The Lone Wolf Of Law Schools
Up in the wilds of Montreal, Canada, McGill Law School has a curriculum offered nowhere else. The “transsystemic” law program has been in practice at McGill since 1999 but has not been adopted anywhere else in the world, and was the focus of a recent Canada Lawyer Magazine feature.
Here’s a perhaps insultingly oversimplified explanation of the program: The curriculum educates students not from the perspective of a specific jurisdiction, but from the perspective of many diverse jurisdictions. The curriculum has recently been praised in the Canada Lawyer Magazine feature by some important scholars and graduates students with common and civil law degrees. According to the article, some are even suggesting it as the future of legal education. Kind of makes sense in an increasingly globalized world.
But it has been around for 15 years. Do you know what else was happening in 1999 while the McGill Programme was being established? We were losing our minds over Y2K. The Euro was introduced. President Clinton was impeached. Michael Jordan retired. Family Guy aired its first episode. It is (probably) a safe assumption more people around the world know about Family Guy than the McGill Programme. Why?
The referenced article has some suggestions. First of all, it takes a lot of work to restructure curriculum. That’s kind of a weak point, though. The article also suggests law schools “must do serious soul searching.” The beauty of this unique program is just that: It is unique to McGill. The program is a strength of McGill, and instead of emulating it, law schools should find their own unique strengths. Boom.
Ergo, the seemingly brilliant McGill Programme shouldn’t catch on in other schools because if the schools want to take the time to implement significant curriculum shifts, those shifts should come from within.
Source: Canada Law Magazine