Commercial Pre-Law Courses Come to Canada

So, you’ve done your LSAT, completed your applications, and received your acceptance. You’re going to law school and starting in one week.

But that’s not enough. You want a boot camp to prepare you for the rigours of law school, and hopefully come out on top.

These courses have previously been available in the U.S. They often partnerwith LSAT courses to feed them incoming students, and using existing legal faculty from prominent institutions to teach their courses, often the same professors these students will have when school officially starts.

It’s a little less elaborate, but a similar enterprise has started here in Canada this year. LawPrepPro is being taught in the suburbs of Toronto by Sherifa Elkadem, a member of the bar in Nova Scotia and Ontario, and former teaching faulty at Osgoode and currently Assistant Dean, Student Services at Dalhousie.

Similar critiques can be levelled against these courses as the LSAT ones; they are more accessible to the higher economic strata, creating an unbalanced playing field.

However, the counter argument can be made that these courses could provide the opportunity to students who do not have previous professional or personal contacts in the legal industry to develop a background they would not otherwise have. The fees, though not chump change, are reasonable in light of rising law school tuition.

But the notion of these courses seems also premised on the basis that marks are all that matters in law school. Major firms and graduate schools use them to weed out large number of applicants, but they mean little to a legal career.

Where this course differs and excels beyond its American counterparts is that it focuses more on basic law school skills than actual course content. Looking at the schedule, there are a few sessions I know I could still use. I still don’t know how to moot because I haven’t done much of it yet.

Perhaps getting some of the jitters out early before the first day will allow students to participate more in student life, give back to the community, or maybe even blog on legal subjects.

I’m going to do my part and stop by tomorrow to say hi to these students and remind them that legal opportunities are what you make them, and they have to think outside the box for that. Hopefully we’ll see a bunch of them soon commenting here on Slaw.

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