The LLM program at the University of Toronto Faculty of Law offers a flexible and rigorous academic program for Canadian and international law graduates seeking opportunities for advanced study and research.  LLM students have gone on to pursue further graduate legal education (through a doctoral program), entered directly into university teaching positions, or resumed practice with private firms, government agencies and non-governmental organizations.  Each year, students focus on a diverse range of areas like constitutional law, international human rights, law and economics, and legal theory.

The LLM program can be undertaken with a strong emphasis on a thesis (long or short, in combination with some coursework), or coursework-only (with a course-based writing requirement).

The thesis-intensive format allows students to elect to write a thesis of between 4 and 16 credits, written in combination with some coursework. The longer thesis is aimed at law students who have demonstrated a strong potential for advanced research and writing in accordance with the standards of the Faculty of Law, many of whom desire a career in legal academia. The shorter thesis option is aimed at law students who wish to undertake significant independent research but also want exposure to other areas of law through coursework.

The coursework-only format is designed for law students who wish to specialize in a specific area of law, particularly in one of the Faculty of Law's several strengths, to develop an understanding of North American legal processes and laws, or to explore the common law at an advanced level. 

The Faculty offers concentrations in the area of Business Law, Criminal LawLegal Theory, and Health Law, Ethics and Policy within the LLM degree program. They can be pursued in either the thesis-intensive or coursework-only formats. Entry into these concentrations is on a competitive basis.

Please note that the LLM diploma does not reflect whether you took the thesis intensive or coursework only LLM, in accordance with our view that all our LLMs meet exactly the same academic standard. However, students accepted into a concentration within the LLM program will have the area of concentration designated on their transcript.

All LLM candidates participate in the graduate seminar, Alternative Approaches to Legal Scholarship. It is designed to expose students to various approaches to legal scholarship, including law and philosophy, law and economics, feminism and the law, legal history, law and society, analytical jurisprudence and critical legal theory.   

Graduate students choose their other courses from those available in the JD program, which are posted on-line in the summer. Graduate students are expected to choose the more senior level seminar courses. The selection of courses is subject to the approval of the Associate Dean (Graduate).

We also offer an intensive course, Introduction to the Canadian Legal System, in late August for students who are new to Canada and/or common law. We hold a mandatory, non-credit LLM Writing Workshop, with sessions on legal research and writing throughout the year.  Students also participate in the Comparative Legal Systems Seminar in the winter term, where international LLM students present about the legal systems in their home countries. 

An LLM does not qualify foreign-trained candidates to practise law in Ontario, and LLM students are not permitted to take courses from the first year JD program. Contact the National Commitee on Accreditation for information on practising law in Ontario. See also information on NCA-related offerings at the Faculty of Law.

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