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Archive for ‘Legal Information’

Publications Nominated for the 2016 Hugh Lawford Award for Excellence in Legal Publishing

Every year, the Canadian Association of Law Libraries (CALL) hands out the Hugh Lawford Award for Excellence in Legal Publishing.

It honours a publisher that has demonstrated excellence by publishing a work, series, website or e-product that makes a significant contribution to legal research and scholarship.

The nominees this year are:

  • BC CLE Online (Continuing Legal Education Society of British Columbia): CLE Online is the home of CLEBC’s online subscription services
  • Quickscribe 2.0 (Quickscribe Services Ltd.): Quickscribe provides up-to-date consolidated legislation, point-in-time legislation, and the current status of bills, regulations and Orders in Council from British Columbia
  • WestlawNext Canada
. . . [more]
Posted in: Legal Information: Publishing

DIY A2J 6: How to Share Your Public Writing While Retaining Authorial Control

Although its use is of questionable significance in the age of the internet, many of us mark our public writing, including our public legal education materials, with a copyright statement asserting an exclusive right to control the use and distribution of our work. This is a fairly normal thing to do, and almost universal among legal aid providers; after all, when you’ve sweat blood over something, you want to keep it for yourself and you don’t want to discover someone else claiming it as their own or using it for their own purposes.

I certainly felt that way and my . . . [more]

Posted in: Justice Issues, Legal Information

First Global Cannabis Law Report – It Had to Happen

Former slaw.ca columnist and online legal publisher Sean Hocking has just launched his new Cannabis Law Report. From his base in Hong Kong, Sean has created Your Global Resource on Cannabis Law, Regulation and Cases . He describes it as the first service to document legal information about cannabis worldwide.

While I am sceptical about “global legal publishing initiatives” in general, this one may take hold. Sean has got both the timing and the content right.

None of this is rocket science but it’s all moving at a rapid pace as you know today in Canada and the states . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Information: Publishing

DIT A2J 2: Publish Plain-Languge Public Legal Help Guides for Your Community

The Canadian Bar Association and the Law Society of the United Kingdom have recently published a selection of guides to common legal issues. The legal help guide model deserves close attention from government and the bar as a means of improving access to justice by improving public legal literacy, a concept I’ve written about elsewhere.

Some of the existing materials

The Law Society has published twelve guides in the Common Legal Issues section of its website, covering topics like buying a homemaking a willgetting a divorceprobating an estate and setting up a . . . [more]

Posted in: Justice Issues, Legal Information

“Canadian International Lawyer” Call for Papers

Canadian International Lawyer, a journal published bi-annually by the Canadian Bar Association’s international law section, has put out a call for papers for its Volume 11(2). CIL welcomes submissions of original articles, case commentaries, practice notes, treaties, and legal developments on significant current issues of international law in French or English.

Among all other submissions for Volume 11(2), CIL encourages articles dealing with the following topics:

  • The Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP)
  • The recently concluded Paris Agreement on climate change
  • Legal aspects of the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)

Electronic submissions should be emailed to Noemi Gal-Or and Andrew Lanouette.

. . . [more]
Posted in: Announcements, Legal Information: Publishing

DIY A2J 3: Talk to Your Community

Pretty much every organization that serves the public and sees itself as having a mandate to educate is starving for new content, and if not new content then new content providers. Libraries, drop-in and community centres and social service groups usually welcome anyone prepared to provide a seminar and, best of all, they’ll do the advertising for you.

Providing public lectures, seminars and workshops is an easy and fun way (I was going to say something more bookish like “stimulating” here, but it really is fun) to improve access to justice that will take a minimum amount of time . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Information, Practice of Law

DIY A2J 2: Work With Others and Others’ Work

In most urban centres, you can’t swing a stick without hitting a social service or social service connected agency. Most of these agencies are glad to have any legal materials they can get their hands on, and most are willing to share the materials they have. Most importantly, each of these agencies serves a specific target population with specific legal needs.

Groups like SUCCESS Settlement Services in British Columbia, for example, help newcomers to Canada overcome language and cultural barriers; groups like the Atira Women’s Resource Centre help women dealing with abuse through advocacy and education. Various other social service . . . [more]

Posted in: Justice Issues, Legal Information

Incorporating Skills-Based Learning Throughout Law School

When we leave law school to become articling students and then junior associates, we will likely spend the majority of our time researching and writing memos. Knowing this, how is it possible that law students can leave school without a strong foundation in these skills?

All law students at UVic have at least some exposure to legal research and writing through taking Legal Research and Writing (LRW) in first year. However, this is our first introduction into legal research and writing. At this early stage in our education, it is difficult to fully appreciate and absorb all the material covered . . . [more]

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

DIY A2J 1: Create and Share Plain-Language Information About the Law

Information about the law and dispute resolution processes has been identified as a key barrier to justice in most of the major reports, although in two contradictory senses: a lack of information and a confusing surplus of information. The report of the the Family Justice Working Group (PDF) to the Action Committee on Access to Justice in Civil and Family Matters phrased the problem nicely:

There is a broad consensus in the literature that early information is enormously helpful to separating families, especially  but not only  where spouses are unrepresented. …

Considerable family law information is now available

. . . [more]
Posted in: Justice Issues, Legal Information

A New Approach to Legal Research and Writing?

I have now taken the better part of two legal research and writing courses (though the term paper still looms) and on the whole I have found them to be a beneficial to my legal research both in other classes and in the workplace. However, if there is one thing that I find these courses a bit short on, it is direct feedback and a corresponding opportunity to put this feedback into practice, and observe and evaluate the end results.

While I was an undergraduate I had the opportunity to participate in a writing intensive class as both a student . . . [more]

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

Learning to Keep a Proper Research Record

The Importance of Keeping a Record

When I registered for ALRW I thought the most important improvement in my research skills would relate to finding and locating relevant legal materials. However, learning to keep a detailed record of my research has been the most valuable skill I’ve developed.

I kept a record in the past but I didn’t give too much importance to it and it tended to be recorded a bit haphazardly. I kept track of the relevant cases, statutes, and principles I came across but did not keep a detailed record of search terms I used or the . . . [more]

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

Should Advanced Legal Research and Writing Be Mandatory?

As I approach the last few weeks of my legal education I begin to ask myself: Am I ready? Am I a well-trained individual ready to take on any challenge thrown my way? Or at least a competent individual with the basic skills necessary to write my first “real” memo? I have spent the last seven years in university researching and writing multiple papers; is that enough?

Even in my third year I find myself turning to the student next to me, whispering, “Where would I find that?” or “How do I cite that?” As embarrassing as this is, I . . . [more]

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