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Archive for ‘Education & Training’

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 2): The two current transitional training pathways of articling and the Law Practice Program (LPP) and Programme de Pratique du droit (PPD) would be retained, with enhancements. These . . . [more]

Posted in: Education & Training

Tuition Burden Creates Barriers to Excellence

Law school tuition in Canada has been a contentious issue for many years now. Earlier this year, Canadian Lawyer magazine stated,

Law school tuition has steadily increased since professional school tuition was deregulated in the late 1990s. According to Statistics Canada, between the 1995-1996 and 2001-2002 school years, average law school tuition increased 61 per cent, accounting for inflation. The increase was particularly large in Ontario, where tuition shot up 141 per cent.

Since then, tuitions have risen, even at schools with relatively low tuition. McGill’s tuition, while still very low compared with that of other law schools,

. . . [more]
Posted in: Education & Training: Law Schools

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 strike for the nine-hour workday, backed by 10,000 workers and 27 unions. The action was characterized as an illegal conspiracy against trade at the . . . [more]

Posted in: Education & Training, Justice Issues

The Limitations of Student Evaluations

Teaching isn’t easy. It can be rewarding, fulfilling, and at times challenging, but is also considerably variable between instructor to instructor.

In the interest of providing high quality education, most post-secondary institutions use a variety of metrics to ensure that the best instructors are attracted and retained to their schools, to help best optimize the educational experience. One of these tools are student evaluations in teaching (SET), where the individuals who are regularly exposed to the instructor are provided the most direct form of input about the pedagogical tools employed.

As any instructor will tell you though, not all educational . . . [more]

Posted in: Education & Training: Law Schools, Substantive Law: Judicial Decisions

Changing Foreign Policy Factors Could Affect Saudi LAVs Deal

It all started out with a tweet.

Canada’s Foreign Policy twitter handle expressed concerns with human rights issues in Saudi Arabia, a position that was neither new nor novel. The resulting twitter spat turned into a full-blown diplomatic crisis, with expelling of the Canadian ambassador by the Saudi government, freezing of assets, banning new trade with Canada, and sale of Canadian assets.

The relationship between Canada and Saudi Arabia is certainly complicated, but it hasn’t been this strained since the oil crisis of 1973. For all of the various trade matters between Canada and Saudi Arabia, the most . . . [more]

Posted in: Education & Training: Law Schools, Substantive Law: Judicial Decisions

Judicial Review Properly Initiated at Divisional Court

The first stop in the lawsuit against the Statement of Principles concluded this month, with the Ontario Superior Court of Justice upholding a motion by the law society to transfer the matter to the Divisional Court.

The Amended Application in this matter disposed of the injunctive relief originally sought, and instead seeks a number of declarations, including an interpretation and content of what the Statement of Principles obligation means, that the requirements are ultra vires the Law Society Act, and challenging the constitutionality of the requirements.

It’s the latter relief, the constitutionality of the Statement of Principles, that . . . [more]

Posted in: Education & Training: CLE/PD, Substantive Law: Judicial Decisions

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