UBC's Law School Opens

The Law Society of BC had operated the Vancouver Law School (VLS) since 1914, but had closed the school during the First World War, and again in 1943 for the Second World War. The Legal Professions Act was amended in 1944 to allow the Law Society to merge the VLS with the new Law faculty at the University of British Columbia. The Law faculty at UBC was established over the summer of 1945, in time to serve the large number of veterans returning from World War II seeking a legal education. The faculty opened on September 6, 1945, with the first classes held September 24th, 1945. Given special funding by the Provincial Government, the school hired George Curtis to serve as the first Dean, and within two months, the Faculty was educating its first incoming class.

Due to a lack of infrastructure, the University secured army huts that had been used to house servicemen during the war to house the law school until a permanent structure became available. The law school became the standard means by which prospective lawyers could become members of the bar, replacing the traditional approach that involved articling under an established lawyer in a relationship much like an apprenticeship.

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