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Archive for ‘Education & Training’

TWU’s Mandate Conflicts With LSUC’s

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]

Posted in: Education & Training: Law Schools, Substantive Law: Judicial Decisions

Mandatory CPD Survives Its Day in Court

Since 2012, practising lawyers in Manitoba have been required to complete 12 hours of continuing professional development programming annually and to report on those activities as part of the annual Member’s Report. Failure to do so, pursuant to Law Society Rule 2-81.1(12) may result in issuance of a warning letter from the Law Society CEO, advising the member to comply within 60 days or face automatic suspension until the requirements have been met.

Recently, a long-time member of The Law Society of Manitoba challenged those provisions as being outside the statutory authority of The Law Society, and as lacking in . . . [more]

Posted in: Case Comment, Education & Training, Education & Training: CLE/PD

Legaltech® Coming to Toronto

There are many ways to stay up to date with technology specific to the legal environment. One of my favourite methods is to see technology in action and talk to the people who create it. I get significant benefit from immersing myself in legal technology events. Lucky for me, especially with the disadvantageous (for me) Canada-US exchange rate, Legaltech® is coming to Toronto in September.

Slawyers, including me, have attended Legaltech® New York and the ABATechshow and written about what we have learned. This September 23 and 24, I will be writing from the Toronto show. Slaw is a . . . [more]

Posted in: Education & Training: CLE/PD

The Other Legal Professionals

Love may be the answer, but it may not be in the form of a lawyer.

As the legal profession struggles to reinvent itself and restructure how services are being provided, other legal professionals are being created in parallel. The State of Washington recently licensed its first batch of “Limited License Legal Technicians (LLLTs),” the first of its type in the country, though several states have already indicated they may follow their lead.

The Washington State Bar Association defines LLLTs as individuals who,

…are trained and licensed to advise and assist people going through divorce, child custody and other family

. . . [more]
Posted in: Education & Training, Justice Issues

Articling Readiness for Legal Research

The 13th annual Edmonton Law Libraries Association Head Start Program is just around the corner. As the program page states:

Welcome to the 2015 legal research program designed for students and individuals wanting to brush up on the basics. From reference request to memo, follow the trail of legal research, including finding articles, books, case law and legislation while avoiding unnecessary costs. Research professionals will provide tips, tricks and inside information on how to find materials, select the most relevant, and organize your research memo. Give us your time and we will give you a HeadStart!

Reflecting on the purpose . . . [more]

Posted in: Education & Training: CLE/PD

Reconciling the Truth About Law Schools

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]

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

New Education Plan for Alberta Lawyers-to-Be

Alberta has been the subject of some change-related discussion lately, described with words like transformation, major change, new ways and old ways, and alignment nationwide. And I’m not referring to politics.

On May 22, 2015, the Law Society of Alberta sent Alberta lawyers and students-at-law an article offering “a glimpse into the new education plan” — which plan was rolled out this Monday, June 1, 2015.

The Education Plan addresses the articling process in Alberta: According to the article, any student who applied to be a student-at-law after June 1 is to use the new plan. The plan is also . . . [more]

Posted in: Education & Training, Practice of Law

Data-Rich {LAB} Report

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

E-Learning for Legal Organizations, Explained

Law firms and legal departments often rely on technology to create cost-effective training options. Mistakes can be costly, though. If you choose the wrong platform or make incorrect assumptions, both you and your program could lose credibility.

In the second half of an interview with Holly MacDonald, driving force behind Canadian e-learning innovation consultancy Spark &+Co, we learn what to consider when creating an e-learning module, and which trends might help sustain progress. (The first half of the interview discussed what individual lawyers should look for when selecting an e-learning course.)

Q. Which mistakes do organizations commonly . . . [more]

Posted in: Education & Training, Education & Training: CLE/PD, Education & Training: Law Schools, Technology, Technology: Office Technology

Managing Legal Resources in the Semantic Web: Summer Courses

A couple of posts ago I mentioned the Public Review of LegalDocML’s Akoma Ntoso v1.0. If you’re interested in legal XML and want to learn more about the Akoma Ntoso XML standard there are a couple of courses being offered at the George Mason University in Fairfax, Virginia this summer.

The first is the Basic Course offering an, “introduction to Akoma Ntoso XML standard and to basic XML technologies for drafting and managing standard-compliant legislative and legal documents.” The second part, an Advanced Course, will provide, “in-depth analysis of the higher levels of Semantic Web technologies . . . [more]

Posted in: Education & Training, Legal Information: Information Management

Grappling With the Future of CPD

Lawyers have always needed to stay current with developments and changes in our field. The proliferation of information online has changed this responsibility, and creates new challenges as well as new opportunities.

In 1998, David Blunkett, Secretary of State for Education and Employment, stated in a green paper called The Learning Age,

We are in a new age – an age of information and global competition. Familiar certainties and old ways of doing things are disappearing. The types of jobs we do have are changed as have the industries in which we work and the skills they need.


. . . [more]
Posted in: Education & Training: CLE/PD, Education & Training: Law Schools

E-Learning for Lawyers, Explained

Online courses, webinars and other digital media open up a wide range of convenient, cost-effective training options for busy professionals. But there are a lot of options. Myriad combinations of technology, platforms, content and classrooms sometimes make the selection of a course as challenging as learning new subject matter.

Holly MacDonald of
Spark + Co.

How can you tell which choice is right for you? I interviewed e-learning strategist Holly MacDonald to find out. Macdonald is the driving force behind Canadian e-learning innovation consultancy Spark + Co, where she creates strategies and program development for clients including Fortune 100 . . . [more]

Posted in: Education & Training, Education & Training: CLE/PD, Technology