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Archive for ‘Education & Training: Law Schools’

10 Legal Writing Tips for Law Students

Legal writing is typically about persuasion. You are usually trying to persuade your reader about your thesis, your ideas, your arguments, your client’s case, etc. So how do you do it? Legal writing is an art and a science. Different people approach it differently. However, in our view, there are some commonalities for what makes legal writing effective – what makes it persuasive.

With the start of a new academic year, and the introduction of legal writing to incoming law students, we again had the opportunity to put our minds to what makes legal writing “good”, and how to approach . . . [more]

Posted in: Education & Training: Law Schools, Miscellaneous

Pedagogical Utility of Controversial Content

Contrary to what you may have heard, there isn’t a crisis of free speech on campuses in North America. The evidence, as analyzed by the Niskanen Center, demonstrates otherwise.

This hasn’t prevented numerous states from introducing legislation around these concerns, or even the American President from signing an Executive Order around these concerns earlier this year.

That doesn’t mean that universities are free from controversy. There is pedagogical benefit to introducing conflicting viewpoints, but challenges in doing so effectively, as described in The Atlantic,

Schools teach many things. For the most part, though, they have not taught students

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

The Imperatives of Legal Education

There is no question that legal education has become increasingly complex, partly as a result of the will of educators and students and partly as a result of external forces. While some may argue that legal education has not changed very much since the earliest days (emphasizing the continued emphasis on case law, for example), in my view it has been tranformed over my own legal lifetime. The introduction of “perspectives” courses, intensive weeks, the diversity in students and faculty, experiential learning, various supports, some curriculum review and other efforts towards inclusion have had greater impacts on some schools than . . . [more]

Posted in: Education & Training: Law Schools

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

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

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

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

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