Canada’s newest law school, at Thompson Rivers University in Kamloops, BC, is the subject of a lengthy article on universityaffairs.ca.
Authored by Tim Johnson, Canada’s Newest Law School discusses the pros and cons of opening a law school school in a small urban centre:
“For us, we have to make a plus out of being smaller,” he [Dean Chris Axworthy] says. One key example is that students here have the opportunity to rub elbows on a fairly regular basis with all strata of the local legal community, from storefront lawyers up to provincial Supreme Court justices. Many members of the local bar are volunteering time to serve as mentors, and students also get to have close contact with faculty, including Professor Axworthy. “The first week, all the students came to my house for pizza. That just can’t happen in the bigger schools,” he says with a smile.
…what students think of their experiences in Kamloops and at TRU Law:
“I’ve been to a bar here a couple of times and lawyers I met at orientation have come up to me and know my name. I don’t imagine that happens very much in Vancouver or Calgary,” says Austin Paladeau, a shaggy-haired 25-year-old student from Calgary.
…and whether having a law school in the area will improve the number of lawyers who stay in this smaller community:
“Before I came here, I never had any thoughts about practising in Kamloops,” says Mr. Paladeau. “Now, having been here, if I was offered a job, I would consider it. It’s a nice place, the people are great, and it’s disabused me of the notion that you can’t work as a lawyer in a small city.”
A fascinating look at TRU Law and the benefits it is bringing its students, the legal community, and the BC Interior. The article also discusses the law school that’s scheduled to open in 2013 at Ontario’s Lakehead University.
(hat tip to @tla_bc for tweeting the link)