Ryerson plans to launch a new law school by 2020, according to a letter of intent released this week.
According to the letter, the program will be based on problem-solving and hands-on learning. It will include a required professional placement.
“Exposing law students to the perspectives of other professionals at an early stage will enable them to better integrate their services with those of other professionals throughout their career,” the letter said.
The first intake of students is planned for September 2018 and the school plans to be fully operational by 2020.
A law school at Ryerson has been in the works since 2007 when a former provost established a group to explore the possibility. A small group, including academic director of the Ryerson Law Research Centre, Avner Levin, began working on the proposal last October. In December, then interim president Mohamed Lachemi backed the proposal.
“We believe a new type of law school will provide Ryerson with a unique opportunity to shape legal education in Canada and Ontario,” said Chris Evans, Ryerson’s interim provost and vice president academic, in an email.
Evan’s said that Ryerson’s financial commitment to the school hasn’t been determined yet. Where the school would be housed also still needs to be determined.
The program plans to seek approval from the school’s Academic Standards Committee and Senate this spring.
In the meantime, Evans and his group will consult with the Federation of Law Societies as well as the Law Society of Upper Canada, and the Government of Ontario to explore the feasibility of the school. There will also be two town halls, Oct. 25 and 27, where students, faculty and staff can discuss the proposal.
The plan is now open to feedback from Ryerson community members.