This is one of the oldest as well as one of the newest faculties at Queen's. It was first founded in 1860, but closed down for financial reasons in 1864. It was revived for another three years in the 1880s, but did not become a permanent fixture at Queen's until 1957, when the Law Society of Upper Canada decentralized the teaching of law in Ontario, allowing lawyers to be taught in institutions other than Osgoode Hall in Toronto.
Queen's Principal William Mackintosh and Vice-Principal James A. Corry were leaders in the campaign to convince the Law Society to change its rules, arguing that universities could offer a more varied and wider understanding of law. Vice-Principal (later Principal) James Corry was the first acting dean, followed by William Lederman, the first permanent Dean. Corry took on some teaching duties, with Professors Daniel Soberman (LLD'08) and Stewart Ryan (LLD'91) as the faculty's only full-time academic staff for the first class of 24 students.
In 2008, the faculty changed its LLB (Bachelor of Laws) designation to a JD (Juris Doctor) designation to align itself with international universities. It also offers a Masters of Law (LLM) and PhD programs through the School of Graduate Studies.
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