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Archive for ‘Education & Training’

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

Asking the Right Questions at the 2017 Isaac Pitblado Lectures

It is said that change is the one constant in life. While personally, I’ve no reason to doubt the truth of that statement, as a member of the legal profession for the past 20(+) years, I sometimes have questioned whether others in the profession would argue against it. We are a profession reliant upon precedent, adept at identifying and avoiding risk and often, slow to adapt to the changing world around us.

Taking on this inherent resistance to new ways of lawyering, I’ve heard Jordan Furlong ask his audiences some variant of the question: If you weren’t already doing it . . . [more]

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

New Graduate Degree in Innovation in Law and Technology

Though change is afoot and disruption is underway, many practitioners wouldn’t know it from their day to day practice. Although we would all love to see more technology and innovation in law school, for those of us who may have passed the bar some time ago that simply isn’t an option.

Earlier this summer, UofT launched 3 new streams for their Global Professional LLM. The stream in the Law of Leadership will seek to prepare the future decision makers in law, the Canadian Law in a Global Context stream will look at the effects of globalization, and the Innovation, . . . [more]

Posted in: Education & Training: Law Schools, Technology

Manitoba Tribunal Seeking New Members

The Manitoba Co-op Housing Tribunal is looking for panel members. They are seeking lawyers with experience in housing issues and administrative law to oversee hearings as the chair of a 3 person panel (with 2 community members) and to draft decisions based on the written and oral evidence presented. Often the parties are unrepresented so the tribunal member should also be able to explain all the relevant rules & laws and make sure the parties understand the potential consequences, while maintaining impartiality. No legal training is provided and your work will be scrutinized by a public servant with a background . . . [more]

Posted in: Education & Training, Miscellaneous

Tomorrow’s Job Market

In Tomorrow’s Lawyers, leading scholar Richard Susskind envisions the future of legal practice. He argues that with the introduction of new technologies there will be a dramatic change in the jobs that lawyers hold. In particular, he predicts a sharp decrease in the number of traditional legal practitioners, along with the emergence of new jobs for lawyers.

Susskind names eight new types of jobs. They are:

1) the legal knowledge engineer

2) the legal technologist

3) the legal hybrid

4) the legal process analyst

5) the legal project manager

6) the ODR practitioner

7) the legal management consultant

8) . . . [more]

Posted in: Education & Training: Law Schools, Technology

Lessons Learned in Criminal Law

I recently read Adam Dodek’s post for Slaw entitled “Letter to A Future Lawyer” where he provides some great words of advice to those being called to the bar. The piece reminded me of a document that I kept on my laptop during my articling that was titled ‘Lessons Learned.” As I fumbled through some of the various procedural mazes of the courthouse, my goal was to only make each mistake once. For the last seven years I have learned a lot more, and here are my best seven tips for those lawyers joining the ranks.

1. Be . . . [more]

Posted in: Education & Training, Practice of Law

Cross Examining the Artificial Intelligence

As much as I’m an enthusiast for technology, including artificial intelligence, I find that my energies are far more productive discussing the limitations, challenges, and pitfalls of blinding embracing technology in law. It’s only through these discussions that we can use the technology intelligently.

Most of the use of artificial intelligence to this date has been in developing predictive techniques in law, but the possibilities of this technology is only beginning to be explored. Although copyright law may pose some barriers to AI development, machine learning could also be the key to better data security.

The applications in . . . [more]

Posted in: Education & Training, Technology

Cultural Competency in End of Life Care in Ontario

Ontario is the most diverse province in Canada, and one of the most diverse regions in the world. The forms of diversity found in Ontario include different cultures, languages, ethnicities, and beliefs.

These diverse population groups also trend across age demographics, including the elderly, where there are often special care needs that are distinct from the rest of the population. The prominence of end-of-life care among the elderly also means that the conjunction of diversity and demographics raises some interesting issues in the provision of health care.

We recently concluded a study through the Law Commission of Ontario as part . . . [more]

Posted in: Education & Training, Justice Issues

The Mandatory Nature of CPD

Love it or hate it, we all have to do continuing professional development (CPD).

One lawyer hated it so much that he refused to do it at all. When the Law Society of Manitoba automatically suspended him, he took his challenge all the way to the Supreme Court of Canada.

As you might expect, the lawyer was unsuccessful on his appeal in Green v. Law Society of Manitoba, released this week. The law society was empowered under the Legal Profession Act to achieve its mandate of self-regulation and protecting the public interest. The power to create a CPD scheme . . . [more]

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

Constructing Competence: One Student’s Experience in Legal Education

Since entering law school, people have told me their personal “horror” story regarding their experience with a lawyer. They generally follow the same narrative arch: “I paid X amount of dollars and the lawyer did nothing for me. They were so incompetent!” As I often stand steadfast in the defense of my chosen profession, there is a voice in my head that whispers, “maybe they’re right”. Though the law society has formed a comprehensive definition of competence, in my experience, there has been little done in the rearing of new lawyers to meet it.

The Law Society of Upper Canada . . . [more]

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