“For the first time in more than three decades, lawyers are being called to the bar from a new law school.” As reported by Canadian Lawyer, Thompson Rivers University law school graduates are officially practicing law.
Thompson Rivers University Faculty of Law opened in 2011, but its roots date back to 1970, when it started out as community Cariboo College. The inception of the College was due to a demand answered, ‘for academic and vocational programs in regions outside the urban centres served by the province’s three universities.’ Rural residents of British Columbia requested more accessible means to education, and those needs were met with today’s Thompson Rivers.
With only 40 years in existence, the school could only prepare so much for the past four years of expansion. Lacking preparation for academic offering, mentorship, student support, class scheduling, personnel and registration are universal to all law schools, but the Faculty, with little firsthand experience, struggled to locate the resources as issues arose. Now with four years under their belts, the Faculty is feeling strong as its graduates enter the workforce.
Through all of the trials and errors, TRU students were benefited by viewing the struggles of developing BC’s third Faculty of Law. Combine the start up struggles with the comparison of education to UBC or UVIc, and students were in for a genuine and challenging experience.
As the school celebrates its first class of graduates being called to the bar, the optimism of development and building a sustainable reputation as a coveted western law school has just begun.