Canada’s online legal magazine.

Archive for ‘Education & Training’

#Research4Refugees: A Cross-Canada Law Student Effort

An inspiring event began late last week and rose to a crescendo on Saturday: the law student-driven Research-a-thon for Refugees. The 12-hour distributed pro bono legal research marathon was kickstarted in a whirlwind of spark of initiative, quick communication, outreach, collaborative effort, and perhaps a bit of collective consciousness.

Volunteer law students receiving an immigration and refugee law overview from UVic Professor Donald Galloway

The goal of #Research4Refugees was to produce a collaboratively researched document for a Canadian NGO, focusing on interpretation and application of the US-Canada safe third country agreement for arriving refugees, on a project managed by . . . [more]

Posted in: Education & Training: Law Schools, Justice Issues, Legal Information: Libraries & Research

Courthouse Libraries BC Hosting Webinar for Canadian Lawyers on the Impact of Recent Executive Orders


I feel I must write this quick, as every day the terrain shifts and the battle lines move in the escalating conflict between the 45th POTUS and virtually the entire machinery of justice.

FYI, the ABA yesterday released its resolution 10C calling on Trump to withdraw his order restricting travel from seven Muslim-majority countries.

Less than two weeks ago Trump started the whole mess when he slapped on brass knuckles to deliver not one, not two, but three immigration-related executive orders to finish his first week as President.

The world sucked wind.

Even north of the 49th people . . . [more]

Posted in: Announcements, Education & Training: CLE/PD, Justice Issues, Substantive Law: Foreign Law

Finding the Best Ways Forward: A Symposium on Children’s Participation in Justice Processes

I am delighted to announce Finding the Best Ways Forward, a two-day national symposium scheduled for 15 and 16 September 2017 in Calgary, featuring keynote speakers Mr. Sheldon Kennedy of the Sheldon Kennedy Child Advocacy Centre and Dr. Nicole Sherren of the Alberta Family Wellness Initiative.

Finding the Best Ways Forward is aimed at gathering together leading stakeholders to share information and dialogue about how the voices of children and youth are heard, how their interests are protected, and how their evidence is received in justice processes. The symposium will generate innovative proposals for policy reform, best practices, . . . [more]

Posted in: Education & Training, Justice Issues, Practice of Law

Introducing the Alberta Limited Legal Services Project

Much of the research and writing on access to justice issues in the last five years, including that of the Canadian Bar Association and Julie Macfarlane’s National Self-Represented Litigants Project, has discussed unbundling as a potential, albeit partial, remedy.

The idea here is that the usual full-service retainer, ever so commonplace in civil litigation, makes lawyers’ services unaffordable and prevents many litigants from accessing justice. (Professor Macfarlane’s landmark 2013 study on the issue of self-representation found that “inability to afford to retain, or to continue to retain, legal counsel” was the overwhelming reason why the litigants she spoke to . . . [more]

Posted in: Education & Training, Justice Issues, Practice of Law: Future of Practice

Indigenous Law at McGill

McGill law has started something new when students return from the winter break. The first-year students are participating in an intensive course on indigenous legal traditions.

Dean Robert Leckey explains in the Montreal Gazette,

It’s a first for us at McGill and possibly a first at any Canadian law faculty. It’s a promising step toward remedying some of the legal system’s wrongs toward indigenous peoples.

Guided by guests as well as by McGill professors, our students are starting the complex process of learning about indigenous peoples’ law. Doing so involves attending to sources of law — and resources for

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

Strategies for Racialized Licensees

It’s with a tad bit of irony that the professions charged with fighting inequities and combating racism, both explicit and institutional, is itself one of the most regressive communities there is when it comes to these same challenges.

In part this is likely due to the independence of the legal professions, which results in a decentralized industry that is highly autonomous, but also likes to act with impunity. Most legal practices do not have access to best practices in human rights, or how to create an inclusive work environment. In fact, most of these practices are still largely exclusive to . . . [more]

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

First Steps on a Journey of Reconciliation

A sold-out audience of lawyers, judges, academics and others gathered in Winnipeg last week for a Journey to of Reconciliation as part of the 2016 Isaac Pitblado Lectures. This event was a first step for The Law Society of Manitoba in meeting the Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s Call to Action #27:

We call upon the Federation of Law Societies of Canada to ensure that lawyers receive appropriate cultural competency training, which includes the history and legacy of residential schools, the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, Treaties and Aboriginal rights, Indigenous law, and Aboriginal– Crown relations. This

. . . [more]
Posted in: Education & Training, Justice Issues

Why Ryerson Should Have a Law School

When Trinity Western University first suggested it should have a law school, I emphasized here all the market reasons they should not; there are enough law schools already, not enough articling positions, and too much job competition for junior lawyers.

What it was ultimately about though is that we don’t need a new law school, doing everything the old way of doing things, and adding exclusionary criteria that runs contrary to human rights principles.

Since then, we’ve had new law schools at Lakehead University in Thunder Bay, and Thompson Rivers University in British Columbia. The former has gained some notoriety . . . [more]

Posted in: Education & Training: Law Schools

New Legal Trends Report Provides Data Insights for Small- to Medium-Sized Law Firms

In the 4,000-year history of the legal profession, unbiased information sharing has never been the norm. Instead, insights have remained siloed in large institutions—or traded anecdotally among groups at networking events.

That changes with today’s release of the Legal Trends Report. The Legal Trends Report is being published by Clio, the world’s most widely-used legal practice management platform (disclosure: I am the founder and CEO of Clio). By leveraging anonymized, aggregate data from 40,000 active Clio users and over $60 billion in billing volume, the Legal Trends Report provides new insights into topics including average billing rates by state, . . . [more]

Posted in: Education & Training: Law Schools, Legal Information, Practice of Law, Practice of Law: Future of Practice, Practice of Law: Practice Management, Reading: Recommended, Technology, Technology: Internet

An Inside Look at Canada’s First Food Law & Policy Conference

Big news, friends: Canada’s first food law & policy conference is happening in a little less than a month. The Future of Food Law & Policy in Canada is this November 3-4 at the Schulich School of Law in Halifax, Nova Scotia. This conference marks the first time that leaders in the legal community will come together to discuss how to strengthen and improve our food systems, to consider how stakeholders perceive and adapt to change, and to learn better practices and approaches to food law problems for clients, researchers, and government.

I have written previously on both the ups . . . [more]

Posted in: Education & Training: CLE/PD

Is Delivering Access to Justice Perceived as Women’s Work?

I noticed it first this past summer when I attended the joint International Journal of Clinical Legal Education – Association for Canadian Clinical Legal Education conference in Toronto. It was my first time attending and I had no idea what to expect.

What I found was a group of very smart, dedicated and focused academics and lawyers engaged in the field of clinical legal education. What I noticed was that the gender balance among conference attendees was weighted heavily in favour of women.

Upon returning to the office after the conference, I looked around at our summer students – 5 . . . [more]

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

In Defence of the Law Practice Program

The Law Society of Upper Canada’s Professional Development and Competence Committee has released a report that recommends ending the Law Practice Program (LPP), an alternative pathway to licensing lawyers in Ontario, only two years into its pilot project term. The governing Benchers of the law society will vote on the committee’s recommendation on Nov. 9. Here are news articles about the situation from The Globe And Mail, The Lawyers Weekly, Law Times, and CBA National magazine.

The committee’s recommendation is incorrect and ill-advised, and the Benchers should reject it at their November 9th meeting. Here’s why.

1. . . . [more]

Posted in: Education & Training