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Learned in the Law

From modest beginnings in 1883 when Judge Seth Smith was appointed part-time Lecturer in Law (the start of the course being delayed when he fell off his horse), the Auckland Law School has developed into one of the leading law schools in the Southern Hemisphere, the largest in New Zealand, and has acquired an international reputation. Drawing on University, Faculty and Departmental records, personal interviews and other sources, this book, most of which has been written by Emeritus Professor Brian Coote, chronicles much of the turmoil encountered along the way, as well as numerous anecdotes and incidents calculated to engage the reader. Topics include controversies over the introduction of full-time study, Law School governance and the Deanship, and whether the Law School should have to take over the teaching of law to non-lawyers. Accommodation had to be made for the feminist revolution and the Maori renaissance. There are lively accounts of such things as claims for defamation, student pranks, a brush with the Ministry of Women's Affairs, public protests at selection criteria and at the non-appointment of a professor, the 'kill-a-white' incident, and the claim by a judge (who had previously proposed that the Law Society start its own Law School) that legal executives were of more use than Law School graduates. These and a host of other matters are recounted with clarity and dry humour. Alumni of the Law School and others in the legal profession will enjoy this engaging account of a Faculty that has held an important place in the training of New Zealand's legal minds for over a hundred years.
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Table of Contents

Foreword - The Dean of Law, Professor Paul Rishworth -- Preface -- Beginnings: 1883-1937 -- World War Two: 1938-1945 -- The Davis Years: 1946-1964 -- Growth: 1965-1969 -- Aspiration: 1970-1979 -- Change: Struggle: 1987 - 1994 -- Into the New Millennium: 1995-2008 -- Postscript -- Appendices -- Index

About the Author

Emeritus Professor Brian Coote is a former student, Professor and Dean of the Auckland Law School. The author of Exception Clauses (London, 1964) and of numerous articles, notes and reviews in English, Canadian, Australian and New Zealand legal publications, he has continued to write since his retirement in early 1995. He was a member for 20 years of the Contracts and Commercial Law Reform Committee, was made a CBE in 1995, and in 2007 was elected one of the sixteen initial Fellows of the New Zealand Academy of the Humanities-Aronui. Of the other contributors, Bernard Brown, who writes about the Legal Research Foundation, is a retired Associate Professor who has been a member of the Foundation's Council since 1969. Peter Watts is a Professor and some-time acting Dean of the Faculty, and is a member of the University Council. Sean Kinsler is a recent LLM graduate and freelance researcher, who acted as research assistant to the project.

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