A blue-ribbon panel is recommending that Memorial University set up a law school, even though prior investigations found that such an addition would be costly or unnecessary.

The panel — chaired by Dean of Arts Lynne Phillips and includes members such as Supreme Court Justice Alphonse Faour — determined that a new law school would be economically feasible and provide an opportunity for young lawyers to be educated at home rather than having to go to other provinces.

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A new report says it would cost about $5 million per year to operate a new law school. (CBC)

The report estimates that the capital costs of building a law school would be about $26.1 million and that it would cost more than $5 million each year to run the school. 

Two separate reports, in 1976 and 1987, recommended against a law school as being not economically feasible. 

The new report, though, found that circumstances have changed, and sided with arguments against other objections to building a law school, including the sense that the province already has enough lawyers.

"It appears to be a favourable time to establish a law school. Only three law schools have opened in the country since 1975, all of which are small regional universities without the international reputation of Memorial University," the report said.

The panel's research included meetings with the legal profession and judiciary, as well as public consultations.

The university is welcoming comment on the report until the end of January.