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Archive for ‘Education & Training: Law Schools’

Introducing the Twitter Moot

Given my moot history in law school it’s no surprise that I’ve been approached repeatedly by a number of different international moots now that I’m a lawyer. But I’ve never seen anything like this before.

A non-profit environmental law organization, West Coast Environmental Law (WCEL), is hosting the first-ever moot court held entirely on Twitter. Participants from different Canadian law schools will make their submissions in 140 characters or less. The intent of the exercise is to bring environmental law issues to a broader audience.

Yes, I’ve always dreamed about being a tweeting judge, and it seems that dream might . . . [more]

Posted in: Education & Training: Law Schools

1L Exam Advice

Looming right around the corner is that magical time of year, we all get more busy, tensions rise and people run around in oddly coloured clothing…. of course I’m talking about Law School Exam Time. Personally, I do not think that CERN needs to go on trying to break the speed of light because this semester seems to have already done so, which brings us to exam time. Back in September I posted, what I hoped were, a few nuggets about being in law school. What follows are a few more with regards to preparing for and executing exam . . . [more]

Posted in: Education & Training: Law Schools

A Framework for Teaching Good Legal Writing

A recent working paper by Mark K. Osbeck of the University of Michigan Law School, proposes a framework for understanding, and teaching, good legal writing.

Available via SSRN, What is “Good Legal Writing” and Why Does it Matter?, the paper provides an overview of the major reports and other documents that have called for increased attention in US law schools to practical “lawyering” skills, starting with the MacCrate Report of 1992. It then provides a conceptual framework for defining good legal writing, and a detailed discussion of its various elements:

[The paper] argues that legal readers judge a document

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

Articling Crisis in the Headlines

Today’s Globe and Mail features an articling discussing what is being called a “crisis” in articling positions,

Some blame law firms, accusing them of reducing their hiring in the face of economic uncertainty. But according to Law Society statistics, there has also been a steady increase in the number of law graduates, as law schools have increased their enrolments. The number of law students successfully landing articling jobs has increased each year since 2007, but it has not kept pace with demand.

The article features interviews with Meagan Williams, a colleague of mine from UWO Law (and occasional law . . . [more]

Posted in: Education & Training: Law Schools

Articling and Access to Justice: An Ontario Legal Corps – Why Not?

We need to create an Ontario Legal Corps composed of lawyers and articling students to address the access to justice crisis in this province and we need to do it now. An Ontario Legal Corps will also go a long way to addressing the current deficit in available articling positions.

The articling crisis in Ontario is a supply-side program. It deals with the issue of the scarcity of supply of articling positions. As many judges and now the Governor General have reminded us, we have an Access to Justice crisis which is a demand side problem. The demand for legal . . . [more]

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

The Future of Articling in Ontario

Ontario has the unique position of having more applicants for articling positions than available positions. A panel at the Second Annual Conference Association for Canadian Clinical Legal Education discussed the future of articling in Ontario on September 24, 2011 at Osgoode Hall Law School.

Tom Conway of the Law Society of Upper Canada Task Force on Articling shared some of his personal views on the subject. He indicated there were 1,700 people who registered for articling in 2010-2011, and the situation is expected to get worse with UofO expanding its common law section, and the new law schools recently launched. . . . [more]

Posted in: Education & Training: Law Schools

University of Victoria Law School Tech Survey of Incoming Students

Once again Rich McCue has published the results of his annual survey of incoming law students at the University of Victoria. His executive summary of the results is as follows:

  • 84% of incoming law students own “Smart Phones” that can browse the internet (up dramatically from 50% last year), with 42% of the total being iPhones, 13% Android and 27% Blackberry’s.
  • 19% of students own tablet devices or ebook readers.
  • 98% of students own laptops, and 16% own both a laptop and a desktop computer.
  • 50% of student laptops are Mac’s, up from 44% last year.
  • The average laptop price
. . . [more]
Posted in: Education & Training: Law Schools, Technology

Welcome to Law School

Orientation week is drawing to a close. 2L and 3L classes have begun with 1L to begin on Monday. To all 1Ls here are my pieces of advice. I know that not all who have experienced law school will agree with these and that’s fine, I hope that Slawyers will contribute their pieces of advice in the comments. Here are mine:

  • Go to Class

I know this seems self-explanatory and I also know that one of the guilty pleasures of being a student is the occasional skipped class, so if you are going to skip classes be very judicious in . . . [more]

Posted in: Education & Training: Law Schools

Lessons From the Law Library

Attention: what follows is not me, my head shot to the left is not representative of the following paragraphs. Over the summer we have had a library school intern working in multiple capacities at the Sir James Dunn Law Library as our student reference assistant. During this time Amanda (Andie) Bulman has become a fan of Slaw and I thought that as the summer is drawing to a close I thought I would give her a chance to craft a post for Slaw on what her experience has been like over the past several months. I gave her a . . . [more]

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

2011 Innovaction Award Winners: University of Toronto Among the Winners

It has been a long while since we mentioned the Innovaction Awards. The 2011 winners were recently announced, and a Canadian group are among the winners:

Berwin Leighton Paisner, LLP (BLP) was selected for their Lawyers On Demand (LOD) initiative which began in 2007 after BLP observed two important issues affecting the UK legal market: (1) legal services clients want to stretch their budgets further and (2) many lawyers are looking for greater flexibility and autonomy in their work. BLP created LOD to address these issues. LOD challenged the traditional models of legal service delivery and brought talented freelance

. . . [more]
Posted in: Education & Training: Law Schools, Practice of Law: Future of Practice, Practice of Law: Practice Management, Technology

Homage À Paul-André Crépeau – a Giant of Law Reform

The papers recently carried the news of the death of Paul-André Crépeau, C.C., O.Q., c.r., LL.D., D.h.c., m.s.r.c., who I would argue was the most influential law reformer in Canadian legal history.

From the initial invitation in 1965 from Jean Lesage’s Justice Minister Claude Wagner to take over the Office de Révision du code civil, originally set up during the Duplessis years with Thibaudeau Rinfret and André Nadeau, Crépeau’s vision and his life work was la révision du Code civil, and under his leadership the Office focused on the daunting task of updating the general provisions of a century-old . . . [more]

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

Your Name, Your Game?

When you teach at law school, as I have, you become familiar with a variety of reasons as to why students choose to study law—perhaps there’s a history of lawyers in the family; or their parents want them to do something, anything professional; or they want to right wrongs, get that BMW, enter politics, point damning fingers at witnesses… Even with those students who wound up in law school with apparently only a shrug for a reason, some explanation eventually surfaced.

Now there is a novel explanation—at least for a small portion of the student body. Two recent studies have . . . [more]

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