Memorial University is currently exploring the possibility of a law school.
The review is restricted to the consideration of a faculty of law as a professional school, as opposed to a degree program or department of law. The review also examines the demographics of existing Canadian law schools, current and future needs for more lawyers, and benefits to Memorial, among other goals.
There have been two previous considerations by the university of establishing a law school. The Harris Report, 1976, concluded that there was no demonstrated need for a law school at Memorial, and the Bruce Report, 1987, which endorsed a law school in principle, but not at that time.
In 2012, the Law Foundation of Newfoundland and Labrador and the provincial branch of the Canadian Bar Association supported a review of the concept of a Faculty of Law, a position later endorsed by the Chief Justice of Newfoundland and Labrador.
Dr. Lynne Phillips, Dean of the Faculty of Arts, is chaired a committee which included Morgan Cooper, Memorial's Associate Vice-President Academic (Faculty Affairs); Karen Kennedy, internal consultant in the provost's office; Bert Riggs, Head of Archives and Special Collections, QEII Library; Heather Clarke, PhD student in the Faculty of Business; Janet Harron, communications coordinator, Faculty of Arts; Justice A.E. (Fonse) Faour, Supreme Court of Newfoundland and Labrador, Trial Division; and Dr. Peter MacKinnon, president emeritus and former dean of law, University of Saskatchewan.
Public consultations took place across the province on the following dates:
Gander, Monday July 15, 7-8:30 p.m., The Hotel Gander
Grand Falls Windsor, Tuesday July 16, 10 to 11:30 a.m., The Mount Peyton Hotel
Corner Brook, Tuesday July 16, 7 to 8:30 p.m., Grenfell Campus. Room AS2016
Happy Valley-Goose Bay, Thursday July 18, 11 to 12:30 p.m., Labrador Institute, Room 106, College of the North Atlantic
Memorial University, Monday September 9, noon to 1 p.m., Junior Common Room, Gushue Hall
St. John's, Tuesday September 10, 7 to 8:30 p.m., The Rocket Room, 272 Water Street
The committee has now delivered a report to the president. A news release was issued on December 12, 2013. The university welcomes comments from members of the public regarding the possibilities proposed by the report.
The report is available at http://www.mun.ca/president/initiatives/taskforce.php and comments about the report can be sent to Tracey Pittman, co-ordinator of the Vice-Presidents Council, at firstname.lastname@example.org until Jan. 31, 2014.