The School of Law (reorganized now as the College of Law and Governance Studies) was inaugurated in 1963 by Emperor Haile Sellassie I as part of the then Haile Sellassie I University (HSIU). The need to open law school was expressed in the Emperor’s opening speech as pivotal in training Ethiopian lawyers in Ethiopian laws. That was the time the country just enacted the major substantive and procedure laws/codes. Having been dependent on foreigners, particularly the British in the judiciary, Ethiopia embarked on what can be termed as a massive self-capacity building in legal education and administration of justice. Since then the Law School has trained thousands of graduates that have served the country in judicial, administrative and academic institutions.
The initial curriculum of the School was based on a three-year training scheme adapted from the American law schools. Likewise, having a first degree was made an admission requirement following the American way. Since that time several curricular changes have been made and currently the school implements modular curriculum both in the LL.B.. and the four LL.M.. programs. The School’s evening program was first launched to offer law diploma, and was upgraded to degree in the 2000s.
The College publishes a bi-annual journal (the Journal of Ethiopian Law), Series on Business Law, Constitutional Law, and Human Rights Law and Addis Ababa University Student Law Review.