Slaw (Canada’s online legal magazine) is doing its annual Law Student Week and is publishing seven interesting and provocative pieces from University of Ottawa students over 27-31 March. These posts and more can be accessed here.
1.What’s it all about? Are you feeling a bit stressed and overwhelmed by your study, finding yourself dreaming of your contract law notes? Are you constantly in a ‘doing’ mode, tired of reading through endless cases to find ‘ratio decidendi’, participating in mooting competitions or busy applying for prospective jobs? Do you feel unsatisfied or even upset with yourself when you get H2A instead of H1?
If you would like to improve your writing skills, you are not the first. There are a few online sources that will help you improve and some even focus on the professional writing skills for lawyers.
Websites with explanations and exercises with feedback:
- Joe Regalia, Writing Like a Lawyer (website with tips and exercises)
- Towson University Online Support (website with explanations and exercises that provide immediate feedback)
- NoRedInk (geared toward elementary and secondary students but looks good for ESL)
Websites with explanations and exercises but no immediate feedback:
Note: this post is largely based on materials prepared by Chantal Morton for her workshop ‘Advice for a Legal Theory Paper’ (20 September 2016).
You’re eight weeks through second semester and the outline of your Legal Theory essay is due to be submitted to your lecturer. Worth 45% of your final mark, this essay is an important piece of assessment– and will require you to deploy skills not necessarily engaged in your first semester subjects.
Unlike Dispute Resolution or Torts, where you would have been expected to engage with cases, legislation, journal articles and law reform materials to respond to a specific prompt (i.e. ‘what are the pros and cons of online dispute resolution?’), Legal Theory asks you to engage with much broader normative and analytical issues – like the concept of law and its role in contemporary society. In doing so, you will be expected to draw on the work of a range of legal theorists from the core readings and beyond, and demonstrate a sophisticated understanding of complex concepts and arguments.
Note: This post is largely based on the ‘Careers Assistance for MLS JD Students: Professional Portfolio Guide 2013’
Whether it’s an internship at a public interest organisation or a clerkship at a commercial firm, making inroads into the legal profession can be a difficult process. Most publicly advertised positions (especially clerkships) receive tens, sometimes hundreds, of applications and the interview processes can be gruelling. For this reason, an appreciation of the professional skills that employers look for is an important asset, and might just make the difference when you’re going for your dream position.
I know what you’re thinking: “is it seriously week 11 already? Didn’t I have my first PPL lecture just last week? What do you mean I have three 70% exams where basically every topic is assessable? Where am I and how did I get here?!”
Ok calm down. Take a deep breath. I can wait a minute while you compose yourself. No seriously its fine, take as long as you need. I’ve got nothing but time.
You’re good? Alright, where were we? Oh yeah, SWOTVAC is coming up! That’s right, you’re first semester at MLS is almost at end, and that came mean only one thing: Exams. Continue reading