The Great Disconnect: Reconnecting the Academy to the Profession


  • Douglas D. Ferguson



This article examines what the author calls “the great disconnect” between law schools and the profession. After a discussion of the purpose of law school and the current status of the academy and articling, the article traces the history of the relationship between law faculties and the profession over the past century. This relationship has, for the past 50 years, resulted in little connection between the academy and the profession. Recent efforts by the Federation of Law Societies of Canada to regulate curriculum have now made the relationship more important than ever.

The author looks at the effect the great disconnect has had on Canadian law schools and makes a number of recommendations on their future relationship with the profession, including institutional links with law societies and the Canadian Bar Association. Curriculum reform can also help bridge the great disconnect by implementing an integrated approach to legal education proposed by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching, an approach that is being implemented in many law schools across the United States.