OLSAS – Indigenous Applicants
Note: This application guide contains information for fall 2022 admission.
The law schools of Ontario recognize their shared responsibility to Indigenous peoples. They are committed to responding to the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada: Calls to Action.
- Bora Laskin Faculty of Law (Lakehead University)
- Lincoln Alexander School of Law (Ryerson University)
- Osgoode Hall Law School (York University)
- University of Ottawa
- Queen’s University
- University of Toronto
- Western University
- University of Windsor
Bora Laskin Faculty of Law (Lakehead University)
Indigenous (First Nations, Métis and Inuit) Category
We strongly encourage Indigenous applicants from across Canada to apply to our program. We are committed to improving Indigenous representation in the Canadian legal community.
To apply under the Indigenous category, you must be of Indigenous ancestry: First Nations, Métis or Inuit.
Applicants in this category are required to submit evidence of Indigenous identity, such as a copy of a status card or letter of support from an Indigenous organization, such as a band council or Métis community council.
You are also requested to outline in your Personal Statement your relationship to your community, including how you have contributed to, are connected to and identify with your community.
You must have a minimum of 3 years of university and must also take the LSAT exam.
Applications are reviewed holistically, as are all applications to the JD program.
Lincoln Alexander School of Law (Ryerson University)
We welcome and encourage Indigenous candidates to apply to our program. We are committed to improving access of Indigenous people to law school and increasing the representation in the field of law.
If you apply to the Indigenous category, you must include in your Personal Statement an outline of your relationship and connection to your community, which could include the impact of colonization on your family, or your connection to Indigenous culture. One of your reference letters can also corroborate your interest in, and identification with, your Indigenous community.
Note: If you wish to be considered as an access or mature candidate, select the appropriate category and review the Personal Statement (School Submission) requirements for including the relevant information in your application. We do not require additional/corroborating documentation and we request that you do not submit confidential medical, psychoeducational, legal or other related documents with your application.
Osgoode Hall Law School (York University)
Indigenous Canadian Applicants
We are committed to increasing Indigenous representation in the legal profession and strongly encourage applications from Indigenous candidates.
To have your file reviewed as an Indigenous candidate, you must provide documentation that corroborates your identification and connection with your Indigenous community. More specifically, we will strongly consider your service and involvement or leadership within your community, on Indigenous issues or within Indigenous circles. In our experience, those markers of solidarity and ability to be supportive of others within your community correlate with academic and extracurricular success in law school.
We are committed to Indigenous student success through initiatives and programming delivered by our Indigenous faculty members and our Program Manager, Indigenous Initiatives and Reconciliation, Lori Mishibinijima. For more information, email Lori Mishibinijima.
University of Ottawa
Persons who are First Nations, Inuit or Métis may apply in this category if they wish.
Proof of Indigenous identity must be provided. It can take different forms. Consult the University of Ottawa’s policy on admissions streams and scholarships intended for First Nations, Inuit and Métis applicants [PDF].
If you choose to apply under the Indigenous category, we encourage you to use your Personal Statement to describe your connection to your Indigenous community, including the extent to which you are involved in your Indigenous community, if applicable.
Applicants in the Indigenous category must submit:
- all components listed in the Application Components section.
- proof of Indigenous identity, a tailored personal statement and a reference letter in support of the community connection.
- a resumé or CV to OLSAS via the SAM page.
Indigenous Peoples Category
Our Faculty of Law is committed to increasing Indigenous representation within the legal profession and therefore welcomes applications from Indigenous Peoples, including First Nation (Status and Non-Status), Métis and Inuit.
We will consider applications based on identification with your Indigenous community, as well as other factors, such as academic performance, LSAT results, employment history, letters of reference and a Personal Statement. The Admissions Committee uses this material to judge whether an applicant can undertake the JD degree program successfully.
If there is strong evidence of academic ability in the application, an exception might be made to the academic standards.
University of Toronto
Indigenous applicants, including those of Indian (status and non-status), Métis and Inuit heritage, represent unique groups in Canada and are given special consideration when applying to the Faculty of Law. We strongly encourage Indigenous applications.
Current Indigenous students, the Indigenous Students’ Association Faculty Advisor, the Manager of the Indigenous Initiative Office, the Assistant Dean and students are delighted to speak with you about life at the law school. Email the JD Admissions Office to arrange an introduction.
We recognize that members of First Nations, Inuit and Métis communities are not adequately represented within the legal profession and therefore strongly encourage applications from these groups.
Effective May 2021, the Indigenous Law Centre (ILC) at the University of Saskatchewan is offering a new legal curriculum with course offerings from May through July, aimed at incoming (1L) Indigenous law students and postsecondary students in general. Visit the ILC website for further details, including specific course offerings and the application process for 2022 classes. Incoming Indigenous law students who successfully complete the University of Saskatchewan ILC summer program will receive credit for first-year Property Law at Western Law. They may also receive funds to subsidize the cost of the summer program.
Indigenous Services Canada’s Post-Secondary Student Support Program provides financial assistance to First Nations and eligible Inuit students who are enrolled in eligible postsecondary programs. Additional federal assistance is also available to Indigenous students from several other sources. Finally, financial assistance is available for Métis and Non-Status students through the Department of Justice Canada’s Legal Studies for Aboriginal People Program.
Required application components:
- Official transcripts for all postsecondary education
- 2 confidential reference letters, 1 of which must be academic (i.e., from a university professor). The other should corroborate your involvement with your Indigenous community. (Note: If more than 2 reference letters are received, only the first 2 will be read.)
- Personal Statement
- Autobiographical Sketch, Detailed Sketch and verifiers
- LSAT score(s) and the LSAT Writing
- Proof of Indigenous status or ancestry, or other ties to your Indigenous community
Resumés are not required for Indigenous applicants and will not be reviewed.
University of Windsor
Applications from Indigenous Applicants
We recognize that Indigenous applicants are not adequately represented within the legal profession. Our admission policy encourages Indigenous applicants to pursue legal studies.
If you are an Indigenous applicant and receive an acceptance to the Faculty of Law, you are required to complete the Indigenous Law Student Summer Program offered through Windsor Law in August.
If, as an Indigenous applicant, you wish to be considered under this policy, rather than under general admission criteria, you must apply to Windsor Law in accordance with the admission procedures previously set out.
You are encouraged to show your connection to your community when completing the profile/essay questions.
The LSAT is a required component of the application process. Although we encourage you as an Indigenous applicant to complete the LSAT, in special circumstances, this requirement may be waived.
A written request must be made by email and addressed to the Chair, Admissions Committee, Faculty of Law, University of Windsor.
OLSAS applications are due at the OUAC by the specified deadlines. You may request an extended deadline by email, addressed to the Chair of the Admissions Committee, Faculty of Law, University of Windsor. You must state your reasons for failing to meet the original deadline.
Note: It is your responsibility to ensure that your application materials and supporting documents are submitted. Incomplete applications will not be considered.
Some Indigenous students are sponsored and/or have their tuition paid by their First Nations Education Authority. You are advised to contact the Authority and the Cashier’s Office at the university. The Cashier’s Office will then contact the First Nations Education Authority and arrange to have your tuition paid.