Skilled Lawyer Series: A New Online Skills-Based Program for Young Lawyers
New lawyers can now turn to the CBA Skilled Lawyer Series for help in filling “gaps” in the practice skills they need in the courtroom and the boardroom. To be launched in the fall, these tailored sessions for litigators and transactional lawyers are accessible, affordable, online and interactive.
Whether you’re a new litigator learning strategies to prepare clients for discovery or present evidence at trial, or a business law practitioner looking to master tax law or the fundamentals of corporate due diligence, the CBA Skilled Lawyer Series will help you develop the essential skills that you need.
Geared toward lawyers with one to three years of practice, as well as law students, the Series consists of nine litigation programs and eight transactional programs (available individually or as part of a package). The programs take advantage of existing webinar technology with interactive elements such as video demonstrations, real-time drafting/revisions, live polling and question-and-answer segments.
CBA President-elect Rod Snow of Whitehorse is a self-described fan of the CBA Skilled Lawyer Series. “The CBA Skilled Lawyer Series adds an important element to our existing PD offerings that include in-person conferences, live and recorded webinars, and professional development publications,” says Snow.
“And because the CBA Skilled Lawyer Series will be online, it doesn’t matter whether you practise in Vancouver or Prince Rupert.
“Our research shows that young lawyers are looking for accredited, affordable and accessible skills-based training in an interactive format,” Snow adds. “This concept of a skills development package puts the CBA on the leading edge in delivery of PD in this country.”
The litigation programs cover skills such as preparing clients for discovery and trial, writing for litigators and conducting and defending a discovery. Other litigation sessions are devoted to evidence and objections at trial; excelling at motion arguments; examination-in-chief of fact witnesses; cross-examination of fact witnesses; and finding, retaining and preparing experts at trial.
The skills covered in the transactional programs include: drafting for business lawyers; MBA tools for lawyers; acting for a start-up business; business finance; buying and selling a business; fundamentals of corporate due diligence; tax law for business lawyers; and closing a deal.
Earlier this year, the CBA launched its state-of-the-art website that allows members to easily search for programs, and serves up personalised programs and publications based on the member’s areas of interest. Learn about upcoming PD programs on the website at www.cba.org/pd or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Meeting with the Minister of Justice
CBA President Kevin Carroll, QC LSM, (second from right) joined by Grant Gold, Chair of the CBA’s National Family Law Section (left) and Eric Gottardi, Secretary of the National Criminal Justice Section (right), met with federal Justice Minister Rob Nicholson (second from left) on June 10, 2010. The 45-minute meeting focused on criminal and family law initiatives.
The UVic and UBC Mentorship Program
With the recession mostly behind us, law students are now beginning to sigh with relief. But despite many recent improvements in the job market, law students still have difficulty securing articles following law school. Programs like the CBABC Mentorship Program and Articles Registry are helping to connect law students with lawyers and potential employers. The CBABC Mentorship Program is particularly helpful in providing UVic and UBC law students with a contact in the legal community, which they can turn to for advice and information. If you are interested in participating in this year’s CBABC Mentorship Program or feel you could benefit from the presence of an articling student (which of course, you could!) then please contact Kuyler Neable, UVic CBABC Student Rep at email@example.com or Kristen Brewer, UBC CBABC Student Rep at firstname.lastname@example.org and they would be happy to help connect you with a student.
Why Hire an Articling Student
A number of UBC law students who graduated in May 2010 are still seeking articling positions. Please consider hiring an articling student for the following reasons:
- Students are highly qualified.
- Articling students have the ability to perform a diversity of work.
- Hiring associates is highly competitive.
- Short-term commitment is only nine months.
- Flexibility: students can commence their articles at any point throughout the year and can be shared with another lawyer or law firm.
- It is a professional responsibility to ensure that new lawyers are adequately trained and mentored with the requisite knowledge and skills to become competent legal professionals.
For further information or to post an articling position please contact Alison Cowan at the UVic Law Careers Office (email@example.com) or Pamela Cyr, Director of Career Services (firstname.lastname@example.org).
CBABC Law Week Committees Presents Cheque to Access Pro Bono
On behalf of the CBABC Law Week Committee, Carolyn MacDonald presents the $600 proceeds from this year’s Fun Run to Jamie McLaren, Executive Director of Access Pro Bono. Access Pro Bono provides free legal advice and representation to individuals and non-profit organizations of limited means throughout B.C.
Land Title Act Amendment on Electronic Filing Receives Royal Assent
In response to professionals' demands for consistency in land title application methods, a recent amendment to the Land Title Act has come into effect regarding phased electronic filing requirements for land title applications. This amendment has enabled the Director of Land Titles to take future action to specify the classes of documents to be submitted electronically. The Registrar can make exemptions from the requirement on a transaction-by-transaction basis. The Director of Land Titles will stage implementation of the requirement for e-filing based upon evidence of the principal users’ business readiness for the specific transaction type, and following an appropriate notice period.
Public Commission on Legal Aid Established in B.C.
Public Commission Will Engage British Columbians on Legal Aid, Encourage Stakeholders and Citizens to Make Submissions, Inform Progressive Solutions.
The Public Commission on Legal Aid will be led by Leonard Doust, QC, a highly-respected senior member of the legal profession in the province.
The goal of the Public Commission is to engage the people of B.C. regarding legal aid in the province through a series of cross-provincial Commission Hearings that will commence in September of 2010. Upon completion of the hearings, a comprehensive written report will be prepared and delivered to the governments of British Columbia and Canada.
Go to www.publiccommission.org for more info.
Supreme Court Resources
On July 1st, the Supreme Court of B.C. introduced new civil and family rules, which are meant to make the court more responsive, accessible and efficient. The Justice Education Society has produced a number of resources to provide public legal education and help ease the transition to the new rules.
Guidebooks for Representing Yourself in Supreme Court Civil Matters
This series of 22 guidebooks (www.supremecourtbc.ca/civil/guidebooks), with relevant annotated forms attached, provides information and direction on specific court processes, such as Alternatives to Going to Court, The Discovery Process, Preparing Your Affidavit, etc.
On July 1st, the Society launched www.SupremeCourtBC.ca. This new website brings together a number of Supreme Court resources produced by the Society. The focus of this website is to provide British Columbians with an introduction to the Supreme Court and to make it easy to access key self-help resources.
On June 15th, Vancouver’s Justice Access Centre (JAC) was officially opened. The Supreme Court Self-Help Centre is now called: JAC Self-help and Information Services (SHIS). As a result of these changes, www.SupremeCourtSelfHelp.bc.ca was updated and a broader range of information is now available online.
The UBC Law Plan
The UBC Faculty of Law invites all members of the legal community to provide their comments, suggestions and feedback on the Faculty’s draft strategic plan. www.law.ubc.ca/strategic_plan/
Being an Active Citizen: www.BCCitizenship.ca
The Justice Education Society has completed Being an Active Citizen – new curriculum resources for teaching Law, Government and Community Engagement in Social Studies Grades 7-11.
The program introduces students to the fundamentals of law and how the justice system works, and the structure and operation of our governments. It focuses on student participation as active citizens.
In 2007, the Ministry of Education conducted a Needs Assessment for Grades 8-12 Social Studies Curriculum. The summary report identified issues such as inadequate exposure to citizenship, law and government and recommended more in-depth coverage on these issues to enrich and advance the curriculum. The assessment found that:
- “Fewer than a quarter (22 per cent) of educators feel that students have ample opportunity in required social studies courses to practise active citizenship.”
- “Fewer than half of parents feel that adequate time and attention are devoted to developing students' citizenship skills.”
- “Many feel that the curriculum does not adequately help students feel connected to Canadian politics or develop the attitudes and abilities to be active participants in democratic society.”
Being an Active Citizen will enhance the present B.C. Social Studies curriculum and will address these issues. Involvement in the community starts in the school and over the years as students progress through the program, they will become active citizens locally, while beginning to form a broader global outlook.
The program was funded by The Law Foundation and advanced under the direction of a steering committee with representation from teachers, the Ministry of Education, local government, the Judiciary and the Bar. Learn more at www.BCCitizenship.ca.
Pilot Project Regarding Criminal Conviction/Acquittal Appeal
The Court of Appeal has issued a new Practice Directive – “Pilot Project Regarding Criminal Conviction/Acquittal Appeals.” The purpose of the Practice Directive is to establish a new regime to ensure that conviction and acquittal appeals are heard within one year of the filing of the notice of appeal. To that end, it establishes a Pilot Project to impose and test new filing deadlines for the prosecution of an appeal; it also establishes a new “Compliance Hearing” mid-way in the process to ensure that deadlines are and will be met.
The pilot project will apply to all conviction and acquittal appeals commenced between September 7, 2010 and December 30, 2011.
The Practice Directive and Pilot Project are the result of several months’ consultations between the Court’s Criminal Rules Sub-Committee and representatives of the Criminal Law Bar (federal and provincial Crown, defence lawyers and Legal Services Society). The full Practice Directive is available on the Court’s website.
Opening of the Vancouver JAS
The Vancouver Justice Access Centre has begun providing services to clients with civil justice as of June 15, 2010. This is an expansion on the family justice services already offered.
For more information go to www.justiceaccesscentre.bc.ca
CLEBC and Nicole Garton-Jones Win CBABC Work Life Balance Awards
CLEBC is very proud to have received the 2010 CBABC Work Life Balance Award in the organization category. We are also delighted that Nicole Garton-Jones, a CLEBC Board member, received the individual award. The award is in recognition of “demonstrating and promoting work life balance in the legal profession.”
According to CLEBC CEO Ron Friesen, “an outstanding team is a healthy team. Encouraging work life balance is part of what we do to stay healthy. By supporting work life balance, we’re significantly improving productivity. We structure our work so that staff are responsible for results, not for sitting in the office. And we expect them to achieve the results they are responsible for in the way that is most effective for them.”
The awards were presented at a recent meeting of the CBABC Work Life Balance Section. A number of CLEBC staff, who have been supporting the work of the Section and of work life balance at CLEBC, were present. Nicole’s husband, Andrew, and members of her firm and family were also in attendance. The award was presented by The Honourable Mr. Justice Peter Leask. The incoming CBABC President Stephen McPhee, President James Bond, and Executive Director Caroline Nevin were in attendance, as was Chief Justice Bauman.
See CBABC Work Life Balance for more details.
Further information on CLEBC publications and courses is available from CLE customer service at 604-893-2121 (toll-free in Canada at 800-663-0437) or at www.cle.bc.ca.
The Winner Is
Kim Floeck of McQuarrie Hunter LLP won an iPod Shuffle™ for guessing all of the B.C. courthouses that were on the cover of our June 2010 issue. The location of each courthouse are as follows: 1. Nelson; 2. Greenwood; 3. Nanaimo; 4. Grand Forks; 5. Vernon; 6. Prince Rupert.
These articles were published in the August 2010 issue of BarTalk. © 2010 The Canadian Bar Association. All rights reserved.