The study of law at McGill began in 1844 when William Badgley was
appointed lecturer in law within the Faculty of Arts. The Law Faculty was officially established in 1853. In the early 1870s the Faculty absorbed staff and students from the law school connected to the Institut Canadien. Most of the teaching was done on a part-time basis by lawyers until the establishment in 1884 of the Gale Chair and endowments by Sir William Macdonald in 1890 which made it possible to appoint staff members who would devote most of their time to the business of the Faculty. The curriculum offered civil as well as common law, and by 1898 with the appointment of Eugène Lafleur, comparative law was added. The first Institute of International Air Law (now Air and Space Law) was established in the McGill Law Faculty in 1951. In the 1960s a national program in legal studies was established consisting of a four year joint course under which graduates received both LL.B and B.C.L. degrees.
DEANS OF THE FACULTY OF LAW
1853-1855 William Badgley
1855-1880 John Joseph Caldwell Abbott
1881-1888 William H. Kerr
1888-1896 Norman W. Trenholme
1897-1914 Frederick P. Walton
1915-1921 Robert Warden Lee
1923-1927 Robert Alfred Ernest Greenshields
1928-1935 Percy Ellwood Corbett
1936-1948 Charles Stuart Lemesurier
1949 Gérald Fauteux
1950-1960 William James Campbell Meredith
1961-1963 Francis Reginald Scott
1964-1969 Maxwell Cohen
1969-1974 John Durnford
1974-1984 John E.C. Brierly
1984- Roderick Macdonald
Minute Book, 1857-1881, 4 cm (c.21)
This volume contains minutes of meetings, lists of graduates, 1850-1860, examination results, 1860 and some correspondence.
OFFICE OF THE DEAN, 1897-1974
Letterbooks of the Faculty, 1892-1897, 1902-1913, 3 vols, 7 cm (c.21)
Outgoing correspondence of the Dean arranged chronologically. Each volume is indexed.
General Administrative Records, 1914-1961, 4.3 m (c.1-c.13, c.18) PARTS RESTRICTED
These records contain correspondence with national and international legal and non-legal bodies, faculty, University and external committees. There are also outlines of courses, statistics, budget appropriations, lecture files, and materials dealing with social and legal reform.
General Administrative Records of Maxwell Cohen and John Durnford, 1959-1974, 50 cm (c.19-c.20 RESTRICTED
These records contain correspondence with University committees, external educational bodies and conferences and sessional lecturers.
General Administrative Records of John E.C. Brierly, 1974-1979, 5 cm (c.39) RESTRICTED
Files on convocation and related subjects.
STUDENT RECORDS, 1919-1966
Student Records, 1919-1966, 2 m (c.23, c.25-c.31) RESTRICTED
There are two series of files: one contains transcripts and correspondence (c.25-c.31), the other deals with student matters.
Attendance Books, 1927-1953, 1959-1963, 50 cm (c.16., c.11)
These books contain attendance records maintained by instructors for courses in the faculty.
Student Essays and Theses, 1947-1953, 30 cm (c.17)
A sampling of students' work has been kept.
Examination Papers, 1905-1906, 1921-1978, 30 cm (c.14-c.15, c.24)
Examination question papers.
Examination Results, 1922-1940, 10 cm (c.22) RESTRICTED
Examination results of 1st, 2nd and 3rd year students.
Newsletters, 1977-1982, 1 cm
Contains faculty, staff changes and announcements.