Bentley talks Law Practice Program at OBA Institute

  • February 07, 2014

Chris BentleyInput from legal profession essential

TORONTO -- Chris Bentley, who is spearheading Ryerson University's new Law Practice Program, says input from the legal profession is essential to the success of the program.

"To get this program as strong as possible, we need strong input from the legal profession," said Bentley in Friday's keynote address at OBA Institute.

Bentley said the LPP will be an alternative path to the licensing of lawyers, operating in parallel to traditional articling, but not replacing it.

LPP students will be grouped in four-person "virtual law firms", learning everything from how to prepare court documents to how to do client intake. "They will comport themselves as if they were lawyers," Bentley said.

The LPP students will then be placed in four-month work terms to get real-world experience. Because of their training, they will be able to "hit the ground running," instantly adding value to a law practice, Bentley said.

Ryerson is seeking advice from the legal profession on the curriculum of the program, as well as mentors and work placement positions. The program will admit its first students in September 2014.

"At the end if the day, law is the foundation of society, so having a strong foundation for legal training is essential for a strong society," Bentley said.

Bentley was introduced by OBA president Pascale Daigneault. Greetings from the Canadian Bar Association were brought by Michele Hollins, first vice-president of the CBA.

More than 1,800 lawyers took part in OBA Institute, making it the largest legal meeting of its kind in Canada.

OBA Institute continues Saturday.