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, 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, July 15, 2013
Grand Falls Windsor, July 16, 2013
Corner Brook, July 16, 2013
Happy Valley-Goose Bay, T July 18, 2013
Memorial University, Sept. 9, 2013
St. John's, September 10, 2013
A final report was delivered to Memorial president and vice-chancellor Gary Kachanoski in December 2013.
The next step is the proposal phase where a number of issues including curriculum, student recruitment, costs and potential joint programs will be looked at in greater detail.
This proposal phase will be undertaken by an internal Memorial committee comprised of Ann Browne (associate vice-president, Facilities Management), Dr. Wilfred Zerbe (dean, Faculty of Business Administration), Dr. Noreen Golfman (dean, School of Graduate Studies), Dr. Phillips, Karen Kennedy (internal consultant, Office of the Provost) and Janet Harron (communications coordinator, Faculty of Arts).