By Katie Sykes
Welcome to the Law and Innovation Blog!
A group of students at Thompson Rivers University Faculty of Law is collaborating with Neota Logic and several non-profit organizations to design and build legal apps that enhance access to justice. At the same time, students at both TRU and University of Ottawa Faculty of Law are working with the British Columbia Ministry of Justice on knowledge engineering new areas of law for the Civil Resolution Tribunal Solution Explorer.
All of these pioneering law students are gaining important, cutting-edge skills that are very much in demand in today’s legal market. But these learning experiences not just about the new. The students are also developing and practicing the traditional professional skills of lawyers. They’re learning to understand and solve client problems. They have to communicate clearly, professionally, and accessibly. They have to be organized – no coasting till the last week and then banging out a final paper over a few all-nighters. They have to collaborate with professionals from other fields, including IT professionals at Neota and the MoJ.
Perhaps most importantly, these innovative educational experiences call on our students to put the client at the centre of what they are doing. On the vital importance of training new lawyers to be client-centred professionals, see Professor Julie Macfarlane’s excellent and thought-provoking recent blog posts on the deficiencies of legal education.
This journey will be exciting and challenging. The blog is here for the students to share their reflections, ideas and observations along the way. I’m looking forward to some great posts and comments. Please join the conversation!