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Ontario announces first new law school in 42 years

Aboriginal and Northern students preferred

Photo courtesy of steakpinball on Flickr

Canada’s lawyer shortage might finally start to improve. Ontario announced yesterday that it will fund the first new law school to be built in the province in more than 42 years. Lakehead University in Thunder Bay, Ont. received $1.5-million in funding and hopes to enroll students by 2013.

The new school will be the seventh in Ontario and the first-ever in northern Ontario. The only other new law school announced for Canada since the 1980s is the one under construction at Thompson Rivers University in Kamloops, B.C., which will take its first 40 students in September.

Lakehead president Brian Stevenson said he aims to start with 55 students in 2013, but will accept up to 150 students after three years. The program will have a strong focus on aboriginal law, rural and remote practice, plus natural resource management — all specialties that cater to northern Ontario’s economy. The university will give preference to northern residents and aboriginal applicants.

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