Fear of Two-Tiers in Ontario
Omar Ha-Redeye, a Toronto civil litigator who writes a legal blog, said that skepticism – even resistance – is to be expected when details are so skimpy about a program that will transform a bedrock prerequisite to legal practice.
“Convocation passed a policy this week – not a detailed program,” Mr. Ha-Redeyes aid. “It’s [more than] a leap of faith – you have to suspend belief.”
Mr. Ha-Redeye said large firms have made it clear that they are unlikely to take on co-op students. “The irony here is that we may just be swapping an articling shortage for a co-op shortage.”
Mr. Ha-Redeye said the legal profession has tended to be in perpetual denial of any inequities.
“That makes it difficult for them to recognize any tier, let alone a tier that emerges from a reform of the licensing process,” he said.
However, Mr. Ha-Redeye said the new program should not be written off prematurely, since articling has ample shortcomings of its own.
“It is not an exaggeration to say that there are some articling students who simply become professional photocopiers over the 10-month term,” he said.
“In fact, the majority either become proficient at memo writing or at document review. I question whether these are the types of skills that are necessary for entry into practice.”