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

Annual Conference 2015

Add your reaction Share

Experiential and Active Learning for Future Corporate Lawyers

On May 7th, 2015, I had the pleasure of participating in the Estey Symposium on Experiential and Active Learning in Business Law, organized by Professor Rod Wood, my colleague at the University of Alberta Faculty of Law, and this past year, the visiting Estey Chair in Business Law at the University of Saskatchewan College of Law.

When we think of experiential learning, we tend to think of courses that offer students either actual or simulated experiences in litigation. For example, Prof. Wood, with experienced practitioner Rick Reeson, offers a course on restructuring in which students argue a multi-party chambers application (in front of a real judge!). For those of us teaching in the corporate and commercial law areas, it was interesting to spend a day talking about various ways to give students these kind of experiences in solicitor or transactional work.

Read more
Add your reaction Share

Is the Dress Blue & Black or White & Gold? Students Creating and Moderating Hypothetical Fact Pattern Scenarios in the Classroom

Teaching a one-year contracts course for the first time, I solicited feedback early on from my first year law students about the different learning approaches that I used in class. The students overwhelmingly loved the hypothetical fact pattern scenarios that I prepared for them from time to time, and which we discussed in class. Many students asked for more. The students were less enthusiastic about the short case comment that a student had to present every week.

Inspired by this feedback, I changed the format of the student presentations for the winter term (which was destined to change anyway). Under the new format, students would have to create hypothetical fact pattern scenarios and moderate a class discussion about possible approaches to resolve the legal issues involved. The goal of that change was to ensure a regular flow of hypothetical fact pattern scenarios for my enthusiastic first year students, and raise the bar of the presentation assignment of the second term. The new assignment would support some of the key learning objectives of the course and mimic what students would soon have to do own their own: apply their legal reasoning to solve real-life factual situations. 

Read more
Add your reaction Share

Is Art a Fad or the Future of Legal Education?

As this term and academic year draw to a close, the thoughts of several Deans will turn to broader trends and lessons learned. I wanted to share one such development based on my experience at Osgoode Hall Law School. This year more than any other, it is becoming apparent that art in legal education is no fad but. Art no longer seems like an interesting distraction or peripheral gloss in legal education, but is becoming central to our mission and how we can best fulfill it.

Read more
Add your reaction Share

Association for Canadian Clinical Legal Education Call for Papers – Deadline April 30, 2015

The Association of Canadian Clinical Legal Education (ACCLE) is pleased to host its 6th Annual Conference at the College of Law, University of Saskatchewan from October 23-24, 2015. This year’s conference will focus on “The Place of Clinical Legal Education.” Submissions should be sent by email to Gemma Smyth at [email protected] with the subject line “ACCLE Conference 2015 Proposal” by April 30, 2015.

The call for papers is available here in English and in French.

Add your reaction Share

Reflections on the University of Alberta’s Law Library Scavenger Hunt

A tour of the law library is a time-honoured feature of orientation for first-year law students. At some point during their first week at law school, perhaps even on their first day, in between signing up for multiple extra-curricular activities and eating burgers deftly cooked by faculty members, students are shown the law library. If they are lucky, law librarians will take small groups and show them the important features of the library: case law reporters, statutes, gazettes, Hansards, and other resources which are infinitely useful for the legal research they will shortly be doing.

It’s not clear, however, just how much the law students actually take in on such tours. The first few days (and arguably the first year) of law school are stressful. Concerns about tuition, about how much smarter all the other students seem, and the increasing stress over job prospects (see, for example, Noel Semple’s blog posting of December, 2014) can all work to make the law library tour a distant memory. This year at the University of Alberta, we decided to introduce a Library Scavenger Hunt to supplement the orientation library tour.

Read more
Add your reaction Share

Ethnic Diversity on Canadian Boards

by Anita Anand and Vijay Jog

Examinations of board composition in public companies focus on the absence of women but rarely on the absence of visible minority directors (VMDs). In countries such as Canada, the United States and Australia, where visible minorities contribute significantly to GDP and represent a high growth segment of the population, a question arises as to whether boards should bear some demographic similarity to the society in which the firm operates. In order to understand board composition and its potential impact on a firm’s performance, more information is required about the complement of VMDs on boards of directors. We seek to fill this gap in the literature.

Read more
Add your reaction Share

Response to CBA Report on Legal Education in Canada

Dear Colleagues,

We have received significant feedback from CALT members on the need to respond to public reports that comment on or affect legal education in Canada. One of these reports is the Canadian Bar Association’s August 2014 “Futures: Transforming the Delivery of Legal Services in Canada” (“Futures Report“). CALT was approached to comment on the report earlier, but for various reasons was unable to do so. We are now in a position to begin consulting our membership and other interested parties on this and other reports. 

We chose the CBA Futures Report because of its comments on legal education, mostly contained in Part 7 between pages 53 and 65. 

CALT invites comments from all legal educators and CALT members. All comments should be sent to Gemma Smyth ([email protected]) on or before February 27, 2015. Comments can be wide ranging, but should relate directly to comments made in the Futures Report and those affecting Canadian legal education, widely defined. 

Upon receipt of comments, the CALT Executive will compile the responses into its own Report that reflects the views of its membership and other law teachers. The Report will be circulated for comments before being send to the Canadian Bar Association.  

Thank you,

CALT Executive

Add your reaction Share

The State of Canadian Socio-legal Research

In 1979, SSHRC received only two applications for funding from legal scholars. Concerned about the state of an academic discipline that was apparently disinterested in research, and with the endorsement of the CALT and the Committee of Canadian Law Deans, SSHRC appointed the Consultative Group on Research and Education in Law to investigate. The CGREL report, Law and Learning (1983), advocated the intensification of scholarly activities in Canadian law faculties. More specifically, it sought to legitimize and reinforce trends towards socio-legal teaching and research that had been developing in Canadian universities since the 1960s.

Read more
Add your reaction Share

CALT Awards for Academic Excellence and Best Scholarly Paper – Submission Deadline February 23, 2015

CALT is pleased to announce that it is accepting nominations for its annual awards. The deadline for nominations is February 23, 2015.

Add your reaction Share