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Archive for ‘Education & Training’

Linguist Tongue-Lashes Jurist

One of the things I enjoy about reading the Language Log, a cooperative blog by academic linguists, is the ease with which some of the authors slip into high dudgeon. (I suppose I might be like that, too, if my subject were language, in which everyone is an expert.) The latest target of Geoff Pullum’s indignation is U.S. Supreme Court Justice Kennedy, who, it turns out, doesn’t know his active from his passive, when it comes to voice.

The offending passage occurred in the judge’s dissent in Jones v. United States 526 U.S. 227 (1999) where Kennedy is interpreting a . . . [more]

Posted in: Education & Training, Legal Information, Miscellaneous, Practice of Law, Substantive Law, Substantive Law: Judicial Decisions

Welcome Jotwell, a New Type of Legal Journal

Jotwell is an online law journal titled Jotwell (The Journal of Things We Like (Lots) which is the brainchild of Professor A. Michael Froomkin. Its aim is to help lawyers and legal academics figure out what to read, not only in their own area of specialization, but also outside it.

Jotwell will “identify, celebrate and discuss” the best new legal scholarship in a variety of fields, as selected by a distinguished board of legal editors. It is a rare attempt by legal scholars to praise—rather than criticize—others’ work. “We will not be afraid to be laudatory,” declares the Jotwell Mission . . . [more]

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

This Week’s Biotech Highlights

This past week was fantastic for Toronto biotech. We hosted the 50th Anniversary of the Gairdner Awards, the OGI-IDT Synthetic Biology Symposium and Canada’s first Science Policy Conference. These events provided the opportunity to hear some big names do some big thinking… and the opportunity to reduce all those big thoughts to 140-character tweets @crossborderbio. Here are a few items from the Cross-Border Biotech Blog that got in on the fun as well:

  • Bruce Alberts, the Editor-in-Chief of the journal Science, served for 12 years as the head of the U.S. National Academy for Science, an
. . . [more]
Posted in: Education & Training, Substantive Law

Table of Public Statutes Nevermore

Ah, distinctly I remember it was in the bleak October, And each separate dying ember wrought its ghost upon the floor. Eagerly I wished the morrow; - vainly I had sought to borrow From my books surcease of sorrow - sorrow for the lost print source - For the rare and radiant index whom the angels named Table of Public Statutes and Responsible Ministers - Nameless here for evermore.
Posted in: Education & Training, Legal Information, Legal Information: Libraries & Research, Legal Information: Publishing, Reading

Two Toronto Events

For folks in or around Toronto, a couple of Osgoode Hall Law School events are coming up that might be of interest.

Tomorrow, Friday, October 30, 12.30 – 2.00 p.m., Supreme Court Justice Marshall Rothstein will be speaking on intellectual property, in particular on patentable subject matter and business method patents. The talk will be in Room 102, Osgoode Hall Law School. (Anyone attending who would like to blog or live blog the talk, let me know.) RSVP to

Friday, November 6, 10.00 a.m. – 3.00 p.m., IP Osgoode and the Institute for Feminist Legal Studies will joint . . . [more]

Posted in: Education & Training: CLE/PD, Substantive Law

Is There a Research Analysis Problem?

One of my favourite tasks as a firm librarian is to provide training (formal) and mentoring (informal) to articling students on gathering materials to answer legal research problems. Another favourite task is identifying trends (industry trends, process trends, changes in the use of language, emerging technologies) that will affect legal practice at my firm. I have noticed some interesting crossover lately.

  • The Legal Education Society of Alberta is hosting an Advanced Legal Research and Writing seminar on December 3 in Calgary and they recently offered a basic Legal Research session
  • A DVD on Advanced Legal Research by Bonnie Fish is
. . . [more]
Posted in: Education & Training, Education & Training: CLE/PD, Legal Information, Legal Information: Libraries & Research

Open Access Law Program

Science Commons, a subset of the U.S. Creative Commons movement, has an Open Access Law Program. (There doesn’t appear to be a Humanities Commons project; it’s kind of nostalgic to see law as a science.) Essentially the program asks journals to subscribe to a set of principles, to wit:

that a journal 1) take only a limited term license, 2) provide a citable copy of the final version of the article, and 3) provide public access to the journal’s standard publishing contract. In return, the author promises to attribute first publication to the journal.

As of now some . . . [more]

Posted in: Education & Training, Education & Training: Law Schools, Legal Information, Legal Information: Publishing

Greg Richards on Grace Under Pressure

Weir Foulds’ litigator (and my former colleague) J. Gregory Richards published a wonderfully thoughtful piece originally prepared for the Advocates’ Society called “Grace Under Pressure”, ZEN AND THE ART OF THE LITIGATION PRACTITIONER: Some Strategies for Dealing with the Unexpected and the Uncivil that bears reading for all litigators, and that firms should insist be read by young litigators. Greg’s thirty years of experience distilled to twenty points.

It’s all worth reading but I’ll quote a couple of paragraphs:

3. Great Lawyers Are Good Listeners
When someone speaks, listen carefully. A good talker can sometimes be a good

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

Interview Tips for Summer Students

Next Monday begins another three-day recruiting blitz for summer students applying for positions in Toronto firms. I’ve sat on Hicks Morley’s committee for a number of years now and have relished the experience each and every time.

If you’re participating as a candidate, here are three tips on making a good pitch.

  1. Don’t sell table stakes. You’ll surely get the question, “So what distinguishes you from our other candidates?” We’re being pretty lazy by asking this question, but don’t mess up your answer by selling the attributes that every student must have – “table stakes.” “I’m hard working” is a
. . . [more]
Posted in: Education & Training

Report on Canadian Common Law Degree Requirements

The Federation of Law Societies of Canada Task Force on the Canadian Common Law Degree has submitted its final report [PDF]. According to the Report:

The Federation appointed this Task Force in June 2007 to review the existing academic requirements for entry to bar admission programs and to recommend any modifications that might be necessary.

The Report recommends, among other things, that the law societies across the country adopt a “uniform national requirement for entry to their bar admission programs.” The proposed national standard comprises requirements that direct themselves at Canadian law schools, effectively controlling aspects of the curriculum of . . . [more]

Posted in: Education & Training, Practice of Law

Legal Research for Library Students

For some years now I have been visiting the Information Resources and Services II class at my alma mater Grant MacEwan University. The two year diploma program in Library and Information Management (as it was called when I attended) has been delivered in Edmonton since the seventies and is a great jumping off point for careers in many types of information related organizations.

I always enjoy showing legal research methods to library students, most of whom have not been exposed to this area previously. They always ‘get’ that the method for gathering information to answer a legal problem follows . . . [more]

Posted in: Education & Training: CLE/PD

Doctors Fight Back Against Reputations on RateMDs

Tony Wilson, of Boughton in Vancouver, wrote in this week’s issue of Lawyer’s Weekly,

Reputation matters… But it’s not just companies and trade-mark owners who have reputations to protect. We all do, and these days, much of our personal reputation is on the web for all the world to see.

Like many professionals, physicians in Canada operate by word-of-mouth referrals, largely based on the personal experiences of patients or other referring physicians. RateMDs has become an increasingly popular site for patients to share experiences about their physician.

It’s become enough of a concern to physicians that Sam Solomon provides . . . [more]

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