On June 6, 2016, the Ontario government announced that changes to the Customer Service Standard under the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act (AODA) will come into force on July 1, 2016, and apply to all organizations providing goods, services or facilities in the province. . . . [more]
Archive for ‘Legal Information: Libraries & Research’
A New Legal Citation Guide for Canada on the Horizon / Vers Un Nouveau Guide Canadien De Citation Juridique
(La version française suite)
A New Legal Citation Guide for Canada on the Horizon
A group of interested individuals has come together to address the challenge of uniform legal citation in Canada.
There is currently no standard legal citation guide in Canada that has been uniformly accepted by all legal sectors and institutions. In addition to existing published citation guides, various courts, law schools, law journals and publishers have developed and are using their own guides to meet their particular needs.
The Canadian public has a right to an accessible standard of legal citation that will facilitate, not hinder their . . . [more]
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]
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]
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]
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]
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]
So-called fugitive Canadian federal government documents are documents that are available in print or on a website but that are not collected by an official depository program such as the federal Depository Services Program that maintains the Government of Canada Publications catalogue.
A few years ago, staff at 11 Canadian libraries launched the Canadian Government Information Digital Preservation Network (CGI DPN), an initiative dedicated to preserving digital collections of government information.
In 2014, the Network created the Fugitive Documents Working Group to develop strategies to collect fugitive documents.
Fellow Slaw contributor Kim Nayer wrote about QPLegalEze’s imminent dismantlement back in April 2014. Her post, titled “Goodbye QPLegalEze; Welcome Open Law“, heralded an end to an era of embargoed legal information, and hinted at the promise of a more democratic trend—one where the government lets the law become knowable even in the absence of our wallets.
Some goodbyes take longer than others. 20-odd months later, however, it really does feel like the house has cleared out. The repository of BC’s laws (various enactments, historical tables, ministerial orders archives, and that sort of thing) which was once kept . . . [more]
Law librarians are used to receiving requests for help in locating government documents and reports, with requesters often expressing a preference for materials in digital format.
Relatively recent materials should not be too hard to locate. In fact, there are new portals that have been created for the very purpose of tracking down digitized government documents. One example is GALLOP, launched a few years ago by the Association of Parliamentary Libraries in Canada.
When it comes to earlier materials, documents, if they have been digitized, may pop up in any number of places, such as HeinOnline for federal statutes. . . . [more]
Apologies to other Slaw readers in advance. This post is mostly for BC lawyers interested in using CanLII to note up specific Supreme Court Family Rules. I shared these tips recently in a paper for a CLE and thought the general principle or method might be helpful to a broader audience too.
I’ll preface this post to say that 95% of the time, CanLII is a simply phenomenal tool. Deeply customizable search operators and a clean interface/search template. It’s a killer app for lawyers and others seeking to know the law. It is, however, strangely ill-suited to note up specific . . . [more]
“It always seems impossible until it’s done.”
Attributed to Nelson Mandela, that quote fits the experience of groups around the world that sought over much of the past 20 years to make the law freely accessible on the internet. Beginning today (November 9th), dozens of members of the Free Access to Law Movement (FALM), along with other supporters, are meeting in Sydney, Australia where AustLII is hosting the 2015 Law via the Internet conference. Some countries attending are currently at the “impossible” stage and look to achievements in Canada and elsewhere for inspiration of what is possible. . . . [more]