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Introduction: Back to the future of law school

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  • Introduction: Just over one hundred years ago, the first law students arrived at the University of Alberta, Faculty of Law. The University — still just a handful of brick buildings dotting a freshly cleared campus conveying more hopeful promise than venerable history — provided space, but not much else: practicing lawyers travelled across the North Saskatchewan River from downtown Edmonton to give the lectures, and the Law Society of Alberta set the exams. Students purchased or borrowed the assigned texts and studied an array of courses still familiar: contracts, property, constitutional law, statute law, common law, equity, torts, criminal law, evidence, private international law, practice and procedure, commercial law, company law, and wills. By the early 1920s, the Faculty of Law had gained full control of the LL.B. program, now the exclusive route of admission to the Bar in the province of Alberta. “This year will see the graduation of the first law class trained entirely within the University,” the campus newspaper proudly proclaimed. Celebrating its Harvard-inspired “case method of study … recognized to be the best known system for the study of law,” “excellent teaching staff and an adequate library,” the Gateway set its eyes to the future, when “Alberta will have the best law school in the Dominion.”

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    Article (Published)
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    © 2014 Eric M. Adams et al. This version of this article is open access and can be downloaded and shared. The original author(s) and source must be cited.
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  • Citation for previous publication
    • Adams, E. M. (2014). Introduction: Back to the future of law school. Alberta Law Review, 51(4), 695-703. Retrieved from
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