Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Ontario won't fund proposed law schools

The Ontario government says it has no money to train new lawyers, dashing the hopes of three universities in the province competing to open the first new law school in Canada in nearly 30 years. Plans for the new schools come from Wilfrid Laurier University in Waterloo, Lakehead University in Thunder Bay and Sudbury's Laurentian University.

All three universities looking to set up full law schools, including two in Northern Ontario, say they developed their proposals in response to local concerns about the lack of legal services and the need to attract young lawyers to rural areas.

But in a letter to university presidents last Friday, the Ministry of Training, Colleges and Universities says it will not be approving any funding for new law schools in Ontario. The province's six existing law schools are meeting the demand for new lawyers, the letter says. As well, it says, the number of law-school graduates in Ontario exceeds the number of articling placements available.

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