The following information deals mainly with legal education in Ontario.
Thinking about law? Start early! Ontario Deadlines: early November
Ontario has six law schools that offer Juris Doctor (J.D) programs. Applications are centralized through the Ontario Universities Application Centre. Each faculty of law has different entrance requirements so check each school’s web site to make sure you meet the requirements. Start early as each application requires a significant amount of time. The law school application is online at the Ontario Law School Application Service (OLSAS) www.ouac.on.ca/olsas. There is an application service fee, and supplementary school fee. To apply to law schools in other provinces you must apply to those universities directly.
Early-August: OLSAS online application available
Beginning of November: Deadline for applications to first-year programs. Note that transcripts and reference forms are also due at time of application
April: Deadline for applications to the Canadian & American Dual J.D. Program at Windsor
End of June: Deadline for receipt of final transcripts at the OUAC. *For exact dates check: ouac.on.ca/olsas
The Law School Admissions Test (LSAT) is normally required for all law school admissions. This test assesses your abilities in three areas using multiple choice questions: reading comprehension, analytical reasoning, and logical reasoning. There is also a 35 minute writing sample.
The test is offered four times a year in a number of locations in Ontario, including Trent. Dates are usually in June, October, December, and February. Registration, locations, dates, practice tests and further information are available at the Law School Admissions Test Centre. LSAC.org.
Information Usually Required for an Application:
Profile of experience or personal statement.
Some schools ask for an essay while others ask specific questions
Chronological list of all activities since high school with contact information for individuals who can verify all information is accurate
The centralized application will collect your personal information, transcripts, LSAT scores, application fees, and information from references
Consider how campus and community work, volunteer, leadership roles and summer and
part-time jobs can strengthen your application.
Calculation of academic averages varies from school to school, so refer to each school for additional information. Conversion tables are on the OLSAS website.
Entrance grades vary according to school but most schools suggest that a cumulative GPA of A- is required. Marks are calculated differently by each school. For example, some may take your cumulative average while others will calculate your final two years or best two years
Some universities offer joint degrees in law and another subject. For example, at some schools you can complete a law degree as well as a graduate degree (master’s or PhD in another discipline such as such as English, Environmental Studies, International Relations and others.) There are also combined professional programs such as a joint JD and MSW or MBA.
Some universities offer a combined program that allows participants to obtain both Canadian and the American law degrees. This program is offered jointly by some Canadian law schools and partner schools in the United States.
Some universities allow you to get degrees in both Common Law and Civil Law.
After graduation: becoming licensed to practice law
After completing a law degree, to qualify to practice as a lawyer, graduates must work as articling students for a year (a paid position), take bar admission courses and pass the bar admissions course.