Canadian Official Guide
McGill University Faculty of Law
3644 Peel Street, Montreal, Quebec H3A 1W9
Phone: 514.398.6602 | Fax: 514.398.8453
Internet: www.mcgill.ca/law/ | E-mail:
Established in 1848, McGill University's Faculty of Law is the oldest in Canada. The Faculty of Law is located on the slopes of beautiful Mount Royal, adjacent to McGill's main campus in the heart of downtown Montreal, Quebec. For over a century and a half, McGill's Faculty of Law has remained at the vanguard of legal education and scholarship, and counts among its graduates Canadian Prime Ministers and Supreme Court Justices.
A legal education at McGill is one that is marked by the mutually sustaining relationship between the common law and the civil law as the Western world's two major legal traditions. It recognizes that the law comes from a broad range of sources, and is predicated on the study of law as an intellectual inquiry that is inherently "transsystemic." From the opening days of the undergraduate course of study, the common law and the civil law are taught together (in both French and English) as a pragmatic and scholarly response to law in a changing world.
- 1,545 applicants
- 246 offers first-year class 2010
- 167 enrolled first-year class 2010
- 621 total full time
- 19 part time
- 16 percent minority (first year)
- 54 percent women (first year)
- 10 provinces represented
- Approximately 45 undergraduate schools represented
- 39.5 full time, of which 15.5 are women
- 33 sessional
Library and Physical Facilities
- 200,000 library volumes and equivalents
- Library hours—81.25 hours/week during the academic year
- Access to major Canadian, American, and European electronic databases
- 4 full-time librarians
- Library seats 359
In addition to Canadian legal materials, the collection focuses on air and space law, comparative law, private and public international law, human rights, jurisprudence, and international trade law. It also holds legal materials from other jurisdictions such as Great Britain and France. The Peter Marshall Laing, QC Special Collections Room, houses the Wainwright Collection from the ancient régime of French law, as well as other rare books. Other collections of note include an extensive collection of French legal theses and the John Humphrey Human Rights Collection.
- 105 credits required to graduate with BCL and LLB degrees
- Advanced undergraduate options offered—minor, major, and honours
- Joint programs offered—MBA/Law and Law/MSW
- Special assistance tutorials offered
- Legal Methodology Program offered
Under McGill's integrated program, which was inaugurated in 1999–2000, students obtain both a common law (LLB) and a civil law (BCL) degree upon successful completion of 105 credits, which may be taken over three, three and a half, or four years.
Concepts from the two legal traditions are presented through an innovative, integrated curriculum that has been developed with a view toward fostering critical and comparative analysis. The Faculty emphasizes the mastery of underlying principles in private and public law, with a wealth of courses in legal theory, human rights, social analysis, international law, and corporate/commercial law.
This unique approach to legal education prepares McGill graduates for a wide range of personal and professional opportunities across Canada and around the world.
- Minimum 2 years (60 credits) of undergraduate studies or DEC required
- Application deadline—November 30, 2011
- LSAT not required, but must be disclosed and will be considered if written
- Multiple LSAT scores averaged
- Oldest LSAT score accepted—2001
- Median GPA—85
- Median LSAT score—163
- Application fee—$85 (CAD)
Applicants must demonstrate substantial reading ability in, and aural comprehension of, both English and French as there is substantial exposure to materials in French throughout the program.
The Faculty's Admissions Committee seeks to select those applicants best suited to studying law in McGill's uniquely comparative and bilingual environment, based on a holistic evaluation of a candidate's academic record, linguistic abilities, personal statement, extracurricular and community activities, and letters of reference.
The committee seeks to achieve a socially diverse learning community drawn from across Canada and beyond, in which there is a balance of women and men and of English and French speakers, as well as representation of a diversity of aspirations, backgrounds, and life experiences.
Admission to McGill's Faculty of Law is highly competitive. Students offered admission at McGill generally have outstanding academic records in addition to their other achievements and qualities. The candidates offered admission in 2010 had an average UGPA of A- (84 percent) and an average LSAT score of 163. However, the assessment of a candidate's suitability for and potential to succeed in, as well as contribute to, McGill's law program is more complex than a comparison of numbers. The Admissions Committee appraises the intellectual capacity of applicants as well as their curiosity about law, and attends to criteria such as social commitment, political insight, leadership, ability to work in teams, maturity, and potential for growth through opportunity or adversity.
The student body at McGill is extremely active and has been the driving force behind a number of Faculty institutions, including the Law Students Association, the Legal Information Clinic, and the McGill Law Journal, a law review with an international reputation. In addition, there is student representation on each of the Faculty's standing committees, including the Curriculum Committee and the Admissions Committee, and the Faculty Council, which is the central decision-making body of the Faculty. For more information on student life beyond the classroom (including clerkships and competitive mooting), please visit www.mcgill.ca/law-admissions/mcgill/ and www.mcgill.ca/law-studies/information/.
Expenses and Financial Aid
- Approximate tuition and fees—$3,749 (Quebec students); $7,349 (non-Quebec Canadians); $20,113 (international students)
- Estimated additional expenses—$1,000 (books) plus living expenses
- Faculty of Law entrance scholarships and bursaries available
- Government loans and bursaries through Student Aid Office
The Faculty of Law offers a variety of renewable and nonrenewable entrance scholarships and bursaries ranging from $800 to $10,000. The Faculty also has a large number of in-course prizes and awards for excellence and contribution to the life of the school.
The Law Faculty's Career Development Office (CDO) operates under the leadership of a McGill Law graduate and member of the Bar of Quebec. The CDO is a guided research facility that provides students with information and counselling on career opportunities within and beyond the practice of law. Its mission is to enable our students and graduates to make informed decisions about their career path(s).
The CDO's director and coordinator are available to provide individual counselling to students exploring their diverse career options.
The CDO organizes major on-campus Career Days focusing in areas such as Common Law, Civil Law, Graduate Studies, Academic Careers, and Public Interest opportunities. The CDO also organizes the On-Campus Interview Program through which American firms, mainly from New York and Boston, as well as firms from Toronto, conduct interviews at McGill every year. Each year the CDO organizes a series of seminars aimed at presenting the range of career opportunities available to McGill's law graduates. In addition, the office organizes Effective Résumé Writing and Interview Skills workshops, and runs two Mock Interview programs. The CDO publishes the Career Development Guide, as well as a guide to careers in public interest, a guide to work in smaller firms and start as sole practitioners, and a guide to international employment, produced in conjunction with the Université de Montréal.
The Faculty encourages interested students to pursue court clerkships and graduate work in law after they complete their degrees at McGill. Indeed, the CDO recently published its second edition of the Graduate Law Students' Career Guide. Every year, students completing their studies are accepted into graduate programs at major US and English law schools, such as Yale, Harvard, Columbia, Berkeley, Oxford, and Cambridge, and at major schools in continental Europe, such as Paris, Strasbourg, and Florence. McGill's law graduates also enjoy great success in the highly selective Supreme Court clerkship program; in 2011, no fewer than 7 of the Supreme Court's 27 clerks will be McGill graduates.
Applications from candidates of diverse ethnic, cultural, linguistic, and socioeconomic backgrounds are encouraged. A plurality of perspectives is crucial to the creation of a dynamic intellectual community and resonates with the Faculty's academic mission of providing a bijural, bilingual, and comparative legal education.
Aboriginal persons are strongly encouraged to apply to the Faculty of Law and are invited to self-identify. McGill is host to a vibrant Aboriginal Law Students' Association, the activities of which have included guest speakers, conferences, and visits to the Supreme Court of Canada to witness hearings on Aboriginal rights cases, as well as visits to First Nation reserves to discuss contemporary legal issues with Aboriginal authorities. McGill offers Aboriginal students the opportunity to study and do research with a wide range of scholars in English and French. McGill also gives Aboriginal students the opportunity to gain practical experience working at the Legal Clinic in Kahnawake, as well as to participate in the national Aboriginal moot. Exchange opportunities with other law faculties, such as Osgoode and Ottawa, are also offered.
Faculty of Law McGill University
|Average GPA||LSAT Percentile|
L = Acceptance Likely
P = Acceptance Possible
U = Acceptance Unlikely