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Poll re PLTC in British Columbia

Poll regarding the PLTC system in British Columbia  

39 members have voted

This poll is closed to new votes
  1. 1. The BC Law Society should abolish the PLTC, which requires mandatory two-month long classroom learning, and adopt a liberal bar exam system like in Ontario and most North American jurisdictions, which do not require mandatory classroom learning.

    • Agree
      15
    • Don't have an opinion
      7
    • Do not agree
      17

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  • Poll closed on 09/14/20 at 06:59 AM

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PLTC is really beneficial for ensuring basic competence. While it was somewhat annoying to me, mostly because it was too easy/simple, I would rather the law society abolish articling and expand PLTC than anything else. 

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Ontario's bar exam is a joke.  It's a test of how well you read english and how quickly you can fill out a scantron.

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19 minutes ago, kurrika said:

Ontario's bar exam is a joke.  It's a test of how well you read english and how quickly you can fill out a scantron.

Or click a mouse button, possibly from now on.

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I'd be much happier about PLTC if the Law Society would actually reserve the Kamloops session for students in the interior or have an online option for those students.

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I have a rather nuanced answer for you.

In theory, I believe PLTC should be expanded to 10 subject areas, with the student choosing 3 subject areas to study and that are examinable.

The purpose of PLTC is to fill a training gap between law school and day-to-day practice. Expanding the number of subject areas would be helpful to students who intend to practice in those areas, while restricting the testable subjects allows PLTC to actually assist in training students for the area they will be practicing in.

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On 9/12/2020 at 10:50 AM, BCLaw2020 said:

...The purpose of PLTC is to fill a training gap between law school and day-to-day practice....

I disagree this is the purpose. It’s to allow the LSBC to say they’ve ensured basic competency in their registrants for the protection of the public. Since a lawyer can practice in any area, they can best meet this goal by covering a broad range of topics. (Especially those topics where they find the most claims and regulatory complaints.)

ETA: I guess I actually agree that broadly this does constitute a “gap”. Your proposed solution In my view just doesn’t address the right gap. 

Edited by almostnot
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I thought PLTC was very helpful actually, especially in terms of preparing for court hearings as an articling student. 

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On 9/19/2020 at 5:05 PM, SuperBig said:

PLTC should be the 3rd year of law school.

I would support this. I've expressed privately that the 3rd year of law school doesn't add any value. I finished all of my required courses in the first two years and spent 3L fucking around, taking fun/interesting courses that were not going to be helpful in practice. 

On the flip side, a part of me wanted a 4th year to take all the courses that I didn't have the opportunity to take (some electives were only offered on alternating years). 

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17 minutes ago, canuckfanatic said:

I would support this. I've expressed privately that the 3rd year of law school doesn't add any value. I finished all of my required courses in the first two years and spent 3L fucking around, taking fun/interesting courses that were not going to be helpful in practice. 

On the flip side, a part of me wanted a 4th year to take all the courses that I didn't have the opportunity to take (some electives were only offered on alternating years). 

I just want my second half of my last semester back. I had important sports law topics to still cover!

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2 hours ago, lawstudent20202020 said:

I just want my second half of my last semester back. I had important sports law topics to still cover!

And to think, just days before the world shut down the class was debating whether the NBA was overreacting for shutting down the season over 1 positive COVID case.

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My partner just passed PLTC and had a terrible experience. 

She was a writing leader at our school (uO, which prizes itself as a legal writing mecca) and got straight As, but found that a lot of the instruction and feedback on assignments in PLTC was counter-intuitive or even negative pedagogical value. The other big problem was that you have to study for the bar and do the courses almost completely separately and simultaneously which is a gigantic time commitment (even for legal education standards). She reads and absorbs at an incredible rate, but still struggled to get it all done in time for the write. 

Ontario's process is a joke in comparison. 

Edited by MustangSally

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45 minutes ago, MustangSally said:

She was a writing leader at our school (uO, which prizes itself as a legal writing mecca) and got straight As, but found that a lot of the instruction and feedback on assignments in PLTC was counter-intuitive or even negative pedagogical value. The other big problem was that you have to study for the bar and do the courses almost completely separately and simultaneously which is a gigantic time commitment (even for legal education standards). She reads and absorbs at an incredible rate, but still struggled to get it all done in time for the write. 

To me, this was the most stressful aspect of PLTC. You are given a constant stream of assignments (not graded) and assessments (graded, which you must pass) and this leaves little to no time for dedicated studying of the materials for the qualification exams until the end of the course. The most recent session (the first online PLTC session) was also 9 weeks instead of the normal 10 weeks, which left even less time for studying for the exams.

While in hindsight the course was probably easy, it was stressful to go through and the instructors constantly bringing up the statistic that on average 20-25% of the class has to re-do at least one component certainly didn't help make it less stressful.

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1 hour ago, MustangSally said:

My partner just passed PLTC and had a terrible experience. 

She was a writing leader at our school (uO, which prizes itself as a legal writing mecca) and got straight As, but found that a lot of the instruction and feedback on assignments in PLTC was counter-intuitive or even negative pedagogical value. The other big problem was that you have to study for the bar and do the courses almost completely separately and simultaneously which is a gigantic time commitment (even for legal education standards). She reads and absorbs at an incredible rate, but still struggled to get it all done in time for the write. 

Ontario's process is a joke in comparison. 

I’m not sure what a “writing leader” is, or what you mean by a “legal writing ‘Mecca”, but when I attended law school, all of the writing we did was essentially just academic-style writing. It in no way resembled the writing I do in my practise, which is the type of writing I assume PLTC is attempting to have articling students produce. 

Edited by QuincyWagstaff
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On 9/24/2020 at 12:53 PM, Hesse said:

To me, this was the most stressful aspect of PLTC. You are given a constant stream of assignments (not graded) and assessments (graded, which you must pass) and this leaves little to no time for dedicated studying of the materials for the qualification exams until the end of the course. The most recent session (the first online PLTC session) was also 9 weeks instead of the normal 10 weeks, which left even less time for studying for the exams.

While in hindsight the course was probably easy, it was stressful to go through and the instructors constantly bringing up the statistic that on average 20-25% of the class has to re-do at least one component certainly didn't help make it less stressful.

Exactly my point, yes.

On 9/24/2020 at 1:16 PM, QuincyWagstaff said:

I’m not sure what a “writing leader” is, or what you mean by a “legal writing ‘Mecca”, but when I attended law school, all of the writing we did was essentially just academic-style writing. It in no way resembled the writing I do in my practise, which is the type of writing I assume PLTC is attempting to have articling students produce. 

Yes, uOttawa acknowledges that most Canadian law schools do not teach true "legal" writing, which is why they have a writing academy. There are core courses that are mandatory mostly in 1L and there is an advanced course that allows you to become a certified "writing leader" so that you can mark 1L work and such. Apparently we are known for it, but I haven't polled enough law firms to confirm that. 

Her point was that the PLTC sometimes doesn't even teach good legal writing. I even had a look at some of her assignments, and the precedents they provided for writing assignments were a bit off to my eye. One thing that comes to mind right now is the amount of legal jargon and complicated stuff that was expected to be put into letters to CLIENTS. Some of those precedents read like memos to senior partners, not to clients. 

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17 hours ago, MustangSally said:

Exactly my point, yes.

Yes, uOttawa acknowledges that most Canadian law schools do not teach true "legal" writing, which is why they have a writing academy. There are core courses that are mandatory mostly in 1L and there is an advanced course that allows you to become a certified "writing leader" so that you can mark 1L work and such. Apparently we are known for it, but I haven't polled enough law firms to confirm that. 

Her point was that the PLTC sometimes doesn't even teach good legal writing. I even had a look at some of her assignments, and the precedents they provided for writing assignments were a bit off to my eye. One thing that comes to mind right now is the amount of legal jargon and complicated stuff that was expected to be put into letters to CLIENTS. Some of those precedents read like memos to senior partners, not to clients. 

Riiight. 

What a shame it is that they didn't consult someone with your expertise when they developed the Course🙄

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Posted (edited)
3 hours ago, QuincyWagstaff said:

Riiight. 

What a shame it is that they didn't consult someone with your expertise when they developed the Course🙄

Obama What GIF

Real charmer. I assume you have some experience with PLTC to back up the sarcasm?

Edited by MustangSally
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