CANADIAN ASSOCIATION OF LAW TEACHERS
L’ASSOCIATION CANADIENNE DES PROFESSEURS DE DROIT

UBC Allard School of Law 2022-2023 Global South Visiting Scholar In-Residence || Deadline: June 30, 2022

Tell your friends and please circulate: 

2022-2023 Global South Visiting Scholar In-Residence Program

Call for Applications

Deadline: June 30, 2022

The Peter A. Allard School of Law at the University of British Columbia, Vancouver, Canada, situated on

the traditional, ancestral, and unceded territory of the xʷməθkʷəy̓əm (Musqueam) people, seeks to host

an exceptional scholar from the Global South for a short-term, fully funded visiting scholar in-residence

program. For the purposes of this competition, “Global South” includes all low or middle-income countries

located in Africa, Asia, Central and Latin America, the Middle East, Oceania and the Caribbean.

The successful Global South Visiting Scholar (GSVS) will spend a minimum of two weeks and maximum of

one term in residence at the Peter A. Allard School of Law. For this iteration of the program, the GSVS

must be able to complete this opportunity during the 2023 calendar year. In order to facilitate active

participation in the Law School community, the GSVS must arrange to be in residence during Allard’s

academic year, January-March 2023 or September-November 2023. Preference may be given to

candidates who are able to attend during the January-March 2023 term. As part of their visit, the GSVS is

expected to give lectures, hold sessions with faculty and graduate students, and conduct independent

research. The ideal candidate will be an early to mid-career scholar with a demonstrated commitment to

research and/or legal work in the area of resource extraction and/or land grabs, with a particular focus on

the rights of Indigenous peoples and local communities. Preference will be given to candidates with a

demonstrated interest in international or comparative law.

 

MORE INFORMATION AND APPLICATION INSTRUCTIONS HERE.


CALT Letter to the Canadian Federation of Law Societies / ACPD Lettre à la Fédération des ordres professionnels de juristes du Canada 

[version fr]

December 23, 2021

Dear Ms. Villeneuve,

Thank you for inviting representatives of CALT to participate in the focus group on the FLSC’s Competency Profile Development project on November 12, 2021. We shared some initial thoughts at the meeting and promised we would follow up by the end of the year.

As you are aware, we have concerns about the Competency Profile and the process that has been adopted to this point.

We are very much aware of, and in agreement with, the need for the renewal of the NCA process. We recognize that the increasing number of entrants to the practice of law who have not received a legal education in Canada is a regulatory challenge for all law societies. However, our concern, as the representative organization for Canadian law professors, is that the solution that you are proposing will inevitably have an impact on the National Requirement for Canadian law schools. While we question the presumption that the NCA process should necessarily impact the National Requirement, the facilitator in the focus group explicitly posited this inter-relationship. Our concerns, which we detail below, focus on what we see as deficiencies in content and process of developing the Competency Profile from the perspective of how it may impact Canadian law schools.

First, CALT is committed to the idea of life-long learning for lawyers, as are most law societies. For us this means there are at least three stages of legal education: academic training, pre-call bar admissions processes or their equivalent, and post-call continuing professional development. For each of these stages to work, there must be respectful collaboration between the law societies and the legal academy. Regrettably, the process that has been adopted to develop the Competency Profile for NCA students falls short of respectful collaboration. From what you have shared with us, it has been ongoing for at least two years without any formal communications with Canadian law schools or bodies representing the legal academy. Moreover, you have indicated that your hope is to complete the profile by February or March 2022, thereby indicating that you believe that most of the work has now been done. Our concern is that any consultations at this stage are too little and too late to be meaningful.  This is especially so given the potential impact on the National Requirement.  In our view, Canadian law schools, individual law professors with subject-matter expertise, and relevant associations of law teachers ought to have been integrated into this process in a more substantial way at a much earlier time. We are also concerned that the current work on the competency profile appears to have overlooked the need to consult with clients and communities, especially justice-seeking communities, about what competencies lawyers ought to have. As we will indicate in our final paragraph what is required is a fundamental rethink and reset of both the process and the aspirations of the project.

Second, our core concern is that by identifying an extremely detailed list of level one competencies, in effect the FLSC is presuming to dictate to law schools, whether they are in Canada or elsewhere, what to teach law students. Law schools have an academic mission that is distinct from the mission of law societies. One of the fundamental responsibilities of law schools, among others, is to help our students, through a variety of perspectives and pedagogical approaches, to think critically about both law and the legal system. However, the idea of critical thinking barely appears in your list of competencies. Rather, the goal seems to be to ensure that students are ‘practice ready’ in a highly technical sense.  In keeping with the idea of a continuum of learning, law schools acknowledge that their programs lay an important foundation for legal practice across the range of knowledge, skills and values required for competent lawyering.  But law schools do not confine themselves to that foundation and can only go so far in that direction.  The foundation laid in law schools enables graduates to be ready to transition to practice, but it does not seek to make them practice ready in the narrow and limited sense spelled out in the draft Competency Profile. In our opinion this is an attempt to unilaterally change the objectives and operations of law schools, specifically by downloading the long-standing responsibilities of the legal profession for transitional practical training to them.

Third, the outlining of 11 domains, each with multiple sub-competencies, will generate numerous problems:

  • If the profile, and all its details, is applied to law schools, it will dictate nearly the entirety of law school course offerings. Students will have to enroll in a substantial number of mandatory courses in all years of study. As such, the profile will limit student choice vis-à-vis their course selections. If students have to fulfill these competencies, there will be little room for them to explore the wide variety of offerings, both substantive and pedagogical, currently available at Canadian law schools. For example, in recent years, in response to student demands, many law schools have begun offering specializations/certificates in certain areas of law. To attain such a certificate, students are required to take a designated number of credits in a given field. This will be impossible to achieve if they must comply with the competency profile as it is currently designed.

 

  • The competency profile itself presumes a uni-dimensional lawyer, because the focus seems to be to prepare lawyers for a traditional vision of generalized solo practice. Solo practitioners are an extremely important part of the legal profession and are often on the front lines of access to justice. However, even solo practise is highly heterogenous and increasingly specialized, and of course many law school graduates do not pursue this practice route at all. They join larger firms, become government lawyers, work in-house, and so on. Moreover, in all of those practise environments there is constant change in legal substance, processes and approaches – which are the focus of the competencies – whereas the deeper capacity for critical thinking, to which law schools are oriented, is an enduring requirement.

We agree  that there should be support for lawyers who seek solo practice, and that law schools can play an important role in establishing foundations for solo practice. But law schools must limit themselves to that foundational role, while also providing a foundation for a broader spectrum of practise environments and in relation to the broader range of contexts in which our graduates may engage.  

  • The competency profile will stymie innovation and modernization of law school curricula. Law schools are very much aware that law and the legal profession are in transition locally, nationally, and internationally. We constantly assess and rework our course offerings to ensure that our students have a legal education that is relevant to a rapidly changing world. The micromanagement and inherent rigidity embedded in the competency profile is ill-suited to such a fluid and forward-looking understanding of the nature and function of university-based legal education.'

 

  • The competency profile will result in a cookie-cutter approach to legal education, whereby each law school will have to offer a roughly similar curriculum. In recent years we have witnessed the increasing diversification of Canadian law schools, as each has pursued its own vision. Rather than embracing this diversity, the profile promotes uniformity and demands conformity.

 

  • The channeling of students into a significant number of mandatory courses will dramatically impair joint academic programs between law and other disciplines such as computer science, Indigenous studies, social work, the humanities, engineering and business administration. It will also negatively affect the potential for students to spend a term on exchange at a university in another country. Both joint programs and exchanges depend on students having a reasonable amount of flexibility in their choice of courses.

 

As we have noted earlier, we envision the relationship between the law societies and universities to be collaborative  and co-operative. To this end we suggest that the next steps should be 1) to create a new level one profile that better encapsulates the objectives of academic legal education and is the product of a partnership between law schools and the law societies and 2) to merge what is currently level 1 with level 2 and ensure that the law societies provide adequate transitional education opportunities prior to the call to the Bar, including, where appropriate, through collaboration with interested law schools (such as through the integrated practise program available in Ontario). Furthermore, in pursuit of the goal of life-long learning, we would also encourage for law societies, perhaps in partnership with law schools where appropriate, to design and deliver robust mandatory continuing professional development programmes.

We trust that this submission will provide a more specific articulation of the concerns of CALT and look forward to further consultation with the FLSC.

 

Richard Devlin & David Wiseman,

On behalf of the Executive of CALT/ACPD

 

 


Call for Papers/Conference Family Law Reform: Revue de Droit de Université de Sherbrooke

 

 

Call for Papers

Family Law Reform

(special issue scheduled for publication, Summer 2023)

 

Sherbrooke, November 1, 2021

Following the presentation of Bill 2 – Loi portant sur la réforme du droit de la famille en matière de filiation et modifiant le Code civil en matière de droits de la personnalité et d’état civil, October 21, 2021, by the Minister of Justice Simon JolinBarrette, the Faculty of Law of the Université de Sherbrooke will host a one-day conference on this Family Law Reform proposal in the Spring of 2022.

This conference, organized under the direction of Professors Andréanne Malacket (Université de Sherbrooke) and Johanne Clouet (Université de Montréal), will be presided by the Honorable Nicholas Kasirer (Honorary President). It will bring together leading experts who will examine different facets of this substantial reform in private law, notably by addressing its impact on the following subjects:

  • Filiation by blood;
  • Filiation by assisted procreation, including surrogacy;
  • Adoption;
  • Gender identity;
  • Tutorship and parental authority; • The right to know one’s origins.

The preliminary program as well as the date of the conference will be announced within the next few weeks. 

In addition to this conference, the proceedings of which shall be published, the Revue de droit de l’Université de Sherbrooke has decided to issue a general call for papers.

Read more

ANNOUCEMENT -- Registration Open for CALT 2021 Conference

We are happy to announce that registration is now open for the CALT 2021 virtual conference (7-10 June) here.  There is no registration fee, but registration is obligatory.   Also, an updated Program in Brief, as well as the Full Program, are now available.


Teaching Wellbeing in Law: June 1, 1-335PM online.

Brandon Stewart (Dalhousie) and Lynda Collins (Ottawa) are inviting people to join in on June 1, 2021 from 1:00-3:35pm EST for an online symposium on Teaching Wellbeing in the Law. 

Speakers will include:

  • Professor Marilyn Poitras (University of Saskatchewan), who created Canada’s first law school course in “Happiness and the Law” and now directs the Indigenous Law Centre at the University of Saskatchewan
  • Professor Rhonda Magee (University of San Francisco), author of The Inner Work of Racial Justice: Healing Ourselves and Transforming our Communities through Mindfulness
  • Professor Thomas Telfer (Western University), who teaches “Mindfulness and the Legal Profession”
  • Daniel Lussier-Meek (University of Ottawa), Director of Indigenous and Community Relations
  • Professor Brandon Stewart (Dalhousie University), co-author of “Engendering Hope in Environmental Law Students”
  • Professor Jordana Confino (Fordham University), who teaches a course on Positive Lawyering
  • Professor Karen Ragoonaden (University of British Columbia), who is an expert in Mindful Approaches to Anti-Oppression Pedagogy
  • Professor Lynda Collins (University of Ottawa), who teaches “Happiness and the Law”
  • Heather Cross, Appellate lawyer and teacher of “Mindfulness in the Law”

Below you can find both connection information and a working program. Please direct any questions related to the symposium to [email protected]

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ANNOUNCING -- CALT conference 2021 Program in Brief

We are delighted to confirm that the virtual conference will take place over four days, from Monday 7 June to Thursday 11 June.   Two sessions will be offered on each day, as well as the CALT AGM on Tuesday 8 June.  A ‘program-in-brief’ is now available on our website here.

Sessions will be conducted via Zoom, hosted by Schulich School of Law, Dalhousie University. Registration will be required, but there will be no registration fee.  An Eventbrite registration page is coming soon and will be the source for further program information.  For any questions, please contact us at [email protected]

Please SAVE THE DATES and STAY TUNED.


Announcing -- Call for Proposals CALT conference 2021

We are pleased to release the Call for Proposals for the 2021 annual conference of the Canadian Association of Law Teachers (CALT).   The conference will be held in a virtual online format throughout the week of 7 to 11 June (which is the week following the virtual gathering of the Congress of the Social Sciences and Humanities). 


Announcing -- CALT 2021 Conference & AGM

We are pleased to announce that the Canadian Association of Law Teacher’s annual conference is resuming in 2021. The conference will be held in a virtual online format throughout the week of 7 to 11 June (which is the week following the virtual gathering of the Congress of the Social Sciences and Humanities).  A Call for Proposals will be issued soon.  The CALT AGM will also be held during that week.  See the Conference page for more information.

 

 


Update: Lakehead

In Fall 2020, the Lakehead Faculty of Law moved most classes online. Generally, the online instruction has gone well. The experience of switching to online in March provided useful lessons in how to adapt. So too did teaching two Spring courses, a new option that was over-subscribed.

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Update: Queen's

Queen’s Law has adopted a hybrid model for the 2020-21 academic year. All large upper-year lecture classes are online. Many 1L classes and a select number of upper-year seminars and clinical courses meet partly in-person and partly remote. This model provides students, especially 1Ls, some opportunity for in-person classes. All students have the option to take classes fully remotely.

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