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Future JD Students

University of Calgary Faculty of Law

Murray Fraser Hall, 2500 University Drive, Calgary, Alberta T2N 1N4
Phone: 403.220.4155 | Fax: 403.210.9662
Website: law.ucalgary.ca | Email: law@ucalgary.ca

Introduction

Student walking on pathThe University of Calgary is Canada’s leading next-generation university—a living, growing, and youthful institution that embraces change and opportunity with a can-do attitude. Located in the nation’s most enterprising city, the university has a clear strategic direction—to become one of Canada’s top five research universities by 2016, grounded in innovative learning and teaching and fully integrated with the community of Calgary.

Founded in 1976, the Faculty of Law has developed a reputation for innovation and teaching excellence, particularly in legal skills training and the integration of professional and academic goals over its 40 year history. This is embodied in our Excellence in Lawyering Program and ground-breaking Calgary Curriculum, which includes the first-of-its-kind Torys LLP Excellence in Business Skills for Lawyers course, and the intensive first-year Fundamentals of Justice courses at the beginning of fall and winter term.

The Faculty of Law is an integral part of both a city and province that have become world leaders in the resource and energy sector and that have developed significant high-tech industries. These developments are reflected in the legal practices of the firms that make Calgary home, and which support the highly sophisticated financial and cross-border activities of their corporate clients. Our faculty are among the finest legal scholars in the nation, and their work is cited by academics, judges, and governments around the world. Our Faculty of Law’s award-winning law blog, ABlawg, focuses on up-to-the-minute developments in Alberta law. Our students continue to be exemplars of the values of leadership and social commitment that have lain at the core of our school’s ethos since our foundation 40 years ago.

Calgary is Alberta’s largest city with a population just shy of 1.2 million situated at the confluence of the Bow and Elbow rivers and nestled in the Foothills of the Rocky Mountains. Calgary is home to the second-most corporate head offices in Canada with which UCalgary Law enjoys strong ties. Even in winter, Calgary has more hours of sunshine than any major city in Canada. The famous Chinook, a mild westerly wind, provides a balmy reprieve from winter temperatures throughout the season. Calgarians are renowned for their active lifestyle, taking advantage of one of the most extensive pathway systems in North America, not to mention its close proximity to the mountains for skiing, hiking, and mountain biking. We know you will love living in Calgary and learning at UCalgary Law.

Enrollment/Student Body

  • 1,359 applicants
  • 326 admitted first-year class 2015
  • 123 enrolled first-year class 2015
  • 353 total full time
  • 1 part time
  • 50 percent women
  • 9 provinces represented (including AB)
  • Average age of first-year class—26

Faculty

  • Student studying in front of university exterior57 total
  • 29 full time
  • 28 part time or adjunct
  • 15 women (full time)
  • 11 women (part time)

Library and Physical Facilities

Bennett Jones LLP Law Library

  • Houses 201,000 library volumes as well as extensive holdings in microform and access to thousands of titles electronically
  • 10 group study rooms
  • 24 public computers
  • Quiet study spaces

Classroom Facilities

  • Bennett Jones LLP Lecture Theatre, used for our largest lectures and visiting speakers
  • Norton Rose LLP Moot Court Room—state of the art, complete with elevated judges’ bench and video recording equipment
  • McCarthy Tetrault LLP Skills Room—used for mooting and other exercises that take advantage of the built-in video equipment to record and play back student performance
  • Borden Ladner Gervais LLP Classroom—and two companion classrooms provide natural lighting, built-in power for laptops, comfortable seating, projector, and white board. A favorite for learning and teaching.

Student Spaces

  • Brian and Stephanie Felesky Student Lounge—situated outside 3rd floor classrooms
  • Fraser Milgrain LLP Student Centre—a secure space accessed by valid student card, equipped with appliances necessary for meal storage and heating, recreational opportunities such as foosball, and a place to store your skis on a Friday before heading to the mountains
  • Student Lockers are situated on 1st floor of Murray Fraser Hall
  • Graduate Student Center—provides grad students with a place to work and study

Curriculum

The Calgary Curriculum, part of our Excellence in Lawyering Initiative, places UCalgary Law at the forefront of innovation in North American legal education. It is grounded in our rapidly evolving professional world and it builds on a commitment to experiential learning that has been at the core of the Calgary ethos since our establishment in 1976.

In brief, the Calgary Curriculum ensures that our students achieve a deep theoretical understanding of the law and legal principle, together with the ability to apply their learning to real-world situations.

UCalgary Law knows that our students must be prepared to join a constantly changing and challenging legal services market, and for professional opportunities that extend beyond traditional legal practice. Our mission is to prepare our students for the profession they will be joining, not one that existed in the past.

First Year

  • Intensive courses at the beginning of the fall and winter semesters will give students an understanding of the foundations of law and justice.
  • A new Legislative course focused on drafting and interpreting legislation.

Second and Third Years

  • Optional performance-oriented courses will be added, such as legal practice and technology, legal process engineering, legal project management, globalization and the practice of law, leadership, and entrepreneurship.
  • Students will choose from numerous courses focusing on legal theory or other perspectives of the law.
  • Core required courses, specifically Civil Procedure and Ethical Lawyering, will be taught through performance-based evaluation.

The first-year core program is required. A range of elective courses is available in the second and third years.

Graduate Studies

The Faculty of Law offers graduate work leading to an LLM degree. The graduate program is confined to the area of natural resources, energy, and environmental law (NREEL), but the Faculty is receptive to considering other areas of legal study that complement NREEL.

Joint Programs

International Energy Lawyers Program (IELP)
Established in 2012, the International Energy Lawyers Program (IELP) is a joint JD program with the University of Houston Law Center that allows students to earn both Canadian and American law degrees in four years. Upon program completion, students are able to apply for admission to the bars in both Canada and the United States, and with skills and knowledge in energy law, will be highly employable across North America. In addition to the regular degree studies, the IELP is structured to facilitate internships in the energy industry. 

Combined JD/MBA
Offered by the Faculty of Law and the University of Calgary’s Haskayne School of Business, the Juris Doctor (JD)/Master of Business Administration (MBA) program combines and integrates legal studies and graduate management education, offering tremendous opportunity for students interested in careers in corporate law specialties, management consulting, business, or entrepreneurial endeavors.

Combined JD/MPP
Offered by the Faculty of Law and the University of Calgary’s School of Public Policy, the Juris Doctor (JD)/Master of Public Policy (MPP) program combines the study of law and public policy across a wide spectrum, including resources and the environment, economic and social issues, and international policy, and involves areas such as taxation, regulation, public finance, and policy development and implementation. The program prepares students for careers in public and not-for-profit organizations and in the private sector, which requires coordinated legal and policy expertise to affect and navigate an increasing complex world of governments and the public.

Special Programs—Clinics

UCalgary Law covers many clinical courses to allow students to put their knowledge to work in real-world situations, from business and environmental law to tax law and pro bono legal assistance. Our current clinics are:

  • Student Legal Assistance
  • Business Venture Clinic
  • Intellectual Property Clinic
  • Public Interest Clinic (NEW in 2016!)
  • Tax Court Assistance Program
  • Criminal Justice Clinic
  • Environmental Law Clinic
  • Constitutional Law Clinic

For detailed information about our clinic opportunities, go to: law.ucalgary.ca/jd/clinics.

Special Programs—Research

Canadian Institute of Resources Law (CIRL)—the leading national center of expertise on legal and policy issues relating to Canada’s natural resources. 

The Faculty of Law and CIRL work together to develop the best ideas and actions in teaching, research, and community outreach in our specialization in natural resources, energy, and environmental law. CIRL takes a broad view of the fields of natural resources, energy, and environmental law to include industry-related business law, trade law, domestic and international law, dispute resolution, and both theory and practice. 

Alberta Civil Liberties Research Centre (ACLRC)—incorporated in 1982 and is affiliated with the University of Calgary. The centre is a nonprofit organization dedicated to promoting awareness among Albertans about civil liberties and human rights through research, publication, and education. It is housed on the second floor of Murray Fraser Hall.

Institute for Sustainable Energy, Environment, and Economy (ISEEE)—provides leadership and coordination for developing and implementing energy- and environment-related initiatives at the U of C; the law school is a partner Faculty of ISEEE.

Legal Centre for Business and Technology—a not-for-profit, charitable society devoted to issues in business and technology law. It holds workshops and hosts guest speakers.

Canadian Research Institute for Law and the Family—a nonprofit, independent partnership between the Faculties of Law and Social Work at the University of Calgary. The major goals of the Institute are to undertake and promote interdisciplinary research, education, and publication on issues related to law and the family.

Admission

  • 10 full-course equivalents toward a bachelor’s degree program required for admission
  • Application deadline—November 1
  • LSAT required—highest score is considered for statistical purposes; multiple scores considered for admission; scores are valid for 5 years
  • Application fee—$125 standard; $145 international (subject to change)

Applicants must have completed a minimum of two full years of university coursework, or its equivalent, in a full program of study leading to a degree at a university in Alberta, or its equivalent. Students who are applying after two years of study must have completed two full years by December 31 of the year in which they apply. In practice, very few candidates who do not already possess a degree are admitted. Most of those admitted have already demonstrated academic competence by successfully completing one or more degree programs. Students who have been in the workforce are encouraged to apply. In evaluating applicants to select the most promising students each year, the Admissions Committee considers many factors. These include the student’s academic performance, Law School Admission Test score and writing sample, letters of reference, evidence of maturity, work experience, community involvement, and extracurricular activities, as well as the Statement of Interest made on the application form.

There is no formal weighing of grades, scores, or other factors. Prospective applicants are urged to be realistic about their chances of gaining admission. Only a small proportion of applicants are admitted each year. Very few candidates have been admitted with a grade-point average less than 3.0 (a B average at the University of Calgary) or an LSAT score below the 50th percentile rank. All students seeking admission are required to take the Law School Admission Test. This test must be taken prior to December 31 in the year in which you are applying. All university or college transcripts must be sent in support of an application. No application will be considered by the Admissions Committee until it is complete. Applicants can expect final notification of their admission status as early as November 30 or as late as April or early May.

There is no prescribed prelaw course of study. Students whose program of study is still in progress might consider including courses that stress the appropriate and creative use of the English language and those that provide an opportunity to develop and test the powers of analysis.

Student Activities

Students working together in libraryThe Student Law Society (SLS), the official student association of the Faculty of Law, represents the interests of students in the JD program. Representatives are elected annually by the student body. This group provides an important social network to the student body by sponsoring many social and sporting events as well as the annual Law Show. SLS is also an important vehicle through which students can affect and effect policy and administrative decisions regarding the entire faculty.

Alberta Law Review—published quarterly by the Alberta Law Review Society, a nonprofit group of law students from the University of Alberta and the University of Calgary. The objective of the Alberta Law Review is to promote legal research and scholarship, and to provide a forum for the discussion of contemporary legal issues.

Mooting—UCalgary Law has a robust mooting program and our students have enjoyed highly successful outcomes in national and international competitions in mooting, debating, and negotiation.

There are active local chapters of the National Association of Pro Bono Students, Legal Education Action Fund, and Association of Women Lawyers in addition to local law student organizations such as the Business Law Association, Environmental Law Society, and Rural, Energy, and Agricultural Law Students’ Society.

There is a law student paper, the Moot Times, and many students actively participate in Student Legal Assistance (SLA) and our BLG Business Venture Clinic (see Special Programs—Clinics), as well as the Student Ambassador Program. The Q Centre located in MacEwan Student Centre is a campus-wide resource for the LGBTQA community on campus.

Expenses and Financial Aid

  • Tuition and fees—$16,900
  • Estimated additional expenses—$1,900 (books and supplies)
  • Burnet, Duckworth & Palmer LLP—$60,000 Entrance Scholarship, the largest of its kind in Canada, $20,000 renewable in second and third year
  • Performance and need-based scholarships and bursaries available
  • Minority scholarships available
  • Financial aid available
  • Students may apply for student loans from the federal government

Whenever possible, priority will be given to an Aboriginal Canadian student for one Alberta Law Foundation Bursary. It may be renewed for the second and third year of law studies, provided high academic standing is attained.

Student Services

Career and Professional Development

The UCalgary Faculty of Law’s Career and Professional Development Office “CPDO” enjoys a deservedly strong reputation. The CPDO acts as a liaison between our students and the wider legal community in Calgary, across the country, and around the world. UCalgary Law is proud of our stellar articling placement rate, reporting consistently (in both good and challenging economic times) as one of the highest in Canada and speaking to the high calibre of Calgary Law graduates as well as the dedication of the professional staff that make up our CPDO team.

The CPDO has developed a number of initiatives to prepare students for summer internships, articling, and clerking, as well as more nontraditional career paths. These initiatives include résumé-writing workshops and review, mock interviews, and feedback in preparation for the interview process, as well as hosting speaking panels and workshops on a wide variety of career options. The CPDO also hosts networking events with a diverse range of employers, on-campus interviews and firm tours for students interested in markets outside of Calgary, as well as overseeing the popular annual Tory’s LLP Business Etiquette Dinner. The CPDO provides career counselling, support, and information to current UCalgary Law students regarding various practice areas and a wide variety of career options.

Academic Success and Personal Well-Being

The UCalgary Faculty of Law recently established the role of Director, Academic & Student Services (the “Director”). The role of the Director (a former practicing lawyer) is to further the academic mission of the law school and contribute to the well-being and overall success of students. The Director provides personalized support, in addition to academic advice, including general faculty and university advice, and specific advice on program and course selection and academic success to all students in the JD program, including dual-degree students (Houston) and joint-degree students (JD/MBA, JD/MPP), as well as incoming and outgoing international exchange students and incoming and outgoing Letter of Permission (LOP) students. Guidance is provided in establishing individual student goals and objectives and feedback is provided with respect to student plans.

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Apr 17, 2014, 14:56 PM

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