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Archive for ‘Education & Training: Law Schools’

The Top Ten US Law School Websites

As rated by Roger Skalbeck of the Georgetown University Law Center, on behalf of the ABA in their annual effort. The 200 law school websites evaluated ranged from a low of 25% to a high of 98.5%. Given the very elementary standards against which they were compared, it is surprising that any really could fare very low at all. This summary of the evaluation criteria should give you an idea:

. . . [more]

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

Systemic Discrimination in Law Firms: Perception or Reality? My Point of View

According to the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms (Section 15 (1)):

Every individual is equal before and under the law and has the right to the equal protection and equal benefit of the law without discrimination and, in particular, without discrimination based on race, national or ethnic origin, colour, religion, sex, age or mental or physical disability.

Of course, and unfortunately, this is not always the case in practice. Many people continue to deny others equal treatment, intentionally and not. Law Times offers a recent example of alleged systemic discrimination; the case Law Society of Upper Canada v. . . . [more]

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

Should There Be Parttime Law School in Canada?

Like Darryl Mountain in today’s Slaw.ca column, I have been thinking about law school lately. Or rather, I have been reminded about past thoughts on this topic. Whether law school should be changed or not is a current hot topic in the U.S. In addition to the New York Times article that Darryl points to, The National Law Journal has also just published the article What is Law School For, Anyway? by Karen Sloan about law schools not keeping up with what is needed in the profession.

One thing I believe the U.S. law school system has gotten right, however, . . . [more]

Posted in: 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