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Our history

The City of Edinburgh has been a major centre for Law since the middle ages, and for more than 300 years the University has trained generations of the world's finest legal minds.

The first Chair in Law, the Regius Chair of Public Law and the Law of Nature and Nations, was established in 1707, appointed to Charles Areskine, MA (St Andrews) and Regent in Philosophy in the University of Edinburgh.

Areskine had a distinguished legal and political career, entering Parliament in 1722, and serving as Solicitor General (1725-1737) and Lord Advocate (1737-1742), before appointment to the bench as Lord Tinwald in 1742. In 1748 he became Lord Justice Clerk.

Over the following three centuries the Law School has experienced many changes, and the modern school has been shaped by the passion, commitment and acheivements of the staff, students and visitors who have been part of this world-class institution.

You can read a short history about the Law School written by Professors John W. Cairns and Hector L. MacQueen.

Download 'Learning and the Law: A short history of Edinburgh Law School' [pdf]

Old College 1950