The Tree of Knowledge/The Axe of Power: Gerald Le Dain and the Transformation of Canadian Legal Education
Mélanges Gerald Eric Le Dain: Tracings of a Life, G. B. Baker, ed., Supreme Court Historical Society, Forthcoming
29 Pages Posted: 31 Aug 2012
Date Written: August 30, 2012
Upon assuming the deanship of Osgoode Hall Law School in 1967, Gerald Le Dain became a leading advocate of important innovations in Canadian legal education. He did much to persuade the Law Society of Upper Canada to relax its control of Ontario legal education. The autonomy gained by law faculties — both de jure and de facto — in turn enabled them to initiate a protracted period of experimentation in curricular architecture, in pedagogy and in research, which has lasted almost to the present. Ironically in 2007, just prior to Le Dain’s death, the Federation of Law Societies of Canada launched an initiative to reassert the profession’s control over law faculties that he had done so much to persuade it to relinquish. This essay explores the fate of Canadian legal education in light of recent developments.
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