By Manroop Aulakh
With the first class set to graduate from Toronto Metropolitan University’s (TMU) Lincoln Alexander School of Law (LASL) next year, students say they are happy with the Integrated Practice Curriculum (IPC).
The IPC model is a program that equips students with the various requirements set by the Law Society of Ontario (LSO) to become a lawyer without completing articling. Where some students may struggle to obtain an articling position, the IPC model integrates articling into the three-year law school curriculum.
Abineshka Elanko, a second-year law student, said she is enjoying the program so far. She added that she chose TMU Law because it boasts an innovative culture, especially in terms of racial diversity and technology.
“It’s a very diverse group and the professors and administration are committed to students’ well-being and transforming the legal profession,” she said.
In their first and second years, students complete multiple assignments with a focus on examining the impacts of technological advancement on the rights and freedoms of individuals, society at large and the environment. Students also complete a 15-week professional practice placement in their final year.
Joio Luel, another second-year law student, thinks the IPC is a great educational opportunity.
“I was excited about the IPC and that’s something that most other law schools don’t have, along with the focus on technology as well.”
She added that the professors are great and very supportive, but said she is concerned with study space.
“I think it’s challenging that we are in a small space because there is only one floor [but] once we get a new building it would be great.”
In 2017, LASL received approval from the provincial government and welcomed its first set of students in 2020.
As previously reported by The Eyeopener, LASL will “take a unique approach to legal education to break the traditional mode,” according to Tony Staffieri, chair of TMU’s board of governors.
Elanko said she has had the opportunity to do a business practicum, with mentors including lawyers who provide them with hands-on experience.
Though uncommon, TMU is not the first school to implement the IPC model.
In 2013, Lakehead University announced that it would be implementing the IPC model.
Jordynne Hislop, a 2020 graduate of Lakehead University, said she had a great experience with the IPC program and felt like she gained a lot of great practical experience.
“In the second year, we went through a hearing process and got to draft all the pleadings which are something that some colleagues don’t get to experience at other schools.”
Hislop said she had no trouble finding a job once graduating and worked in her first summer of law school as well.
Nicholas Petrozzi, a 2022 graduate of Lakehead University, also said he really enjoyed the practical experience of the program.
“It truly prepared me for starting as an associate and an articling student and I think there is a ton of value in the experience it offers.”