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Archive for ‘Education & Training: Law Schools’

How to Master Complex, Unfamiliar Tasks

If you’re about to tackle a complex matter or task in an unfamiliar area, how should you prioritize your first steps? New research shows that you’ll be off to a better start if you focus on learning rather than results. This is especially true if the matter context is unpredictable or dynamic.

I interviewed Dr. Meredith Woodwark – whose research uncovered these findings – to learn more. Woodwark teaches organizational behavior and leadership at the Lazaridis School of Business and Economics at Wilfrid Laurier University. Her research focuses on motivation, learning goals and employee engagement.

Q. How is your research . . . [more]

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

Feedback From the Bench & Grading Written Advocacy

With the rise of the “vanishing” trial, lawyers must master the art of written advocacy. Part of mastering anything requires consistent feedback. Yet, lawyers operate with little to no commentary from judges on the quality of their written submissions.

In Thinking Fast and Slow, Daniel Kahneman states that we acquire expertise when:

(1) There is an environment that is sufficiently regular to be predictable, and

(2) There is an opportunity to learn these regularities through prolonged practice. An opportunity to learn entails quick and clear feedback. For example:

Among medical specialties, anesthesiologists benefit from good feedback, because the effects of

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

Elder Law Conference Coming to Vancouver in November: Save the Date!

The Continuing Legal Education Society of British Columbia, Canada’s leading providing of continuing professional training for lawyers, and the Canadian Centre for Elder Law are hosting the Canadian Elder Law Conference on 12 and 13 November in 2015. The conference is open to anyone with an interest in the legal and other issues affecting Canada’s elder population, but will be of most interest to lawyers, financial planners and mental health professionals.

The conference is extremely timely, given Statistics Canada‘s recent report showing that there are now more Canadians who are older than 65 than those who are under . . . [more]

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

The 2015 Pacific Legal Technology Conference

On Friday Oct 2, 2015 in Vancouver, BC, the ninth Pacific Legal Technology Conference will take place. But it can also take place right in your office. This year 13 sessions will be real-time webcast (the keynote will be recorded and made available for viewing after the conference due to logistical issues) allowing both in person and webinar attendees to fully participate in the conference.

28 speakers from Toronto, New York City, Salt Lake City, Alaska and all across BC will speak on such sessions as “Blending Technology with Strong Advocacy Skills”, “Practice Management Tools: There has never been a . . . [more]

Posted in: Announcements, Education & Training: CLE/PD, Education & Training: Law Schools, Practice of Law: Future of Practice, Practice of Law: Marketing, Practice of Law: Practice Management, Technology, Technology: Internet, Technology: Office Technology

Envy in Law School (Or What I Learned From the Rock This Summer)

In the summer disaster movie, San Andreas, Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson’s character scours earthquake-rocked California in a helicopter, plane and then speedboat to save his family members from fires and floods. We see him engage in feats of athletic prowess, but we also see him learn to talk about his feelings, and in particular the pain and regret he experienced following the death of his younger daughter. Lawyers at all stages of their careers may do well to follow the Rock’s example and practice talking more openly about their feelings, but this lesson may be particularly relevant for law students. . . . [more]

Posted in: Education & Training: Law Schools, Miscellaneous

Articling Interview Advice From an Interviewer

Tomorrow morning hundreds of hopeful law students (and some law graduates) will descend upon the City of Toronto in search of an articling position.

It is not unusual for a law firm to receive two hundred applications or more for every available position. The process is competitive and it is intense and gruelling.

As a member of my firm’s student committee, I will be spending the next three days away from clients and files and instead will be eyeballs deep in interviews, committee meetings and dinner engagements trying to find the right students for our firm.

Since tis the season . . . [more]

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

TWU’s Mandate Conflicts With LSUC’s

Earlier this month, the Divisional Court released its decision in Trinity Western University v The Law Society of Upper Canada, upholding the decision by the law society to refuse to accredit the religious law school based on its Community Covenant that prohibits sexual practices, including homosexuality.

The decision has been highly anticipated given the polarized views in the legal community, especially since the school initiated the accreditation process in Ontario in early 2014. Convocation heard written submissions and oral statements, and ultimately voted 28-21 against accreditation.

Video archives of the debate before Convocation, as well as the written submissions, . . . [more]

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

Reconciling the Truth About Law Schools

Despite all the calls for more practically-focused, experiential and applied legal education, there is more to law school than simply learning a trade.

Legal education is a process of socialization and acclimatization to the profession, including its history, culture and traditions. All of these are arguably necessary to instill the values behind our professional responsibilities and ethics.

There is also a substantive background required of all lawyers in order to practice. Intellectual property lawyers will still have to learn about basic criminal law. And human rights lawyers are required to learn the basics of contract law. The substantive framework is . . . [more]

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

Data-Rich {LAB} Report

There’s plenty of rich data on new lawyers in Canada to be found final report from Law and Beyond (“LAB”), a study of Canadian lawyers called to the bar in 2010. The key findings of the study, released last week by Ronit Dinovitzer, provide a glimpse into the kinds of information researchers gleaned about this cohort; for example:

  • Twenty-two percent (22%) of the LAB sample are non-white, 56% are women, and 16.4% are immigrants.
  • Women remain more likely than men to work in the public sector, even in their early careers, with more than one quarter of women
. . . [more]
Posted in: Education & Training: Law Schools, Justice Issues, Practice of Law, Practice of Law: Future of Practice

E-Learning for Legal Organizations, Explained

Law firms and legal departments often rely on technology to create cost-effective training options. Mistakes can be costly, though. If you choose the wrong platform or make incorrect assumptions, both you and your program could lose credibility.

In the second half of an interview with Holly MacDonald, driving force behind Canadian e-learning innovation consultancy Spark &+Co, we learn what to consider when creating an e-learning module, and which trends might help sustain progress. (The first half of the interview discussed what individual lawyers should look for when selecting an e-learning course.)

Q. Which mistakes do organizations commonly . . . [more]

Posted in: Education & Training, Education & Training: CLE/PD, Education & Training: Law Schools, Technology, Technology: Office Technology

Grappling With the Future of CPD

Lawyers have always needed to stay current with developments and changes in our field. The proliferation of information online has changed this responsibility, and creates new challenges as well as new opportunities.

In 1998, David Blunkett, Secretary of State for Education and Employment, stated in a green paper called The Learning Age,

We are in a new age – an age of information and global competition. Familiar certainties and old ways of doing things are disappearing. The types of jobs we do have are changed as have the industries in which we work and the skills they need.


. . . [more]
Posted in: Education & Training: CLE/PD, Education & Training: Law Schools

Privacy Torts as the Next Best Alternative

Which laws exist to protect patients from snooping eyes of health care providers?

Disciplinary hearings were held over the past few weeks in Ontario for nurses who looked at patient files without authorization. Despite the knowledge of several of these instances, there has never been a successful conviction of the Personal Health Information Protection Act (PHIPA) since coming into force a decade ago, and some people are starting to ask why.

One of the major challenges is the regulatory regime itself, which is particularly unwieldy and requires prosecution by the Attorney General. The Health Minister has already promised to simplify . . . [more]

Posted in: Education & Training: Law Schools, Substantive Law: Legislation