Established in 1957, Queen’s Faculty of Law has been a leader in Canadian legal education since its inception. After two initial attempts to create a law faculty at Queen’s – both unsanctioned by the Law Society and ultimately unsuccessful – our first Dean, J.A. Corry, established Queen’s Law with a first cohort of 25 students in September of 1957.
Since then, the school has grown in both renown and size. There’s been no shortage of milestones at Queen’s Law: our relocation to the Faculty of Law Building, (called Sir John A. Macdonald Hall up until 2020) in 1960 and subsequent expansion in 1966, the founding of the Queen’s Law Journal, one of Canada’s leading student-run legal journals, in 1968, and the creation of QUIC-LAW, the world’s first computerized law database, in 1972.
From the Faculty’s beginnings, the standard law degree (first an LLB, now a Juris Doctor, or JD) has been our mainstay. But our educational opportunities have grown as well. In the late 1990s, Queen’s Law began offering distinctive combined degrees for students who wanted to take a Master’s in one discipline while earning a law degree in another. The 1990s also saw the opening of our Career Development Office, and in the early 2000s, the unique-to-Queen’s experience of taking Global Law at Herstmonceux Castle was introduced to the faculty.
2008 saw the introduction of our graduate program, which now accepts LLM and PhD candidates from around the globe to conduct world-class research at the faculty while attaining advanced degrees. 2010 was also another large step forward in faculty research, with the creation of the Centre for Law in the Contemporary Workplace, Canada’s only research cluster focusing on labour law issues.
In 2017, the Faculty embarked into two new frontiers: undergraduate education and online education. Building from the successful on-campus Law 201 undergrad course, the faculty created the Certificate in Law. A wholly online undergraduate program that allows students to choose four of seven courses, the Certificate covers everything from a broad introduction to the law in Canada through specialized courses in Aboriginal law, corporate law, intellectual property and more.
No matter what our students study, Queen's alumni remain part of the law school for life: we're continually pleased and proud of how our alumni stay connected to the school, and each other, welcoming classmates from as far back as our founding to Homecoming every year.
About our Crest
Originally designed by Andre Bieler, RCA, and updated in 2015, the Faculty crest combines symbols of the law and the University, superimposing the sword and scales of justice on the white cross of Saint Andrew. The red, blue and gold of the crest represent Queen’s University colours.
“Soit droit fait” (Let law be made/Let right be done),the Faculty motto, is adapted from Norman French, and symbolizes the concept of the rule of law – the democratic ideal of government under just laws – and the dynamic tension between the two sides of law, one side creating the rules that govern our society, and the other side ensuring that these rules result in the greatest common good.