|Course Name||Introduction to Graduate Legal Studies|
|Course Code||GNRL 6149|
|Pre/Anti-requisites||Anti-requisite: LAW 6149 - Introduction to Graduate Legal Studies|
This course is designed for students entering graduate legal studies without an LLB or equivalent degree from Canada. Students will be provided with some of the basic analytical and research skills necessary to complete graduate legal studies alongside those students who do have a law degree from Canada. The focus throughout will be on providing students with an intellectual map of the field as well as an analytical framework to approach legal issues. We will also explore how legal issues should not be taken in isolation, but rather should be viewed through the prism of their social, historical, economic or cultural context.Topics to be covered include: 1. The fundamental principles and framework upon which law as a system is based, including the origins and workings of the common law and civil law, the constitution, the court system and regulatory or administrative tribunals. Students will also be introduced to rights-based discourse and limits upon state action through the medium of the charter of rights and concepts such as the rule of law. 2. Sources of legal narrative such as statutes, case law and secondary literature. Students will also develop a sense of how these different sources fit within the hierarchical structure of the Canadian justice system. Examples from areas such as family law, tort/contract law and criminal law will be used not only to introduce students to these areas, but also to situate them within the Canadian legal framework. Concepts such as statutory interpretation, the primacy of statute and discerning the will of the legislature will be covered. Students will acquire an understanding of how case law evolves through the narrative constructs such as stare-decisis, ratio decidendi and obiter dicta. 3. The basics of legal reasoning and argument, including rule-based reasoning, analogy-based reasoning and policy-based reasoning. 4. Effective formulation of written and/or oral legal argument. Students will develop skills in the structure, strategy and style of legal writing. Topics to be covered in include the avoidance of "legalese", how to write plainly and persuasively and the necessity of tables of authorities and proper citation. Students will be introduced to searching for authorities electronically, i.e. Quiklaw, E-Laws, etc. 5. The practice of law, including the rules of professional conduct, fiduciary duties and conflicts of interest.
All courses and schedules are subject to change.