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Throughout the history of the Faculty of Law and the Squire Law Library, there has been a tradition of benefaction among Cambridge Alumni and others with an interest in the health of the subject within the University. This desire to support teaching, learning and research in Law within Cambridge continues to the present day with investment in lectureships, student bursaries, exchange programs, visitor schemes, IT facilities and library resources.

The Cambridge Faculty of Law is nationally and internationally recognised as being at the forefront of legal teaching and research. The subject has been studied at Cambridge since the thirteenth century and the Faculty has developed an outstanding tradition of legal scholarship. The Squire Law Library was established in 1904 and, throughout its history, has supported the Faculty's teaching and research. Many benefactors have provided support to the Faculty and the Library to help enable both institutions to maintain the highest standards in legal scholarship.

Major Benefactions

Benefactions received by the Faculty to support study and research have included the following:

  • Whewell Trust Fund (1867), for scholarships in international law;
  • Edmund Yorke's bequest (1873), used for the Yorke Prize and other undertakings connected with the study of law;
  • Squire Scholarship Fund, received from the trustees of Miss Rebecca Flower Squire in 1901 to provide scholarships and grants in law;
  • Maitland Memorial Fund (1906), established in honour of F. W. Maitland, the Downing Professor and renowned legal historian, for the promotion of research and instruction in the history of law and of legal language and institutions;
  • Wright Rogers bequest (1966), for scholarships and grants;
  • Hersch Lauterpacht Fund (1967), for the study of international law; and a number of prize funds.

The First Law Appeal

There have been three successful Law Appeals in the history of the Faculty, with the first being launched in 1898. Its aim was to raise funds for accommodation for the Law School including a library, lecture rooms and small teaching rooms. In 1901 the project benefited from the generosity of the trustees of the will of Miss Rebecca Flower Squire of Victoria Street, Westminster. Miss Squire, who died in 1898, had left money for the foundation of a law library and the establishment of scholarships and exhibitions in law. A history of the Squire Law Library can be found on the History of the Squire webpage. The benefaction enabled both the establishment of the Squire Law Library and the Squire Scholarship Fund. The overall success of the appeal resulted in the creation of a new law library and also gave the Faculty of Law two professors' rooms, four classrooms and a lecturers' room in the new accommodation on Downing Street, Cambridge.

The New Law Building

In 1987 the Faculty of Law launched its second Law Appeal in order to raise funds for a new Law Building to bring the Faculty and the Squire under one roof and to provide a focal point for law within the University. The project resulted in the Lord Foster and Partners designed building that is situated on the University's Sidgwick Site. The building unites the Faculty's administration, the Squire Law Library, lecture halls and teaching rooms, offices for teaching staff and common room facilities.

A great many individuals and organisations gave generously towards the cost of completing the new building and have helped to improve facilities including library provision. Among those who contributed were:

  • American Friends of Cambridge University
  • Mr Peter Beckwith
  • Hambros Bank Limited
  • Trinity College, Cambridge
  • St John's College, Cambridge
  • The Cambridge partners of:
    • Herbert Smith
    • Linklaters & Paines
    • Slaughter and May
  • The Cambridge members of:
    • Erskine Chambers
    • Essex Court Chambers

Post-1996 Developments

In the years immediately following the official opening of the new Law Building in 1996 the Faculty benefited from further support; most notably from

  • Arthur Goodhart Trust
  • The City Solicitors' Educational Trust
  • Dr David Li of the Cambridge Alumni in Hong Kong
  • The Newton Trust
  • Mr John Nolan
  • Norton Rose
  • The late Dr Herchel Smith
  • Travers Smith Braithwaite

The Squire Law Library received support from:

  • Reed Elsevier's legal division which provided a foundation gift of printed and electronic materials to the Squire following its relocation into the new Faculty of Law building.
  • The Maitland Memorial Fund and the Trustees of the Cambridge Law Journal, which enabled the establishment of the Maitland Legal History Room within the Squire Law Library.
  • Professor George P Smith II.

In addition, the Faculty and Library were grateful to:

  • Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer who began their support in 2000 for the teaching of legal research skills with the establishment of a lectureship, an I.T. Room and by supporting the various library subscriptions to electronic legal databases.

Squire Law Library Centenary Appeal

In 2003 the Squire Law Library Centenary Appeal (the third law appeal) was launched, to coincide with the centenary year in 2004. The aim of the appeal was to create the Squire Law Library Endowment Fund to ensure that the Squire strengthens its position as a world class law library and continues to underpin the future of legal scholarship at Cambridge.

Lord Woolf the Lord Chief Justice delivered the Squire Centenary Lecture in the Law Faculty on the evening of March 3 2004.

The fund currently helps with the development of the Library's collections, maximises I.T. provision, increases staffing and continues to promote the highest level of service to its users.