Ryerson University has made headlines within the legal community after its administrators announced their plan to open a law school in 2020.
Mohamed Lachemi, believes that “the legal profession needs to be modernized and that Ontarian’s need more cost-effective services (CBC).” Lachemi intends on building a unique law program, leveraging technology and business knowledge skills as a means to produce practice-ready lawyers prepared to meet the growing need for cost-effective legal services for diverse communities and small businesses.
However, Lachemi has also endured a major funding blow – the provincial government rejected a key funding request, which means prospective students will not qualify for Ontario Student Assistance Program. The provincial government justifies their position by arguing that Ontario already has more lawyers graduating from its seven standing law schools than there are articling positions available. According to Tanya Walker, a board member of the Law Society of Ontario, current estimates show there will be approximately 1.6 licensed lawyers for every one job in the field. In contrast, Anver Saloojee, Dean of Record for the law school, has responded to statistics by maintaining that, “these students will have a certain kind of grounding that will turn them into innovators in the field of legal service delivery… in fact, we believe these students will be job creators.”
What’s your opinion? Should Canadian law programs consider embedding technology and business directly into their curriculums in order to stay in touch with the times?