Future JD Students

 Canadian Official Guide

Queen's University Faculty of Law

Admissions Office, Room 200, Macdonald Hall, 128 Union Street, Kingston, Ontario K7L 3N6
Phone: 613.533.2220 | Fax: 613.533.6611
Internet: law.queensu.ca | E-mail:

View Important Information for Applicants to Ontario Law Schools.

To see the 2011 Law Viewbook, go to law.queensu.ca/prospectiveStudents/jdProgram/2011LawViewbook.pdf (PDF).

Introduction

Queen's University logoThe compact campus of Queen's University borders on Lake Ontario and is within walking distance of downtown Kingston. The city of Kingston is located midway between Toronto and Montreal and has a population of about 117,000. 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. In 2010–2011, extensive upgrades to classrooms and the installation of a new videoconferencing seminar room were completed. For more information about Queen's University and the city of Kingston, see www.queensu.ca/visit/.

Library

See library.queensu.ca/law/.

  • Lederman Law Library in Macdonald Hall—all levels accessible by elevator
  • 150,000 library volumes and equivalents
  • Access to a wide array of electronic legal resources, including LexisNexis/Quicklaw, Westlaw, Westlaw Canada, and Litigator, as well as numerous other legal resources
  • 2.5 full-time librarians
  • Library seats 200
  • Wireless Internet access

The library is highly regarded for its extensive reference holdings and electronic databases. The highly 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.

Faculty

  • queens-180 total
  • 31 full time
  • 49 sessional lecturers
  • 33 percent of full-time faculty members are female
  • 2 Queen's Legal Aid
  • 2 Correctional Law Project
  • 1 Business Law Clinic
  • 1 Elder Law Clinic

Our faculty members have garnered prestigious awards for the excellence of their teaching, are frequently called upon to give expert opinions to the media, and have been recognized for the excellence of their research through national and international research grants. For more information about the achievements of our faculty members, please see the faculty profiles at law.queensu.ca/facultyAndStaff.html and law.queensu.ca/lawResearch.html.

Why Choose Queen's Law?

See law.queensu.ca/prospectiveStudents/whyChoose.html.

  • Canada's global law school
  • Leader in interdisciplinary studies
  • Leader in clinical education and experiential learning
  • Outstanding teachers and scholars
  • Leader in student engagement
  • Leader in placement rates
  • Leader in financial support

Curriculum

See law.queensu.ca/prospectiveStudents/jdProgram.html.

In 2008, the University Senate approved a change in designation from the Bachelor of Laws (LLB) degee 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.

First-year students are placed in small sections of approximately 28 students and they are required to participate in the First Year Legal Foundations Program. A review of the first-year program is currently underway. A new academic orientation is proposed for September 2011 that will focus on professionalism, academic integrity, structure of the legal system, the legislative process, the common law, and approaches to the study of law. The first-year programming orients students to issues of professional ethics and responsibility, diversity, critical and analytical perspectives, and strategies for coping with law school stress and exam preparation. For further information, see law.queensu.ca/prospectiveStudents/jdProgram/firstYear.html.

Upper-year requirements (Civil Procedure, a substantial paper, practice skills, and advocacy requirements) have been established to enhance students' legal research, writing, and advocacy skills. In their second and third years, students tailor programs 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, programs, and services. See the upper-year curriculum posted at law.queensu.ca/students/jdProgram.html.

Special Programs

Clinical Opportunities and Experiential Learning

  • The Clinical Correctional Law Project is unique in Canada. Students can volunteer for the project or register for the Clinical Correctional Law course. Under faculty supervision, students provide legal advice, assistance, and representation to federal inmates on appeals against conviction and sentencing, as well as internal prison discipline matters and parol hearings.
  • Queen's Legal Aid is a nonprofit organization that provides legal service 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 trademark work, compliance with government regulations for start-up companies, and drafting and reviewing contracts.
  • Clinical Family Law 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. Students may participate in the Family Law Project as part of the Queen's Law chapter of Pro Bono Students Canada.
  • 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.
  • 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 an extensive series of competitive moots and alternative dispute resolution competitions each year. See law.queensu.ca/students/jdProgram/mootCourt.html.
  • 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.

International Opportunities

See law.queensu.ca/international.html.

  • International exchange programs are in place with the University of Groningen, the Netherlands; Jean Moulin-Lyon 3 University, France; the National University of Singapore; the University of Hong Kong, China; Tsinghua University, Beijing, China; Jindal Global Law School, Delhi, India; the University of Cape Town, South Africa; the University of Tel Aviv, Israel; and four universities in Australia: Melbourne, Sydney, New South Wales, and University of Western Australia. Law students may also participate in university-wide exchanges to the University of the West Indies, Barbados; the University of Otago, New Zealand; Kyushu University, Japan; and Fudan University, China. See law.queensu.ca/international/internationalExchanges.html#University-Wide%20Exchanges.
  • Global Law Programs are offered in the spring at the Bader International Study Center 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. See law.queensu.ca/international/globalLawProgramsAtTheBISC.html.
  • International internship opportunities are funded by Tory's LLP for first-year students and by the Dean's Excellence Fund for second-year students. Please see law.queensu.ca/international/internshipPrograms.html.

Interdisciplinary Opportunities

Queen's Law has targeted interdisciplinary studies as a strategic priority to prepare law students for the complexity of modern major transactions, policies, and legal processes. See law.queensu.ca/prospectiveStudents/combined.html.

  • JD/MA (Economics)—three-year program
  • JD/MBA—four-year program, but early completion in 3.5 years possible
  • JD/Master of Industrial Relations—3.5-year program, but early completion in three years possible
  • JD/Master of Public Administration—3.5-year program, but early completion in three years possible
  • Civil Law-Common Law—combined degree in partnership with University of Sherbrooke, Quebec

Academic Support

The Education Equity Program 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 Categories of Admission, but also strives to cultivate an environment that maximizes opportunities for all students in an effort to make legal education more accessible. Since 2002, the Education Equity 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, information, and assistance concerning school-related and personal issues, special needs access, and language support is available to all students. See law.queensu.ca/students/educationEquity.html.

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 the Faculty Board and the Law Students' Society Committees. Through the Law Students' Society, the students organize and participate in Law School events and activities such as intramural sports and charitable fundraising. For more information see law.queensu.ca/students/lss.html and law.queensu.ca/events.html.

The new Queen's Athletic and Recreation Centre provides extensive fitness, aquatic, sports, and recreational facilities. For more information, see www.queensu.ca/queenscentre/index.html.

Housing

Law students are eligible for graduate and professional student residences, but most law students choose to rent off-campus community apartments and housing. See gradlife.queensu.ca/prospective/queensresidences.asp and gradlife.queensu.ca/prospective/communityhousing.asp.

Expenses and Financial Aid

Please see www.queensu.ca/studentawards/financialassistance/law.html and www.queensu.ca/studentawards/costs.html.

Applicants are considered for merit-based scholarships throughout the admissions cycle and an additional application is not necessary. Further scholarships are available upon application after registration.

Law Admission bursaries are available upon application during the admission cycle and assessed on the basis of demonstrated financial need. See www.queensu.ca/studentawards/financialassistance/law.html#admissionbursary.

Career Services

See law.queensu.ca/students/careerServices.html.

The Career Services 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 over 80 law firms and government offices from across Ontario. Additionally, Queen's Law hosts an annual Practice Interview Day and on-campus interviews with Toronto summer employers. The office is directed by a legal professional who is assisted by a Coordinator and student members of the Career Services Committee. Multiple print and online resources are available to law students to support their job search processes. See law.queensu.ca/students/careerServices/careerresourcesLinks.html.

Admission

  • Application is made through the Ontario Law School Application Service (OLSAS) at www.ouac.on.ca/olsas by November 1 for first-year admission, and May 1 for upper-year admission.
  • There is a minimum requirement of three years 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.
  • LSAT required, multiple scores averaged for initial sorting of applications, highest score used for admission decision.
  • June 2006 oldest score accepted for 2011 admission cycle; February LSAT score latest accepted in each admission cycle.

Educational achievement demonstrated through excellence in undergraduate and graduate studies and aptitude for legal reasoning and analysis demonstrated through a strong LSAT score are important considerations. Applicants will have completed a three-year or four-year undergraduate degree at a recognised institution. Completion of a four-year honours undergraduate degree is preferred. Other considerations include the quality of the personal statement, letters of reference, employment history, extracurricular achievements, and community service. The Admissions Committee reviews this 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. 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. In addition to the General Category of admission, Queen's Law seeks to enhance diversity in legal education by encouraging applications in the Aboriginal Category and in the 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. See law.queensu.ca/prospectiveStudents/admissionInformation.html.

Student Body/Enrollment/Applicant Profile

To view the profile of the 2010 first-year class, see law.Queensu.ca/prospectiveStudents/admissionInformation/firstYearClassProfile.html.

  • 2,634 first-year applicants
  • 564 offers made to 2010 cycle applicants
  • 169 enrolled in first-year class
  • 481 total enrollment
  • 467 total full-time enrollment
  • 14 total part-time enrollment
  • 46 percent women
  • 80 percent in province and 20 percent out of province in first-year class
  • diverse undergraduate programs represented
  • 51 percent have honours four-year undergraduate degrees, 39 percent have three-year general undergraduate degrees, and 10 percent have graduate degrees in the first-year class
  • LSAT highest score average (excluding Access category) 162 (86th percentile)
  • Last two years' average 83 percent

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