Dalhousie Law Journal


Read lecture, Dalhousie, Sir James Dunn Law Library, librarian, library, legal research, legal education


As a long-time friend and admirer of legal education at Dalhousie, it is an honor and a pleasure for me to offer the Read lecture this year. It is particularly warming to have Mrs. Read and the next two generations of Reads here today, since Dean Read was the strongest proponent of the law library's development during his deanship here. One of the designated topics for these lectures has been legal education. With the dedication of the addition to the Weldon Building housing the restored Sir James Dunn Law Library, and the designation of a librarian, for the first time, as Read lecturer, it seemed fitting to focus this year on three sacred, but often neglected, totems of legal education - books, libraries and research. The central role of this holy trinity in North American law schools has been, at least since Langdell's time, affirmed and repeatedly reaffirmed in numerous addresses and reports. Under the pressure of financial constraints and budgetary competition, however, the reality of support and commitment has been often less affirming.