Strategic Plan 2022-2025
We are pleased to present the Faculty of Law’s Strategic Plan from 2022-2025 approved by our Faculty Council in August 2022.
The Plan builds on earlier strategic plans, curricular innovation reports and clinical program studies, and develops values and principles to assist our progression in the coming years and will help frame the environment in which students, faculty, staff, alumni and community partners work, study and learn.
The Plan articulates aspirations grounded in our values and priorities and ambitions. The Plan commits us to being an inclusive and diverse law school, while at the time assuring that, as Western Canada’s oldest law school, we continue to excel at scholarship, teaching excellence and clinical innovation in an environment that values Truth and Reconciliation and committed to equity, diversity, and inclusion.
The Strategic Planning committee, chaired by Associate Dean Donn Short, engaged in rigorous community outreach with students, faculty, staff, alumni, legal professionals and agencies. They analyzed the voluminous data and uncovered critical commonalities that framed the foundation of the Plan. The consultation helped connect us during the deep winter of isolation during this last COVID year.
We plan on revisiting the Plan annually and having the Strategic Planning Committee monitor our progress. We are optimistic that the Plan can ground transformative developments at the law school. We aspire to encourage a representative and diverse learning and research space and foster rigorous academic inquiry as we help build the legal profession and nurture the development of future leadership.
In July, 2021, the Strategic Planning Committee undertook extensive consultations within our UM Law community, reaching out to students, faculty, staff, alumni and members of the bar. The result is a Strategic Plan which reflects the views, needs and aspirations of the entire UM Law Community. We have identified four areas of focus to put into practice our core values:
- Building Community
- Teaching, Learning & Student Success
- Research Excellence
- Advancing Equity, Diversity, Inclusion & Indigeneity
Living Our Core Values
Excellence, Integrity & Diversity
UM Law is committed to...
- student success
- research excellence and service that makes a difference
- a collegial and accessible working and learning experience for faculty, students and staff
- access to justice
- diversity of learning experiences
- bilingual course offerings
UM Law fosters a culture of...
- diversity & inclusion
- commitment to human rights
- integrity & professionalism
- the highest ethical standards
We envision a future...
- that includes meaningful steps toward reconciliation with Indigenous peoples
- informed by the principles of equity, diversity and inclusion (“EDI”)
- that provides enhanced accessibility and removal of barriers to the study and teaching of law
- committed to the wellness of all our members
Community begins in the hallways, classrooms and the social places in which we teach, work, research and learn. UM Law values and commits to maintaining and enriching its relationship with members of the legal profession and alumni in Winnipeg, around the province and across Canada.
- respect and value all members of our community
- foster collegiality
- celebrate achievements of community members
- increase engagement with UM Law alumni
- connect with legal communities across Canada
- improve building infrastructure
Activities & Initiatives
- promote partnerships among alumni, legal community and Indigenous communities
- establish greater connections between alumni and UM Law students
- increase communications and connections with alumni around the world
- host alumni events in cities across Canada
- strengthen relationships with the Law Society of Manitoba and the Canadian Bar Association
- renovate student study and common areas to provide safe spaces and opportunities for community building
Teaching, Learning & Student Success
As Manitoba’s law school, we offer an exceptional legal education where students experience dynamic and innovative learning. UM Law showcases experiential and clinical opportunities where students receive the best quality training in advocacy and the skills of legal practice. We take pride in our commitment to critical and analytical thinking about law and the world around us.
- build student skills, knowledge and confidence for practicing law
- improve support for career pathways beyond legal practice
- address barriers for student learning & success
- enhance opportunities for legal education in French
- increase student awareness of graduate opportunities
Activities & Initiatives
- better prepare students for the business of legal practice
- enhance legal writing and research skills
- provide professionalism seminars and other learning opportunities to prepare students for the practice of law
- develop additional resources to assist students who plan to practice outside Manitoba
- reinforce our commitment to small class sizes and low student to instructor ratios
- enhance funding for JD and graduate students
- improve access to justice for all communities through expanded clinical offerings
- update classroom technology and building facilities
- improve technological training and capabilities
We are committed to strengthening our capacity to support and foster scholarly work and creative activities by making faculty research more accessible and visible to the legal community, the public and policymakers.
- encourage and promote innovative and creative research
- promote collaboration with other faculties and universities
- enhance promotion of faculty research, achievements and publications
- improve supports to undertake and disseminate research
- enhance our understanding of Indigenous knowledge and perspectives
Activities & Initiatives
- encourage research on Indigenous legal orders
- promote engagement of faculty members with Indigenous learning opportunities
- promote collaborative research among scholars and students with diverse perspectives
- look for new ways to fund faculty research
- strengthen mentorship between faculty and students
- support for UM Law’s flagship law journals
- enhance promotion of faculty research on UM Law’s website, including making results of research available as open access downloads
- invite Indigenous researchers as distinguished scholars
Advancing Equity, Diversity, Inclusion & Indigeneity
Equality of opportunity and diversity are key to society’s prosperity. UM Law firmly believes this begins with access to education. We wish to foster inclusion within the legal community and other public spheres in which we work and interact. We value the perspectives of traditionally underrepresented and marginalized groups. While already taking steps to answer the TRC’s Call to Action 28, we continue to set goals to move towards further reconciliation.
- consider Indigenous perspectives and principles of EDI in hiring, admissions, recruitment and retention and in all our policies and processes
- develop a strong understanding among students, staff and faculty of the systemic barriers faced by individuals from all underrepresented groups
- improve resources for access to justice through legal education
- stimulate and encourage education and research in Indigenous perspectives, legal orders and reconciliation
Activities & Initiatives
- continue our commitment to EDI and Indigeneity with faculty, students and staff
- re-evaluate admissions processes including Indigenous identity, EDI and merit
- continue our commitment to bringing diverse identities, cultures and perspectives into legal education including understandings of systemic barriers and formulating remedial measures
- continue curricular reform in the context of TRC Calls to Action
- develop concrete research opportunities advancing Indigenous legal orders in the region
- work with Truth and Reconciliation Action Team, MILSA and other partners
- advance initiatives of the office of the Indigenous Legal Studies Coordinator
- continue partnerships and learning with Indigenous communities
- continue the practice of consultation with BIPOC communities
- bolster EDI training and resources for faculty, staff and students
- commit to UM Law‘s elder-in-residence program
- commitment to wellness measures
Strategic Planning Committee
Donn Short, Chair
Jennifer L. Schulz
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