From the 16th century to the present day, Messina, also known as the “City of the Strait”, has distinguished itself as a dynamic centre of legal education and a vital cultural hub that, thanks to its strategic geographic location and the master degrees who have taught there, has attracted students from Sicily, Calabria and other Mediterranean territories.
By continuing a consolidated tradition, after the Unification of Italy, the Faculty of Law in Messina continued to ensure high quality training programmes, also as a result of the presence of a cohesive group of academics capable of taking an active part in the debates that animated Italian legal science at the end of the century: the internationalist Giuseppe Oliva, the jurisprudence lawyer Francesco Faranda, the administrative lawyer Giacomo Macrì, and others.
During this period, and up until the Second World War - despite the difficulties caused by the tragic earthquake of 1908 - the number of enrollments and graduates grew steadily, and with it they also grew the university premises, services and library holdings. 
The current building housing the Department, included in the University's larger architectural complex in the late Art Nouveau style, was completed in 1927. At the same time, the Institute of Legal, Economic, Political and Social Sciences was inaugurated, an ideal place for professors and students to meet and exchange ideas.
Between 1928 and 1931, the already rich library acquired some important collections belonging to Peloritan lawyers.
But, it is especially with the appointment of Salvatore Pugliatti as Dean of the Faculty and Angelo Falzea, who succeeded him in 1954 and stayed in the post until 1982 - that the University of Messina made its mark on the national academic y scene and became the natural seat of prestigious legal 'Schools' as well as a breeding ground for brilliant young jurists, capable of achieving ambitious professional goals in the legal world, in the academic world and in the top positions of various national and international institutions.
Today, the activities and tradition of the Faculty of Law are carried on by the 'Salvatore Pugliatti' Department of Law, which was established in the 2012/2013 academic year. In addition to the research activity, which is always conducted at a high level by professors, researchers and postodcs who take the first steps of their careers following the schools in Messina, the Department's teaching activities focus on offering a 5-year integrated degree in Law, a three-year degree in Labour Consultants and Legal Services Sciences, and a number of post-graduate training modules, including several Master degrees, a PhD course in Legal Sciences, and a School of Specialisation for Legal Professions.
In addition to these research, teaching, and training objectives, which constitute the traditional scope of Accademia , the Department of Law is particularly active in the area of the so-called Third Mission, as it promote activities aimed at valorising, transferring and disseminating knowledge, aimed at increasing interaction with the civil society and in particular with the territory in which the Department operates, in order to foster social, cultural, and economic development.