The CPLED Program consists of nine modules; three one-week modules delivered face-to-face in the classroom and six modules delivered online using a course management system called Desire2Learn. Articling students will research, analyze, write, draft, debate, present and discuss a number of real life situations. The program also presents legal and ethical situations that may be encountered in practice.
Face-to-face modules are usually one week long. These modules will focus on the skills such as interviewing, negotiations and advocacy skills. There will be a combination of plenary and small learning group activities. During the face-to-face modules, articling students are not available to do any firm work. They will have considerable preparation to complete before the face-to-face modules begin. During the face-to-face modules articling students will be engaged in learning activities and competency evaluations.
During online modules articling students will spend 10 -15 hours a week on the CPLED Program. They may need more time when the area of law or skill is new to them. The CPLED program is a self-directed learning program. Resources are available to assist the students, but there is no formal instruction given (i.e. lectures).
The online modules are presented by way of a virtual law firm. Most units consist of instructions, background readings, a learning exercise, client files, an assignment or competency evaluation and assessment criteria. The background readings and learning exercise are resources that may help articling students complete the assignment or competency evaluation. The assessment criteria outline what their assignment or competency evaluation must demonstrate. The assignment or competency evaluation describes the work they must do.
Assignments and competency evaluations focus on a variety of practice skills, including:
- arguing a motion
- interviewing a client
- negotiating a dispute
- writing opinion letters
- preparing research memos
- writing opinion letters to clients
- writing letters to opposing counsel
- drafting pleadings
- drafting commercial documents
In each module, articling students are assigned to a learning group. Each learning group is assigned a learning group facilitator (LGF). These lawyers guide the articling students’ learning and help them acquire the competencies they need to be successful in the practice of law. During online modules, LGFs interact with articling students by responding to their email questions, participating in discussions, and providing feedback on assignments.