeship. The bar admissions course came to an end in the 2000s. A law practice program (the LLP) has recently been added as an alternative to articling....
Posted in: Legal Ethics

On the LSUC Dialogue on Licensing, Pt 2: Where Is Access to Justice?

...Noel Semple As a way to connect future lawyers to underserved clients, I like another Adam Dodek idea -- the Ontario Legal Corps (http://www.slaw.ca/2011/10/25/articling-and-access-to-justice-an-ontario-legal-corps-why-not/). In short, all licensed lawyers chip in a modest sum every year to fund articling positions (and LPP placements) meeting unmet needs....
Posted in: Justice Issues, Practice of Law, Practice of Law: Future of Practice

On the LSUC Dialogue on Licensing, Pt 1: Is There a Need for Change?

Over the summer months, the Law Society of Upper Canada has been conducting a Dialogue on Licensing to prompt information sharing, discussion, input and reflection on the future of the requirements for licensing of lawyers in Ontario. Based on materials disseminated as part of the Dialogue, a series of discussion sessions were held and summary reports released. Submissions were also invited through a broad call open into August. According to a...
Posted in: Practice of Law, Practice of Law: Future of Practice

The Authentic Lawyer?

...Verna Milner A "lifestyle" based on integrity as opposed to a duty of integrity would make authenticity a lot easier. In other words, authenticity should flow from living a life in which integrity is a way of life as opposed to what may seem for some as a "forced" duty. Karen Dyck Good point Verna! The source of integrity should be internal to the individual rather than externally imposed by a regulator....
Posted in: Education & Training, Education & Training: Law Schools, Practice of Law