Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Law School: The Best Law School in Canada

I received this letter from a fellow blawger today. I have decided to post it, although I don't necessarily endorse it. I would appreciate your comments on this little essay. I would also appreciate comments on why law school is not included in the Macleans rankings. BTW - I noticed that my Alma Mater was voted #1 this year. Yahoo!

The Best Law School In Canada

(NB: You have permission to publish my short letter should you choose.)

I may present myself as somewhat of a backward opinionate in my assessment of what school constitutes the best in Canada, however, by virtue of the theme of this essay I believe I am entitled to do so.

University of Toronto School of Law has traditionally, and is quite currently, perceived as the best law school in Canada. I would not hesitate to assert that they too share that opinion. Indeed, their tuition speaks for itself. Their reasons are abundant, and range from a celestial roster of exceptional professors to frequent lectures by high-profile guest legal professionals, to a fortuitously incestuous relationship with Bay Street. I must concur that these are admirable qualities, and that indeed U of T Law is in the upper echelon of Canadian law schools. However, I must award the “status” of Best Law School to the University of Calgary School of Law.

As one of Canada’s youngest law schools, U of C has excelled dramatically in its development on all levels. Particularly, its 5-Year Strategic Plan is exceptionally well-thought out and will pose a monumental advantage to its students. Its lack of pretentiousness combined with its small class sizes (formerly 75, increasing to 100 per year) make for a healthy learning environment that supports strong communication and tight group development.

U of C Law is intentionally and successfully positioning itself as an Ivy League law school in Canada, particularly in the area of natural resources and energy law – a field where Canada is a major player internationally, and which has immense impact on our wealth as a nation.

U of C law has devoted exceptional funding to enhance the areas that will positively impact its students and its status among Canadian law school. Areas include: Chairs - $6 million; additional faculty members $2.5 million; financial aid to facilitate access for lower income individuals $2.5 million; library acquisitions and information technology $1 million; technology infrastructure $1.5 million; renovations $6.5 million - commendable.

Finally, in concert with its growing status in natural resources and energy law, the U of C has built, and continues to build, titanium-strong relationships with Alberta’s energy companies and top-tier law firms (such as Bennett Jones LLP). In weighing in on which law school is the best in Canada, it is important to look not only at where a school has been and currently is, but more importantly where it’s going; its forward trajectory and rate of improvement in excellence are equally, if not more, rewarding criteria.

My vote, thus, sits with the University of Calgary School of Law.

Dr. Essien Udokang
Prospective Law Student

1 comment:

Shiv said...

This is a very interesting letter. It seems that U of Calgary has strategically placed its allure. As a city with a major concentration of head offices for oil industry-based companies and with its proximity to energy sites, I think U of C's concentrating on natural resources and energy law is a natural progression of this young university.

Does a law school's strength depend on the type of law? While I see the point of creating rankings and indicators, could generalizing the success of a law school be overlooking unique strengths of various law schools with varying focuses?