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.
This consists of a male magnificent frigate bird with outstretched wings with a red throat patch in its breeding season, perched on a gold balance on a wreath alternatively gold and red.
On the left side a man dressed in a hat and wearing trousers and the sleeves of his open shirt rolled and holding in his hand and resting his foot on an agricultural fork. On the right side a woman dressed in a tartan patterned jupe with bodice and petticoat, wearing a head-dress of Madras cloth and holding in her hand a star-apple plant. The growing plant in the hand of the woman is the symbol of fertility and represents the verdant flora of the region. The man and the woman represent the foundation of the West Indian family life and depict the idea of the law being made by and for the people.
This consists of a gold disc powered with black ermine spots thereon two caimite or star-apple leaves, the one on the left showing the upper side and the one on the right showing the under side.