Louis Arthur Grimes School of Law (LAGL) History
Named after the late Chief Justice of the Supreme Court, Louis Arthur Grimes, the School came into existence by an Act of Legislature in 1951.
The Law School, which opened in 1954, is the nation’s only Law School and the University’s first graduate school. Dedicated to the improvement of the quality of both the legal profession and of the administration of justice, the School offers a three-year full-time program and a five-year part-time program, all leading to a Bachelor of Laws (LL.B.) Degree. Currently, only the full time program is in operation.
In recent years the Law School has become one of the leading institutions of legal education in West Africa. A highly qualified faculty of Liberian instructors as well as the finest library in the nation is at the disposal of law students, the faculty, and the local Bench and Bar, as well as the public.
By an Act of Legislature published October 17, 1972, which abolished the apprenticeship system in Liberia, any candidate applying for admission to the Bar for the practice of law as an attorney must be a graduate of the Louis Arthur Grimes School of Law or any other Law School recognized by the University of Liberia and the Liberian National Bar Association (“LNBA”). This Act prohibits graduates of the apprenticeship system, of correspondence schools and schools that are not recognized by the LNBA from being admitted to the Bar.
The primary purpose of the School is to prepare men and women to meet the needs of their society in the many fields of law. These needs call for not only knowledge of technical skills in the development of the law and in the administration of justice but also a continuation of general liberal education as well as for responsible moral and ethical leadership. Technical training, education and research are amongst the central aims of this institution. The School seeks to make students conscious of the current need for reforms in the law and its systems and to make them capable of rendering honest and effective service to their clients and to their country. Thus, the Law School, since its founding, has unceasingly stressed the significance of these larger dimensions of the lawyer’s role and has uncompromisingly urged the students to view legal issues from the perspective of their broadest social, political and intellectual ramifications.
The Curriculum of the Louis Arthur Grimes School of Law is designed to prepare students for the practice of law in Liberia and other common law jurisdictions, and for legal or executive positions in business, industry, government and other areas of service. It is also designed to acquaint students with important legal issues facing Liberia, Africa, and the world. The School’s academic program also includes research projects in various areas of Liberian Law, participation in all International Law Moot Court Competitions, The All-African Human Rights Moot Court Competition and the publication of the Liberian Law Journal. The Editorial Board of the Liberian Law Journal is comprised entirely of student and supervised by a Faculty Advisor. In addition, the School holds periodic seminars for the training of Stipendiary and Associate Magistrates and Justices of the Peace in collaboration with the Supreme Court of Liberia.
The Law School has an array of full and part-time Liberian professors and non-Liberian adjunct professors, all of whom have extensive educational and practical experience. Currently, there are more than twenty (20) professors. With a current student population of 270, the School proudly boasts of a ratio of fifteen (15) students to one (1) professor.