Back to law school 2022: The future of law is here

By Peter Carter

Law360 Canada (September 9, 2022, 12:38 PM EDT) --
Peter Carter
Peter Carter
From law firms accommodating, even fostering, neurodivergence to lawyers being called to the bar without articling — imagine law school curricula that not only require 1Ls to study Constitutional Law and Legal Process but also mandatory coding.

Welcome to the 2022 version of The Lawyer’s Daily’s Back to Law School compilation, published to coincide with the return to classes, both live and remote, at law schools across the country.  As you peruse the assortment of columns, a clear picture emerges. Tomorrow’s lawyers will look, act and practise in a manner that will be virtually unrecognizable compared to the law practice of today.

Skipping the articling

Two Canadian law schools let students bypass the articling process via a new program called Integrated Practice Curriculum. Given that articling isn’t a must in other parts of the world, is the longstanding practice facing its best-before date here too? Rocky Wang weighs pros and cons.

Neurodiversity in legal education

Neurodiversity is not yet a “thing” at Canadian law schools and/or firms. Rachel Lewis and Rebekah Smith make a case for how and why neurodivergence will demand a wholesale change in the way law schools and firms think about their personnel.

Should law schools teach coding?

As Rocky Wang writes, “Lincoln Alexander School of Law at Toronto Metropolitan University (TMU), the youngest law school in Canada, has the ambition to ‘set a new precedent’ in legal education. An unorthodox instance is the compulsory coding and technology courses in its curriculum.” And he explains why.

What did you do on your summer vacation?

In this space last year, Oksana Romanov prescribed a half dozen tips for a successful articling experience. Now the 3L scholar, using her own performance parameters, measures how well (or poorly) she did.

What law school misses

“Ten years after law school, I may not remember the proximity test, but I will remember the name of the person who won the Laskin moot.” George Clements outlines a handful of key law-practice skills that schools avoid but lawyers need.

God save the Queen?

Given the passing of Queen Elizabeth II, Heidi Exner’s remarkably coincidental take on whether new lawyers should swear an oath to the monarch seems decidedly prescient. And it says lots about how the next crop of your colleagues is going to think and work.

Food for thought

In an essay that should be on the must-read list of not only lawyers but Canadians everywhere, Darryl Singer recognizes how Canadian universities are meeting places of various cultures and thoughts, and how they can remind us of how Canada is founded on acknowledging and abiding differences of opinion.

Getting clients to pamper you

Veteran lawyer Marcel Strigberger reflects on some of the law practice lessons he wished he’d been taught early in his career.

Kindergarten lawyer

And then Strigberger asks — and answers — "why would anybody want to go to law school in the first place?”

Peter Carter is an Analysis Editor with The Lawyer's Daily.
Photo credit / Drazen Zigic ISTOCKPHOTO.COM

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