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Key Course Recommendations

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Folks,

I am thinking on course selections in charting my pathway through law school. Are there any recommendations for key courses to take in 2L and 3L? I am thinking in terms of what a lawyer "should" know, what is "good" for a lawyer to know, what the average layperson might "expect" lawyers to know, and what would be useful for the bar exams.

Thanks!

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Posted (edited)
Quote

What the average lawyer 'should' know

Ethics

Quote

What is 'good' for lawyers to know

Civil procedure and/or criminal procedure, private international law, evidence, biz orgs, admin

Quote

What the average lay person might 'expect' a lawyer to know

Who cares?????????

Quote

What is useful for the bar exams

Id. (Edit: Unduly flippant. But the bar exams are a poor reason to choose a course. Take the stuff you are interested in.)

 

Roast me. 

Edited by onepost

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Courses can be a way to explore interests and to signal interest. If you have a course taught by a practitioner in an area you are interested in you can learn a lot about what they do and how they think.

Evidence and procedure courses help teach you the basics and give you terminology that is a useful starting point when you get into the workplace.

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1 hour ago, onepost said:

Id. (Edit: Unduly flippant. But the bar exams are a poor reason to choose a course. Take the stuff you are interested in.)

 

Roast me. 

No worries. I take factors into account, but I don't necessarily act on them. I appreciate you taking the time.

Cheers

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I would just take what you're interested in. I don't think there's anything that's critical after first year, other than maybe admin law, which is mandatory in some schools but not at Osgoode when I was there.

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On 5/24/2020 at 8:48 PM, onepost said:

Ethics

 

On 5/24/2020 at 8:48 PM, onepost said:

Civil procedure and/or criminal procedure, private international law, evidence, biz orgs, admin

Ethics, civ pro, some variation of international law, evidence, biz orgs, and admin are all mandatory courses at TRU. Are they not mandatory elsewhere?

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19 minutes ago, canuckfanatic said:

 

Ethics, civ pro, some variation of international law, evidence, biz orgs, and admin are all mandatory courses at TRU. Are they not mandatory elsewhere?

Bus org and admin used to be nationally mandatory courses, but the national requirement was changed in 2018. Now students still have to understand principles of administrative law, but don't need an actual course in it – the only mandatory courses across all law schools are contracts, criminal, torts, property, and constitutional law. 

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Admin law is truly useful almost no matter what you do. Bus org is basic stuff that you can pick up on your own through osmosis.

I would personally make evidence mandatory, but I remind myself that's just because I'm a litigator at heart. It's not necessary at all for a lot of areas.

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Posted (edited)
6 minutes ago, Jaggers said:

Admin law is truly useful almost no matter what you do. Bus org is basic stuff that you can pick up on your own through osmosis.

I would personally make evidence mandatory, but I remind myself that's just because I'm a litigator at heart. It's not necessary at all for a lot of areas.

Admin law is a waste of a course, in my opinion. You’ll learn more by reading three cases in their entirety (Baker, Dunsmuir, and Vavilov) than you will from a semester of attending class, unless you have a very good professor. 

Agree re: Bus As, it’s really not complicated or hard to pick up. 

Edited by BlockedQuebecois
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I've been beating this drum for years now.

Take Family Law.

You may have no interest in practicing in that area (Lord knows I don't).  But it's the one area or law that touches on everyone.  Your sibling, your business client, your golf buddy - might go through a divorce and start asking for advice.  And while obviously you aren't going to represent them, you should know enough to know what are the major issues / what to be careful of.

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When I took admin law, Dunsmuir and Vavilov didn't exist. Different era I guess. But the concepts I learned are things I apply all the time.

It's kind of true of every class that if you just taught yourself the material you could also learn it that way. But I learned a lot from my class about how to think about the administrative state, the nature and extent of delegated authority, what it means to have jurisdiction, and how you challenge that. Sure I could have taught myself (and I've learned a lot about those things since then) but it was a pretty useful course for kickstarting that process. 

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Just now, Malicious Prosecutor said:

You may have no interest in practicing in that area (Lord knows I don't).  But it's the one area or law that touches on everyone.  Your sibling, your business client, your golf buddy - might go through a divorce and start asking for advice.  And while obviously you aren't going to represent them, you should know enough to know what are the major issues / what to be careful of.

In Ontario at least, you learn enough in order to pass the bar exams that you can do that. The family law sections are fairly detailed.

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Posted (edited)

We spent half our judicial review class reading doctrine on admin law, state power, rule of law, etc. It was almost like an advanced baby of constitutional law mixed with foundations. It was great.

Edited by pzabbythesecond

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Yeah, my admin law course probably made me think more deeply about what law/regulation/power means in real life than any other course after first year.

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And I don't know if I had a "very good professor". It was her first time teaching the course, and the only course I took with her.

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5 minutes ago, Jaggers said:

In Ontario at least, you learn enough in order to pass the bar exams that you can do that. The family law sections are fairly detailed.

Where do you learn that - in Bar Admission courses?

I stand by my advice.  I've forgotten a lot from law school that doesn't pertain to my every day practice.  But that Family Law course I took keeps on coming in handy.

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1 minute ago, Malicious Prosecutor said:

Where do you learn that - in Bar Admission courses?

I stand by my advice.  I've forgotten a lot from law school that doesn't pertain to my every day practice.  But that Family Law course I took keeps on coming in handy.

No, you read the material they send you. I agree that it's the most common area to be "Hey, can I run something by you"d, but I feel like that was enough prep. 

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Everyone should take Admin. And Evidence. 

Course selection is, and should be, other than the required or should be required courses, a very personal thing. Don't choose your courses based on what you imagine will benefit you for the bar exams. Choose courses that interest you and that align with the type of practice you would like to have. 

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