History of the Faculty of Law

Today's Faculty

Throughout many decades of change, the Faculty of Law has consistently maintained a strong focus on providing students with the most up-to-date resources. This commitment to the continuous improvement of the Faculty and its facilities has resulted in the Law Centre undergoing several renovations since it was first built. These changes included closing in an original courtyard, adding more student space, and introducing advanced technology in several classrooms.

The new Law Centre includes larger classrooms, modern study areas, and offices for faculty, administration, graduate students, as well as various student groups.

The building also houses the Alberta Law Reform Institute, the Canadian Forum on Civil Justice, the Centre for Constitutional Studies, the Health Law Institute, and the International Ombudsman Institute. With all of these centres and institutes under one roof, the Law Centre truly is a home for innovative legal research.

The John A. Weir Memorial Law Library, named after the Faculty’s first dean, John Alexander Weir, is also a very important part of the Faculty. The Weir Law Library , as it is commonly known, is a valued research resource for students, faculty and members of the legal community at large, as it boasts one of the largest law library collections in Canada

In recognition of the cultural need for more Aboriginal lawyers, the Faculty introduced the Indigenous Law Program in 1991 in order to attract Aboriginal students to the Faculty and support them during their studies.

The Faculty of Law currently has 500 students and over 30 full-time Faculty members. The Faculty counts among its members, nationally and internationally renowned scholars and leaders in legal research. As our instructors are some of the best in the country, it is no surprise that our students regularly receive prestigious honours, including Supreme Court clerkships, Moot Court competition recognition and essay awards. The Faculty of Law provides its graduates with a comprehensive legal foundation, which allows them to pursue any area of law with confidence.

The Faculty of Law is committed to providing its students with an enriching experience. Not only is it important for students to learn the fundamentals of the law, but equally so, to appreciate its relevance. The Faculty welcomes weekly speakers who discuss the most current legal and social issues, provoking thought in young legal minds.

Students also benefit from being members of a diverse student body, which includes students from across North America. The highly regarded graduate program (LLM and PhD) also attracts students from as far away as Asia, Africa and Europe. The Faculty of Law welcomes visiting students as well as international exchange students.

Students can also gain a global appreciation for the law with participation in classes such as "Pacific Rim Law: Japanese Law", which has been taught at the Faculty for over a decade. Although this course was previously taught in its entirety by professors from Japan, the current set up allows for a professor from Japan to teach the first four weeks of the course, and then have a local instructor complete the term.

The Faculty of Law is very pleased to maintain an active educational exchange program, which also includes a relationship with the University of Siena in Tuscany, Italy.

The Faculty of Law student body has a very strong social conscience, as many student groups are dedicated to community service.

The many deans, faculty members and sessional instructors who have served the Faculty, have made significant contributions to the legal community in their own right. They have also helped the Faculty of Law to train a long list of distinguished alumni who have advanced the law for all.

The Faculty of Law is now proudly celebrating years in the Law Centre. With so much activity taking place in the Law Centre, the halls are always filled with an abundance of energy. The world is not the same place it was when the Faculty of Law began years ago; yet our students will forever remain connected to the Faculty’s earliest alumni by a shared passion for the law. For almost a century, our students have honoured the pioneering spirit of the Faculty’s founders by carrying on their strong tradition of excellence.