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Archive for ‘Education & Training: Law Schools’

Could It Be Time for Apprentices Again?

It wasn’t so long ago that would-be lawyers didn’t go to law school. Instead, they were apprenticed to experienced lawyers and learned their skills on the job.

It wasn’t until the 1950s and 60s in Canada that law degrees became de rigeur and apprenticeships were compressed into an articling year to be completed before writing the bar exam.

Flash forward to an age of soaring law school tuition rates and declining job openings, when students complain of heavy debts and a lack of practical training, and suddenly the age-old apprenticeship seems like a suitable tool for modern times.

“Adding apprenticeship . . . [more]

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

Losing My Religion? Everybody Hurts? Shiny Happy People? It’s the End of the World as We Know It?

I just couldn’t make a call on which REM song title is best for a post about law school exams…… Let’s knock out “It’s the End of the World as we Know it”, because it isn’t. The ironic part of me likes “Shiny Happy People” but I have to acknowledge “Everybody Hurts” and “Losing my Religion” are pretty good too. Why the song catalogue for a band from Georgia? You know this, the tip I want to give this week on the verge of exam period is to wear sunscreen …. wait that’s not it….get enough REM sleep whilst . . . [more]

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

Class Notes 2: Strategic Legal Research of Blogs

In one of our later advanced legal research and writing class of the term, we turned our attention from traditional primary and secondary material to alternative or less-expected legal research resources. I posted earlier on the portion of the class in which we learned strategies to mine Twitter for legal research. The other broad angle we looked at addressed strategies and tools to assist in finding helpful secondary resources in legal blogs and other open web information sources.

Legal research in blogs

I think it’s fair to suggest legal blogs are so widespread and well-known that they may be . . . [more]

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

Students Form “Law Students Society of Ontario”

All of the student societies at Ontario’s seven law schools have agreed to participate in a newly formed Law Students Society of Ontario. At the moment the LSSO website contains only the following press release:

MEDIA RELEASE

For immediate release: Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Ontario’s Law Students Found New Association to Advance Student Issues

Ontario’s law school student governments have formed a new organization to speak out on issues affecting the province’s 4,000 law students.

The goal of the Law Students’ Society of Ontario (LSSO) is to advance student concerns to governmental, regulatory, and educational stakeholders on issues such as

. . . [more]

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

Class Notes 1: Mining Social Media for Legal Research

By this point in the term, our advanced legal research and writing class has covered all the favourite usual suspects: research plans, research records and journals, secondary research using legal and library databases, federal legislative research, provincial legislative research, primary research using the big three, UK research, US research, and so on. We’re saving EU legal research for next week.

But this week we took a small detour and looked at the use of social media as a resource for legal research. For instance, we examined the strategic use of Twitter as a legal research source, mainly for secondary information . . . [more]

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

Collection and Dissemination of Unauthorized Information

Yesterday we concluded the Third Annual UCLA Cyber Crime Moot Court Competition in Los Angeles. This year the moot problem dealt with access of a public website through a scraper program to collect e-mail addresses for the purposes of illustrating security vulnerabilities.

The first issue in the case was roughly modelled after United States v. Auernheimer, 2012 WL 5389142 (D.N.J. 2012), which is expected to appear before the Third Circuit in the near future. In this case, a data breach at AT&T resulted in the theft of personal information of approximately 120,000 AT&T customers through the use of a . . . [more]

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

What Makes Lawyers Happy?

I came across a new research paper today via SSRN titled, “What Makes Lawyers Happy? Transcending the Anecdotes with Data from 6200 Lawyers“.

The legal profession has done a much better job of addressing (or at least discussing) the issue of lawyer well-being in recent years. And thank-goodness for that! We are all very aware of the unfavourable statistics regarding mental health, substance abuse, and the general unhappiness that can show on some faces. So the idea of quantifying these factors — both positive and negative — cited by practitioners seems like a practical piece of work. . . . [more]

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

An Immodest Proposal for a Law School Curriculum

Now that I’m a good many years distant from any actual connection to legal education, I feel free to divest myself of a curriculum, or at least an approach to a curriculum, that I’ve mulled over for a long time and that in my view would approach an ideal of sorts.

My notion doesn’t address directly the somewhat tiresome business of skills training vs. theory or doctrine (or whatever the “non-skill” side is now called). I have nothing against skills, which are fine things; I do have some concern, however, that the inculcation of skills that are seen as important . . . [more]

Posted in: Education & Training: Law Schools

The TWU Debate Continues

Why are we still discussing Trinity Western University (TWU) and their law school? The Federation of Law Societies of Canada (FLSC) approved TWU’s application back in December and the BC Ministry of Advanced Education gave TWU their approval in January. 

The answer is simple. The FLSC failed to uphold their mandate to act in the public interest when they disengaged from public discourse. This glaring omission became clear to me on Thursday, February 13 as I was live tweeting the first public hearing held by any law society in Canada about TWU.

The Executive Committee of the Nova Scotia Barristers’ . . . [more]

Posted in: Education & Training: Law Schools

Does a Generational Divide Hamper Change in Legal Services?

My class at University of Ottawa Law is now over. But the thoughts provoked in class hopefully are not. U of O has, probably more so than other Ontario law schools, a social justice/access to justice bent and I have been critical of the CBA’s recent Reaching Equal Justice Report mostly because it is unrealistic and provides little hope for change. So it was interesting for me to see two presentations by students that focussed on ideas that should have been part of that CBA Report.

One student presented ways in which gamification could be used in legal services. It . . . [more]

Posted in: Education & Training, Education & Training: CLE/PD, Education & Training: Law Schools, Justice Issues, Law Student Week, Legal Information, Miscellaneous, Practice of Law

She’ll #IdleNoMore

Earlier today, one of our law graduate students gave a delightful performance of a poem, Why I’ll #IdleNoMore. The poem earned Michelle first place in the annual diversity writing contest the University Library sponsors in conjunction with the Provost’s Diversity Research Forum.

Michelle’s performance was evocative and thought-provoking, as is the poem itself: She rapped about the goals of the Idle No More movement, and about activism as an ally of that movement.

As stimulating to me as her performance were the remarks with which Michelle prefaced it. She spoke of how, were it not for her time . . . [more]

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

Let TWU Have Its Law School

When Trinity Western University (TWU), a Christian-focused post-secondary institution, announced plans to pursue accreditation for a new law school, a tide of opposition swelled from within the Canadian legal establishment and academy.

A near unanimous chorus of professors, Law Deans, and student groups urged the Federation of Law Societies to reject TWU’s application on account of its homophobic “Community Covenant”. After the Federation and the provincial government approved the program last month, a prominent civil rights lawyer threatened to sue.

Personally, I was not bothered by TWU’s application for accreditation. The human rights opposition has insisted that a “one-size-fits-all” approach . . . [more]

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