I am far from convinced there is a credible case to be made for a law school at Memorial University as Marie-Beth Wright argued in The Telegram Sept. 3. She makes a number of dubious points but I will only expose you to the view expressed by her, as follows.
“Having an in-house, in-province law school would broaden awareness of careers in law throughout the province. In all communities, careers in this field would enter the mainstream consciousness as an attainable option...”
I guess the obvious questions are at what price and is it really necessary?
It appears we have already appealed to our “mainstream consciousness” since there are the better part of 1,000 lawyers in the province. So, by almost any matrix you wish to measure it, we appear to have enough lawyers with provisions to add more made at other established schools.
Consequently, this argument is very thin and if our “mainstream consciousness” has the luxury of considering a law school … boy, are we on the wrong track.
But I suspect there is a very powerful lobby underway to establish and underwrite the considerable cost of this new school; a school which may be very convenient for those in the proximity of Elizabeth Avenue St. John’s, but of little value to others.
In any event, and generally speaking, it’s not a good idea academically to do all undergraduate and post-graduate studies at the same institution.
Watch for the signs, watch for the potential legislation. There is
a very influential and well-connected group who will push hard for this.
So if you are at all inclined to think a law school and the tens of millions of dollars required to put it in place and sustain its annual operating cost is a perversion of our priorities, then push back — and push back very hard.