Ryerson Alumni - Summer 2019 - 9

Connect with Ryerson alumni: @ryerson_alumni

LAW

Ryerson Law
School sets a
new precedent
Ryerson is opening a new
kind of law school-one that
will produce a new kind of
lawyer. Graduates will be
technologically savvy, as
diverse as the city in which
they study and champions for
ordinary citizens, says Anver
Saloojee, dean of record.
"A school starting from
scratch has a clean slate, putting
technological innovations
alongside pedagogical ones,"
he explains. "Most law schools
are beginning to think about
these things. We have the
opportunity to start from day 1."
The Ryerson Law School
is scheduled to begin
accepting applications this
fall, with classes starting in
September 2020.

PHOTOGRAPHS BY (LEFT) CLIFTON LI, IMAGE ARTS '12; (RIGHT) XAVIER ARNAU/GETTY IMAGES

Theory meets practice

Students will learn from both
faculty and practicing lawyers
who will co-teach required
courses, such as Contracts
and Torts, to provide a solid
grounding in the theory of law
as well as real world insights
from practitioners.
"In first year, all of our
students will have facultytaught lectures with
practitioners. In second year,
they will also be put into
groups of seven and assigned
a mentor, a legal practitioner,"
explains Saloojee. "They
will meet with their mentor,
either in person or virtually,
on a regular basis. Almost like
their own quasi firm. This is
a significant innovation as
most law schools focus on
individual study rather than
team work."
Third year will include fullsemester field placements.
"The placements are within
the Ryerson tradition of

bringing together theory and
practice, mind and action,"
says Saloojee.
Mandatory weeklong boot
camps before five of the six
semesters will give students
skills in the business of law,
technological innovation,
finances and coding.
Tech-first approach

Ryerson is well-positioned to
have its law students schooled
in legal technology, as the
law school is an evolution of
Ryerson's innovative Law
Practice Program (LPP) and
Legal Innovation Zone (LIZ).
The LPP is an alternative
pathway to articling, an
eight-month program
combining online training
and experiential learning with
a hands-on work term. It's
been very successful, with a
placement rate of 100 per cent.
The first of its kind in Canada,
the LIZ is a legal incubator
producing software for
workflow, precedents and other
legal management solutions.
"The folks at LIZ said,
'You've got to put legal tech

in now. If you don't, you're
already behind the game',"
says Saloojee. "So we're
taking a tech-first approach,
embedding legal technology
throughout the curriculum."
Access and diversity

Ryerson's law school is
designed to improve access
to justice, and the theme is
embedded in such courses as
ethics and professionalism,
Indigenous law, social
innovation and the law,
and legal innovation.
To strengthen access and
diversity in the student
population, the university is
building a robust scholarship
and bursary program. Ryerson
Law has received support
for scholarships from donors
in the legal community and is
engaging with traditional
and non-traditional law
school supporters.
Substantial awards-some
of which were matched by
Ryerson's PACE program and
are renewable-are in place
for qualified students with
financial need who are from

historically underrepresented
groups, or who demonstrate
an aptitude for business and
entrepreneurship. A gift to
create awards for Indigenous
law students is matched
through Indspire's Building
Brighter Futures Scholarships,
Bursaries and Awards program.
Applicants will be assessed
on a number of factors, not just
grades and test scores. The
admissions process includes
an online interview that will
address their experiences and
competencies in addition to
traditional criteria.
"All of these factors
differentiate us from other
law schools in a big way,"
says Saloojee. "The focus on
technology, on equity, diversity
and inclusion, on access to
justice, and all of this on a
sound but innovative academic
base."-Deborah Smyth
RYERSON LAW IS GRATEFUL TO
OUR INAUGURAL SUPPORTERS:
- Torys LLP;
- McCarthy T├ętrault, LLP;
- Blake, Cassels & Graydon LLP;
- Hicks Morley Hamilton Stewart
Storie LLP

Summer 2019 / Ryerson University Magazine

9



Ryerson Alumni - Summer 2019

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