John McLaren joined UVic as Lansdowne Professor of Law in 1987. Prior to his appointment he taught as an Assistant and later Associate Professor at the University of Saskatchewan College of Law from 1966 to 1971, as an Associate Professor and later Professor and Dean of the University of Windsor Faculty of Law from 1971 to 1975, and as Professor and Dean of the University of Calgary Faculty of Law from 1975 to 1984.
He was a visiting research fellow at ANU in 1994. His major areas of research interest are tort law, insurance law, Canadian legal history, social history of the law, legal education, and legal theory. He has written a number of articles on these topics, and has co-authored the Fraser Committee report on Pornography and Prostitution in Canada, and co-edited (with Hamar Foster) Law for the Elephant, Law for the Beaver (1992): Essays in the Legal History of the North American West and Essays in the History of Canadian Law: B.C. and the Yukon (1995). A further co-edited book of essays, Religious Conscience, the State and the Law is currently in press. Professor McLaren teaches Insurance Law, Canadian Legal History, Torts, and Legal Process.
He was a founder of the Canadian Law and Society Association, served on the Canadian Human Rights Tribunal and is active in refugee and social justice causes.