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University of Calgary Improves for Law Students and Canada at Large

August 27, 2015

Lawyers, after all is said and done, are people like anyone else. We have our strengths and our weaknesses, our unconscious biases, and our inner conflicts, and there are variances in our capabilities. Some of us are best suited to practice criminal defence law; others may be more drawn to contract law, personal injury law, or other specific areas of legal practice.

Education and experience also vary from lawyer to lawyer, and while there is no reason to think that a graduate of a specific school would necessarily be a better lawyer than someone else, what we are taught (and what we are not taught) matters a great deal. That is why news of changes to the University of Calgary's law program is so exciting, not just for the students but for everyone in Canada they serve through their careers.

New Initiatives Will Improve Calgary Law Students' Foundational Understandings

According to the latest reports, changes in law student education at the University of Calgary will include the use of mock trials to better prepare young lawyers for real-world scenarios and increased attention on ethics to ensure the legal system remains robust and responsive to Canada's needs.

These changes will undoubtedly serve Canada well, and will make graduates of the University of Calgary law program better lawyers than they otherwise would have been.

What I, as a liberty-focused criminal defence lawyer, find most exciting is the third sweeping change Calgary's legal educators have in mind: more attention paid to the foundations of law, including what the legal system is meant to do and who it is meant to serve.

It seems all but taken for granted in the current atmosphere that the the legal landscape in Calgary and in Canada at large is an adversarial one, in which there are good guys and bad guys and clearly drawn lines. The legal system is increasingly seen as a way to enforce order and control, rather than serving to make stronger communities full of more empowered people.

People should control the law, not the other way around. The educational changes proposed at the University of Calgary appear to be geared towards helping the next generation of lawyers understand and implement this principle, and I'm in full support of anything that achieves a more broad-minded and community-centric view of the criminal justice system.

Contact a Calgary Criminal Defence Lawyer Who Cares

I became a criminal defence lawyer in Calgary not simply because I enjoy working with this area of law, but because I believe criminal law is at the forefront of defending our civil liberties against encroachments by a legal system that seeks to dominate rather than to serve. If you've been charged with a crime in the Greater Calgary Area and would like dedicated, passionate representation by an experienced criminal defence lawyer, please contact my office today.


This entry was posted on August 27, 2015


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