Welcome to CALT’s new website!!!
We have been busy developing this new website for CALT members and Canadian law teachers. On this site you will find blog posts about legal and legal education topics, teaching and learning resources, postings for jobs and calls for papers, information about our journal and annual conference. But that’s only the start! The beauty of the site lies in its networking possibilities. With this website, we can manage our own communications to different audiences, we can create networks of members teaching in the same area or concerned about specific aspects of legal education, for example. The site is also connected to our Twitter and Facebook accounts, so if you follow us on those accounts, you’ll know of new posts. We can amend the website, add content, update the database without much outside help, which will help us reduce our costs.
New website, new smaller Executive board, new Constitution, new Advisory board, new award!
It is my great pleasure to be writing to you again this year in my capacity as the CALT president, re-elected at the June AGM in Ottawa for a term of two years. John Kleefeld, from the University of Saskatchewan College of Law, was elected as the Vice-President. Derek McKee agreed to stay on as our Treasurer for yet another year to ensure a successful transition to the new treasurer (any takers?). Angela Cameron (Ottawa) was elected as Secretary. We have also a small number of members at large: Teresa Scassa and Craig Forecese from the University of Ottawa and Konstantia Koutouki from Université de Montréal. Jennifer Koshan (Calgary) has agreed to be our local organizer for the annual conference 2016 which will be held in Calgary. Sara Ross is our graduate student representative. On behalf of CALT members, I extend a huge thank you to them for volunteering their time. You can see the members of the Executive here.
I would also like to thank the members of last year’s Executive: Shauna Van Praagh (past president, McGill), Gemma Smyth (Windsor), Amar Khoday (Manitoba), Eric Adams (Alberta), Elaine Craig (Dalhousie) and our two graduate student representatives, Vanisha Sukdeo (Osgoode) and Tenille Brown (Ottawa). Some of these members sat on the Executive for a few years, so a huge thank you for your service and dedication to CALT!
At our annual conference in Ottawa, the many members who were present (thank you!) adopted amendments to the CALT Constitution. Some of these changes reflect technological advances (for example communicating via email instead of snail mail(!), being able to consult our Executive via email), and some of them are more substantive. For instance, Executive members are now elected for a term of two years instead of one (although they must renew their membership every year) to ensure continuity and to be able to plan on a two-year basis. The amended Constitution has also created the possibility for an Advisory Board, with representatives at least from every law faculty in the country, chosen by their own institution. If any of you are interested in becoming an Advisory Board member, let us know! We will be putting it together very soon. The Advisory board may hold a couple of meetings per year, but its members will be consulted regularly on specific issues as they come up (mostly via email). They may also help out the Executive on ad hoc matters.
2016 CALT annual conference
The 2016 conference will be held in Calgary, May 30th-31st. Building on the Congress theme of “Energizing communities”, the theme for our conference is “Energizing communities through legal education”. We encourage each of you to submit a paper, workshop, panel or roundtable proposal. There are many current issues in law and legal education to discuss, and the CALT conference and policy committees and board are working to create some forums for these discussions. The success of this conference ultimately depends on your participation ! See the Call for papers here.
New Scholarship of teaching and learning award!
On the excellent suggestion of one of our members, we have also created a NEW award to be in line with CALT’s focus on legal education. This new prize will reward scholarship about teaching and learning in law, published or unpublished. You can find out more about this award in the “awards” tab!
Our plans for the 2015-2016 year include the annual conference of course and the usual CALT activities (prizes, annual conference, journal). We are also exploring different options for CALT’s legal status and for membership. Considering the number of law professors in Canada, CALT’s membership base is still far from what it could be, or used to be. As I pointed out last year, our limited membership constitutes a limit as to the activities of CALT. We hope that the new website and the visibility that it creates will help boost membership. But from my conversations with law teachers in different forums, I have also observed that many people think they are automatically members of CALT, or that once they sign up, they are lifetime members of CALT. Wouldn’t that be nice!!! But that is actually not the case. Every year, you have to renew your commitment to CALT by signing up and paying the modest fees of $75 ($25 for graduate students). With your membership, you get a free paper copy of the journal CLEAR (the Canadian Legal Education Annual Review) sent to you.
I look forward to exchanging ideas about what matters to legal educators in Canada with you throughout this year.
President, Canadian Association of Law Teachers