Legal education in Scotland in a rocky landscape: Scotland the Brave?

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Slides for the keynote address by Margaret Ross (University of Aberdeen) at UKCLE's Enhancing legal education in Scotland conference, 5 November 2009.

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Legal education in Scotland in a rocky landscape: Scotland the Brave?

  1. 1. Legal Education in Scotland in a rocky landscape – Scotland the Brave? Prof Margaret L Ross, School of Law University of Aberdeen
  2. 2. Background <ul><ul><li>Scotland’s traditions in legal education </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Law study for its own sake </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Impact of market forces </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Widening participation </li></ul></ul>
  3. 3. Eveline MacLaren LLB (Edinburgh, 1909)
  4. 4. Approaches to learning and information <ul><li>Setting law in context </li></ul><ul><li>Law all around us </li></ul><ul><li>Refocussing legal education </li></ul><ul><li>Agendas for change at all levels </li></ul>
  5. 5. Regulation, confidence, creativity – legal services <ul><li>Legal Services (Scotland) Bill </li></ul><ul><li>Regulatory objectives </li></ul><ul><li>Professional principles </li></ul><ul><li>wide definition of “legal services” </li></ul>
  6. 6. Regulation, confidence, creativity – legal education <ul><li>professional accreditation guidelines awaited </li></ul><ul><li>familiarity with quality and compliance processes </li></ul><ul><li>creativity </li></ul><ul><li>collaboration </li></ul><ul><li>competition </li></ul><ul><li>commercial awareness </li></ul><ul><li>confidence (mutual) </li></ul>
  7. 7. Public Funding <ul><li>mandates government involvement </li></ul><ul><li>reduced funds across public sector </li></ul><ul><li>public: private activities and impact </li></ul><ul><li>“ performance indicators” that matter to students, sponsors and funders </li></ul>
  8. 8. Public Legal Education <ul><li>pre-law school education and skills </li></ul><ul><li>empowerment of the public </li></ul><ul><li>opportunities for law schools and law students </li></ul><ul><li>the “informed” client – opportunity or threat? </li></ul>
  9. 9. Professional values, probity and the world of legal advice <ul><li>what do lawyers do now? </li></ul><ul><li>what is different from skilled technicians? </li></ul><ul><li>where do we focus education in law? </li></ul><ul><li>how do we inspire and reward law teachers? </li></ul>
  10. 10. Conclusions <ul><li>Scotland – local strengths, international draw </li></ul><ul><li>Learning, probity and adaptability – know who we are </li></ul><ul><li>Acknowledge complimentary agendas </li></ul><ul><li>Rocky landscape – step carefully but confidently if suitably equipped </li></ul>

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