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Family Law Incubator will prepare graduates for changing legal market

Experiential learning model gets new lawyers ready to successfully meet clients' needs
February 10, 2017
Kyla Sandwith will run the Family Law Incubator as executive director.

Kyla Sandwith will run the Family Law Incubator as executive director.

Are you one of the 60 per cent of self-represented litigants who are in family court and cannot access or afford legal advice or representation?

The Family Law Incubator project at the University of Calgary Faculty of Law represents another step in its commitment to experiential learning and preparing lawyers of the future, while increasing access to justice.

The project will involve graduates serving a two-year term, during which they will complete their Articles and their first year as a practicing lawyer. In addition to the professional legal training articling students will receive, they will be given formal instruction in areas such as business planning, legal project management, marketing, and human resources, so that they are truly prepared in the practice of law.

Incubator combines hands-on learning with technology-based approach to practice

“We feel that graduates who work in the Family Law Incubator will receive a better level of training than traditional Articles,” says Ian Holloway, dean of the law school. “We will give them intense hands-on learning opportunities, while increasing the number of family law practitioners in the city.”

The incubator will also embrace, from the outset, a technology-based, paperless office approach to practice.

“The way law offices run is changing. We need to help students and graduates be prepared for the legal marketplace of the future, not the one my counterparts and I joined many years ago,” says Holloway.

Executive director Sandwith will help new lawyers thrive

The law school has hired Kyla Sandwith to run the incubator as executive director. Sandwith is a lawyer and legal operations and management consultant with a master's in law firm management. She is a pragmatic innovator committed to helping new lawyers thrive in the changing legal market.

“Through this project the Faculty of Law is addressing an unmet need in legal education, and I am proud to be a part of this endeavour. The next generation of lawyers will need more than an education in the profession of law, they will need to understand the business of law in order to keep pace with the changing market and effectively meet the needs of clients,” says Sandwith.

The Family Law Incubator will operate out of the University of Calgary’s Downtown Campus, and is expected to open early in the second quarter of 2017.