Faculty of Law at Lakehead University

Nishnawbe-Aski Nation Lakehead University Faculty of Law
Ontario's Bora Laskin Law School - Photo by Derek Silver

Lakehead Faculty of LawTHUNDER BAY – News – Lakehead University Law School has announced its first faculty members. The founding Dean of Lakehead University’s Faculty of Law, Lee Stuesser, introduced the first three hires. The law school, Ontario’s first in 44 years, has appointed two assistant professors — a Lakehead University alumna who specializes in Aboriginal legal issues, and an experienced Canadian Constitutional Law teacher — and a head librarian who is also a lawyer.

Lakehead Faculty of Law

“One thing is clear: Lakehead University’s ability to attract such quality people bodes well for the future of this law school,” said Stuesser. “I’m very excited how our Law School’s inaugural year is taking shape. Our two new faculty appointments not only bring excellent academic credentials, but proven teaching skills,” added Rod Hanley, Lakehead University’s Provost and Vice-President, Academic. “With teacher-scholars of this caliber now on board, our first year’s teaching team establishes a firm foundation for our new Faculty of Law.” 

Karen Drake, Assistant Professor of Law

A Lakehead alumna, Ms. Drake is currently enrolled in the Master of Laws program at the University of Toronto, where her focus is on Aboriginal legal issues — specifically identifying and evaluating the rationale underlying Aboriginal rights.

Ms. Drake received her Bachelor of Arts in Philosophy in 1998 from Lakehead and went on to complete a Masters degree at Queen’s University in 1999.  After graduating from the University of Toronto’s Faculty of Law in 2007 Karen took up private practice as an Associate with the local law firm of Erickson & Partners, where she practiced in the areas of Civil Litigation with a focus on Aboriginal legal issues, labour and employment law, and human rights.

Dr. Mariette Brennan, Assistant Professor of Law

Dr. Brennan comes to Lakehead from Bond University’s Faculty of Law where she is an Assistant Professor and has taught for four years in the areas of Canadian Constitutional Law and Foundations of Canadian Law, in the Canadian Law Program.

A Canadian, Dr. Brennan received her Ph.D. from Osgoode Hall Law School in 2012 following her Master of Laws at the University of Essex and a Juris Doctor degree from the University of Ottawa in 2003. Her research interests focus on international human rights and health law.

Rob Hudson, Head of Faculty of Law Library

Mr. Hudson has extensive experience establishing law libraries, having been the founding Law Librarian and Lecturer at Qatar University, the Associate Dean for Arizona’s Phoenix School of Law’s library, and the Interim Director and Head of Public Services at the Law Library and Technology Centre at NSU, Florida.

Mr. Hudson received his M.L.I.S. from the University of British Columbia after receiving his Juris Doctor at Valparaiso University Law School, Indiana, and Ed.S. doctoral degree in Educational Technology from NSU. He also holds a B.A. and M.A. in history from the University of California, Riverside.

Mr. Hudson looks forward to the challenges and excitement of founding the newest academic law library in Ontario and helping establish the Lakehead University Faculty of Law.

Lakehead University’s Faculty of Law

In July 2011, Ontario’s Ministry of Training, Colleges and Universities (MTCU) made a significant funding announcement to support Lakehead University’s Faculty of Law. MTCU has committed to fully fund and support the Faculty of Law and, as part of the Province’s capital improvements budget, they have made a $1.5 million commitment to complete capital improvements to the historic PACI building in Thunder Bay where the Faculty of Law will be housed.

The law school is in the North for the North, with a focus on preparing students for the practice of law in rural and smaller centres where there is a pressing need for new lawyers. Its focus is threefold: aboriginal law and understanding of aboriginal issues, the needs of small practitioners, and natural resources law.


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