McGill panel explores the future of legal education — Canadian Lawyer

Shahir Guindi Ad. E.

Jan 17, 2018

McGill University’s Faculty of Law recently hosted a panel of jurists to discuss the topic of legal education – and where it’s headed. Legal journalist Elizabeth Raymer attended the panel discussion and reported on the highlights of the event in an article in Legal Feeds, the blog of Canadian Lawyer and Law Times. Moderated by McGill Law dean Robert Leckey, the panel featured a number of legal experts, including Shahir Guindi, Osler’s National Co-Chair.  

One of the questions that the panelists explored is what’s needed to be a successful lawyer. They all agreed that while it is important to have practical training, it’s also beneficial to have a diverse personal and educational background. Shahir related a story about a law student asking him if she should work in a law firm after her first year of law school. He recalls telling her not to, and to “[r]un away from a law firm until you have to be there!” He emphasized that prospective lawyers need to distinguish themselves and to first “do missionary work in Africa, travel the world, climb Machu Picchu … bring something to the table that the rest of your peers don’t have … A perspective beyond just law is what law schools are missing.”

Shahir also commented on the gaps in today’s legal training. “Law firms are now competing with internal legal departments that are sophisticated,” he said. “Project management, CRM [customer relationship management systems] and artificial intelligence; there needs to be a course on the business of law.”

Read more about the discussion in “McGill panel explores the future of legal education” by Elizabeth Raymer in the January 17, 2018 edition of Legal Feeds.