Question 13: What needs to change with respect to legal education in Canada?

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As background, please read excerpts from our discussion paper The Future of Legal Services in Canada: Trends and Issues and join the conversation below.

“There has … been a change in client expectations of their legal service providers. Aside from better prices, clients want more information on services, more involvement in decision-making and greater knowledge of the risks and potential outcomes of various legal strategies."

4.1 Client Empowerment, Page 4.

“One area that is especially vexing when examining the future of legal services in Canada is the challenge of determining how to educate and train the new generation of lawyers, and what skills and expertise they will need beyond knowledge of the law and the justice system.”

10.0 Legal Education and Training, Page 34.

“Continuing professional development will be essential for lawyers in the future, although what courses and how they will be provided are still uncertain.”

Executive Summary, Page 6.

“While revenues and incomes of firms and legal practitioners appear to have remained buoyant in most areas of practice, there are growing signs – at least in some specialties – of “no growth” or “low growth” scenarios and possible excess capacity. Latent demand for legal services may be paralleled by a latent supply market component, as some trained lawyers leave the profession or operate below their full potential, while recent graduates have a more difficult time finding permanent employment.”

Question 13: What needs to change with respect to legal education in Canada?

Consider this: What if it was determined that the current law school model, which was developed in the 19th century, was no longer appropriate? Should a law degree be shortened to two years, or lengthened to four or more years? What about adding required clinical or work placements or practice and industry specialization?

Join the conversation | Consultation paper

June 18, 2013 |
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