Future of Articling in Canada

As you probably know, there is a heated debate going on in Ontario about the future of articling. In May 2011, the Articling Task Force was established by the Law Society of Upper Canada as a result of the rising number of unplaced articling candidates seeking access to the licensing process in Ontario. The Task Force produced a 100-pages report released on October 16th, 2012, where the majority recommended a five-year pilot project, to begin in 2014, for a law practice program as an alternative option to the current articling system. The LPP (law practice program), delivered by one or more third-party providers, would combine a skills-training component and a co-op work placement for a total of eight months. Four dissenting members of the Task Force instead suggested replacing articling with a two- to three-month comprehensive transitional pre-licensing program that would consist of online courses and exams. They also called for the law schools to introduce additional experiential education programs that would allow students to gain the practical skills they need to enter the workforce. You can find the full text of the report here.

Not-Totally-Unsolicited Advice about Footnotes

Last week, I saw a number of 1st year students seeking an advice of a librarian on how to cite the sources that they used in their first memo. Thus, I decided to give you some not-totally-unsolicited advice on this matter.
First, when your TL gives you a piece of paper, a pdf, a photocopy of something, etc., do not hesitate to ask what this is and from where it is coming. This will save you quite a bit of time when you are pressed to finish your work but discover suddenly that this photocopy is in fact a book chapter, and you have no idea about the book title and/ or author. Second, do not wait until the last minute to make your footnotes. Everybody works differently, but my experience shows that if you ‘cite while you write’, you will save time. You will have your paper AND your footnotes ready, save for the final proofing, when you finish writing the last paragraph. On the contrary, if you leave all your footnotes to be done when your paper is written, you will end up trying to figure out where you found this or that quotation and, pardon me, freaking out about supra(s) and idem(s) when you are totally short of time. Third, use the Red Book in conjunction with your common sense and with some reasoning. Do not just scan and skim the text of a section, expecting that a correct form of citation will jump in your eyes. Red Book is not the Bible, so do not expect that it will necessarily have an answer to your particular question. When you have something to cite, think about what rule fits the best your type of source and then, apply this rule.
Last, to cite a source, proceed as follows:

  • determine what it is that you have to cite
  • find respective chapter (Jurisprudence for cases, Secondary Sources for books and journal articles, etc.)
  • READ General Rules section 
  • find the section corresponding to the source that you have
  • READ this section
  • apply the rule to cite the source making analogies if necessary
  • repeat as needed:)

Rare Books Room Tours Offered

If you would like to know what kind of treasures are kept in the glass enclosed Rare Books Room on the second floor of the Law Library, sign up for a half-an-hour (or longer) tour of the Law Rare Books. To sign up for a tour, please send a request to me, Svetlana Kochkina, svetlana.kochkina@mcgill.ca, and I will notify you when we will have a necessary number of participants.

Lost AZIMUT Password/ Username

It happened again… You lost your AZIMUT password, and you need to find some Quebec cases 🙁
The only way to recover your AZIMUT username and password is to write an e-mail to our staff member who is a designated contact person for SOQUIJ, Ramon Lasso ramon.lasso@mcgill.ca, asking him to recover your login credentials. Do not forget to include your McGill ID number and your full name in the e-mail.

Law students can study in the Supreme Court of Canada library

The Supreme Court of Canada has changed its Policy on Library Use to extend use of the Court Library to students of law faculties. Now, Faculty Members and students in good standing of Faculties of Law are permitted to use the Library upon presentation of proof of identity and obtaining of a visitor’s pass from Court Security which must be worn at all times while on the Library’s premises. Service to external users is limited to assistance in the location and use of library materials including the use of the on-line catalogue and a limited number of electronic research services.