A Legal Futures Perspective

By John G. Kelly,B.Com., LL.B., M.Sc. (international relations) M.A. (Jud.Admin) F.CIS john@legalfutures.ca

John G. Kelly, Legal Futures Perspective. Proprietary ( 2018). Distribution encouraged with acknowledgement. john@legalfutures.ca

Learning abroad may have once been seen as an optional extravagance. It now needs to be recognized as a national imperative. Providing students with international experience is a smart investment in their future success – and Canada’s[1]

The Canadian government has come to the realization that the future prosperity of the country is dependent on developing an incoming generation of professionals with the skills and knowledge management capability to be active participants in the global economy and international political arena. The federal government white paper, Global Education for Canadians, makes the point for the need by stating that

Global education generates the skills, understanding, outlooks and relationships that can help our country at a time of rapid change in the world and at home[2].

UK Direct Entry LLB LLM (Masters of Legal Laws) & MA Law (Masters of Arts In Law) are Global Professional Career Door Openers

In the course of my career as a law professor and legal thought leader consultant, I’ve counselled and referred more than 900 Canadians to leading edge global law schools for professional LLB degrees through Canada Law From Abroad (www.canadalawfromabroad.com). I’ve made site visits to these UK law schools and have seen the value added to a professional education that occurs when Canadians participate in an international educational and lifestyle milieu. I’m now in a position to embark on an “encore career” (www.encorecareer.com). The mission I’ve taken on with the LLM Professional Career Launcher (www.professionalcareerlauncher.com) is of particular importance in providing counselling and guidance to aspiring professionals and university career counselling professionals who recognize the need to obtain graduate education and a graduate “specialization” credential to open doors to “new economy professional opportunities in the dynamic “21st Century Professional Services Market”.

One of my primary goals is to redress information deficiencies and inaccuracies in the Canadian professional counselling community about abroad graduate professional legal education. University students are aware that virtually every undergraduate area of study in the social science humanities (SSH) disciplines interacts with and has an association with law and the legal infrastructure that encompasses Canadian society. They invariably become interested in the “law related aspect” of their primary area of interest and its professional career potential. They’ve been conditioned to believe that the only avenue to access a law related professional career is to pursue a three- year Canadian JD or two- year UK graduate accelerated LLB as the requisite route, even though they don’t necessarily want to practice law.

They’re pleasantly surprised to learn that in the UK, unlike Canada that adheres to the U.S. JD model wherein the LLM with certain exceptions requires a JD as prerequisite for admission, the LLM and MA (Masters of Arts) Law degrees are direct entry stand – alone professional degrees. They’ve been designed to extend beyond the parameters of conventional legal education and the practice of law and provide aspiring professionals with graduate education and a law related professional credential that qualifies them as a “legal expert” in their preferred professional discipline. Moreover, unlike the two- year conventional masters degree programs in Canada, UK law schools have embraced the MBA Executive Education model and developed innovative multi-disciplinary one calendar year graduate LLM and MA Law Degrees

The Rhodes Model- Preferred International Education Route for Aspiring Professionals

The Rhodes Scholarship[3] and Rhodes Scholars are world renowned. The program was established by mining magnate Cecil Rhodes to attract the best and brightest, primarily from within the British Commonwealth, to the UK. They would be exposed to leading edge international education at Oxford and network with peers from other countries. Canadian Rhodes Scholars would become conversant with cultures from all parts of the world, notably Africa and Asia. They would engage in learning processes and informed dialogues with aspiring leaders in government, the professions and business in the international arena as well as attend global forums at the renowned Rhodes House adjacent to the campus[4]. Chrystia Freeland, current Minister of Foreign Affairs, among other prominent Canadians, are testament to the value of the learning outcomes of the model for professional graduate education.

Leading edge global UK law schools, particularly those in the elite Russell Group (

russellgroup.ac.uk/) i.e. Birmingham and Leeds

have adhered to the Rhodes architecture and operational framework in the design and development of innovative LLM and MA Law degree programs. In a Russell Group brand name brand UK law school, aspiring Canadian professionals encounter a cosmopolitan mix of law students from around the world. Prominent among them are cohorts of the best and brightest aspiring professionals from Asia, an area the Canadian government white paper targets for international education exchanges and linkages. This emerging generation of Canadian professionals is interacting with the incoming generation of leaders who will be determining the future direction of their respective countries.

The LLM /MA Law & Combined LLM Degrees UK is the Leader in International Education for New Age Professionals

The conventional practice of law has plateaued. A knowledge management information paradigm shift[5] is taking place. Law is being integrated into a dynamic “21st Century Professional Services Market”. Disruptors in the form of a growing breed of savvy professional service providers are providing clients with professional services options that are now challenging the dominance of lawyers as the preferred first choice for legal services.

Law if necessary but not necessarily the law” is the career credential for LLM and MA Law professional services providers.

The “Big Four” consultancies are dominant disruptors in the knowledge management spectrum. Their strategy, as elucidated by Deloitte Touche, is as follows:

From a professional perspective, it’s more interesting helping clients solve the whole problem than just the technical legal aspects”[6]

Collaboration by specialists is the key to success in professional services.

That’s the central theme and message reiterated by Heidi K. Gardner, Distinguished Fellow at Harvard Law School’s Center on the Legal Profession.

Most savvy and ambitious professionals today understand that it’s in their economic interests to become truly expert at one topic. Ideally, that one topic is both arcane (in the sense of not being easily learned) and critically important (meaning there’s a market for this skill).[7]

 

Taking Action: A Pan- Canadian Approach

Some moments call out for leaders to set national goals and do what it takes to reach them. This is one of those moments: global learning is a national imperative.[8]

The Professional Career Launcher (www.professionalcareerlauncher.com) is doing what needs to be done to integrate professional legal education into global learning.

[1] Report of the Study Group on Global Education. Global Education for Canadians – Equipping Young Canadians to Succeed at Home & Abroad. CIPS – University of Ottawa, Munk School of Global Affairs, University of Toronto. (November 2017). (goglobalcanada.ca

[2] Ibid at P. 10

[3]https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rhodes_Scholarship

[4]www.rhodeshouse.ox.ac.uk

[5]Thomas S. Kuhn,The Structure of Scientific Revolutions.Chicago. University of Chicago Press. (4th ed. 2012).

[6]David B. Wilkins and Maria Jose Esteban,The Re-Emergence of the Big Four in Law. Harvard Law School Center on the Legal Profession The Practice Volume 2, Issue 2. January 2016.

[7] Heidi K. Gardner, Smart Collaboration. Boston. Harvard University Press. (2016) at P 6.

[8]Supra 1 at P.40

Published On: November 4th, 2020 / Categories: Educating Canadians /