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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 to the legal profession 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, the rule of law, legal business structures/service delivery and legal education in the 21st century. These trends and issues, which significantly impact individuals, the profession and society, call out for academic scrutiny and insight, and the faculty is wellplaced 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 the Faculty of Law’s 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 — in addition to the professional legal training — be given formal instruction in areas such as business planning, legal project management, marketing and human resources, so that they are truly prepared for the practice of law. In this sense, the Incubator will be a superior form of training than Articling. To reflect the faculty’s commitment to prepare graduates for the profession of the future, the Incubator will also embrace from the outset a technology-based, “paperless office” approach to practice.

Scholarship and Impact

The Faculty of Law is committed to raising both the profile and impact of its research. 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 participate in, and to 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.

The faculty 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, and be enriched by our community, while our community can benefit from our involvement and expertise. Calgary provides a diverse range of community connections to be fostered. Assistance to the vulnerable in society whose needs are not met
by the legal system, and fostering relationships with the Indigenous Peoples of (Southern) Alberta, are amongst 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 their professors and instructors on research that is cutting edge, and as a team collectively 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.