Building your knowledge and skills

Being a student in Dal's Schulich School of Law means you'll attend traditional academic lectures and seminar courses that will expand your knowledge of the law and improve your analytic skills. You'll also take courses or programs that help you build your knowledge and skills through practical experience.

As a second- and third-year student, you’ll be able to participate in one or more of several mooting programs. In these moots, you’ll learn and practice various advocacy skills, including persuasive legal writing, preparation of factums, proper courtroom decorum, and oral advocacy.

In the required moot court course, you’ll be assigned a moot problem and a side—appellant or respondent—and then follow various procedures to moot a hypothetical case. Second-year students act as counsel, while third-year students act as judges. If you’re part of the best second-year moot counsel, you’ll have the opportunity to compete in your third year for the Smith Shield, a prestigious Dalhousie award.

Many other mooting programs and courses are offered:

  • the Jessup International Moot Court Competition, a world-wide event on a problem of international law
  • the Laskin Moot (an administrative-constitutional moot)
  • the Kawaskimhon Aboriginal Rights Moot
  • Securities Law Moot
  • the Gale Cup Moot Court Competition (among all Canadian common law schools)
  • the Canadian Labour Arbitration Moot
  • the Sopinka Cup, a two-day event aimed at encouraging law schools to train students in oral advocacy