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University of Ottawa Faculty of Law

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The University of Ottawa Faculty of Law (U of O Law, uOttawa Law, or Ottawa Law) is the law school at the University of Ottawa, located in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada, the nation's capital. Established in 1953, the faculty is today divided into civil law and common law sections, the two formally recognized legal traditions in Canada. The faculty is very highly rated and maintains close links with the legal communities in Quebec, Ontario and abroad. The faculty of law is also home to two highly respected bilingual law journals, one produced by the civil law section (Revue générale de droit) and the other produced by the common law section (Ottawa Law Review).

The law school has produced a diverse array of successful alumni. Currently, in addition to the dean of the Civil Law Section at the University of Ottawa, the deans of the Robson Hall Faculty of Law, the Université de Sherbrooke Faculty of Law, and the Université de Montréal Faculty of Law have all previously obtained at least one law degree from the University of Ottawa Faculty of Law.

As the largest law school in Canada, uOttawa Law often touts the advantages of its wide range of program offerings, courses, and opportunities, including proximity to federal agencies and courts, such as the Supreme Court of Canada and the Parliament of Canada.

History

The law school was established in 1953 on the initiative of Gerald Fauteux, former chief justice of the Supreme Court of Canada. It began as an exclusively civil law faculty, designed to train lawyers who would enter the Quebec legal system, particularly in order to practice in the Outaouais region just across the Ottawa River. In 1957, the faculty began training students in the common law as well; the two sections were then divided, each with its own programs, faculties and deans. Graduate programs were introduced that same year by the civil law section; the common law section followed suit in 1981.

Although the school has had since 1970 a system in which students enrolled in either of the common or civil law sections could receive accreditation in the other legal system, it was not until 1994 that this system was formalized into the National Program. In doing so, the faculty became one of the first in Canada to offer bi-juridical training in both the common law and civil law.

The faculty of law's current building, Fauteux Hall, was named in honour of Gerald Fauteux and was constructed in 1973. During the 2006 fall semester, University of Ottawa president Gilles Patry announced that Fauteux Hall would undergo extensive renovations in 2009. Due to funding cutbacks, a new law building expansion was cancelled; instead, interior renovations were completed in 2012, including substantial changes to the entrance atrium and the Brian Dickson Law Library, and the construction of the state-of-the-art Norton Rose classroom. Construction of the Ian G. Scott Courtroom, a fully functional courtroom where sitting judges hear regular cases, was completed across the street from the main Faculty of Law building.