Dalhousie Law Journal


legal education, Canada, Bar, academic discipline, professional training, McGill University, legal history, graduate, dean


The nature of legal education has been the subject of an ongoing debate in all Canadian jurisdictions. A central theme of this debate for much of the twentieth century was whether legal education should be restricted to training for the local Bar as opposed to studying law as an academic discipline in addition to such professional training A decanal vacancy at McGill University brought this question to the fore in 1946 when the anglophone members of the Montreal Bar exerted a great deal of influence on the selection process. The matter was complicated by the opposition of the corporate elite to candidates with socialist leanings. The University went through five deans in five years before a long-term appointment was made The final appointment. ,hh ch initially appeared to represent a triumph for those who wished to restrict the McGill Faculty to teaching Quebec civil law in English, actually hastened the broadening of the curriculum and the introduction of graduate studies.