Lakehead University cut the ribbon, Sept. 4, on its new law school at the former Port Arthur Collegiate Institute in Thunder Bay.
Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne was in attendance.
Proclaimed as Ontario's first law school in 44 years, the inaugural class of 60 students will focus on Aboriginal and natural resources law, and single or sole practitioner law.
“A new law school is opening that is different and that is intended to serve the communities in Northern Ontario and in smaller centres throughout Canada,” said Professor Lee Stuesser, founding dean of the faculty of law in a news release. “It is small; it is personal; and it is tailored to prepare students for professional practice.”
The school is expected to play a vital role for Aboriginal communities in northwestern Ontario for First Nation, Métis and Inuit communities.
“Our focus is on preparing students who wish to practice law in rural and smaller centres, where there is a need to enhance and increase access to justice,” said Lakehead president Brian Stevenson.
The Ministry of Training, Colleges and Universities (MTCU) helped fund the law school with $1.5 million for capital improvements to the former high school in the city's north end.