Law school of the future?

The Calgary Curriculum offers students more real-world insights as they earn law degrees.

By Ali Abel
April 2015

 

Every so often, the opportunity comes along for a university to change how students are taught, and how they are prepared for life after post-secondary education. With a dramatically evolving legal services market, Calgary’s law school is embracing this opportunity, and introducing changes to the curriculum for all three years of law school.

“The Calgary Curriculum places the University of Calgary’s Faculty of Law at the forefront of innovation in North American legal education,” says Ian Holloway, dean of the law school. “Built with input from students, alumni and the profession, our new curriculum is rigorous, it is relevant, and it will more realistically connect how we teach with how students learn.”

Generally speaking, the Calgary Curriculum will continue to give our law students a deep understanding of the law and legal principles, but will increase the opportunity to apply their learning to real-world situations, by embracing the new performance-based learning methods in the classroom.

Additionally, the Calgary Curriculum will help the Faculty of Law achieve one of its primary goals set out in the Inspiring Energy.Skills.Excellence Strategic Plan, which is to build a nationally recognized “Excellence in Lawyering” legal skills program. It’s heard time and time again that employers at law firms and other organizations need graduates who are more fully prepared to enter the workplace, to hit the ground running on day one.

“Not only will the Calgary Curriculum lead to increased student engagement, it will also increase our students’ preparedness for the complex professional legal world,” says Alice Woolley, professor and associate dean (academic). “We know our students won’t have just one career after graduation, they will have several. The Calgary Curriculum will help them prepare for that dynamic workforce.”

“So much has changed since our faculty members and instructors entered the legal market,” says Holloway. “Our goal is to prepare students for the legal profession they will enter, not the one we joined.”

Visit the Calgary Curriculum to learn more. 

For a more comprehensive overview of the changes, read “What makes a law school great?” by Alice Woolley.

 

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