The first Faculty of Law in Calgary was the Law School at Calgary College in 1913 which closed one year later due to the First World War. Law education was confined to the University of Alberta, Edmonton until the 1970s when interest in the establishment of a law school was indicated by the University of Calgary community and the members of the Calgary Bar. In 1973, the Government of Alberta appointed an ad hoc Committee on Legal Studies to investigate establishing a Law School in Calgary. The Minister of Advanced Education approved the Committee's findings in 1974 and the Faculty of Law officially opened at the University of Calgaryin 1976 under Dean John McLaren and Gail Starr, the Law Librarian.
The Fenerty Memorial Lectures were established in 1978 in honor of the late Lloyd H. Fenerty. The theme of the Fenerty Lectures was the interaction of law and contemporary social problems. The Martland Lectures were established in 1983 in honor of Justice Ronald Martland's 25 years on the bench of the Supreme Court of Canada. Both lecture series were established to bring together the academic and professional communities of the law.
The Canadian Institute of Resources Law was established on campus in October 1979. The Institute was the only body in Canada specializing in research, education and publication in all facets of resources law. The Institute was incorporated under federal legislation and functions with its own independent Board of Directors. The first Executive Director was Professor Rowland Harrison of the Faculty of Law. The object of the Institute is to contribute to a better understanding of how legal systems and laws deal with natural resources, to analyze whether such laws accomplish their policy objectives and to propose reforms for such laws. Early projects concentrated on the legal aspects of oil and gas but have since broadened out to examine legal issues concerning all natural resources. The Institute is funded in part by the Law Foundation.
In September 2010, the undergraduate degree designation changed from Bachelor of Laws (LLB) to Juris Doctor (JD).
Deans of the Faculty of Law: J.P.S. McLaren, 1976-1984; M.E. Hughes, 1984-1989; C.D. Hunt, 1989-1991; S.L. Martin, 1991- 1997; M.I. Wylie, 1997-2001; P. Hughes, 2001-2005; A. Lucas, 2006-2011; I. Holloway, 2011-.