I have been privileged to teach legal ethics at the University of Ottawa and before that at Osgoode Hall and U of T. I love teaching legal ethics because students have fresh and valuable perspectives on so many important issues in the legal profession. Legal ethics is a branch of “professional ethics”, special ethical rules that apply to members of a profession. What we think it means to be “a good lawyer” , “a good soldier” or “a good doctor” may differ from society’s general understanding of what it means to be “a good citizen”. In legal ethics we struggle . . . [more]
Archive for ‘Education & Training: Law Schools’
Some interesting data about law schools and the broader ecomony is collected in this Atlantic article. The main point is that while a slow job market has meant rising demand for education in the past, today’s law school enrollment has fallen off along with the rise in unemployment numbers. . . . [more]
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:
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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]
Included on the page are links to:
I suspect my page may not be complete, so if I have missed something, I welcome comments and suggestions for other resources. . . . [more]
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]
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]
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]
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:
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[The paper] argues that legal readers judge a document
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.
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]