Let me extend to you a very warm welcome to the Faculty of Law at Thompson Rivers University, the first new Law School to be established in western Canada since 1976. Although the first law students only arrived in September of 2011, we have already had four graduating classes. Our students have been readily embraced by the legal profession with almost 100 percent of our 2014, 2015 and 2016 graduates employed throughout BC, Alberta and elsewhere in Canada.
Our faculty members are renowned, having studied and practised law around the world as well as in Canada, bringing with them a remarkable breadth and depth of academic and legal practice experience. They are pioneers in building the best legal education program possible. Our establishment has benefitted from a special arrangement with the University of Calgary Faculty of Law through which we adopted their curriculum and obtained their support when needed such that our JD was launched in accordance with all of their requirements. My colleagues and I have been building upon that solid foundation as we are committed to delivering a top quality legal education that explores contemporary legal and social issues as well as their ethical considerations while also developing practical legal skills. Our full-time professors are joined by exceptionally talented lawyers and judges serving as sessional lecturers, thereby augmenting our range of course offerings and enhancing the skills that our law students acquire, as well as through our Judge in Residence.
Our curriculum has been expanding to include a range of particularly unique and progressive aspects. While information is available describing all of our courses in greater detail on this website, let me note that over two-thirds of our first-year courses include distinct consideration of relevant Aboriginal legal issues arising within those subjects, as do over one-third of our upper-year courses to date. We will explore further initiatives in light of the Indian Residential School Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s Call for Action #28 directed at all Canadian law schools. The statement adopted by our Faculty Council on July 9, 2015 can be read here.
Other exciting new additions to our curriculum in recent years include Community Lawyering that focus on the practical skills of client interviewing, strategic litigation, legal research and ethical issues that is a co-requisite to involvement in our Community Legal Clinic; Lawyering in the 21st Century that examines the dramatic changes that are occurring in the nature of the legal profession in recent years and explores what the future for lawyers will be; Corporate Governance that considers cutting edge issues regarding shareholder democracy, the role of institutional investors, fiduciary obligations of directors and senior managers, increasing use of private litigation to challenge corporate control, among many other issues. You will find many others among our course offerings.
Our tremendous and highly diverse students join us from across Canada, and from abroad, to pursue an excellent legal education while also having the opportunity to make lifelong friends. The students at TRU Law from the very beginning have created a family environment of mutual support and collaboration while each one seeks to succeed with that positive feeling. We believe it is unique among law schools. They meet, interact with, and get to know lawyers and judges from across the region and beyond while attending a vibrant and growing Faculty of Law, University and community. Our students established the Society of Law Students (SLS) not only as its representative body for participating actively in decision-making through our Faculty Council and Committees, but also to engage in many academic and athletic initiatives, particularly through a large array of clubs, along with community service and fundraising for local charities. Learn more (at http://www.trusls.org/) through the Obiter newsletter.
Our campus is located in Kamloops, British Columbia, Canada where it offers a unique and visually stunning topographical setting in BC’s Interior region overlooking the beautiful North and South Thompson Rivers and the mountains. Attending the Faculty of Law at TRU means living in a friendly and progressive community with access to world-class amenities — skiing, golf, lakes and mountains are all within easy reach. Vancouver, Calgary, Edmonton and Seattle are all an easy drive away, and the Okanagan and Shuswap lakes, with their excellent wineries, scenery, and amenities are at your doorstep. Kamloops is Canada’s warmest and one of its sunniest cities. Sun Peaks, Canada’s 2nd largest ski resort only after Whistler, one of North America’s finest ski resorts, as well as 13 exceptional golf courses, are less than one hour drive away. Our city is known as the Tournament Capital of Canada as well as one of the friendliest in the country.
We invite you to explore our website to learn about our many cutting edge research projects, diverse course offerings, frequent guests, winning moot teams, the Canadian Journal of Comparative and Contemporary Law and much more. Better yet, talk to our students and alumni - as they are our best ambassadors and will readily share their experiences here. You are also most welcome to visit us on our beautiful campus any time you are in Kamloops, BC as well as to contact us by phone or email. We may be a newer law school, but we are on track to be one of Canada’s best.