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Archive for ‘Education & Training’

Accommodation of Disabilities and the LSAT

The Law School Admission Test (LSAT) is a standardized test administered by the American-based Law School Admission Council (LSAC), and is one of the most ubiquitous criteria for law school admissions across North America, including at Canadian law schools. Its use is not without controversy or its detractors, and there are some unique challenges that emerge in administering the LSAT in the context of applicants with medical disabilities.

The LSAT is notably not used in numerous law schools overseas. The Fairness Commissioner confirms that the number of internationally trained lawyers has risen from 7% in 2005, to over a third . . . [more]

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

When Law Schools Start Offering Arts Degrees

The past decade has generally seen a significant contraction in the admission of legal graduates in the U.S., largely influenced by broader economic trends. The ABA Journal reported in 2017,

For nearly 40 years starting in 1971, law schools had an average first-year class size of 246 students, peaking to 262 in 2010. Since then, that average has dropped 31 percent to an average of 182 students.

This trend reversed last year, which has been attributed in part to greater political polarization in the U.S., especially around key legal and constitutional issues. The Law School Admission Council volume comparisons over . . . [more]

Posted in: Education & Training, Justice Issues

Whither English-Canada Law Schools?

Ryerson University in Toronto recently announced that its new law program will allow students to include what would otherwise be post-graduate training as part of their law school stage of legal education (or perhaps more accurately, avoid training after graduation). The school’s curriculum will adopt the Integrated Practice Curriculum (IPC) concept. This follows the same design as that of the Bora Laskin Faculty of Law at Lakehead University in Thunder Bay. Ryerson’s decision, coupled with that of the Lakehead program, raises anew a question that has never really received a definitive answer: what is the role of university law schools? . . . [more]

Posted in: Education & Training: Law Schools

Convocation Approves Ryerson’s Integrated Practice Curriculum (IPC)

This week, Convocation at the Law Society of Ontario voted to approve the Integrated Practice Curriculum (IRC) for Ryerson’s new law school. This will make Ryerson the second school in Ontario, following Lakehead University in 2014, to adopt this model.

Approval of the proposed curriculum, which is available online, is based on the 2014 list found in the Integrated Law Practice Program for Law Schools document, which reviews exposure to specific skills and tasks, and demonstration and assessments. What this approval means is that graduates of the new law school, which are expected in 2023, will not have to complete . . . [more]

Posted in: Education & Training: Law Schools

The Intersection of Family Law and Psychology: Exciting New Course Coming to Vancouver

The Continuing Legal Education Society of British Columbia has just published the details of a new continuing professional development program scheduled for 11 and 12 April 2019 in Vancouver. “A Deeper Dive: The Intersection of Family Law and Psychology 2019” features a multidisciplinary faculty and is open to both legal and mental health professionals throughout Canada.

Topics to be discussed include high conflict family law law disputes, the neurobiological effect of conflict on children’s development, parent-child attachment issues, developing parenting plans and new research on children’s experience of separation and wish to be involved in decision-making after separation. . . . [more]

Posted in: Education & Training: Law Schools, Legal Information

Lawyers Need to Be Able to Identify When Clients Have Experienced Abuse

On Friday (January 25th), The Globe and Mail reported on a new risk-assessment tool being developed by Deepa Mattoo, the legal director of the Barbra Schlifer Commemorative Clinic. This much-needed assessment tool joins others that have been recommended or are in development, primarily related to family court matters. While it is important that practising lawyers and judges, among others, learn to recognize the signs of abuse, it is also crucial that law students are prepared to work with clients who appear to have experienced abuse, as well as possible abusers. In 2012, the Law Commission of Ontario released a . . . [more]

Posted in: 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