The law school lawn in spring

What is the JD degree?

J.D. stands for Juris Doctor. It is a law degree that is typically granted to students who receive a legal education after they have completed an undergraduate degree. The LL.B., on the other hand, is typically granted in most Commonwealth jurisdictions to students who complete their legal education directly following graduation from high school. The J.D. degree designation is intended to distinguish the U of T program, which is almost always a second degree, from these first degree law programs.  This designation brings the law school up to the growing international standards for second degree law programs.

How do I get into law school and become a lawyer?

Applicants to the University of Toronto Faculty of Law must have completed at least three years of undergraduate education at a recognized university.  Almost all students accepted into the JD program at the University of Toronto Faculty of Law have completed a four-year undegraduate degree by the time they begin law school. For more information about applying to law school, see the JD Admissions section of the website.

After successfully completing the 3-year law school program, prospective lawyers in Ontario must spend ten months articling with a law firm or a lawyer, and then successfully complete their bar exams, before they can practice law.  For more information about the process required to become a lawyer in Ontario, please see the web site of the Law Society of Upper Canada (http://www.lsuc.on.ca)

Are there any courses I should take before I apply to law school?

The Faculty of Law does not recommend particular high school or undergraduate courses for those seeking admission. Many outstanding law students come to law school from undergraduate disciplines or other experiences seemingly unrelated to the study of law. It is suggested that students treat these experiences as ends in themselves rather than as preparation for law school.

See our Fact Sheet for more information about the diverse academic background of students we have accepted into our program. The law school believes that this variety of academic backgrounds adds to the atmosphere of intellectual diversity that we prize at our school.

For more information about our admissions policies, see the JD Admissions Policies page on our web site.

Can I take a single course at the law school?

It is sometimes possible for members of the public to audit a course at the law school, that is, listen to the lectures without completing the coursework or receiving any credit. See the Audit Students web page for more information.

Students from other departments at the University of Toronto wishing to take a course at the law school must contact the Records Office:

Celia Genua
Assistant Registrar, Records
Tel: (416) 978-0212
celia.genua@utoronto.ca

I would like to do some legal research on my own.  Can you help me?

The Bora Laskin Law Library at the Faculty of Law maintains a web page for members of the community who want to research legal issues on their own. See:

http://library.law.utoronto.ca/you-and-law

I cannot afford a lawyer.  Can you give me some legal advice or otherwise help me?

As an educational institution, the law school cannot provide legal services or legal advice.  However, we support a student legal assistance clinic, Downtown Legal Services (DLS), which may be of assistance. Please visit the Downtown Legal Services web site (http://www.dls.utoronto.ca) for more information.

The Bora Laskin Law Library at the Faculty of Law also maintains a web page which provides information about how to seek affordable legal assistance. See:

 http://library.law.utoronto.ca/finding-legal-help-ontario

I have a law degree from another country. How can I qualify to practice in Canada?

To find out what further education a foreign-trained lawyer needs to complete in order to practice law in Canada, please visit the National Committee on Accreditation (NCA) web site:

The University of Toronto Faculty of Law provides several options for those who are required to complete NCA requirements:

  1. The Global Professional Master of Laws Program
  2. The Internationally Trained Lawyers Program
  3. Selected Courses in the JD Program

See the National Committee on Accreditation Options page for more details.

Does the law school offer any summer courses or distance education?

No, the University of Toronto Faculty of Law does not offer any summer courses or any form of distance education.

Does the law school provide any services for academic visitors?

The Faculty of Law welcomes Visiting Scholars, Researchers and Students (Doctoral, Postgraduate or Graduate) who are interested in conducting research and working with members of the faculty for a limited period of time.  We also have a vibrant Judge in Residence Program.  Each year, the number of visitors and inquiries from prospective visitors has grown.  Office space is very limited and while the Faculty of Law is generally not in a position to provide office space or other benefits, we make every effort to provide on-line and library access and collaboration with faculty.

Find out more on the Academic Visitors page.