ENGLUED: CHANGING STRUCTURES OF LEGAL EDUCATION. Lego is a methaphore for Globalised Law

Last March 2, professor Shauna Van Praagh has been invited by the TransJus at the Faculty of Law of the University of Barcelona to speak about innovations in the field of teaching law at McGill University.


The activity has been introduced by Dr. Mar Campins, Assistant Dean of International Relations and Research of the Faculty of Law, University of Barcelona.



McGill University has an obvious choice for a new plastic-brick structure of law. This means a combination of every country’s Law, because “to be a good lawyer you have to start to look into the past”. This is the reason why, in this University, professors draw lessons from the past and from different traditions of law (polysemy, trans sistemicity and trans disciplinarity).

Legal traditions and systems are constantly explored through a comparative, integrated lens that is unique around the world, including a better understanding of indigenous Law through problem-based learning. This approach is against teaching one unified Law for each country. The solution for justice is a good education of jurists who have to start with an international law vision. Consequently, it takes legal education one step further, so as to create jurists with solutions to the most typical law problems in the whole world and to promote flexibility, creativity and innovation in law such as the interpretation and creation of laws, rules, treaties, norms, iura, jurisprudence… Therefore asking questions and giving answers.

One technique is being bilingual (English-French) and rigorously bijural: McGill Law sits at the epicentre of two major legal traditions of the western world — the civil law and the common law.

From its earliest days, McGill has been a bridge between these two traditions. The McGill program is a global model for legal education that adapts to the changing shape of our world without borders. [McGill University, 2018] This is the challenge!

  1. Play well-unglue the Lego

(Metaphor) To add more programs, languages, information is better, this is what globalisation means. This institution uses spaces to talk about the world and other spaces to focus on one legal system at a time. Let’s beat uncertainty! Lego/’play-well’: classic pieces match with the new ones.


Legal education and Lego combine competency and creativity. Like the characters, we want to break down divisions, barriers, and sustain creativity to solve cases. The father (represents common law) and the son (representing civil law) created plastic-brick structures/law.

Transdiscipinarity and transistemicity: questions and transgresses barriers, it matches the pieces and people, enriches learning, students are able to progress what is learned in a more flexible way. The Lego walls separate the disciplines. Nevertheless, we must unglue them to relate and compare them. This way we will find solutions.

  1. Mc Gill- “Doin’ the Trans systemic

“Legal traditions of the world”

The Transsystemic method integrates common law and civil law degrees for the 1st time in the world. Combining contractual and extra contractual law, is an example of transistemicity, such as combining criminal law with family law amongst others, namely, Roman law and French law, a part from combining indigenous law, plus civil law and common law (public law), as already stated.

  1. Conclusion/lessons

To sum up, with this method we can rebuild, change and demolish structures and students can mix, match and solve social problems. Moreover, students deal with lives issues and satisfy the common interest.

Responding to globalization does not destruct local law; it combines it, conserving its individuality. This is reflected when Lego movie’s people used their skills to fix and the daughter came and criticized to construct a better world.

Lego builders (law teachers) should work in teams to increase the student’s recreation, fluency of global law, constructions… Even though, when complexity is given we look for safety (common law). Let’s be brave, and actualize!



Mc Gill. Faculty of Law. A global model of legal education. BCL/LLB curriculum renewal. [3/3/201]. https://www.mcgill.ca/law/future

Cronicle by Linda Lower, Student of the Faculty of Law, University of Barcelona.



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