Bora Laskin Faculty of Law

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Bora Laskin Faculty of Law
Parent school Lakehead University
Established 2013
School type Public
Dean David Barnett
Location Thunder Bay, ON, CA
Enrollment 180
Faculty (See List)
Annual tuition
Outlines 0 (See List)
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Bora Laskin Faculty of Law is located in Thunder Bay, ON

The Bora Laskin Faculty of Law is the professional law school of Lakehead University in Thunder Bay, Ontario, Canada.

History[edit | edit source]

Lakehead University's Bora Laskin Faculty of Law officially opened in September 2013. Its founding dean was Lee Stuesser.[1] It was the first Canadian law program to integrate licensing into its curriculum, meaning its graduates are qualified to practice law without requiring an articling process.[2] The Bora Laskin Faculty of Law is one of only two law schools in Canada that has a mandatory, full year course in Aboriginal Law, as recommended by Canada's Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) in 2015.[3] Its founding was endorsed by the Nishnawbe Aski Nation of Northern Ontario, because of its support for studying Indigenous law.[4]

In 2015, Lee Stuesser left the faculty as Founding Dean,[5] and was replaced by interim Dean Lisa Phillips of Osgoode Hall, while a permanent replacement Dean was sought.[6]

On January 12, 2016, the Bora Laskin Faculty of Law announced Angelique EagleWoman, an Indigenous law scholar, as the new Dean of Law.[4][7] Her tenure, which began in May 2016, made her the first Indigenous law dean in Canada. Her appointment welcomed by the Indigenous legal community, including the Indigenous Bar Association. In April 2018, EagleWoman decided to resign her position by June 2018, citing systemic racism in the law school.[4][8]

On June 1, 2018, EagleWoman was succeeded on an interim basis by George P. Smith, a supernumerary judge of the Ontario Superior Court of Justice based in Thunder Bay who took leave from the bench.[9][10] Smith, a seventeen year veteran on the bench, had served for three years on the Specific Claims Tribunal adjudicating Indigenous damage claims against the government and had authored two volumes meant to guide judges on Indigenous law.[10] In September 2018, Smith left as interim dean, two months before what had been planned. The same month, a conduct review was launched by the Canadian Judicial Council against Smith, to examine whether taking the role meant that Smith violated council guidelines by becoming involved in a situation likely to result in litigation and therefore reduce public confidence in the justice system.[11][12] After a finding that Smith had engaged in misconduct, the council referred the matter to a council to determine a sanction, but Smith filed for judicial review with the Federal Court, arguing that the council had acted unreasonably.[10] Smith was replaced as interim dean by David Barnett, the university's acting provost and academic vice-president.[13]

Building[edit | edit source]

The Port Arthur Collegiate Institute

The Bora Laskin Faculty of Law is housed in Thunder Bay's historic Port Arthur Collegiate Institute, built in 1909.[14]

Admissions[edit | edit source]

The Bora Laskin Faculty of Law is one of only a few Canadian law schools, in addition to Windsor Law and Thompson Rivers Law School, that does not publish a profile on the entering class. The school chooses not to publish the average or median LSAT score or GPA (Grade Point Average) for the entering class.[15] [16]

On November 21, 2013, the Convocation of the Law Society of Upper Canada (LSUC) made an historic announcement that Lakehead University was successful in its innovative application to proceed with an Integrated Practice Curriculum (IPC) model of legal education. Students enrolled in the three year JD program at Lakehead will complete integrated practice training and do placements within their three-year degree. Upon completion of their JD degree Lakehead graduates will not need to article or complete any other course of study.[17]

Law Journal[edit | edit source]

In December 2015, the Bora Laskin Faculty of Law published its inaugural issue of the Lakehead Law Journal (LLJ), featuring articles by Hadley Friedland and Val Napoleon, as well as Canadian constitutional law scholar Peter W. Hogg, co-written by Daniel Styler.[18]

The Lakehead Law Journal is a refereed open access journal that publishes articles, case comments, book reviews, and book notes on legal issues in Canada. It is run by both Bora Laskin Faculty of Law students, as well as co-edited by Professors Karen Drake[19] and Dr. Mariette Brennan[20] as co-Editors in Chief, and focusses particularly on Aboriginal legal issues, rural, northern, and small firm practice, as well as natural resources and environmental law.

Professors[edit | edit source]

  • Dr. Ryan Alford
  • Prof. David Blaikie
  • Dr. Mariette Brennan
  • Dr. Frances Champman
  • Prof. Daniel Dylan
  • Dr. Martin-Joe Ezeudu
  • Prof. Wendy Parkes
  • Dr. Nancy Sandy

References[edit | edit source]

  1. About the Faculty | Lakehead University Faculty of Law Lakehead University
  2. The new faces of law school in Canada.
  3. [1] Law schools across Canada debate how to enact TRC recommendations
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 Yang, Jennifer Celebrated Indigenous law school dean resigns claiming systemic racismToronto Star  (April 11, 2018)
  5. [2]
  6. [3] Lee Stuesser resigns as dean at Thunder Bay law school
  7. Angelique EagleWoman named new faculty of law dean for LU
  8.  Lakehead University 'acknowledges' law school dean's resignation | CBC NewsCBC News  (April 4, 2018)
  9.  Justice Patrick Smith named interim dean of Lakehead law schoolCBC News  (May 3, 2018)
  10. 10.0 10.1 10.2 Fine, Sean Ontario judge seeks halt to CJC process that would remove him from benchThe Globe and Mail  (September 26, 2018)
  11. Prokopchuk, Matt Former interim dean of LU law school facing conduct review over taking on the roleCBC News  (September 27, 2018)
  12. Interim Dean (Academic),
  13. Prokopchuk, Matt Lakehead University's interim law dean recalled to the bench, school saysCBC News  (September 14, 2018)
  14. Brown, Louise New law and architecture schools open in northern OntarioToronto Star  (September 4, 2013)
  17. Archived copy, Integrated Practice Curriculum (IPC) / Lakehead University
  18. [4] Vol 1, No 1 (2015) Lakehead Law Journal
  19. Archived copy,
  20. [5]

External links[edit | edit source]

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