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Archive for ‘Education & Training: Law Schools’

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

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

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

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

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

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

Before Doing Differently, We Have to Teach Differently

During the Toronto launch of Doing Law Differently this past week, I had the opportunity to sit down with Jordan Furlong and some of the NewLaw Pioneers featured in the report. Nate Russell previously summarized the report here.

The report is important because the changes in the legal profession don’t affect anyone more acutely than law students and young lawyers, who will actually live to see the changes sweep across the industry. “This report needs to be read by every student in the country,” said Fred Headen, a past President of the Canadian Bar Association and chair of the . . . [more]

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

Logic Models and Legal Education

Over the weekend, I had opportunity to speak with a high school student about the path to law school and into the legal profession. We spoke at some length about the importance of her pre-law education, in terms of ensuring her grades were high enough to get into law school but even more in terms of ensuring she has a strong background in relevant skills, e.g. business administration, project management, accounting or engineering. I urged her to be practical in terms of making her under-graduate choices so as to position herself well for a future in a changing profession.

The . . . [more]

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

Incorporating Skills-Based Learning Throughout Law School

When we leave law school to become articling students and then junior associates, we will likely spend the majority of our time researching and writing memos. Knowing this, how is it possible that law students can leave school without a strong foundation in these skills?

All law students at UVic have at least some exposure to legal research and writing through taking Legal Research and Writing (LRW) in first year. However, this is our first introduction into legal research and writing. At this early stage in our education, it is difficult to fully appreciate and absorb all the material covered . . . [more]

Posted in: Education & Training: Law Schools, Law Student Week, Legal Information: Libraries & Research