What is Law?
Law is the profession of interpreting laws, applying them to client situations and providing legal advice. It involves informing clients of their legal rights and responsibilities and providing representation in situation such as negotiations, courts, and tribunals. The legal profession also involves a significant amount of research and preparation of legal documentation and contracts. There are many areas of specialization, including business law, tax, law, intellectual property law, criminal law, family law and labour law. (UTM "Preparing for Law" tipsheet)
What are the common academic requirements for Law programs?
- Three years (15 credits) in any undergraduate program in university, although most law schools prefer a completed degree
- Most successful applicants have a cumulative GPA of A-
- LSAT score at a minimum is the top 70-85th percentile
Law School Tips
- Start early! Law schools require a high GPA. Many look for demonstrated interest in law on your application.
- Improve your GPA: Visit the AA&CC and the Centre for Teaching & Learning to improve your academic skills. AA&CC Events & Workshops are available via CLN
- Cultivate References: Get to know a few professors early so that they write a strong reference letter for you.
- Get Involved: Join volunteer and cocurricular activities that demonstrate your skills and ongoing interest in a career in Law.
How to become a lawyer in Ontario?
- Law degree from an accredited institution
- Skills and Professional Responsibility program
- 10-month articling experience under the supervision of a qualified lawyer, OR an 8-month Law Practice Program
- 2 full-day 6-hour multiple choice Bar exam
Where can I study law?
There are 7 law schools in Ontario, and they are:
- Lakehead University
- Osgoode Hall Law School of York University
- University of Ottawa (offered in both English and French)
- Queen’s University
- University of Toronto
- Western University
- University of Windsor
Be sure to visit each university’s website for more information on their program and specific admission requirements.
How do I apply?
The application process is centralized through OUAC’s Ontario Law School Application Service (OLSAS): www.ouac.on.ca/olsas Applications are typically due at the beginning of November every application year.
Typical Application Timeline
Begin 1 year prior to your desired Fall start:
- August - Create your OLSAS account
- October - Complete the online application
- By Novermber - Submit all supporting documents
- April - Admission decisions are made, conditional on academic performance
- June - Submit final transcript to confirm strong academic performance
- Autobiographical Sketch
- LSAT (Law Shool Admission Test) Score
- Personal Statement
- Offical Transcript(s)
Law School Admission Test (LSAT)
- Administered by Law Schools Admissions Council (LSAC)
- Standardized multiple choice examination designed to measure skills essential for success in law school
- Offered 4 times a year: February, June, September, and December
- Six 35-minute sections: Logical Reasoning Reading Comprehension Logic Games Experimental Variable section Writing Sample
Admission committees are looking for statements that demonstrate:
- Your interest in law, future goals and career plans
- Why their school fits your goals and career plans
- What you will contribute to the program in terms of experiences, related knowledge, and personal characteristics
- Your commitment to your community, shown by involvement
- Writing ability
How much does it cost?
Law school is not inexpensive, on the assumption that graduates have the potential to earn a large salary. Each institution's fees are different. Annual tuition for Ontario's students ranges $16,000 - 30,000
Where can I find more information and resources?
- Ontario Law School Admission Services
- Law Schools in Canada
- Law Schools Admissions Council
- The Law Society of Upper Canada
- Professional Programs Guide (accessible through CLN - Resources section)
- Financial Support
Application & Personal Statement Resources:
- Effective Admission Letters (U of T Writing Centre)
- Purdue University Online Writing Lab
- CTL’s Graduate School Application and Personal Statement Assignment Calculator
Please note: While this tip sheet aims to ensure accuracy, requirements do change. Consider it a starting point for your further research. Visit individual law school websites for detailed, up-to-date information about admission requirements and application procedures.