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Crim135, Topic #7 - Law School, Lawyers, and Judges

4 Pages

Course Code
CRIM 135
Graeme Bowbrick

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TOPIC #7 – LAW SCHOOLS, LAWYERS & JUDGES I. LEGAL EDUCATION IN CANADA 1. History (a) Pre-1950’s  Model of legal education was similar to apprenticeship  Find a lawyer willing to take you in and train you on the job  Knowledge and skills gained working with lawyers  Once you feel like you have achieved sufficient level of skills and knowledge, knowledge tested through Bar Exam, then you are lawyer.  There were law schools but law school/degree was not necessary (b) Post-1950’s  Law school became critical component of legal education  3 year law school, followed by 1 year of articling, then Bar Exam 2. Admission to Law School (a) Opportunities  19 law schools in Canada  10: 1 - Every 10 applicants to law school, 1 gets in (b) Measures of Eligibility: GPA & LSAT  3.7 cumulative GPA, LSAT score 80% +  LSAT : Law School Admission Test  Aptitude test, not knowledge test. Can’t study for  Tests ability to do well in law school and work with law  i.e., Very quickly read and comprehend; logical reasoning  percentile ranks you relative to everyone in north America who took exam o 80 percentile = you scored better than 80% of people who wrote the exam (c) Categories of Admission (i) General Admission  Strictly competitive based on GPA and LSAT score (ii) Discretionary Admission  Law school reserve up to 10% of seats for special admission  GPA and LSAT not quite high enough (i.e., 3.2 gpa)  Will consider you under certain circumstances  3 further categories 1. Aboriginal students 2. Access – Applicants with disabilities which may explain lower score (i.e., paraplegic, drug addict) 3. Mature students (age 30+) o Life and mature experience; diversity  Once you’re admitted, treated the same as everybody else 3. Curriculum  First year: standard courses o Foundational year; take all foundational courses o i.e., criminal law, contract law, tort law  Second and Third Year: mainly electives 1 II. THE LEGAL PROFESSION 1. Legal Framework  Self-governing profession  Governments have authority to regulate any workplace/occupation they want ( including lawyers, but chose not to)  Provincial legislature delegates its authority to regulate lawyers to the lawyers themselves o Legal Profession Act o Delegated to Law Society of British Columbia  If you are lawyer, you are member of Law society of BC  Passed what amounts to secondary legislation in 2 basic forms 1. Law Society Rules  Set out organization, terms of membership, authority to practice law  Rules designed to protect public  Must take responsibility for action of members  Practicing in a way that ensures appropriate standard of practice to ensure public wellbeing 2. Professional Conduct Handbook  Sets out ethnical standards for lawyers 2. Admission to the Profession  2 basic requirements:  Must have law degree – if degree not from Canada, will have to evaluate or do over  1 year of articling  9-10 months working in a law firm  2.5 months of Profession Legal Training Course  Substantive instruction and instruction on certain critical skills  8 or 10 substantive areas of law the law society decided every lawyer in BC must know about  4 critical skills: negotiation, interviewing techniques, how to draft a basic contract, how to do a basic real estate transaction  2 final tests on substantive knowledge in all areas – “Bar Exams”  Must pass with 60%, then you are a lawyer 3. The Varied Nature of Legal Work  Lawyers don’t actually spend a lot of time at court 4. Professional Standards of Conduct  Confidentiality: o covered by lawyer-client privilege o cannot repeat substance of conversation including advice given o even if considering to hire the lawyer  Conflict of
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