Educating the Whole Lawyer
The Canadian Association of Law Teachers (CALT) and the Association for Canadian Clinical Legal Education (ACCLE) are pleased to announce that our annual conferences for 2017 will be held jointly at the Faculty of Law, University of Victoria, from 8 to 10 June, 2017.
The theme of the joint conference is “The Whole Lawyer and the Legal Education Continuum” and we are pleased to release this Call for Participants.
This year, the Institute for the Advancement of the American Legal System (IAALS) released its “Foundations for Practice” study. This massive empirical survey of the American legal profession identifies “foundations” entry-level lawyers require in order to launch successful careers in the legal profession. Strikingly, the most important foundations constitute matters like integrity, work ethic, common sense, resilience, and other attributes of what the report names “the whole lawyer”. The study’s emphasis on the “character quotient” – if and how it can be taught, measured and cultivated – resonates with the increasing attention within Canadian legal education and legal clinics on the formation of ethical identity, the development of reflective practice and the need to protect the mental health of law students and legal professionals.
Moreover, in the wake of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission calls for action, the “whole lawyer” must also contribute to the process and objective of reconciliation. More generally, the “whole lawyer” has a role to play in respect to pressing social challenges, especially access to justice.
Meanwhile, legal educators are now discussing legal education as a “continuum” or professional life-cycle; one that requires coherence between the different stages of a lawyer’s professional development and career.
This conference builds on these developments by bringing together legal educators and clinical professionals to discuss the contribution of the law school and law clinics in producing “the whole lawyer”. The conference will include a focus on four modules related to this theme, described below.
ACCLE/CALT welcome proposals for panels and participants interested in addressing issues raised by these four modules, including (but not restricted) to some of the more specific issues identified below.
1) Structural issues:
On this topic, key questions include: designing programs that align objectives, teaching strategies and assessments across the entire program and not simply on a course-by-course basis, including the relationship between first and upper years; Indigenizing the curriculum; and the integration of clinics, labs, centres and experiential learning opportunities into the curriculum.
2) Pedagogical issues:
On this topic, key questions include: What teaching strategies, if any, best foster the kinds of attributes constituting the character quotient and related ethical, reflective, reconciliatory, reformist, entrepreneurial, and innovative attributes? What experiences and information can be shared by teachers and clinicians who are already offering or developing courses or course components aimed at these attributes? What role does “experiential learning” play, and how can such techniques be evaluated? What are some obstacles and challenges to adopting these teaching strategies and initiatives? How can we overcome them? In thinking about educating the "whole lawyer" what pedagogical shifts must be occur to meaningfully include training in Indigenous laws and Indigenous legal methodologies and the specific requirements set out in Calls to Action 27 & 28?
3) Accessibility issues:
On this topic, key questions include: Law schools, diversity and equality; Academic attachment, support and success; Fostering community connections; Preventing mental ill-health; The role of legal education, legal clinics and legal regulators in preparing students and legal professionals to serve communities who lack access to justice, by both traditional and new means.
4) Graduate legal education:
On this topic, key questions include: The role of graduate legal education: professional upgrade or training ground for new professors or both? Canadian law schools and foreign trained lawyers: competition or corrective? The role, if any, of law schools in legal education for working professionals.
ACCLE/CALT 2017 aims to involve legal educators associated with all aspects of the legal education continuum: pre-JD/LLL; law school; bar and regulators; other professional disciplines.
ACCLE/CALT 2017 will be built around interactive discussions between participants that advance thinking on the themes. That is, ACCLE/CALT 2017 is intended as a fully reflective event in which participants share experiences and solutions.
ACCLE/CALT 2017 will also aim to generate a “Guidance Report” that encapsulates the observations and conclusions reached from this process. Subsequent events and discussions among legal educators may then build upon this Guidance Report, enabling an accumulation of views, best practices and creativity.
ACCLE/CALT 2017 welcomes participation and submissions from all legal educators, professionals and students as well as professionals from other related fields. We encourage and welcome proposals for individual presentations, panels or workshops. We are especially interested in proposals seeking to engage the audience in an interactive and dynamic way.
Proposals will be reviewed and selected by members of the CALT/ACCLE Conference Committee based on their quality and relevance to the theme and goals of the conference. Proposals should be no more than one page and should indicate the proposed topic and speakers, format (individual paper, panel or workshop, or other format) and the length of time required (30, 45 or 90 minutes). Please submit your proposal by email to firstname.lastname@example.org by January 31, 2017.
Questions about this call for proposals should be directed to email@example.com