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Archive for ‘Education & Training’

Podcasting Legal Entrepreneurship in Action

The education of the practice of law does not happen in classrooms, and some would argue that it shouldn’t. Collecting the anthology of experiences by practitioners is one of the immense potentials of the digital era that future generations of lawyers may yet benefit from.

Some enterprising students at Osgode Hall have launched a new podcast, focusing on legal entrepreneurship. The most recent episode of the Legal Entrepreneurs Podcast interviews me, where I provide some personal insights into sole practice.

The most rewarding aspect of sole practice is the potential for greater control, and if exerted properly, better work-life balance. . . . [more]

Posted in: Education & Training: CLE/PD

Should Mandatory CLE Require Technology in Particular?

Some states in the US, notably now including North Carolina and Florida, require that part of one’s mandatory continuing legal education include education on techology. Florida’s rule requires three hours over three years – so an hour a year, but if one took a three-hour course (which might be a more useful format than three one-hour sessions), one could fulfill the duty. At least in NC, their annual requirement is 12 hours, same as in Ontario.

This is all in the context of the ABA’s Professional Conduct rules – adopted in many states – that expressly requires competence in matters . . . [more]

Posted in: Education & Training: CLE/PD, Practice of Law, ulc_ecomm_list

The Pitch Returns to Toronto

In 2016, the CBA hosted “The Pitch” in Ottawa, a showcase of legal innovation in Canada. The event was a natural extension of the CBA Futures Initiative, helping the organization take the lead for innovative change in law.

Winners and finalists in previous years have gone on to make further ripples in the legal industry. In 2016, Loom Analytics was voted the audience’s choice, and has gone into further development at Ryerson’s Legal Innovation Zone. Blue J Legal continued to develop a partnership with Thomson Reuters. The winner, Beagle, was a winner in the 2018 . . . [more]

Posted in: Education & Training: CLE/PD

Hipster Antitrust’s Potential to Make Competition Law Sexy Again

A renewed scrutiny of corporate governance was inevitable in light of the current political climate and the backdrop of the recent recession and notable market failures.

This revisionist approach towards competition law expands the scrutiny beyond notions of consumer welfare standards into non-traditional economic considerations like fairness, underemployment, income inequality, wealth concentration and broader social contexts. Derisively referred to as “Hipster Antitrust,” it finds its modern roots in America in the 1978 text The Antitrust Paradox by Robert Bork, which has already influenced American competition law. Hipster Axntitrust would go further and reconsider historical assumptions in a new information economy . . . [more]

Posted in: Education & Training: CLE/PD, Practice of Law: Future of Practice

Interrupted Childhoods and Overrepresentation in the Wrong Places

Race is an artificial and arbitrary social construct, and there is no biological or scientific basis for the racial distinctions we make between people. It is a function of our history and our misconceptions of how people have existed or migrated around the world, and our racial definitions have changed drastically over time based on different environmental and social factors.

Given the lack of objective basis for racial definitions, some people query why we track racial statistics in society at all. Doing so has the potential to ingrain these social constructs and divisions even further, and prevent us from treating . . . [more]

Posted in: Education & Training, Justice Issues

Osgoode Introduces Mandatory Indigenous and Aboriginal Law

When the Truth and Reconciliation Commission released its Calls to Action in 2015, I emphasized the need for Canadian law schools to respond to the call for mandatory training for all law students in Indigenous and Aboriginal Law. This is a necessary prerequisite towards reconciliation, and in training the next generation of lawyers to decolonize our legal system.

That same year, some law schools expressed an interest in reforming the curriculum, but acknowledged that all fell short of that goal. Since that time, Canadian law schools have been slowly finding ways to increase their Indigenous content.

Osgoode’s Dean Sossin explained . . . [more]

Posted in: Education & Training: Law Schools, Justice Issues

Law Student-Led Legal Research Day Supports Environmental Law Reform

Students of the UVic Environmental Law Club contribute the following guest post. They discuss their initiative to conduct an all-day legal research event, putting their learning of the legislative research process toward a public interest effort. The event was inspired by a national student-driven research event on another issue a year ago. We thank Slaw’s Kim Nayyer for coordinating this submission.

Friday February 2, 2018, the UVic Environmental Law Club coordinated a full day research-o-thon involving more than 50 law students from UVic. The event: “Mining Law in BC – Digging up a Dirty History” focused on the history of . . . [more]

Posted in: Education & Training: Law Schools, Legal Information: Libraries & Research, Substantive Law: Legislation

Reinventing Competence

What do lawyers need to be competent for the practice of law today, and even more, for tomorrow?

The critical importance of at least a foundational knowledge of the law, and the ability to conduct appropriate research to find the answers to what one doesn’t yet know, is generally acknowledged. As well, lawyers should be capable advocates, creative problem-solvers and effective counsellors. Also important are communication skills, facility with relevant technologies and business acumen. The list goes on, including both hard and soft skills, developed through law school and articles and then on the job thereafter.

A debate I attended . . . [more]

Posted in: Education & Training, Education & Training: CLE/PD, Education & Training: Law Schools

Federation Preliminarily Approves Ryerson Law School

The Federation of Law Societies of Canada has provided preliminary approval for the new law school at Ryerson University.

This approval was based on a detailed review of the proposed curriculum and the resources in the Ryerson plan. The curriculum is what really sets Ryerson apart, with a particular emphasis on technology, access to justice, and social innovation. The curriculum also has mandatory classes on social innovation and the law, Indigenous law, legal innovation, the business of law, and issues of diversity in the legal profession.

The full Federation report, which details this curriculum, is available here.

Where . . . [more]

Posted in: Education & Training: Law Schools, Justice Issues

Equality, Diversity, and Inclusion Are Components of Competence

What does it mean to be a lawyer?

Is it to possess an encyclopedic knowledge the law? To use this knowledge to make money? Is being a lawyer simply just another way to make money (as some who correctly identify the lack of business skills among lawyers as one of the major challenges for innovation or reform point out)?

What differentiates the law from other businesses are the professional responsibilities imposed on a lawyer, through the Model Code of Professional Conduct and its implemented versions across Canada. Some of these responsibilities, such as the duty to the court and to . . . [more]

Posted in: Education & Training: CLE/PD, Justice Issues

The Struggle Is Real

We’ve made great advances in recent years in Canada in examining mental health in the legal profession, and prior, in law school.

In large part this can be attributed to Orlando da Silva, former President of the Ontario Bar Association, who used his term as the head of the largest legal organization in Ontario to bring attention to his own personal plights. Da Silva was awarded the Law Society Medal last year for these contributions.

Similar conversations are occurring south of the border as well. One of the most prominent ones is a new series on Above the Law called . . . [more]

Posted in: Education & Training: Law Schools, Practice of Law

The Authentic Lawyer?

There’s a bit of buzz in Winnipeg this week about the International Downtown Association’s 63rd annual conference taking place here. The theme of the conference is Authenticity, which seems apt in these days of fake news and fake nudes.

Living authentically is an ideal espoused by many authors and speakers in the self-improvement sector, whether that path to authenticity is found through meditation, spiritual transformation or some other means. The general idea is simply that an individual aspires to and works toward being the best possible version of themselves, with their interior self in alignment with their exterior . . . [more]

Posted in: Education & Training, Education & Training: Law Schools, Practice of Law