The Norman Manley Law School is named after the famed politician and lawyer, the late Hon. Norman Washington Manley Q.C. He was born in Jamaica on July 4, 1893, at Roxborough in Manchester.
He attended Beckford and Smith High School and later Jamaica College where he distinguished himself as a scholar and athlete. In 1914 he was awarded the Rhodes Scholarship to Oxford University.He interrupted his studies to serve as a soldier in the First World War and was decorated with the military medal for bravery in action.
At Oxford University, he obtained the B.A. and B.C.L. degrees, the latter with First Class Honours. He obtained a Class 1 in the Bar Examinations and was awarded a Certificate of Honour. In the same year he was Prizeman at Gray’s Inn. He was called to the Bar on April 21, 1921.
On returning to Jamaica he distinguished himself as an advocate and was made a King’s Counsel in 1932.
One of the leading statesmen of his time, he was Chief Minister of Jamaica from January 1955 to July 1959, and was Premier of Jamaica from July 1959 to April 1962.
He was one of the architects of the Jamaican Independence Constitution. He died on September 2, 1969. He is one of Jamaica’s National Heroes.
The Norman Manley Law School opened its doors to its first students in September 1973. Like its sibling schools, the Hugh Wooding Law School in Trinidad and Tobago which was also established in 1973, and the Eugene Dupuch Law School – the third law school of the Council of Legal Education established in 1998 – it prepares students for admission to practice in the Commonwealth Caribbean territories.