Dalhousie Law Journal


Canada, legal history, upper canada, lower canada, legal education, McGill University, Bar


Although Canada was a single province (1763-1791), subsequently divided into Upper and Lower Canada, legal education developed very differently in the two components. The Law Society of Upper Canada controlled legal education in Ontario until the second half of the twentieth century, while in Quebec, where the legal system was based on both civil and common law, university-based legal education began in the first half of the nineteenth century. This study examines how legal education developed at McGill University, moving from part-time teaching by professionals off-campus to an on-campus faculty taught by full-time academics by the end of the century These changes were in part caused by fear in the English-speaking minority for their position following Confederation and led to tensions between the academy and the Bar which controlled entry into the profession regardless of the education received.