Studying

Admission to Take Selected Courses in the JD Program 

Applicants with law degrees from other countries or a civil law degree from the province of Quebec who are seeking to qualify to practice law in a common law province in Canada should first consult with the National Committee on Accreditation.

National Committee on Accreditation (NCA)
Federation of Law Societies of Canada
World Exchange Plaza
1810-45 O'Connor St.
Ottawa ON K1P 1A4
Internet: http://www.flsc.ca/en/foreignLawyers/guidelines.asp

The NCA examines the qualifications of internationally trained lawyers and issues assessments setting out the requirements an applicant must complete before he or she is qualified to enter the Lawyer Licensing Process in Ontario and elsewhere in Canada. In many cases, the NCA will require candidates to successfully complete specified subjects either by taking particular courses at a Canadian law school or by passing the NCA’s challenge examinations.

Internationally trained lawyers may apply to take certain courses in the JD program at the Faculty of Law to fulfill their NCA requirements. See also the National Committee on Accreditation Options page for other options available for NCA students.

The total number of places in the JD program at the Faculty of Law is fixed and is determined by the University of Toronto. These places, for which a subsidy is provided by the government of Ontario, are reserved for students pursuing a degree. However, the Faculty attempts to facilitate the professional accreditation of foreign-trained lawyers by admitting a limited number of NCA candidates each year to attend courses. The number of NCA candidates admitted each year varies and is subject to the availability of places in the courses most commonly required by the National Committee. Admission is on a fee for course basis (set at $3,500 for 2014-2015; subject to change in future academic years).

Selection is based primarily on the applicant's performance in previous legal studies (including results of all NCA challenge exams) and the assessment of the Admissions Committee as to whether or not the applicant is likely to be successful in the courses offered at the Faculty of Law. An applicant who has failed any NCA challenge exam will not be considered for admission.

The Admissions Committee will take into account differences in the quality of law schools, as well as differences in grading policies, etc. Unless this is evident from the transcript, applicants are encouraged to support their applications with information from their law school Registrar or Dean on the grading practices at their law school, and to provide their class ranking, if available.  

Applicants who are required by the NCA to complete 60 credits may also be considered as transfer applicants to the Faculty's J.D. program provided their applications include all of the required elements for a transfer application. Applicants interested in ensuring that they will also be considered as potential transfer students should consult the JD Upper-Year Applicants page.

Application Procedure

NCA applications are due at OLSAS by 11:59 pm EDT May 1, 2014. NCA applicants must submit the following documentation directly to OLSAS:

  1. OLSAS application form; 
  2. official and original law school academic transcripts (see note on transcripts below);
  3. LSAT score(s), if the LSAT has been taken;
  4. a copy of the NCA recommendation letter; and
  5. results of all NCA exams taken to date.

Applicants who completed their undergraduate degrees (or completed more than a year of study) at postsecondary institutions outside of Canada or the United States may be required to submit a third-party assessment of their transcripts (from World Evaluation Services, or equivalent) as a condition of an offer of admission.

Filing of Applications

Online OLSAS applications are due at the Ontario Universities' Application Centre (OUAC) before the end of May 1, 2014. OLSAS applications must be submitted by the May 1 deadline even if NCA recommendation letters and/or law school records are not yet available. Applications will only be reviewed after all required documentation has been received.

Late Applications

OLSAS applications are due at the OUAC on May 1, 2014. However, the Faculty of Law at the University of Toronto is prepared to consider requests to submit late applications. The request can be faxed to 416-978-0790 or emailed with attachments to law.admissions@utoronto.ca. The law school will be more receptive to requests for late application that are accompanied by unofficial copies of all post-secondary transcripts (and LSAT scores, if the LSAT has been taken).

Application Fee

The OLSAS processing fee is $195.00 CDN plus an institutional levy of $90.00 for each law school selection. All fees and levies are non-refundable. The $90.00 levy, collected by OLSAS but remitted directly to the Faculty of Law, assists us in covering a portion of our costs associated with the admission assessment. Please see the OLSAS application material for detailed fee information.

Financial Assistance

NCA students are not eligible for financial assistance through University or Faculty bursary or loan funds.

NCA Fees Per Course

The NCA fee per course for the 2014-2015 academic year is $3,500. This fee is subject to change in future academic years.

NCA Grade Appeal

This truncated process permits NCA students to request a second reader of exams for which they receive an F mark.

Which Decisions Can Be Appealed?

NCA Students can appeal decisions about a final grade of F assigned to a course.

The Process for Grade Appeals

Students may appeal a final grade only once that grade is issued. The basis for the appeal is not limited to final exams or essay assignments. Any exam or written assignment on which a final grade is based may be the subject of a grade appeal. To pursue a grade appeal, the following steps must be completed:

Request for Reassessment

The student must first request a rereading of the written work in writing. The student must set forth the academic grounds for why he or she believes the work was incorrectly assessed. The request for a rereading or reassessment must be made to the Associate Dean’s office in writing within 30 days of the grade being released by the Records Office. The Associate Dean shall read the written work and within 30 days of the student’s request the Associate Dean may decide that appeal or assign a second reader.

Second Reader Assessment for Grade Appeals Based on Written Work

When the Associate Dean arranges an assessment of the written work by a second reader, the second reader shall have appropriate expertise in the subject matter of the written work. The Associate Dean shall give the student's written reasons for the appeal to the second reader. When reviewing the written work and the student's written reasons for the appeal, the second reader shall apply the standard of whether a reasonable marker could have reached the same conclusion as the instructor did in the same circumstances. In applying the standard, the second reader may consider other materials relating to the course, such as the written work of other students, and the course outline in the syllabus. The second reader shall render a decision on the written work within 30 days of receiving the grade appeal record. If, after reviewing the grade appeal record, the second reader decides that a reasonable marker could not have reached the same conclusion, the second reader shall assign the grade to the written work that he or she believes a reasonable marker would have assigned.