Lakehead University Announces Founding Dean of Law

(May 29 – Thunder Bay, ON)  

Harvard educated. Canadian born.  Lakehead University is pleased to introduce its Founding Dean of Law, Lee Stuesser.

Dr. Brian Stevenson and Dr. Lee Stuesser are committed to the success of
Lakehead's Faculty of Law

Born and raised in northern Saskatchewan, Stuesser is currently working as a professor and administrator at Australia’s Bond University, where he has been since 2008. Before that, he was a Law Professor with the University of Manitoba for more than 20 years and he has also taught at the University of Ottawa and Royal Roads University.

Stuesser has a distinguished reputation in the Canadian legal and academic community for his writings on advocacy, evidence, and criminal law.

Lee Stuesser spoke about his vision for the Faculty of Law at the historic PACI Building

“We are so excited to introduce Lee Stuesser as the Founding Dean of the first Faculty of Law in Ontario in more than 43 years,” Lakehead University President Brian Stevenson said. “He brings the right mix of local and international experience, as well as knowledge of the north. He is the right fit for a Faculty of Law in the north, for the north.”

Stuesser was the clear choice as Founding Dean, said Dr. Rod Hanley, Lakehead’s Provost and Vice-President (Academic).

“He has the vision to implement the Faculty of Law’s ambitious curriculum, which focuses on natural resources law, issues related to the training and retention of lawyers in small and sole practitioner firms, and Aboriginal law,” Hanley said.


Dr. Stevenson, Dr. Stuesser, and Dr. Hanley share a relaxed moment at the
Dean of Law media conference

For his part, Stuesser says the opportunity to build a Faculty of Law from the ground up is a truly unique and exciting prospect.

“I think the law needs to serve people,” he said. “I look forward to bridging the gap between the practice of law and legal education. We can make a real difference by providing well-trained, committed lawyers able to deal with legal issues relevant to rural and remote practice.”

An expert in Evidence, Canadian Constitutional Law, Trial Advocacy, and Canadian Criminal Law, Stuesser brings to the table a breadth of knowledge that he will use to create an innovative teaching and learning model without precedent in Canada. Last year, his work was cited in 31 legal judgments including two judgments by the Supreme Court of Canada.

Stuesser received a Bachelor of Education from Brock University, an Arts HBA from the University of Winnipeg, and an Arts MA from the University of Guelph before embarking upon his legal studies. He earned a Bachelor of Laws from the University of Manitoba and a Master of Laws from Harvard Law School.

His textbook An Advocacy Primer is used in classrooms across Canada and he just completed a second edition of the Australian textbook An Introduction to Advocacy. “Nothing gives me more joy than to be told by a young lawyer that my advocacy book ‘saved him in court,’ ” Stuesser says.

Lakehead’s newest Dean promises a consultative approach that engages faculty, students, and Northern Ontario’s law community in this inspiring new endeavour.

He will be here for Convocation on June 1-2, and is making preparations to move his family to Thunder Bay sometime in August. Married with three children, Stuesser is an avid golfer and curler. He has coached baseball and hockey, and says he looks forward to cheering on Lakehead’s varsity athletes.

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To arrange an interview with Lee Stuesser, please contact Tracey Skehan at (807) 343-8372 or

About Lakehead
Lakehead is a comprehensive university with a reputation for a multidisciplinary teaching approach that emphasizes collaborative learning and independent critical thinking. More than 8,700 students and 1,850 faculty and staff learn and work at campuses located in Orillia, and Thunder Bay, Ontario, which is home to the west campus of the Northern Ontario School of Medicine. Lakehead University promotes innovative research that supports local and regional socio-economic needs. In Orillia, development continues on building a campus that meets Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED®) standards.

Last updated May 29, 2012

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