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Back To Law School Roundup: News, analysis and opinion published this week

Friday, September 04, 2020 @ 1:32 PM | By Matthew Grace

Matthew Grace %>
Matthew Grace
As law schools across the country prepared to open their — physical and/or virtual — doors, The Lawyer’s Daily team set out to investigate what legal education in Canada looks like during a pandemic. Summarized below is coverage we have published this week on the topic, all accessible for free.

Our reporters set out to examine how Canadian law schools are adapting to the challenges posed by COVID-19. Analysis editors reached out to students, professors and lawyers to assemble a thought-provoking array of articles and columns, tackling a variety of issues concerning the present and future of legal education in Canada.

There is much that remains to be seen. How will students and law professors adapt to this very different educational environment? Are the changes we are seeing now temporary, or will the move to the virtual classroom have long-term impacts beyond the end of the pandemic?

COVID-19 pandemic brings sea change to law schools as classes shift online
A new school year can often bring apprehension and anxiety for students, as thoughts go through their head of what their next eight months will look like as they walk among the trees and ivy-covered walls of campus. But this year law students are being faced with a new reality — coping with a massive shift to online learning as universities from coast-to-coast continue to adjust to the new realities brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Virtual law school in the middle of a pandemic: Challenges and hopes
In her column, Ridhey Gill writes: “This year has been filled with unknowns. While we don’t really know how virtual law school will be in execution, there are already so many things that are both exciting and nerve-wracking at the same time. As an incoming 1L student, I am nervous about coping with an online learning environment and how that will impact myself as well as other students.”

Mental health of students en route to becoming lawyers
In her analysis article, Oksana Romanov writes: “As incoming law students, we need to look out for our mental health and wellness. I have at least three reasons why we should do that early on in our legal career and especially this unusual and stressful year — the year of the pandemic.”

The impact of COVID-19 on Canadian law students
In her column, Serena Eshaghurshan writes: “The COVID-19 pandemic has resulted in an unprecedented period of uncertainty and challenges, and law students are not exempt from facing these obstacles.”

Importance of not undervaluing virtual legal education
In part one of his column, Daniel W. Dylan writes: “Although all of our lives have been upended by COVID-19 in some way, these changes to Ontario’s legal system illustrate that it is possible for us to innovate, adapt to and create new realities. One of these opportunities to innovate, adapt and create new realities is found in legal education.”

Virtual legal education: How students can maximize online learning
In part two of his column, Daniel W. Dylan writes on “the legal profession’s trend toward virtual lawyering and how law students can maximize virtual learning in the “new pedagogy of legal education and legal practice.”

Why growing up in Cuba makes me want to practise law in Canada
In his analysis article, Jonathan Marun Batista writes: “Today, I’m thankful for my parents and the painstaking emigration process they endured that ultimately saw our arrival to Canada in 2005. My knowledge of the Cuban legal system and of the life I would have led under it, leaves me profoundly proud and appreciative of Canada’s own legal system.”

Today’s law firm recruiting takes massive stakeholder co-operation
In his column, Julius Melnitzer writes: “A monumental, pressure-packed collaboration has headed off the threat that COVID-19 presented to the 2020 law firm recruiting season.”

Virtually back to school: Impact of COVID-19 on law students
In her column, Sarina Nezhadian writes: “The first week of law school as a 1L student brings nerves that are overcome over the year through the comfort of routine, creating friendships and being within an academic environment.”

Thriving as a law student in COVID-19 era
In her column, Nadine Tawdy writes: “Mental health is at an all-time low and working from home turned into living at work. This has sparked many discussions surrounding students and professionals’ habits and routines, namely how to remain efficient and motivated through a completely virtual world.”

Law school practical: Clinic on non-disputing party participation in investor state disputes
In the part one of his analysis article, Bo Kruk writes: “Course selection at law school is a time-consuming process. While lectures impart the foundation of an area of law, the highlight of the law school adventure is the ability to take a practical class.”

Law school practical: Non-disputing party system underutilized
In part two, Bo Kruk writes: “In this part, I continue the discussion by showing how the NDP system is underutilized, underscore why law reform should be an ongoing process, as well as illustrate the benefits of practical classes in law school.”

Fears, predictions, confidence, heading back to school
In his analysis article, Ryan Deshpande writes: “The COVID-19 pandemic brought about dramatic changes to our lives. As I enter my third year as a JD student at the University of Toronto Faculty of Law, I am mixed with feelings of anxiety and hope.”

Evolution of law schools: What practising lawyers should know
In their analysis article, Noel Courage and Sari Graben write: “There are a lot of interesting initiatives happening at law schools. If you have been too busy practising to pay close attention, this article will get you back up to speed and give you some insights into how it might affect you.”

It is not going to be easy, but we will survive
In her column, Carolina Albuquerque writes: “COVID-19 has impacted our lives in so many different ways: social distancing is now a common expression, wearing masks appears to be normal and the world is adapting to the virtual environment. Online learning is now a reality for most students, including law students.”

Being mentally balanced during virtual law school classes
In her column, Khushi Dave writes: “In this article, I will discuss three strategies that benefited me during my undergrad online classes, and can be used by the upcoming law students to make the most out their 1L during this pandemic.”

Law school, new technologies and access to justice
In her column, Jasmine Taillefer writes: “With the current pandemic, law students in Canada have faced new and unfamiliar challenges in regard to their academic and professional journey. Consequently, this present-day reality is constantly impacting the future of the legal profession.”

Let’s keep the conversation going. If you have a story idea, or are interested in adding your voice to The Lawyer’s Daily by contributing an analysis article or column, about law school or anything else of interest to the legal community in Canada, we want to hear from you. Contact information for the entire team at The Lawyer’s Daily can be found here.

Illustration by Chris Yates/Law360

Matthew Grace is the Managing Editor of The Lawyer’s Daily.