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French language legal education
Posted Monday, December 12, 2011 1:53 PM
The Faculty of Law at the U of M is receiving a grant from the federal government that will bolster French-language legal education in Manitoba.

“This grant is important because currently, Francomanitobans are underserviced,” says Lorna Turnbull, dean. “Any student wanting to receive legal education in French, even if he or she intends to practice in this province, must go to Ottawa, Montreal or Moncton. We have already taken a small step to address this issue by adding a course delivered in French and these funds will help us to expand our offerings.”

The grant is $128,500 over 18 months from the “Access to Justice in Both Official Languages Support Fund” of the federal department of justice. It will be part of a project called: “Renforcement de la capacité de la faculté de droit de l’Université du Manitoba d’offrir aux étudiants en droit une formation en français.” (In English: “Building French language education at the U of M Faculty of Law.”

The grant includes funds to support the Français Juridique course that law professor Gerald Heckman developed and a new course on minority language rights. In addition, French-language opportunities will be introduced in the first year of the law program through currently offered “judge shadowing” and legal methods courses by adding a French section. Internships for upper year students to serve French speaking clients will also be developed. The grant also includes funds to conduct a survey and for advertising.

Partners for this grant include the association des juristes de l’expression française du manitoba, the centre canadien de français juridique, la federation des associations de juristes de l’expression française and the secretariat aux affairs francophones of the Government of Manitoba. The faculty’s Bilingual Students Group is also key to the success of these new initiatives.
For more information, contact:
Mariianne Mays Wiebe
Editor, The Bulletin
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