Dalhousie Law Journal


First World War, Robert Warden Lee, McGill Law, legal education, legal history, civil law, common law, degree, McGill National programme


Following the First World War, Dean Robert Warden Lee introduced some radical changes to the curriculum at the McGill Law Faculty Three-year courses were instituted leading to either a civil law degree or a common law degree, and a four-year course in which both degrees could be obtained. The program was extremely controversial, running into opposition within the part-time faculty the Montreal legal community and the bar societies of several provinces. Difficulties in obtaining professional accreditation for the common law graduates led to a decline in enrollment, and the common law option was discontinued in 1926. Lee's vision of a law school of international importance where both great branches of the law were taught.was ahead of its time. It was not until 1968 that Dean Maxwell Cohen was able to introduce successfully a very similar concept in McGill's National Programme.

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