Research and Collaboration for Community Impact
Legal Innovation for the 21st Century
Globalization, diminishing access to justice, information technology, and increasing client demands create both a challenge and an opportunity for change that could empower clients and other consumers of legal services and information.
Critical issues exist surrounding the role of lawyers, regulation of the profession, the use of legal technology, access to justice in a pluralist system, legal business structures and service delivery, and legal education in the 21st century. These trends and issues impact individuals, the profession and society, and call for academic scrutiny and insight. We are well-placed to facilitate and contribute.
Through this initiative, we will foster collaboration between academics, members of the Bench and the Bar, and policymakers, to advance innovative solutions for challenges that face the legal profession, legal consumers and society.
Family Law Incubator
The Family Law Incubator project represents another step in our commitment to experiential learning and preparing lawyers of the future. It will involve graduates serving a two-year term, during which they will complete their Articles, and their first year as a practicing lawyer. During that period, they will also receive formal instruction in areas such as business planning, legal project management, marketing and human resources, so that they are prepared for the practice of law. In this sense, the Incubator will be a superior form of training than Articling. To reflect our commitment to prepare graduates for the profession of the future, the Incubator will operate on a technology-based, “paperless office” approach to practice.
Scholarship and Impact
We encourage research that addresses pressing problems, and is able to achieve significant scholarly or policy influence.
We will enhance the global reach of our research by encouraging and supporting faculty members and graduate students to take part in and lead international research networks. We will create opportunities for junior scholars and enhance the research environment of the Faculty by appointing a series of post-doctoral fellows.
We will aim to secure increased funding from national granting councils and other sources to support the diverse range of faculty and graduate student research.
Collaboration and Community Partners
We will strive to build relationships with local groups for mutual benefit. We can learn from our community, while the community can enjoy our involvement and expertise. Helping those whose needs are not met by the legal system, and fostering relationships with the Indigenous Peoples of (Southern) Alberta, are some of our top priorities.
Innovative Research and Student Experience
We will provide students with increased opportunities for intensive study on selected current topics of legal and policy reform. Students will be able to work with faculty on research that is cutting edge, and to produce work that proposes practical solutions. Through clinical education and topic-based courses, we will explore possibilities for synergies between student experience, faculty research, and current problems in law and society.
Through her Constitutional Law clinic, Professor Jennifer Koshan and her students helped bring legal reform to Alberta’s farmworkers, through research and blogging on the labour and employment rights of these workers.