The J.D. curriculum invites critical assessment of the role of law in society as well as the development of skills relevant to the practice of law. In addition to lectures and seminars, students are given an opportunity to develop, under supervision, some of the research, writing, and forensic skills which will prove essential in the practise of law.
In first year, students are acquainted with the various resource materials available in a law library, and develop legal research and writing skills. As part of the mandatory first-year Legal Systems course, students take part in Robson Hall’s Judge Shadowing program, where students get out of the classroom and into the courtroom. Seeing the law in action humanises the casebook for students who consistently rank the course highly, describing it as: “the best part of first year learning … that brings together everything in the courses and adds a dose of reality.”
In second and third years, students must participate in moot courts (fictitious trials and appeals) as in the mandatory second-year Introduction to Advocacy course, for example, which provides training in research, examination of witnesses, and courtroom argument, as well as the hands-on Negotiation course, which trains students for dispute resolution advocacy.
Students may choose to further hone their advocacy training in second and third year by trying-out for the Robson Hall Mooting Program, to represent Robson Hall in various moot competitions across Canada.
In third year, students may choose from a range of for-credit Clinical Courses including the following:
Robson Hall operates the L. Kerry Vickar Business Law Clinic headed by a faculty-based director and supported by volunteer supervisors from the practising bar. This community-focused clinic provides law students with real-world experience in assessing and analyzing the start-up and governance needs of entrepreneurs and not-for-profit entities by preparing legal information useful to them. The Clinic gives third-year students hands-on exposure to business law while also providing clients with helpful background materials informing and assisting them in their dealings with their own lawyers.
Read the full course description.
Students have opportunities to work with the Faculty Members who edit the well-known scholarly journals housed at Robson Hall, including the Canadian Journal of Human Rights - Canada’s only journal focusing on Human Rights, the Manitoba Law Journal, and the Asper Review of International Business and Trade Law. For-credit courses are available to second and third-year students under Scholarly Publications (Professor Short) and Scholarly Publications (Professor Schwartz and Professor MacPherson).
The University of Manitoba Law Centre commenced operation in 1970 with the two-fold purpose of furthering clinical education by exposing law students to actual legal problems and aiding persons who are unable financially to hire a lawyer or receive legal service through the existing Legal Aid Service Society of Manitoba. The Centre, as presently constituted, is the official adjunct of the Legal Aid Service Society of Manitoba and supervised by practising lawyers and members of the Faculty of Law.
As volunteers at the Centre, Second and Third Year students operate under the guidance of a supervising lawyer. Students are involved in everything from the initial interview to appearing in court if the case goes to trial. This is a great chance for you to put all your legal knowledge to use, and gain valuable experience at the same time. Academic credit is available, but students may also volunteer during the summer (even after first year!).
Read the full course description.
Under the auspices of the Legal Research Institute, students may work as research assistants to professors during the summer or regular term. Students also have the opportunity to work as editors of Robson Hall’s scholarly publications. See Journals and Publications (above). Visit the Research section of the website for more information about Research at Robson Hall.
Robson Crim is an immersive and intensive clinical set of opportunities for students interested in the criminal law area. Robson Crim houses the Robson Hall Innocence Clinic (which can also be taken as a course) where students are immersed in working on real files under the supervision of Professor David Ireland.
Additionally, Robson Crim administers the REED Designation which allows students to earn co-curricular credits for legal blawgs of a substantial nature. Meritorious blawgs are published on the Robson Crim website.
Robson Crim also receives submissions from an international cadre of legal scholars and students and conducts editing and peer review of these pieces. Robson Crim boasts an advisory collective of experts that spans North America and Europe and provides an excellent source of interesting news and opportunities for members of the practice-based and scholarly legal community.
Robson Crim trains students in legal and scholarly publications to produce an annual criminal law edition of the Manitoba Law Journal. Students are trained in citation checking, peer review administration, legal writing, deadline management, author networking, and marketing, in this intensive experience.
Robson Crim also holds special events highlighting issue of injustice in criminal law systems.
To read our journal, blawgs and to learn more about our special events, please visit our website. Robson Crim also has a vibrant Facebook and Twitter profile, engaging regularly in discussion of current affairs in criminal law and justice.
The Rights Clinic was founded in July 2022 to expand the clinical offerings at the University of Manitoba Faculty of Law and to advocate for the protection and advancement of rights. It has a specific focus on assisting Manitobans with rights-advancing issues and cases in the areas of environmental rights, Charter rights, Indigenous rights, disability rights, and privacy rights, amongst others.
The Rights Clinic is intended to play an important role in providing pro bono legal services to marginalized and under-served individuals, communities, groups, and organizations while also acting to increase public awareness about rights-related topics and concerns.
There are four main components to the Rights Clinic:
- case-focused advocacy through tribunals and courts;
- non-litigation advocacy, raising public awareness about vital rights issues;
- rights-related academic research, in the form of a mini “think tank”; and
- informational presentations and seminars so that members of the public can be better informed about their rights and the rights of others.