Skip to main content

Querying the Idea of a Canon for Legal Studies in Canada

Thomas McMorrow, Associate Professor and Undergraduate Program Director, Liberal Studies, Faculty of Social Science and Humanities, University of Ontario Institute of Technology

Published April 20, 2018 by Technologies of Justice.

On January 27, 2018, Thomas McMorrow queried the idea of a canon for legal studies in Canada during a session on legal education at the Technologies of Justice Conference, held at the University of Ontario Institute of Technology.



McMorrow asked the big question: "How do we define who we are and what we do in legal studies and as educators?" He defined 'canon' within the legal education sphere and asked, "How do you want to learn?"
McMorrow brought up questions on the works that should be canon in legal studies, the foundational content law students should be taught, and which texts encompass 'legal thought' and 'legal thinking' and include the substance of law the most accurately. He emphasized the need to teach students how to think like a lawyer, looking for the basics we can set in stone for legal students.
He investigated the student perspective, asking what it means to learn law, what provides value, and how the works you like define you as a person and a lawyer. He also discussed the aspects of traditionalism and modernism, showing how change and metamorphosis is constantly required of legal education.