The College of Manitoba is strengthening Francophone authorized schooling in western Ontario

The Senate of the University of Manitoba approved the creation of this program in January. It is being offered for the first time this fall at Robson Hall Law School. Ten courses in French have been approved by the senate, allowing students to earn nearly forty credits in law in French.

Students seeking a concentration in French must take almost one-third of their courses in that language, or 26 out of 92 credits. A University of Manitoba senate document shows the institution expects to have between 12 and 16 new courses. students per year in this concentration.

A better legal service offer in French starts from the university

Éric Gagnon, a second-year law student, did not hesitate to enroll in this concentration in French. The former student of the Division scolaire franco-manitobaine, who grew up in Sainte-Agathe, saw it as a way. resurrect [son] study in French.

This is a great program because if the plan is to develop a French language practice in Manitoba, we will definitely be working in two languages.he said, adding that a better legal service offer in French starting here at Robson Hall.

Second-year law student Eric Gagnon grew up in Sainte-Agathe.

Photo: Radio-Canada / Gavin Boutroy

Gerald Heckman, a law professor at the University of Manitoba and co-director of the Introduction to French Jurisprudence Concentration, says he has been working to create the concentration for 11 years with Lorna Turnbull, who is also a professor and co-director of the program.

This year we achieved some of our goal, which was official program recognition by the University of Manitoba senate.he is delighted, adding that his aim is above all to offer practical training.

The need to cry French-speaking lawyers

What we want to do is equip students so that they are ready to serve the francophone community. So we’re talking about communicating with their clients in French, we’re talking about representing their clients in court.continues Gerald Heckman.

Lorna Turnbull points out that there is the need to cry of bilingual lawyers in the state. There are firms that work in French and English, there is a great demand for the services of lawyers in French, but it is almost never the case that we can only work in French.he says.

Because this need has become much more urgent Changes to the Divorce Act coming into force in March 2021, including the right to conduct divorce proceedings in the official language of one’s choiceLaurent Turnbull says.

Lorna Turnbull in the family law library.

Law professor Lorna Turnbull notes that there is a great need for French-speaking family lawyers.

Photo: Radio-Canada / Gavin Boutroy

Ability to communicate with a lawyer or speak in court in one’s native language keep calm Difficult situations created by divorce, the professor adds.

Kennedy Pinette, a third-year law student, felt this need for French-speaking lawyers while interviewing for an internship. Coming from an immersion school, he decided to take French courses at the law school.

When I did my interviews for my internships, French was a question in every interview, which is something that people really look for and will be useful for the rest of my career.he explains.

Without these courses, I would not have been able to practice law in French because there is a lot of legal terminologyAdds Kennedy Pinette.

The problem of language insecurity

According to Gerald Heckman, immersion students make up the largest group in French courses. They usually have a first university degree in English and need to update their French skills.

That was the case for Bradley Legare, who is entering his second year in law. I believe [qu’il s’est écoulé] Between the time I graduated high school and the 10 years [le moment où] I started law school. During this period I [n’ai] there was no opportunity to speak French.

From an English-speaking mother and a French-speaking father, he works Reconnecting with French culture, [son] same last name.

I have seen what happens when one does not have the chance to speak French or practice French. My father can’t speak French now. He can understand, but he has lost all knowledge of the language. It was important for me not to miss itexplains Bradley Légaré.

    Bradley Legare on the green background.

Bradley Legare, who has an English-speaking mother and a French-speaking father, is entering his second year of law school.

Photo: Radio-Canada / Gavin Boutroy

The other two main student groups are Franco-Manitobans and students from French-speaking families, she adds, who want to reconnect with the French language. Due to their minority context, many suffer from language insecurity.

Feedback from both the profession and judges revealed that students may lack the confidence to speak.Lorna Turnbull says.

Courses such as legal methods require students to speak. Because it is a valuable course success Where failure, takes the pressure offLorna Turnbull continues. This gives the student time to refresh their language skills and apply and use them in a legal context.

French language coaching application

In Canada, only two general law programs are offered in French, at the University of Ottawa and the University of Moncton. Bilingual programs are also offered at the University of Ottawa and McGill University.

True Dash, a second-year law student from Ontario, was looking for a general law program in French, which she had studied over the past few years while living in Montreal.

True Dash, smiling.

True Dash, a second-year law student, has been studying French for the past three years while living in Montreal.

Image: TrueDash

In his eyes, the University of Manitoba program was more attractive than a program entirely in French. I think the expectation is that I’m bilingual. There is no support for students to learn, but there is a tutoring service in Manitoba, there is an understanding that we are learning French.he notes.

As Lorna Turnbull explains, despite the great need for lawyers and the attraction of French-speaking supervision, demand for French courses at English-speaking universities remains relatively low.

Offering courses with 8 or 12 people isn’t always cost-effective, but that’s the way to do it when you’re in the minority.He says federal government funding was essential to creating the program.

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