Dalhousie Law Journal


law school, Canada, legal education, cooperation, accreditation, United tates, cartelization, competition


Law schools in Canada are engaged in increased competition with one another and significant disparities in resources and reputations have developed. The author argues that this competitive context may be a threat to the maintenance in some schools of the broader mission of the law school to teach and produce contextual and critical perspectives on law. It is suggested that Canadian law schools should cooperate with each other and that various initiatives could be taken which would help all schools. Beyond cooperation on specific projects, the authorraises the question of whetherlawschools should set up theirown national accreditation scheme. He suggests various reasons why accreditation cannot be ignored any longer, then surveys the current ad hoc approach to accreditation by the profession in Canada, and finally provides an overview of the accreditation of law schools in the United States, focussing on the controversy of whether accreditation is a form of cartelization. The author is ambivalent about accreditation, but believes that the issue must be examined and debated as an option in the face of the disturbing trends engendered by increasing competition.