No New Law Schools For Ontario

A few Ontario Universities have been attempting to gain approval and funding to build one of the provinces first new law schools in over 40 years. In part, the new schools were being proposed to address shortages in rural communities (more on that in a later post). Recently, those plans were derailed when the government announced that funding will not be provided. According to John Malloy, Minister of Training, Colleges and Universities:

“as more universities began proposing new law schools, his government felt it was only fair to “nip it in the bud” and spare them the time and expense of plans for which there is ultimately no government funding…”

The Minister points to a lack of demand for new law faculties and greater educational funding priorities:

“Our government has a pretty ambitious list of post-secondary priorities – more graduate studies, 100 new medical spots, for example – but to be honest, a new law school is not one of them…”

The Minister on demand:

“We haven’t seen increased demand for law school, and we’re looking at a study that shows a number of law students aren’t able to find articling jobs,” said Milloy.”

In fact, a report from the Law Society of Upper Canada reveals that there are more candidates than articling positions in Ontario. For the 2007-2008 articling period, there were approximately 1408 new articling candidates (plus a possible 125 from previous classes who still haven’t completed the licensing  process) vying for approximately 1300 available articling positions across the province. For 2009, the Law Society extrapolates that, including Bond graduates, NCA candidates, and a 4 percent increase in students:

“[b]ased on the earlier calculation and assuming a stable economy, in 2009 there will be approximately 1300 articling positions to place what may be approximately 1733 candidates.”

Follow this link for a breakdown of articling statistics for unplaced students. (If anyone comes across related or more recent reporting please post link(s) in the comments section).