The J.D. curriculum invites critical assessment of the role of law in society as well as the development of skills relevant to the practice of law. In addition to lectures and seminars, students are given an opportunity to develop, under supervision, some of the research, writing, and forensic skills which will prove essential in the practise of law.
In first year, students are acquainted with the various resource materials available in a law library, and develop legal research and writing skills. As part of the mandatory first-year Legal Systems course, students take part in Robson Hall’s Judge Shadowing program, where students get out of the classroom and into the courtroom. Seeing the law in action humanises the casebook for students who consistently rank the course highly, describing it as: “the best part of first year learning … that brings together everything in the courses and adds a dose of reality.”
In second and third years, students must participate in moot courts (fictitious trials and appeals) as in the mandatory second-year Introduction to Advocacy course, for example, which provides training in research, examination of witnesses, and courtroom argument, as well as the hands-on Negotiation course, which trains students for dispute resolution advocacy.
Students may choose to further hone their advocacy training in second and third year by trying-out for the Robson Hall Mooting Program, to represent Robson Hall in various moot competitions across Canada.
In third year, students may choose from a range of for-credit clinical courses including the following: