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Future JD Students

Queen’s University Faculty of Law

Admissions Office, Room 301, Macdonald Hall, 128 Union Street, Kingston, Ontario K7L 3N6
Phone: 613.533.2220
Website: law.queensu.ca | Email: jd@queensu.ca

View Important Information for Applicants to Ontario Law Schools.

2017 Law Viewbook

Introduction

Queen’s University logoThe compact campus of Queen’s University borders on Lake Ontario and is within walking distance of downtown Kingston. Located midway between Toronto and Montreal, Kingston has a population of about 123,000. The beauty of its historic buildings, lakefront location, vibrant downtown, and proximity to the world heritage site of Fort Henry have made it a popular destination for students and tourists. Macdonald Hall is fully accessible and home to the Faculty of Law. For more information about Queen’s University and the city of Kingston, please see our Visitor Information page and the Queen’s and Kingston page.

Library

  • Lederman Law Library in Macdonald Hall—all levels accessible by elevator
  • 150,000 volumes and equivalents
  • Access to a wide array of electronic legal resources, including LexisNexis Quicklaw, Westlaw Canada, Litigator, and Hein Online, as well as numerous other legal resources
  • 2.5 full-time librarians
  • Wireless Internet access

The library is highly regarded for its extensive reference holdings and electronic databases. The extremely knowledgeable library staff provide a full range of responsive client services and programs. The law librarians teach introductory and advanced-level courses in legal research for the JD and graduate LLM and PhD degree programs. Connected to the Law Library is the Learning Commons, a newly renovated, dedicated study and meeting space for law students.

Faculty

  • queens-296 total
  • 33 full time
  • 54 sessional lecturers
  • 40 percent of full-time faculty members are female
  • 3 Queen’s Legal Aid
  • 3 Prison Law Clinic
  • 1 Business Law Clinic
  • 1 Elder Law Clinic
  • 1 Family Law Clinic

Our faculty members have garnered prestigious awards for excellence in teaching, are frequently called upon to give expert opinions to the media, and have been recognized for their research through prominent national and international research grants. For more information about the achievements of our faculty members, please see Faculty and Research.

Why Choose Queen’s Law?

Academic and experiential opportunities

  • Five legal clinics
  • Castle programs
  • International exchanges and internships
  • Commitment to excellence in teaching

Student development and support

  • Dedicated career development
  • Leading placement rates
  • Generous financial support
  • Legendary community spirit

Curriculum

In 2008, the University Senate approved a change in designation from the Bachelor of Laws (LLB) degree to the Juris Doctor (JD) degree to signify the quality and rigour of its three-year, second-entry professional law degree. The full-time JD program is three years in duration; the part-time program must be completed within six years. Prescribed first-year courses provide a traditional introduction to the study of common law. In 2015–2016, Introduction to Legal Skills was launched to inculcate the skills required for the practice of law and success in law school, covering academic integrity, case briefing, legal research, legal writing, interviewing, negotiation, drafting of documents, and client management. This course also offers an introduction to foundational knowledge related to the study of law, including the court structure and an introduction to the professional and ethical responsibilities of lawyers.

First-year students are placed in small sections of approximately 25 students for one of their first-year courses and paired with each of the other first-year sections in the other first-year courses. Introduction to Legal Skills is offered through a plenary session and small section tutorials on a weekly basis.

Upper-year requirements (required courses in Civil Procedure, Business Association, Legal Ethics and Professionalism, a substantial term paper requirement, practice skills, and advocacy requirements) have been established to develop students’ competencies in legal research, legal writing, practice skills, advocacy skills, legal ethics, and professional responsibility. In their second and third years, students tailor their course selections to their interests and needs, choosing electives from the broad upper-year curriculum, which continues to evolve in both core and emerging areas of law. Our strategic plan places emphasis on increased globalization of curriculum content, enhanced opportunities for experiential learning, and increased strength in business law.

The first-year and upper-year program and course information can be accessed on our website.

Special Programs

Clinical Opportunities

In December 2014 all five clinics were colocated in a newly renovated accessible office space in downtown Kingston.

  • The Prison Law Clinic is unique in Canada. Students can volunteer for the clinic or register for the Clinical Prison Law course. Under faculty supervision, students provide legal advice, assistance, and representation to federal inmates in respect to parole hearings, internal prison discipline hearings, and on appeals against conviction and sentencing.
  • Queen’s Legal Aid is a nonprofit organization that provides legal services to low-income area residents and to Queen’s students. Clinic students learn to manage litigation files and assist with criminal charges, contracts, torts, tenancy, or social assistance problems. Clinic work can be done on a volunteer basis or for academic credit in the Clinical Litigation Practice course.
  • Queen’s Business Law Clinic provides legal assistance to small start-up businesses and nonprofit organizations in eastern Ontario. Upper-year students earn academic credit while working on client files that involve incorporation and organization of businesses and nonprofit organizations, shareholder and partnership agreements, business names and intellectual property work, compliance with government regulations for start-up companies, and drafting and reviewing contracts.
  • The Elder Law Clinic is the first clinical program at a law school in Canada for the specialized practice of Elder Law. Students will conduct legal research and draft documentation pertaining to issues of age discrimination, incapacity, wills and estate planning, breach of fiduciary duty, and financial exploitation, under supervision of review counsel.
  • The Family Law Clinic was new in 2014. Students will provide vital support to local residents as they navigate Ontario’s sometimes challenging family court system. Students will help litigants represent themselves in Family Court by completing their documents, helping them negotiate the Family Court process, or referring them to other family justice resources.

Experiential Learning

  • Family and Children’s Law Placements gives students the opportunity to gain academic credit, experience, and insight into the practice of family law through seminars and placements coordinated by Professor Nicholas Bala, a recognized expert in the field.
  • Law-698 Clinical Externships are open to upper-year students to work one day a week for an academic year at Legal Aid Clinics in Kingston, Belleville, and Cobourg.
  • Law-699 Federal Government Internships are open to upper-year students to work one day a week for a term at a legal services office within the Department of Justice, Government of Canada.
  • Moots and Advocacy are fundamental elements of legal education, and Queen’s Law values the art of oral and written advocacy. Queen’s participates in 18 competitive moots or alternative dispute resolution competitions each year. Queen’s participates in the International Jessup, Vis, and ELSA moots.
  • Queen’s Law Journal was founded in 1968 and is a fully refereed scholarly journal with an international readership. Students gain experience as volunteers or receive academic credit in legal research, critical analysis, and scholarly writing while assisting in the production and management of a major publication.
  • Canadian Labour and Employment Law Journal gives four upper-year students the opportunity to earn academic credit as editors of the foremost journal in Canadian labour and employment law.

International Opportunities

  • International exchange programs are in place with leading law schools in Europe, Asia, South Africa, and Australia.
  • International Law Programs are offered in the spring at the Bader International Study Centre at Herstmonceux Castle in Sussex, England. Students can take certificate programs for credit toward the JD degree program in International Business Law and Public International Law.
  • International internship opportunities are funded by Torys LLP for first-year students and the Faculty of Law provides funding for second-year students.

Interdisciplinary Opportunities

Queen’s Law has targeted interdisciplinary studies as a strategic priority to prepare law students for the complexity of modern-day transactions, policies, and legal processes.

  • JD/MBA—4-year program, two options for early completion in 3.5 years
  • Graduate Diploma in Business and JD—4-month summer program that allows for 6 upper-year JD cross-credits. This can be undertaken in the summer before starting JD or in the summer after first-year JD
  • JD/MA (Economics)—3-year program
  • JD/Master of Public Administration—3.5-year program, early completion option in three years possible
  • JD/Master of Industrial Relations—3.5-year program, early completion option in three years possible
  • Civil Law/Common Law—1-year combined degree program in partnership with University of Sherbrooke, Quebec (Admission of graduates from other Quebec Civil Law programs considered)

Student Support

The Office of Education and Equity Services has a long-standing commitment and record of success in providing advocacy, information, and support to law students. Initially conceived to assist law students facing barriers to legal education on systemic grounds, the program continues to serve students admitted through the Access Category of admission, but also strives to cultivate an environment that maximizes opportunities for all students in an effort to make legal education more inclusive and accessible. Since 2002, the Academic Assistance Program offers free and confidential tutorial services to support the academic efforts of all law students, particularly those in their first year and students whose circumstances make the law school process uniquely difficult. The Education Equity Program demonstrates that equal access to the benefits of legal education should also include guidance and support for students for the duration of the program. Individual supportive counselling, assistance concerning school-related and personal issues, special-needs, and language-based accommodation are available to all students.

Student Activities

Group photo of students standing outside of the universityQueen’s Law enjoys an outstanding reputation as a vibrant, collegial community. Our students contribute to faculty governance through membership on Faculty Board and its standing committees. Through the Law Students’ Society, law students organize and participate in Law School events, intramural sports, and charitable fundraising activities. The intellectual life of the law school is invigorated by a variety of lecture series and conferences to which all law students are invited. Law students can participate in university governance and university-wide student events for graduate students through the Society of Graduate and Professional Students.

The Queen’s Athletic and Recreation Centre provides extensive fitness, aquatic, sports, and recreational facilities.

The Isabel Bader Centre for the Performing Arts is an 80,000-square-foot world-class facility purposely built to create exceptional artistic and instrumental performances in the Queen’s and Kingston community.

Housing

Law students usually live off campus, but can consider John Orr Tower or An Clachan Apartments managed by Queen’s. Alternatively, Queen’s Community Housing can help students connect with affordable rental properties throughout Kingston through the Accommodation Listing Service. The Student Community Relations Office strives to assist students with community-related matters including support with off-campus housing issues.

Expenses and Financial Aid

  • The JD domestic tuition for 2016–2017 is $18,330 (2017–2018 tuition will be approved in May and posted on Office of the University Registrar); international student fees are much higher.
  • Estimated additional expenses, assuming off-campus living, range from approximately $7,730 to $11,400 (rent, utilities, books, food, travel, telephone, and personal expenses).
  • Applicants are considered for merit-based scholarships throughout the admission cycle without a separate additional application. After registration, further scholarships are available upon application.

Faculty of Law Admission Bursaries are available upon application during the admission cycle and assessed on the basis of demonstrated financial need.

Career Development

The Career Development Office provides students with individual career counselling, a wide variety of seminars and workshops on a broad range of topics, comprehensive informational resources, and opportunities to meet employers. Queen’s Law hosts an annual Careers Day where students can speak to representatives from law firms and government offices from across Ontario. Additionally, mock interviews and workshops on interview techniques are provided to prepare students for recruitment processes in Ontario and other provinces. Placement rates for our graduates continue to be among the best in Canada. In a typical class, 75–85 percent of students have secured articles by the beginning of third year, and virtually all of the rest do so by or soon after graduation.

Admission

  • Application is made through the Ontario Law School Application Service (OLSAS) by November 1 for first-year admission, and May 1 for upper-year admission.
  • There is a minimum requirement of three years of completed undergraduate degree work from a recognized university; most admitted students have a three- or four-year degree; completion of an honours four-year degree is preferred; and completion of graduate-degree studies is weighed positively. The admission policy requires that admitted students have strong aptitude for legal reasoning demonstrated by academic ability and good potential for success in studies at the postgraduate level.
  • Important considerations are educational achievement demonstrated through excellence in undergraduate and graduate studies and aptitude for legal reasoning and analysis demonstrated through a strong LSAT score. The highest score is used for admission decision.
  • Holistic Review—The Admissions Committee reviews the following material for evidence of intellectual curiosity, avid interest in law, social commitment, reasonable judgment and insight, leadership potential, teamwork skills, creative ability, innovative endeavours, self-discipline, time-management skills, and maturity:
    • quality of personal statement
    • letters of reference
    • employment history
    • extracurricular achievements
    • community service
  • June 2012 is the oldest LSAT score accepted for the 2017–2018 admission cycle; February LSAT score is the latest accepted in each admission cycle.
  • Categories of Admission
    • General Category: Competitive applicants have a minimum overall high B+ average (78–79 percent, 3.43 CGPA) with at least an A- average (80–84 percent, 3.7 GPA) in the last two years of an undergraduate degree program, combined with an LSAT score ≥ 160 (80th percentile).
    • Access Category: The Access Category is designed to attract applicants with strong academic ability and superior potential for legal studies who have suffered disadvantage on systemic, historic, or educational grounds; those who are disabled; and those who are mature students. Applicants with a cumulative undergraduate average of less than a B (70–74 percent) and an LSAT score of less than 151 (50th percentile) are not competitive for admission.
    • Aboriginal Category: Applicants should have completed at least three years of postsecondary education at an institution that would provide good academic preparation for undertaking a professional degree in law. Applicants should also have a demonstrated interest in and identification with an Aboriginal community; documentation is required to corroborate the basis of claim.
  • Queen’s Law seeks to attract students from different regions of Canada, from a diverse range of academic backgrounds and careers, and from various ethnic, racial, cultural, and socioeconomic backgrounds.

Student Body/Enrollment/Applicant Profile

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Apr 17, 2014, 14:56 PM

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