Upon arrest or detention, a police officer must advise a detainee of their s. 10 Charter right to retain and instruct counsel without delay. Does this right apply if a person is “apprehended” and taken involuntarily to a health facility for a psychiatric assessment? Presumably it does: if the individual is not free to leave the officer’s custody or refuse the examination, then their individual liberty is clearly suspended by a state authority. This is the very definition of a “detention” under the Charter: R v Grant. Yet, the case law implies that officers may be failing to advise . . . [more]
Archive for ‘Education & Training: Law Schools’
For the past two years I’ve taught Advanced Legal Research and Writing to upper year law students, and I’ve just begun a third session.
This is a small seminar course and the students are primarily final-year students. My day-one poll of the students generally suggests some feel uncertainty about their legal research and writing skills as they prepare to enter the profession, and they take the course almost as “remedial legal research and writing,” to borrow the words of a colleague.
To meet stated student learning needs, we generally focus in depth on the skills of researching case . . . [more]
The controversial situation around affirmative action in American universities has reared its legal head at the Supreme Court of the United States more than once.
Affirmative action was brought into the forefront in 1961, when John F. Kennedy issued an executive and provided financing for it. The Civil Rights Act of 1964 went further, prohibiting discrimination on the basis of race, colour, religion, sex, or national origin, while never explicitly mentioning affirmative action. The Act does not have a comparable component to s. 15(2) of the Charter, but Title VII and subsequent amendments empowered the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) . . . [more]
If you’re about to tackle a complex matter or task in an unfamiliar area, how should you prioritize your first steps? New research shows that you’ll be off to a better start if you focus on learning rather than results. This is especially true if the matter context is unpredictable or dynamic.
I interviewed Dr. Meredith Woodwark – whose research uncovered these findings – to learn more. Woodwark teaches organizational behavior and leadership at the Lazaridis School of Business and Economics at Wilfrid Laurier University. Her research focuses on motivation, learning goals and employee engagement.
Q. How is your research . . . [more]
With the rise of the “vanishing” trial, lawyers must master the art of written advocacy. Part of mastering anything requires consistent feedback. Yet, lawyers operate with little to no commentary from judges on the quality of their written submissions.
In Thinking Fast and Slow, Daniel Kahneman states that we acquire expertise when:
(1) There is an environment that is sufficiently regular to be predictable, and
(2) There is an opportunity to learn these regularities through prolonged practice. An opportunity to learn entails quick and clear feedback. For example:
. . . [more]
Among medical specialties, anesthesiologists benefit from good feedback, because the effects of
The Continuing Legal Education Society of British Columbia, Canada’s leading providing of continuing professional training for lawyers, and the Canadian Centre for Elder Law are hosting the Canadian Elder Law Conference on 12 and 13 November in 2015. The conference is open to anyone with an interest in the legal and other issues affecting Canada’s elder population, but will be of most interest to lawyers, financial planners and mental health professionals.
On Friday Oct 2, 2015 in Vancouver, BC, the ninth Pacific Legal Technology Conference will take place. But it can also take place right in your office. This year 13 sessions will be real-time webcast (the keynote will be recorded and made available for viewing after the conference due to logistical issues) allowing both in person and webinar attendees to fully participate in the conference.
28 speakers from Toronto, New York City, Salt Lake City, Alaska and all across BC will speak on such sessions as “Blending Technology with Strong Advocacy Skills”, “Practice Management Tools: There has never been a . . . [more]
In the summer disaster movie, San Andreas, Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson’s character scours earthquake-rocked California in a helicopter, plane and then speedboat to save his family members from fires and floods. We see him engage in feats of athletic prowess, but we also see him learn to talk about his feelings, and in particular the pain and regret he experienced following the death of his younger daughter. Lawyers at all stages of their careers may do well to follow the Rock’s example and practice talking more openly about their feelings, but this lesson may be particularly relevant for law students. . . . [more]
Tomorrow morning hundreds of hopeful law students (and some law graduates) will descend upon the City of Toronto in search of an articling position.
It is not unusual for a law firm to receive two hundred applications or more for every available position. The process is competitive and it is intense and gruelling.
As a member of my firm’s student committee, I will be spending the next three days away from clients and files and instead will be eyeballs deep in interviews, committee meetings and dinner engagements trying to find the right students for our firm.
Since tis the season . . . [more]
Earlier this month, the Divisional Court released its decision in Trinity Western University v The Law Society of Upper Canada, upholding the decision by the law society to refuse to accredit the religious law school based on its Community Covenant that prohibits sexual practices, including homosexuality.
The decision has been highly anticipated given the polarized views in the legal community, especially since the school initiated the accreditation process in Ontario in early 2014. Convocation heard written submissions and oral statements, and ultimately voted 28-21 against accreditation.
Video archives of the debate before Convocation, as well as the written submissions, . . . [more]
Despite all the calls for more practically-focused, experiential and applied legal education, there is more to law school than simply learning a trade.
Legal education is a process of socialization and acclimatization to the profession, including its history, culture and traditions. All of these are arguably necessary to instill the values behind our professional responsibilities and ethics.
There is also a substantive background required of all lawyers in order to practice. Intellectual property lawyers will still have to learn about basic criminal law. And human rights lawyers are required to learn the basics of contract law. The substantive framework is . . . [more]
There’s plenty of rich data on new lawyers in Canada to be found final report from Law and Beyond (“LAB”), a study of Canadian lawyers called to the bar in 2010. The key findings of the study, released last week by Ronit Dinovitzer, provide a glimpse into the kinds of information researchers gleaned about this cohort; for example:
- Twenty-two percent (22%) of the LAB sample are non-white, 56% are women, and 16.4% are immigrants.
- Women remain more likely than men to work in the public sector, even in their early careers, with more than one quarter of women