Study favours a law school for MUN

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The verdict is in: Memorial University should have a law school according to an expansive feasibility study released this afternoon.

MUN clock tower

A committee from the university has been holding consultations and studying the possibility of setting up a law school in the province since February of this year.

The final report speaks in glowing language about the possibilities  a law school could facilitate.

“The extensive feedback we have received for this study permits us to see the extraordinary potential of a law school to spark intellectual growth and development within the university and to deepen the university’s public engagement with communities throughout the province,” the final report says.

The committee is recommending a school with around 20 professors and 240 students — for an annual graduating class of around 80 students.

All of this wouldn’t come cheap.

“Some would say that the costs of such a law school present an insurmountable challenge to its feasibility,” the report says.

“While we have been asked not to make costs a deciding factor in our evaluation, it is appropriate that we make clear the approximate costs of the kind of law school we have in mind.”

To set up the school would likely cost around $26 million, although that could be cheaper if MUN could find existing office and classroom space for the law school.

The ongoing cost to run it would be about $5 million; that would likely require a subsidy from the government, since tuition fees would only be able to raise around $3.6 million.

The feasibility study spends a lot more time on the potential merits of a law school, and the traditional role that studying law has played in a university system.

“Law touches every aspect of our lives,” the report says, “There is no activity or behaviour that is without a legal framework or context, and it is for this reason that the study of law is grounded in universities and has been for hundreds of years.”

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Recent comments

  • Mike
    December 12, 2013 - 22:40

    More lawyers? Don't think so! I vote less lawyers, less politicians and less people that want everything for nothing. Does anyone else see self-destruction in the future?

  • Michael Laurie
    December 12, 2013 - 21:25

    As a retired lawyer and UBC graduate, I am delighted that this report speaks highly of creating a law school at MUN added costs notwithstanding. Everything one does of value is directly proportionate tin expense to its worth. BC has two schools and had the one been at UVic when I finished my undergraduate studies there, it is unlikely I would have experienced instruction in the old tar-papered shacks erected after WW II at UBC of its Point Grey campus in Vancouver. After I graduated at UBC there have been two law schools built. Law firms and private donations raised thousands of dollars for its new law building last year and the same might be done for a new building for law at MUN. The results of having such a school will be amazin g and beyond gratuitous clinics generally to the needy. LW touches every aspect of life and our province is no longer the economic runt of Canada and it deserves the prestige for MUN only a law school can supply. Thank you! Slan agus biennacht,, no chaide Michael J, Laurie. Retired Barrister and Solicitor Strathlaurie House, 48 Main Street, Wabana, Bell Island. NL AOA 1H0 Tel (709) 488-3818

  • Another Bayman
    December 12, 2013 - 19:45

    We need more doctors, not more lawyers. How about doubling the number of students accepted into medical school?

  • Ryan J A Murphy
    December 12, 2013 - 15:43

    I still think we should think about alternative expenditures for the $25m+ first!

  • Guy Incognito
    December 12, 2013 - 15:27

    "Law touches every aspect of our lives" Unfortunately this is true. Lawyers have inserted themselves everywhere. From buying a house to the ambulance chasers looking for personal injury clients and class action lawsuits. They don't deal in justice, their job is to work the system for their clients. Better call Ches!!

  • Jay
    December 12, 2013 - 15:21

    This is one of the most ridiculous reports I've ever heard of. How can you call a report written by "a committee from the university" an expansive feasibility study? It's just a self-serving report written by a special interest group in the university and the legal community, which wants to build another empire at taxpayers' expense. A report which doesn't include costs a deciding factor is simply not a feasibility study. A report such as this just proves how irrelevant the university is. Surely we're not stupid enough to swallow this baloney.

  • David
    December 12, 2013 - 14:51

    A study conducted by "a committee from the university" is in favor of a law school. Just imagine! I'm guessing that a study conducted by the people who must pay for it would come to an entirely different conclusion.

  • Nick
    December 12, 2013 - 14:42

    It will only lead to make the oversupply situation in legal profession worse. Right now, new lawyers are making $ 40 K. They will start making minimum wages pretty soon because of supply and demand situation. Some vested interest will, of course, profit hence the positive verdict.

    • Guy Incognito
      December 12, 2013 - 16:17

      Is that why a lot of lawyers are trolling the dregs of society for work?? Full of litigation by trolling the personal injury pool and drumming up class action lawsuits. Representing the professional defendant.

    December 12, 2013 - 14:28

    I would have thought we have more than enough Lawyers here already. !. God help us.!

  • Joannie
    December 12, 2013 - 14:24

    Based on the number of law graduates entering and graduating from mainland universities, and then the number of these new lawyers seeking but not finding positions, I have a hard time believing that MUN needs to contribute to that worrisome picture and not at a minimal cost. I am not encouraged by this report.