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Archive for ‘Education & Training: Law Schools’

Osgoode Introduces Mandatory Indigenous and Aboriginal Law

When the Truth and Reconciliation Commission released its Calls to Action in 2015, I emphasized the need for Canadian law schools to respond to the call for mandatory training for all law students in Indigenous and Aboriginal Law. This is a necessary prerequisite towards reconciliation, and in training the next generation of lawyers to decolonize our legal system.

That same year, some law schools expressed an interest in reforming the curriculum, but acknowledged that all fell short of that goal. Since that time, Canadian law schools have been slowly finding ways to increase their Indigenous content.

Osgoode’s Dean Sossin explained . . . [more]

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

Law Student-Led Legal Research Day Supports Environmental Law Reform

Students of the UVic Environmental Law Club contribute the following guest post. They discuss their initiative to conduct an all-day legal research event, putting their learning of the legislative research process toward a public interest effort. The event was inspired by a national student-driven research event on another issue a year ago. We thank Slaw’s Kim Nayyer for coordinating this submission.

Friday February 2, 2018, the UVic Environmental Law Club coordinated a full day research-o-thon involving more than 50 law students from UVic. The event: “Mining Law in BC – Digging up a Dirty History” focused on the history of . . . [more]

Posted in: Education & Training: Law Schools, Legal Information: Libraries & Research, Substantive Law: Legislation

Reinventing Competence

What do lawyers need to be competent for the practice of law today, and even more, for tomorrow?

The critical importance of at least a foundational knowledge of the law, and the ability to conduct appropriate research to find the answers to what one doesn’t yet know, is generally acknowledged. As well, lawyers should be capable advocates, creative problem-solvers and effective counsellors. Also important are communication skills, facility with relevant technologies and business acumen. The list goes on, including both hard and soft skills, developed through law school and articles and then on the job thereafter.

A debate I attended . . . [more]

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

Federation Preliminarily Approves Ryerson Law School

The Federation of Law Societies of Canada has provided preliminary approval for the new law school at Ryerson University.

This approval was based on a detailed review of the proposed curriculum and the resources in the Ryerson plan. The curriculum is what really sets Ryerson apart, with a particular emphasis on technology, access to justice, and social innovation. The curriculum also has mandatory classes on social innovation and the law, Indigenous law, legal innovation, the business of law, and issues of diversity in the legal profession.

The full Federation report, which details this curriculum, is available here.

Where . . . [more]

Posted in: Education & Training: Law Schools, 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

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

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

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

The Future Is Bright

As I wrapped up my last class at Robson Hall last week, I remarked to that whip-smart group of 1Ls that I hoped they had learned at least half as much in their two terms of Legal Methods as I did in the teaching of the course. This was my first experience teaching in a law school setting and looking back, I know for certain that I learned more than I likely imparted.

You may recall that last fall, my stated intention as I went back to law school as a sessional instructor was to keep a record of my . . . [more]

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

Why the LSAT Should Be Retired

Starting this fall Harvard Law School will allow applicants to submit their scores from either the Graduate Record Examination (GRE) or the Law School Admission Test (LSAT). This is a significant departure from the last 70 years, where LSATs have been considered a rite of passage.

Even though the LSAT provides a “neutral” way to measure students from diverse schools and programs, it’s continued use must be questioned.

Many of the critiques that apply to the SAT apply to the LSAT. The SAT has been “called out of touch, instructionally irrelevant, and a contributor to the diversity gaps on college . . . [more]

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

#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.

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 the NGO. The Canada-wide event took place on Saturday in classrooms and libraries of the . . . [more]

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