Bill Flanagan holds a B.A. (English and Philosophy) from Carleton University (1982), a J.D. from the University of Toronto (1985), a D.E.A. in international economic law from Paris I (Université Paris I-Sorbonne)(1986), and an LL.M. from Columbia University (1989). He has been a member of the Faculty of Law at Queen's University for the past 27 years and has served as Dean of Law for almost 14 years. He was a law clerk for the Hon. Justice Estey of the Supreme Court of Canada in 1986-87.
His teaching interests include International Economic Law, Business Associations, and Property Law. His scholarly work spans a number of areas, including property law, corporate law and international trade law. He served as Co-Chair of the Queen's Annual Business Law Symposium from 1998-2005.
In 2001, he founded the Faculty’s International Law Program, offered each spring at the Queen’s University Bader International Study Centre at Herstmonceaux Castle in the UK, and served as the Academic Director of this program until his appointment as dean in 2005. The program includes about 50 law students and offers a range of courses in public international law and international business law, including study trips to major international organizations in The Hague, Paris and Geneva.
He served as President of the Council Canadian of Law Deans (CCLD) from 2011 to 2014, representing the CCLD during the public controversy regarding the application of Trinity Western University to establish a law school.
As dean, he has increased the range of experiential learning opportunities available to students by expanding the law school’s clinical programs, adding a new Business Law Clinic, Elder Law Clinic, and Family Law Clinic. In 2014, all five of the school’s clinical programs were collocated into a fully renovated office space in downtown Kingston. The new location has provided improved access for the hundreds of low-income residents served by the clinics and enhanced learning opportunities for students.
He took the lead in founding the law school’s first privately funded research centre, the Centre for Law in the Contemporary Workplace. He has raised over $1 million in donor support for the Centre since it was established in 2010.
Other milestones include the establishment of the Faculty’s Ph.D. program in 2008, new combined degree programs with the Smith School of Business and the Department of Economics, a 30% increase in the school’s faculty complement during his tenure, and a major expansion of the Faculty’s international programs and profile. Annual donor support for the Faculty has more than quadrupled, including the faculty’s first two privately funded positions, the David Allgood Professorship in Business Law in 2016 and the Stephen Sigurdson Professorship in Corporate Law and Finance in 2017. During the recent Campaign for Queen’s, the Faculty of Law raised over $12 million, 120% of its campaign goal.
Under his leadership, in 2017 the Faculty introduced its new online Undergraduate Certificate in Law, the first of its kind in Canada offered by a faculty of law. The Certificate includes seven courses: Introduction to Canadian Law, Workplace Law, Aboriginal Law, Corporate Law, Public and Constitutional Law, and International Law. Over 3000 students have enrolled in one of the Certificate courses in 2018/19. In another first, in 2018 the Faculty introduced its new online graduate program in Legal Services Management, providing training in key business skills for lawyers.
He served as the law school representative on the National Action Committee on Access to Justice in Civil and Family Matters, under the leadership of Chief Justice McLachlin of the Supreme Court of Canada. The Committee’s final report was published in 2013.
He has taken the lead in ensuring that Queen’s Law is proactive in its response to the Truth and Reconciliation Report’s calls to action, including hiring an Indigenous Recruitment and Support Coordinator responsible for increasing the number of Indigenous students applying to Queen’s Law and supporting those in the program. These efforts have paid off, with Indigenous students compromising over 4% of the incoming class of Law’21. The Faculty recently installed in its atrium a work of art by Indigenous artist Hannah Claus titled “words that are lasting”. The aim of this installation is to create a welcoming space for Indigenous peoples in the Faculty of Law, and to help promote awareness around historical and contemporary issues relevant to Indigenous peoples and law.
He has also been active in the area of community service. He served as Chair of the Board of the AIDS Committee of Toronto from 1993-1995, Canada’s largest community-based HIV service organization. He served as Chair of the Board of the Ontario HIV Treatment Network from 2003-2008, a provincially funded organization that supports HIV-related research in Ontario with an annual budget of over $11M. He also served part-time as Executive Director of the Canada AIDS Russia Project from 1998-2004, a $3.3 million research and training project funded by the Canadian International Development Agency. In recognition of his community service, in 2011 he was named to the Honour Role of the Ontario AIDS Network. In 2014, he was appointed as a member of the Board of Directors of the Canadian Foundation for AIDS Research. He is currently serving as Chair of CANFAR’s National Working Group on HIV & AIDS Research, a group of leading HIV researchers and community leaders from across Canada who are working together to develop and implement an action plan to end the HIV epidemic in Canada.
Recent Professional Achievements
- Member of the National Action Committee on Access to Justice in Civil and Family Matters 2012-2013
- Board member, Canadian Foundation for AIDS Research 2014 to present
- Named to the Honour Roll of the Ontario AIDS Network in 2011
- President of the Canadian Council of Law Deans, 2010 to 2014
- President of the Board, Ontario HIV Treatment Network, 2003-2008
For more information, please consult Dean Flanagan's CV.