Norman Manley Law School celebrates 50 years
THE NORMAN Manley Law School (NMLS) at Mona, St Andrew, named after Jamaica’s first and only premier, lawyer, Rhodes Scholar and National Hero, Norman Washington Manley, is celebrating 50 years.
The famed institution opened its doors to its first students in September 1973. Like the Hugh Wooding Law School in Trinidad and Tobago, which was also established in 1973, and the Eugene Dupuch Law School – the third law school of the Council of Legal Education established in 1998 – it prepares students for admission to practise in the Commonwealth Caribbean territories.
It began counting down the weeks to its 50th anniversary with a YouTube series titled ‘50 Weeks to 50!’ which featured one alumnus from each graduating class since the institution’s inception.
Festivities began when the law school hosted the 15th Annual Dr Lloyd Barnett, OJ, Lecture and Launch of the NMLS Anniversary Celebrations on September 7.
The event saw Justice Patrick Robinson, OJ, giving a lecture on ‘The Greatest Development in Law Since 1945’.
Principal, Carol Aina, gave remarks during which she shared “the enviable” accomplishments of the institution and why the NMLS enjoys such a renowned reputation among law schools the world over.
“Being able to celebrate 50 years of providing vocational legal education is a significant milestone, and we plan to have a grand celebration,” she said.
“One of our goals is to involve our alumni as much as possible. They have contributed to the great reputation the school enjoys and have been among countless luminaries in the region and global society,” the principal added.
The NMLS has not only helped to shape students as they prepare to be attorneys-at-law, but has shaped the fabric of Jamaican society by contributing graduates who have served the region in a variety of professions.
The school is also renowned regionally and internationally as an institution that provides some of the most erudite attorneys and exceptional advocates.
“Several weeks ago marked the first of the 2023-2024 academic year and 50 years since the Norman Manley Law School began providing legal training for aspiring Caribbean lawyers,” the principal said.
“Through this series, you would have seen the varied stories of students from all walks of life who have passed through the hallowed halls of the institution. Those who were sure of their calling, those who were moulded into the confident attorneys they would later become, the financial struggles, the academic victories, the educators who poured into them, and the lifelong friendships and bonds that were formed,” she added.
In February 2024, alumni and current students will come together for a family fun day filled with track and field competitions and a wide range of other activities.
In June, the festivities will end with a gala. The school will also document its milestones over the years in a magazine that alumni and friends of the school can cherish as a keepsake.
Along the way, the NMLS has racked up some awards, recently winning the Margaret Forte Inter-Schools Mock Trial Competition in Trinidad, making it nine out of the last 10 competitions for The University of the West Indies, Mona-based law school.
In addition, the school has also won the Lex Caribbean Court of Justice International Law Moot Competition, and the Caribbean Court of Justice International Law Moot Competition.