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.”