Canada’s online legal magazine.

Archive for ‘Education & Training’

Robson Hall Diary…Week 4

So far, so good. My first few weeks at Robson Hall have been uneventful. We’ve had a few full group lectures in Legal Methods, where first year students are being immersed in practical topics ranging from basic legal research to how to think like a lawyer to exam-writing tips. Right now they ought to be finishing off their first case brief assignment, struggling with how to summarize 87 dense pages from the Supreme Court into no more than 6 double spaced pages.

So far, I have been most grateful for the course coordinator, Richard Jochelson. He just joined . . . [more]

Posted in: Education & Training: Law Schools

Going Back to the Future


It’s orientation week on university campuses across the country. This September marks my first back-to-school since 1991 (yikes!), although this time as a sessional instructor instead of a student. While much has changed in the past twenty-five years, I’m more than a little curious to see what has not.

When I started out as a 1L student at Robson Hall in 1989, my school supplies included a couple of 500-sheet packs of looseleaf, several binders, a clipboard for daily notetaking use and of course, dozens of pens and highlighters in all colours. I loaded it all up in a canvas . . . [more]

Posted in: Education & Training: Law Schools

Advice to New Law Students

September marks the changing of the seasons, from summer to fall, from hot to cold, from break to school. And this year is no exception. Starting this September, thousands of new students will enter law school from across this country. These students will buckle down, meet new friends, and confront new concepts.

It is with this in mind that I provide the following advice:

(i) Before starting law school, read about the history of our legal system and read about the legal principles underlying our common law. Look to Professor Adam Dodek’s superb reading list to get started – http://bit.ly/1MtnuHu . . . [more]

Posted in: Education & Training

Keeping It Real: Implementing a Firm-Wide LPM Program, Part 1

Honigman Miller Schwartz and Cohn LLP, a law firm with 300 attorneys in five offices throughout the U.S. mid-west launched a comprehensive legal project management (LPM) initiative in 2011. Rather than announce the program with the usual press releases and fanfare, the firm deliberately chose to stay quiet about it – until recently. 

Carl W. Herstein is Honigman’s Detroit-based Chief Value Partner. In this two-part interview, Carl discusses the decision to “keep it real”, what he’s learned along the way, and how LPM fits into firm culture. His experience exemplifies the commitment, forethought and resources required as other firms . . . [more]

Posted in: Education & Training, Practice of Law, Practice of Law: Future of Practice, Practice of Law: Practice Management

Teaching Technology to Law Students

Anyone teaching technology to law students might be interested in this new special interest group curated by CALI’s Executive Director John Mayer: Teaching Technology to Law Students.

The site is developing a syllabi commons, a list of software, websites and resources, a collection of articles and videos about teaching tech in law schools, and a list of courses that will be taught this fall.

It has an American focus but looks like it will contain useful information for anyone teaching in this area. If you’re interested in learning more contact John Mayer (jmayer@cali.org) to join the Tech-For-Law-Students . . . [more]

Posted in: Education & Training: Law Schools, Technology

Refugees in Schools: Intersection of Municipal Law & Federal Obligations

To date, the Federal government has accepted 27,580 Syrian refugees into Canada through various government programs and private sponsorships. The processing of this volume of applications has been a monumental task. In meetings, the Deputy Minister described how they created a 24/7 processing machine, using their resources around the globe to increase efficiency and decrease processing times. These +27,500 refugees join the ~150,000 other refugees from other source countries. When they arrive, there is no doubt that they require significant settlement services and the children need access to education. This is where things can get messy. While the Federal government . . . [more]

Posted in: Education & Training, Miscellaneous

Highlights From the 2016 LMA P3 Conference

The Legal Marketing Association recently hosted its annual conference on project management, process improvement and pricing (P3) in Chicago. Billed as a forum where innovative practice management approaches are shared, the event continues to showcase progressive ideas and practical experiences from firms transforming the business of law.

It’s wise to take any presentation of best practices with a proverbial grain of salt. But you also have to give credit to those who proactively invest in new ideas and risk failure. That’s something we don’t see enough of in law.

Here are some of the ideas heard at this year’s P3 . . . [more]

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

Predictors of Success

A study of Harvard graduates showed that a person’s approach to setbacks in life is the single greatest predictor of success. This is interesting considering that companies tend to hire based on technical skill and intelligence. However, only 25% of job success is attributed to intelligence and technical skills. Psychologist Shawn Achor states that:

Seventy-five percent of long-term job success is predicted not by intelligence and technical skills, which is normally how we hire, educate, and train, but it’s predicted by three other umbrella categories. It’s optimism (which is the belief that your behaviour matters in the midst of challenge),

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

Barreau Du Quebec Position on Hourly Billing Report Long Overdue

On March 24, 2016, the Barreau du Quebec (Quebec Bar Association) released a report « La tarification horaire à l’heure de la réflexion » (in French only and translated to say Hourly Billing: A Time for Reflection) calling for an end to hourly billing by lawyers and law firms in the hope of improving access to justice for the public and a better work-life balance for lawyers. . . . [more]

Posted in: Education & Training, Education & Training: CLE/PD, Justice Issues, Practice of Law, Practice of Law: Future of Practice, Practice of Law: Marketing, Practice of Law: Practice Management, Technology, Technology: Office Technology

CALIcon 2016: “The Year of Learning Dangerously”

CALIcon is coming. In fact registration for the June 16-18 conference taking place at Georgia State University College of Law in Atlanta is now open. I haven’t had the opportunity to attend CALI’s* “Conference for Law School Computing” but very intrigued by their theme this time around: “The Year of Learning Dangerously.”

One of the nice things about CALIcon is the availability of sessions from previous conferences including a YouTube archive grouped by year. These are full one hour sessions with abstracts, video and often slides and other documents. I took a quick look at last year’s . . . [more]

Posted in: Education & Training, Technology

Professional Responsibility as Reconciliation: Law School and Legal Obligations

An accused has a constitutional right to a fair trial and may raise concerns about race and discrimination if they identify it as an issue in their case. Furthermore, lawyers have an obligation to remind their client of this right. This very issue arose in R v Fraser (Fraser). In Fraser, a white student accused a Black high school teacher of committing “sexual improprieties”. The appellant raised concerns about racial bias both before and during the jury selection, but his lawyer nonetheless failed to tell Fraser that he had the right to challenge for cause. Upon . . . [more]

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

The Perspectives of Future Members of Our Profession

We have been fortunate to have taught legal ethics over the past two decades at four law schools: U of T, Osgoode, Windsor and uOttawa. We quickly came to appreciate the multiplicity of experiences and perspectives that students bring to the discussion of these issues. We both have included requirements that students write short analytical papers, along the lines of the blogs that appear here on Slaw, or newspaper op-eds.

We both encourage students to dissect a particular issue, to push themselves and to be creative. We have been well-rewarded with thoughtful and original pieces. The work of these . . . [more]

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