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Archive for ‘Education & Training’

Shifting Prioritization Within Legal Academia to the Students

I’ve written extensively about the need for diversity in the legal profession, and for legal education to be more innovative and accessible. I haven’t touched on as much on one of the key missing pieces in legal education, which is the diversity of those providing the education to begin with.

Of course diversity in academia should be promoted for all the reasons we advocate for it to occur in the private sector – better creativity, more productivity, improved returns, and of course, the moral imperative to do so.

Part of this moral imperative includes the recognition that law school . . . [more]

Posted in: Education & Training: Law Schools

With TWU Decisions – Whither the Federation of Law Societies?

There has been much discussion about Trinity Western University (“TWU”) law school and whether or not, students who go to there should be able to practice law in Canada. I have no intention of wading into this very polarizing debate. What is more interesting, is the impact of three very different decisions about TWU, made by three different law societies.

No matter how one feels about TWU, one must consider the impact of any decision.

Decisions cannot, and should not, be made in a vacuum.

So, let’s recap.

The Federation of Law Societies claims to be the national co-ordinating body . . . [more]

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

Can the Oil Sands Fuel a Legal Resurgence?

As an educator of undergraduate and post-graduate students who often contemplate a legal career, I still encourage my students to consider law school, despite the tuition burden and uncertain opportunities given changes in the legal profession.

Then I came across something curious – a Canadian Business ranking of the best jobs in Canada, with lawyers topping the list at #1.

The magazine’s methodology lists the following factors for the ranking:

  • employment growth of the past 5 years (25%),
  • median compensation (based on a 40-hour workweek) in 2013 (40%),
  • the change in median compensation from 2007–08 to 2012–13 (10%); and,
. . . [more]
Posted in: Education & Training, Practice of Law

Infinite Monkeys

Today marks the unofficial end of the school year around here with the last exam being written this morning. It has now been several years since we have adopted exam writing via computer and it is a now the standard. With that standard there are a few changes from the traditional scribbled examinations. Firstly, faculty members far prefer marking word processed exams as they no longer have to obtain special qualifications in hieroglyphics in order to mark exams. That alone is enough of a plus in the eyes of most and it is not really necessary to extoll the virtues . . . [more]

Posted in: Education & Training: Law Schools, Legal Information, Technology: Office Technology

Summer Student Countdown

The annual countdown is on at law firm and other legal libraries where staff are preparing for summer law students to arrive. In many organizations the first week of May brings a bevy of enthusiastic faces who will need legal research training and an orientation to ‘research in the real world’. This year there is something new happening in Alberta to help with that real world transition.

The University of Calgary Law Library is the host of the Cenovus Continuing Legal Education: Research in the Real World. This summer law student specific, one-day legal research program is intended . . . [more]

Posted in: Education & Training: Law Schools

Osgoode Hall Law School Videos on Disability Rights Advocacy

Ontario lawyer David Lepofsky, the 2014 Roy McMurtry Visiting Clinical Fellow, recently delivered a baker’s dozen of lectures on disability rights advocacy at Osgoode Hall Law School. You can view them all online using the playlist on Osgoode’s YouTube channel.

David’s lectures range across a wide variety of topics, from particular specific case studies, such as causing Toronto’s transit commission to announce subway stops, to “ethical lawyering in a global community.” . . . [more]

Posted in: Education & Training, Justice Issues

Ontario’s Ministry of Labour Targets Employers Using Unpaid Internships

From April to June 2014, the Ontario Ministry of Labour is conducting an employment standards inspection blitz targeting organizations that employ unpaid interns. The goal is to ensure worker rights are protected and enhance employers' awareness of their responsibilities.
Posted in: Education & Training, Miscellaneous, Substantive Law, Substantive Law: Legislation

Financial Support for Law via the Internet Available to CALL Members

The call for papers for Law Via the Internet (LVI) went out recently. The conference is to be held September 29-October 1, 2014 in Nairobi, Kenya. The theme – The impact of open access to legal information : bridging the gap between accessibility and usefulness – presents attendees with huge scope for discussion, and as a parliamentary librarian, I’m interested to see how many of the suggested themes go beyond the courts and into areas of citizen participation in law-making. The idea that there is a gap between accessibility and useful is also a compelling idea, and I look forward . . . [more]

Posted in: Education & Training: CLE/PD, Legal Information: Libraries & Research

Annual CALL Conference a Must

There are plenty of fabulous continuing professional development offerings available for law librarians. MOOCs and webinars, local meetings and seminars, national and international conferences. For me, the Canadian Association of Law Libraries annual conference is a must attend event. Every time I select an ‘instead’ option (as opposed to and ‘in addition’ option) for my annual major professional development, I have regrets for several reasons:

  1. I miss hearing about the enhancements that Canadian legal publishers are undertaking
  2. I miss keeping up with the adjustments to my professional network – who is where
  3. I miss the extraordinary information sharing that inspires
. . . [more]
Posted in: Education & Training: CLE/PD

Could It Be Time for Apprentices Again?

It wasn’t so long ago that would-be lawyers didn’t go to law school. Instead, they were apprenticed to experienced lawyers and learned their skills on the job.

It wasn’t until the 1950s and 60s in Canada that law degrees became de rigeur and apprenticeships were compressed into an articling year to be completed before writing the bar exam.

Flash forward to an age of soaring law school tuition rates and declining job openings, when students complain of heavy debts and a lack of practical training, and suddenly the age-old apprenticeship seems like a suitable tool for modern times.

“Adding apprenticeship . . . [more]

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

Losing My Religion? Everybody Hurts? Shiny Happy People? It’s the End of the World as We Know It?

I just couldn’t make a call on which REM song title is best for a post about law school exams…… Let’s knock out “It’s the End of the World as we Know it”, because it isn’t. The ironic part of me likes “Shiny Happy People” but I have to acknowledge “Everybody Hurts” and “Losing my Religion” are pretty good too. Why the song catalogue for a band from Georgia? You know this, the tip I want to give this week on the verge of exam period is to wear sunscreen …. wait that’s not it….get enough REM sleep whilst . . . [more]

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

Class Notes 2: Strategic Legal Research of Blogs

In one of our later advanced legal research and writing class of the term, we turned our attention from traditional primary and secondary material to alternative or less-expected legal research resources. I posted earlier on the portion of the class in which we learned strategies to mine Twitter for legal research. The other broad angle we looked at addressed strategies and tools to assist in finding helpful secondary resources in legal blogs and other open web information sources.

Legal research in blogs

I think it’s fair to suggest legal blogs are so widespread and well-known that they may be . . . [more]

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