Queen's Law

Faculty of Law
Faculty of Law

​History of Queen's Law

Sir John A. Macdonald Hall

Founded in 1957, the modern Faculty of Law at Queen’s University was one of the first law schools established in Ontario after the Law Society of Upper Canada decided to recognize university-based legal education. The building housing the law school is named after Kingston’s most famous lawyer – and later Canadian Prime Minister – Sir John A. Macdonald. Queen’s Law has long been the school of choice for law students in Canada, thanks to its preeminent reputation for both academic excellence and community spirit.

50th Anniversary

Queen’s Law celebrated its 50th anniversary in 2007. To commemorate the occasion, Professor Mark Walters, Law’89, a faculty member since 1999, wrote "Let Right Be Done": A History of the Faculty of Law at Queen's University," (PDF, 375KB), which captures many of the successes, controversies, and insights from Queen's Law's first 50 years.

Queen's Law Crest

Queen's Law School Crest​The crest adopted for the Faculty of Law at Queen’s University was designed by the late Andre Bieler, R.C.A, and updated in 2015. It combines symbols of the law and the University, superimposing the sword and scales of justice upon the white cross of Saint Andrew. The red border of the shield, the blue background of the cross and the gold of the sword and scales reproduce the Queen’s University colours.

The words of the motto of the Faculty of Law at Queen’s University, Soit droit fait…Let right be done, represent both creation of new law and dedication to the traditional values of the legal order. The motto has been chosen from the Norman French phrase used to signify royal assent to new laws. The words symbolize the concept of the rule of law – the democratic ideal of government under just laws. At one time in our history, the curbing of arbitrary royal power turned upon the success of the British House of Commons, led by Sir Edward Coke, in forcing King Charles I to accept the Petition of Right by the traditional phrase – Soit droit fait comme est desire…Let right be done as is desired.