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Enlightenment, Legal Education, and CritiqueSelected Essays on the History of Scots Law, Volume 2$
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John W. Cairns

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9780748682133

Published to Edinburgh Scholarship Online: January 2018

DOI: 10.3366/edinburgh/9780748682133.001.0001

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Lawyers, Law Professors, and Localities: The Universities of Aberdeen, 1680–1750

Lawyers, Law Professors, and Localities: The Universities of Aberdeen, 1680–1750

(p.3) 1 Lawyers, Law Professors, and Localities: The Universities of Aberdeen, 1680–1750
Enlightenment, Legal Education, and Critique

John W Cairns

Edinburgh University Press

This chapter examines the development of law teaching and professional education in the universities and town of Aberdeen during the period 1680–1750. Aberdeen is particularly interesting in this context. It had two universities: King's College and University (founded 1495) and Marischal College and University (founded 1593). As in Edinburgh, the largest professional group in Aberdeen was that of the lawyers. The basic problem for the two Aberdeen universities was locality. The Faculty of Advocates wanted law to be taught close to Edinburgh, preferably in Edinburgh itself. The Advocates wanted classes to prepare students for the Advocates' examinations; they wanted them taught by law professors whom they knew and whose appointments and tenure they could influence. Aberdeen was simply too distant and too subject to local pressures. The chapter considers why the location of Aberdeen doomed it to failure as a potential site of a law school during the period.

Keywords:   law teaching, professional education, Aberdeen, King's College and University, Marischal College and University, lawyers, Aberdeen universities, locality, Faculty of Advocates, law professors

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