Canadian Official Guide
University of Toronto Faculty of Law
78 Queen's Park, Toronto, Ontario M5S 2C5
Phone: 416.978.3716 | Fax: 416.978.0790
Internet: www.law.utoronto.ca | E-mail:
View Important Information for Applicants to Ontario Law Schools.
The Faculty of Law at the University of Toronto offers unparalleled opportunities for the study of law. The Faculty is distinct in its commitment to creating a unique intellectual community in which each of its members—students and professors alike—are able to work closely in developing a deep, critical understanding of the strengths and limitations of law and legal institutions in Canada and the world beyond. Many of our graduates go on to shape and improve key institutions in society for the benefit of all.
Enrollment/Student Body in 2010–2011
- 2,229 first-year applicants
- 193 first-year places
- 600 total full time
- 13 half time
- 29 percent minority
- 50 percent women
- 10 Canadian provinces represented
- Over 50 undergraduate schools represented
- 64 full time
- 81 part time or adjunct
- 15 distinguished visitors
Our Faculty members, representing virtually every area of scholarship, are an exceptionally talented, enthusiastic, and academically ambitious group who regularly help to shape and inform contemporary debate on matters of national and international importance. The Faculty's scholars enjoy an international reputation for research excellence. As well, the Distinguished Visiting Faculty program and related initiatives bring some of the world's greatest legal scholars, jurists, policymakers, and leaders to the law school. The sheer size of our teaching complement supports a 1:10 faculty-to-student ratio—one of the best among law schools in North America.
Library and Physical Facilities
- Over 270,000 library volumes and equivalents
- 37,000-square-foot facility on three floors with a variety of study spaces
- Seats over 300
- Open 89.5 hours per week during the academic year
- Extended hours during peak exam times
- Access to free Wi-Fi, Lexis/Quicklaw, Westlaw Canada, HeinOnline, and most leading online legal databases
- 6 full-time law librarians
- Over 50 computers with a computer lab dedicated solely to law students
The library offers students a technologically advanced facility that includes access to the rich resources of the University of Toronto library system, one of the five largest research library systems in North America.
The Faculty of Law is housed in two historic buildings, Flavelle House and Falconer Hall, in the center of the city of Toronto on one of the most attractive parts of the campus. Toronto enjoys an excellent public transit system, which provides quick access to all parts of metropolitan Toronto and is steps away from the front door of the law school. The law school is self-contained with its own class and seminar rooms, law library, faculty, and student association offices.
- Degrees and combined degrees available—JD (full time and half time), JD/MBA, JD/MSW, JD/MISt, JD/PhD (Philosophy), JD/PhD (Economics), JD/PhD (Political Science), JD/MA (Global Affairs), JD/MA (European, Russian, and Eurasian Studies), JD/MA (Criminology), JD/MA (Economics), JD/Certificate in Environmental Studies, JD/MA (English)
- There are also a variety of exchange opportunities (both work-abroad and academic exchanges) and numerous clinical education placements with clinics as diverse as Downtown Legal Services and Advocates for Injured Workers.
A curriculum of exceptional breadth, richness, and diversity is offered. The first-year curriculum includes those courses that are common to many law school curricula: Legal Process, Professionalism and Ethics; Administrative Law; Canadian Constitutional Law; Contracts Law; Criminal Law; Property Law; and Torts. Three additional elements enrich the student experience and make our first-year program distinctive: the Introduction to Law Academic Orientation, the Legal Research and Writing Program, and the Professionalism and Ethics Intensive Program. During the first week of law school and throughout the fall term, students are exposed to the fundamental building blocks of legal education through our Introduction to Law program. Through small group classes of no more than 20 students, and mid-sized sections of 45 to 50 students, students have an excellent opportunity to complete and obtain feedback on their written work, as well as gain exposure to the basics of legal research. In an intensive one-week session on Legal Ethics and Professionalism, students are exposed to various ethical issues as esteemed members of the profession come together at the Faculty to discuss the importance of professionalism. The courses in the second and third years are entirely optional and are chosen from an extensive curriculum of over 100 courses. Every student must engage in a substantial legal research and writing project and a moot.
The law school has a number of vibrant programs and clinics in the areas of public interest law and law and policy. These include the International Human Rights Program, Aboriginal Law Program, Health Law and Equity Clinic, the Centre for Innovation Law and Policy, Pro Bono Students Canada, the David Asper Centre for Constitutional Rights, and the Clinical Education Program, to name just a few.
Admission for Entry in September 2012
- Minimum 15 university credits required (by May of entry year)
- LSAT required
- Oldest LSAT accepted—June 2008
More than 2,000 qualified applicants apply each year for the 195 places in the first-year class. The women and men who are admitted have normally been honors students in challenging programs during their undergraduate studies. The class that registered in September 2010 had a median cumulative undergraduate average (based on the best three full-time years out of four) of 85.9 percent and a median LSAT score of 168. We expect the entering class of 2011–2012 to display similar median GPA and LSAT scores. Very few candidates are admitted with LSAT scores below the 90th percentile and cumulative academic averages below 80 percent, unless their backgrounds, other qualifications, or personal accomplishments would, in the opinion of the Admissions Committee, contribute specially and significantly to the class. However, the decision-making process is too complex to be represented by numbers alone since the Faculty seeks students from various ethnic, racial, cultural, and socioeconomic backgrounds; from different regions of Canada; as well as from a range of academic disciplines, careers, and community and extracurricular experiences. These other factors may play an important role in the admission decision. As the diversity, depth, difficulty, and performance patterns indicated by the transcript are always carefully considered, applicants with identical grade-point averages may not necessarily be equally competitive for admission.
All applicants to the first year of the Juris Doctor (JD) program must submit a Law School Admission Test (LSAT) score and must arrange to write the test no later than the February administration before the September start of the program. A candidate whose academic record is competitive for admission, but whose LSAT score is uncompetitive, is encouraged to consider taking the test again. Normally, the best LSAT score is used.
The Faculty has an access and academic support program for Aboriginal students. It also admits mature students (those with five or more years of nonacademic experience). Candidates should refer to the law school website for further information about these categories of admission.
The application deadline is November 1, 2011. The University of Toronto is prepared to consider any requests to submit a late application. Please contact the Admissions Office for further information.
For applications to the 2012–2013 academic year, a score from an LSAT written on or after June 2008 is considered valid.
The University of Toronto's Career Development Office (CDO) is staffed by one part-time and three full-time professionals who provide extensive advice and information to assist students in pursuing their unique career goals. The CDO is committed to preparing students for the challenge of finding legal and law-related positions in Canada and elsewhere, and facilitates the on-campus recruitment visits of a multitude of Canadian and American law firms. The law school's strong academic reputation is well understood by prospective employers. Our graduates enjoy unparalleled success in securing summer, articling, and associate placements at law firms throughout Canada and the United States, as well as in industry, public interest, and government, including clerkships at all levels of Canadian courts. The CDO offers students a comprehensive program of panels and workshops, individual career counseling, interview coaching, résumé reviews, and a mentor program. For students seeking public interest law careers, the CDO provides a wide array of programs and resources, including an information fair, innovative summer fellowships, and a speaker series. The CDO also emphasizes diverse and alternative career opportunities for students seeking to use their legal skills in unique and ambitious ways. Further details are available at www.law.utoronto.ca/programs/cdo.html.
There are 27 rooms reserved for first-year law students in Graduate House, which is a university apartment complex. View Graduate House at www.sgs.utoronto.ca/gradhouse/. Other housing options include university residences, independent residences, student family housing, and off-campus flats, apartments, and rooms all within easy walking or commuting distance of the law school. Information on student housing is available from the University of Toronto Housing Service at 416.978.8045 and www.housing.utoronto.ca.
Extensive need-based financial aid is available to students through bursaries, interest-free loans, and back-end debt relief assistance. Forty-two percent of all JD students were provided Faculty financial assistance during the 2010–2011 academic year. Domestic tuition fees for the first-year class for the 2010–2011 academic year were $23,508.
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