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Archive for ‘Education & Training: Law Schools’

Infomercials and Legal Writing

One of Oscar Wilde’s aphorisms is “There is only one thing worse than being talked about and that is NOT being talked about.” This is sometimes paraphrased as “there is no such thing as bad publicity.” The “I don’t care what they say about me as long as they spell my name right” statement is apocryphally attributed to P.T. Barnum.

Writing for law and other professional magazines, and law tabloids such as The Lawyers Weekly or the Law Times, is a not-expensive (at least to the writer) way of getting publicity and, perhaps, of educating the readership. I have no . . . [more]

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

The Postradical Legal Generation

The title of this posting is the title of an article that just appeared on the Chronicle Review website of the The Chronicle of Higher Education.

Call it a more temperate look (more temperate than that of a now retired Canadian law professor – already noted on this forum) at law school education, albeit in the United States rather than Canada.

The focus of the article is the education of the graduates from “elite” law schools in the U.S. “at a time when most of the more-radical members of the faculty had either already disappeared or were losing their . . . [more]

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

Canadian Law Faculties ‘Like Psychotic Kindergartens”

“Psychotic kindergartens.” According to this piece from, Robert Martin, professor of law, emeritus, at the University of Western Ontario used this term and the term “feminist seminary” to describe Canadian law faculties. Martin’s article, in the October 2009 edition of the scholarly journal Interchange, is behind a paywall. I have not read it, but thought it worth pointing to nonetheless. . . . [more]

Posted in: Education & Training: Law Schools

A Tale of Two Conferences: CALL 2010 and LSUC Solo & Small Firm

I am in the midst of attending 5 conferences in 3 weeks, for the legal, library, publishing and business industries. The conferences are for varied audiences, and yet I am seeing some good synergies between the discussions.

I therefore found David Whelan’s blog post “A Perspective on Professional Education” to be of interest. In it he compares the Canadian Association of Law Libraries conference–held last week in Windsor in conjunction with the Michigan Association of Law Libraries–to the 5th Annual Solo and Small Firm Conference put on by the Law Society of Upper Canada on Friday. As one . . . [more]

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

Articling Students in Need

One of the unique requirements that we have in North America to be called to the bar is the articling process, the merits of which have been discussed here. And we have seen law students try to use social media to get these positions.

But I still know an astonishing number of students from the class of 2010 that do not have any articling position at all. Not just from my school, but across Ontario and the country. So here’s my attempt to try and do something about it. . . . [more]

Posted in: Education & Training: Law Schools

Harvard Law School During National Library Week

Last week was National Library Week in the U.S., sponsored by the American Library Association as a way to promote libraries. In Friday’s Law Librarian Conversations podcast (formerly the Law Librarian podcast) we talked about the up-take of this week by academic law libraries, especially considering that the focus tends to be on public libraries. One library in particular stood out: Harvard Law School Library.

According to the Et Seq. – Harvard Law School Library Blog post by Meg Kribble, the following “fun and games” were used to promote the library during National Library Week:

  • Foursquare: awarding a
. . . [more]
Posted in: Education & Training: Law Schools

New Educause Review

Educause is an interesting organization, with relevance for anyone working in or near a law school:

EDUCAUSE is a nonprofit association whose mission is to advance higher education by promoting the intelligent use of information technology. EDUCAUSE helps those who lead, manage, and use information resources to shape strategic decisions at every level.

Educause Review always contains interesting articles, and the new edition is no exception. Richard N. Katz’s Scholars, Scholarship, and the Scholarly Enterprise in the Digital Age looks informative. Also in this issue: Lawrence Lessig on Copyright (I thought he quit that beat), and Larry Sanger on knowledge . . . [more]

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

What Starts Here – Changes the World

That’s the motto (or slogan for those who prefer the Gaelic) of the University of Texas at Austin, which today announced a new three-year joint degree programme combining a Master of Science and Information Studies and Doctor of Jurisprudence (MSIS/JD).

The new programme “responds to an increased need for specialist trained to help address legal issues arising from the increasingly complex and changing world of information use, retrieval and storage in the 21st century.”

For those interested, eligibility is set out here.

For all the hype, the sample course selection here is fairly ho-hum, just plain vanilla . . . [more]

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

Changing Legal Education: The Need to Get Real

♫ I’m scared to touch
Too tense to be undone
I walk the streets
Not expecting morning sun
Against the voice of doom
Failures fall all over town

I guess I should
I feel I should
Get real Get real…♫

Lyrics and Music by David Bowie and Brian Eno.

Irene Plagianos, for The American Lawyer and posted on today, wrote an article entitled: The Future of Legal Education: Get Real.

She reported on how Dean Richard Matasar of the New York Law School (partnered with Harvard Law School) introduced a different discussion topic to a crowded classroom . . . [more]

Posted in: Education & Training: Law Schools

Outsourcing in the Academy

In the Chronicle of Higher Education, an article about a law professor who outsources her grading work to India. She feels that detailed feedback is key to improving writing skills, but at some 5,000,000 words each year,

Her seven teaching assistants, some of whom did not have much experience, couldn’t deliver. Their workload was staggering: About 1,000 juniors and seniors enroll in the course each year. “Our graders were great,” she says, “but they were not experts in providing feedback.”

That shortcoming led Ms. Whisenant, director of business law and ethics studies at Houston, to a novel solution last

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