The Federation of Law Societies announced today that the Ad Hoc Committee on Approval of New Canadian Law Degree Programs had lived up to its name and approved the programs proposed by Lakehead University in Ontario and Thompson Rivers University in British Columbia. This national hurdle was established by agreement among the provincial law societies in 2009 as a logical outgrowth of the Federation’s decision in 2007 to establish Canada-wide academic requirements for all Canadian law degrees, a process culminating in the approval by member societies of a set of National Requirements in 2010.
Lakehead University must still gain the approval of the Ontario government, as I understand it. While the proposed law school at Thompson Rivers has already received the approval of the B.C. government. The latter plans to operate using the program from the University of Calgary. From the Federation report:
Pursuant to a Licence Agreement entered into with the University of Calgary, the Thompson Rivers JD degree is proposed to be offered in conjunction with the University of Calgary which has granted to Thompson Rivers the licence to reproduce and use the undergraduate law programme and curriculum of the University of Calgary’s Faculty of Law.
The Ad Hoc Committee report is available in PDF and contains a chart showing the alignment of the applications of both universities with the Federation’s national requirements. The full proposals of Lakehead and Thompson Rivers are also available on the Federation website.
At present there are twenty operating law schools in Canada.