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Ryerson gets preliminary approval for law school

Thursday, December 14, 2017 @ 1:50 PM | By Carolyn Gruske

The Federation of Law Societies of Canada has granted preliminary approval for a proposed new law program at Ryerson University.

The federation’s common law program approval committee reviewed the proposal from the Toronto-based university and although it issued the preliminary approval, it did so with some concerns.

The committee identified three areas that it will monitor in subsequent reviews. They relate to the faculty complement, the law school budget and the proposed physical resources for the faculty and students.

As spelled out in the report, the faculty complement concern is that “the proposed tenured-track faculty complement is low in comparison to the proposed enrollment.”

The concern about the budget “is based on a $20,000 tuition fee and escalating provincial funding between 2017/18 and 2020/21. The [a]pproval [c]ommittee expressed concern that a denial of provincial funding would result in the program being unsustainable.”

The final concern about the physical resources centres on the fact Ryerson will put the new school in an existing building that wasn’t built specifically to house the new program and that the building may not offer sufficient space in the future should a new facility not be constructed.

Gaining preliminary approval for a program that complies with the federation’s National Requirements for knowledge and skills competencies is the first step any new law school must take. That approval lasts until the school produces its first graduates, then it will be subjected to regular reviews.

Besides getting approval from the federation, Ryerson needs to meet other requirements as well before it can officially launch the school. The program, for example, must be approved by the Ontario Ministry of Advanced Education and Skills Development.

A copy of the federation’s report on Ryerson’s proposed law school is available here.