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Dalhousie Law School, 1883-1983


Dalhousie Law School, 1883-1983



Date of Issue

October 28, 1983




Postal Administration


Perforation or Dimension

13 x 13.5


Canadian Bank Note Company, Limited.


Designed by Denise Saulnier.

About Stamp

October 1983 marks the hundredth anniversary of Dalhousie Law School, the oldest continually operating university common-law school in Canada. The first dean, Dr. Richard Chapman Weldon, clearly defined its goal: to produce practical as well as theoretical lawyers. Dean Weldon was concerned with exploring both the professional and the cultural approaches to the study of law. Consequently, as early as 1887, legal education in Nova Scotia moved from the traditional method of apprenticeship to the system of three years at university law school and a shorter period as an apprentice in a law office. The concept of such an institution was controversial issue at that time. The Law Society of Upper Canada, for example, felt that the academic side of preparing students for the practice of law should be done by the profession. Nevertheless, the system Dean Weldon introduced is now the standard throughout Canada. In 1883 Dalhousie University had no official funding and was threatening to close its doors. It was only thanks to a generous benefactor that it did not, and that Dalhousie Law School was born. This distinguished school survived its difficult beginning, financial problems, two World Wars, and the Great Depression because of the dedication of prestigious deans and the "downtown" lecturers. The latter were practising lawyers who taught at the school free of charge. The school has expanded remarkably over the years and changed location a number of times. Dalhousie Law School nourishes high academic standards, a close relationship between students and faculty, and a tradition of public service. It has greatly contributed to the legal and judicial institutions and to the political life of the nation. Many prime ministers, provincial premiers, cabinet ministers, Supreme Court judges, university presidents, and civic leaders once sat on the benches of the old school. The stamp design characterizes both the persevering spirit and the rich tradition of Dalhousie Law School by featuring the school coat of arms (the phoenix over the traditional symbols of justice) against a deep blue background. Halifax designer Denise Saulnier created the design based on a photograph of the coat of arms by Don Robinson.
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Canada Post Corporation. [Postage Stamp Press Release], 1983.

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