Legal Education, TWU, and the Looking Glass

(2016) 75 Supreme Court Law Review (2d) 223

Ottawa Faculty of Law Working Paper No. 2016-46

25 Pages Posted: 21 Nov 2016 Last revised: 14 Dec 2016

See all articles by Carissima Mathen

Carissima Mathen

University of Ottawa - Common Law Section

Michael Plaxton

College of Law, University of Saskatchewan

Date Written: October 25, 2016

Abstract

When the controversy over the proposed law school at Trinity Western University first erupted in late 2013, several legal academics made a number of claims concerning its ability to produce ethical and professional lawyers. The crux of these early arguments was that TWU students would fail to acquire a competent grasp of the legal norms of non-discrimination. In this paper, we offer a tentative answer to them – not by delving into the details of TWU’s proposed curriculum, or into that of other religiously-oriented law schools, but by reflecting on the practice of legal education at secular law schools. We argue that many of the early criticisms directed at TWU’s proposed law school would apply, in some measure, to many or all of its secular counterparts, and that it is inappropriate for critics to hold TWU to a standard to which they are unwilling to hold themselves. Furthermore, there is no reason to think that law graduates would fail to appreciate the force and authority of positive legal norms and doctrines, merely because they were studied from a religious point of view.

Keywords: legal education, Trinity Western University, law schools, diversity, critical thinking, pedagogy, professionalism, law

Suggested Citation

Mathen, Carissima and Plaxton, Michael, Legal Education, TWU, and the Looking Glass (October 25, 2016). (2016) 75 Supreme Court Law Review (2d) 223, Ottawa Faculty of Law Working Paper No. 2016-46, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2859082

Carissima Mathen

University of Ottawa - Common Law Section ( email )

57 Louis Pasteur Street
Ottawa, K1N 6N5
Canada

Michael Plaxton (Contact Author)

College of Law, University of Saskatchewan ( email )

15 Campus Dr
Saskatoon, Saskatchewan S7N5A6
Canada
3069665894 (Phone)

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