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Corporate Knights magazine releases list of sustainable law schools

Wednesday, June 24th 2009 10:01:31am

Attention: News/Business/Education Reporters and Assignment Editors

Corporate Knights releases 2009 Knight School Survey

University of Toronto leads list of law schools

(Toronto, Canada, June 24, 2009) Today, Corporate Knights Magazine unveils the sixth-annual Knight Schools ranking. The ranking analyzes how Canadian universities fare in integrating sustainability into the school experience.  

In reviewing law programs, the researchers adopted a broad definition of sustainability that encompassed environmental and social concerns. Issues of social justice, human rights, professional ethics, cultural diversity, climate change, and conservation were all considered.

The survey, modeled after the US-based Beyond Grey Pinstripes Survey, scored the programs in the areas of institutional support, student initiatives, and course work.

Coming in at the top again is the University of Toronto, followed by a new 2nd spot winner, York University's Osgoode Hall, and 3rd place's University of Ottawa - Common Law, which has moved up 2 spots since last year's ranking.

Law schools have certainly raised the bar for integrating sustainability into their curriculum. The Bachelor of Laws (LLB) degree in Canada has always maintained high scores. Corporate Knights has studied a number of other programs including Business, Public Policy, Engineering, and more recently, Teacher Education and Industrial Design. Average scores in these programs ranged from roughly 27% to 48%. Law schools led the pack considerably, earning an average program score of 58.89% this year - finishing head and shoulders above the other programs evaluated over the years.

Law schools are hubs of sustainable thinking because both faculty and students appear to be invested in these topics. Professors are active in promoting environmental and social concerns both inside and outside the classroom. Law students are also heavily concerned with these issues; many schools boast a full range of clubs and groups with mandates that run the gamut from Environmental Law, LGBTQ issues, and Aboriginal Law.

"I am always impressed with how dedicated law schools are to sustainability-related issues," says Monika Warzecha, the primary researcher for the Knight Schools survey, "The variety of courses, specializations, and guest speakers is truly impressive."

While the overall high scores of law programs should be lauded, it is interesting to note that this year, the cumulative program score has fallen slightly. In 2008, the average law program score came in at 59.12%. In 2009, that number has fallen to 58.89%. While Law programs remain leaders in the Knight Schools ranking, students and professors need to keep promoting environmental and social issues and exploring new avenues of sustainability to ensure a steady move forward.

The full results and methodology of the Ranking are available at www.corporateknights.ca/knightschools and are summarized in the Best 50/Eduction issue (Vol. 8.1) of Corporate Knights, distributed in the Globe and Mail yesterday.

Law (out of 21 schools)

1.University of Toronto: 91%
2. York University - Osgoode Hall Law School: 81%
3. University of Ottawa - Common Law: 79.67%
4. Dalhousie University: 78.75%
5. University of Victoria: 75.5%
6. McGill University: 73.42%
7. University of British Columbia: 71.67%
8. Université du Quebec à Montréal: 67.75%
9. University of Windsor: 63.42%
10: University of Alberta: 56.17%

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To schedule interviews with Melissa Shin, the Managing Editor of Corporate Knights, or Monika Warzecha, Editorial Assistant, contact:

Don Huff, 416-972-7404, huffd@ecostrategy.ca

About Corporate Knights:
Founded in 2002, Corporate Knights Inc. is an independent Canadian-based media company focused on promoting and reinforcing sustainable development in Canada.