1978: Introduction of a stand-alone Law programme

The idea of establishing a degree in legal studies at HSG was discussed for the first time in the mid-1950s, when the range of course offerings in this subject was expanding; Professor Wolfhart F. Bürgi, who was the president of the school at the time, initiated the discussion. However, HSG's plans to introduce a special business law degree met with united resistance from the Conference of Law Faculties in Switzerland, and it was decided to put the plan on hold in favour of other priorities. It was not until 1968 that a new attempt was made with the introduction of a specialisation in business law in the existing programme in business studies. With the support of the St. Gallen cantonal legislature and the cantonal examination board for lawyers, HSG thus became a door-opener for all kinds of legal profession. Criticism from other Swiss universities remained, however, due to the insufficient number of semester hours of legal subjects.

In the early 1970s, the project of a stand-alone legal degree programme in St. Gallen was taken up again, when the number of law students was growing steadily across Switzerland and HSG students themselves expressed a wish to be able to take a final degree examination in law at their home university. From 1971 onwards, study programmes were developed and resource calculations carried out. After the introduction of the law degree programme was officially decided in 1974, the law department planned the details of the new degree programme, such as semester hours per week, teaching positions, full professorships and so on.

Following the approval of the cantonal government in February 1978, the degree programme was finally launched in the autumn semester 1978-79, so that  for the first time  students could be trained here to become lawyers, graduating with the qualification lic. iur. HSG.