Should Canadian Law Schools Specialize?

Doug Jasinski

Interesting article in the Financial Post discussing the trend towards law schools in Canada specializing in certain niches – First Nations, Energy, et al. The trend is already well underway and perhaps already beyond the point of no return at this stage, but it raises the question for me of how well students entering law school know (or should know) how their future careers will unfold. For those with laser focus on a particular niche, specialized legal training could be a boon. But I wonder about students who aren’t so sure what their future looks like foreclosing opportunities by being channelled into an industry or practice area stream before they have much insight into whether such a path is the right role for them, or being sidelined if they determine early on that other legal areas are a better fit for them personally. Food for thought. Link to full article in the Financial Post below.


The Canadian Bar Association is a strong supporter of the “niche” approach to legal education. The CBA’s Legal Futures Initiative, which includes a white paper called Transforming the Delivery of Legal Services in Canada, cites the immensity of knowledge and skills required of lawyers now and going forward, and focuses on specialization as the direction legal education should take.

Source: Financial Post


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