chapter  4
Public Interest Vocationalism: A Way Forward for Legal Education in Canada 1
ByRichard Devlin, Jocelyn Downie
Pages 25

This chapter analyses the concept of vocationalism to determine if it can provide a useful vantage point from which to assess the perceived decline in the Canadian legal profession. A significant number of Canadians go abroad for a legal education, and several schools in the United Kingdom and Australia have a dedicated Canadian stream. In a series of speeches, the Chief Justice of Canada, Beverley Mclachlin, has expressed serious concerns about access to justice in Canada and has explicitly identified the legal profession as part of the problem. 'Vocationalism' is derived from the Latin vocation, meaning 'a calling'. Historically, a vocation has been closely identified with religion God calling someone into service. In sharing these reflections on ethics pedagogy at the Schulich School of Law, the author's are not claiming total success in the pursuit of public interest vocationalism. While vocationalism's roots in medicine were also religious, here it has become more professionalized and the links to religion have waned.