Legal sciences have been an integral part of the curriculum ever since the establishment of the Catholic University of Lublin in 1918. It was as early as in 1918 when the University opened the Faculty of Law and Socio-Economic Sciences and the Faculty of Canon Law and Moral Sciences. Both faculties operated continually until the outbreak of the Second World War. The university re-opened in 1944 and the development of the revived Section of Law at the Faculty of Law and Socio-Economic Sciences gathered momentum. This development was halted by state authorities in 1952. The decree of the Minister of Education of 23rd June 1949 ordered "a gradual dissolution of the Section of Law of the Faculty of Law and Socio-Economic Sciences at the Catholic University of Lublin"; the minister further resolved to withhold the recruitment to the first year of legal studies and a gradual discontinuation of the upper courses. Consequently, in 1952 the Section of Law ceased to exist. It was officially re-opened at the Faculty of Canon Law no earlier than in 1981 owing to the social and political transformation of the time. As a matter of fact, after the many years' break, the university initiated the first legal courses in the academic year of 1983/84.
Today's Institute of Law operates within the Faculty of Law, Cannon Law and Administration. The Institute of Law started after combining the four institutes operating hitherto (Institute of General Legal Sciences, Institute of Public Law, Institute of Private Law and Institute of Penal Law). Currently, the Institute of Law employs over 92 fellows and comprises 19 departments.