Dalhousie Law Journal


Legal Education, Canadian law schools, University of Toronto, Developments, 1970's, early 1980's, significant changes, underlying themes.


As has been the case in other Canadian law schools, the period of the 1970's and early 1980's has seen a number of significant changes in legal education at the Faculty of Law at the University of Toronto. These changes reflect several underlying themes. The first is that the Law School should remain committed to its strengths in the common law and traditional legal subjects. The second is that we in law schools have much to gain from other disciplines in the teaching and sLudying of lav esp6al-y r times -when -nev areas of la-, praifkularly those spawned by technological change, are rapidly emerging. And the third is that the curriculum should attempt to incorporate courses and programmes that reflect more of an emphasis on lawyers' skills such as research and writing, problem solving, and advocacy. Although these themes can conflict, I believe they have been effectively integrated into the curriculum by the changes that have been made at the University of Toronto. This comment will briefly examine some of the major changes that have occurred which illustrate these themes. The changes to be discussed will include alterations in the first year programme as well as currittm ange s in the s ecand and tijird year that have provided interdisciplinary and perspective courses which in turn have encouraged breadth and depth in research. These reforms have aided in expanding the scope of legal education and research in the law school while strengthening traditional subjects. Finally, a new proposed programme at the graduate level, a Masters of Studies in Law, designed to facilitate links with other disciplines, will be briefly reviewed.