OLSAS – University of Toronto


University program information is subject to change. For the most up-to-date details, view the online application.

Last updated: August 24, 2017

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About the University of Toronto Faculty of Law

The Faculty of Law at the University of Toronto is an exceptional community in which to study law. A student body with diverse ethnic, cultural, political and socio-economic backgrounds, experiences and interests complements the academic strength and intellectual ambition of the faculty.

Each year the law school produces a class of Juris Doctor (JD) graduates with outstanding employment prospects by exposing our talented students to a deep curriculum taught by professors with international reputations for scholarly excellence, all in close proximity to Canada’s leading legal and financial markets.

Statement of Admission Policy

The Faculty of Law seeks to identify and offer admission to students with diverse interests and backgrounds, who demonstrate unusually strong academic and personal promise. The review of applications is holistic.

Consideration is given to all the features of the application, with emphasis on a candidate’s record of undergraduate and graduate achievement, aptitude, personal experiences, interests and character.

The Admissions Committee considers a host of academic, professional and personal factors in its attempt to evaluate each applicant’s demonstrated potential for enriching the law school community, the profession and society.

Admission as a First-Year Applicant

There are 3 admission categories:

  1. General Application Category
    The majority of applications are made in the General category. In this category, you must have successfully completed at least 3 years of full-time undergraduate study (or equivalent) of an approved course, leading to a degree at a recognized university, by the end of May in the year of entry.
  2.  Mature Application Category
    You must have at least 5 complete years of non-academic experience (that is, experience outside of full-time study) by September of the year of entry to apply as a Mature applicant. With growing numbers of excellent applications in recent years, admission through the Mature category is virtually as competitive as the General category.
  3.  Aboriginal/Indigenous Applicants
    Aboriginal/Indigenous people, 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. The law school strongly encourages Aboriginal/Indigenous applications. Current Aboriginal/Indigenous students, the Indigenous Students’ Association Faculty Advisor, the Manager, Indigenous Initiative Office, and the Assistant Dean, Students, are delighted to speak with prospective Aboriginal/Indigenous students about life at the law school. Please contact the JD Admissions Office to arrange an introduction.

Filing Applications

Please submit the following documentation directly to OLSAS by November 1, 2017, when you apply to the first year of the JD program (General, Mature and Aboriginal/Indigenous categories):

  1. OLSAS application
  2. Official and original copies of all postsecondary academic transcripts
  3. LSAT score(s)
  4. A personal statement (plus a resumé – for mature category applicants only)
  5. An additional essay (optional)

References are not required and, if submitted, will not form part of your file. Interviews are not used for admission.

OLSAS online applications are due by 11:59 pm ET on November 1, 2017. OLSAS applications must be submitted by the listed deadline even if other required documents are not yet complete or available. Submit late documents directly to OLSAS as soon as they become available. Applications will only be reviewed after all documents are received.

Find additional information for all applicants.

Admission Process

You will be notified by email about the admission decision. We expect to make 3 main rounds of offers of admission: the first in early December, the second in late January, and the third in mid-March. A waiting list is established when we expect that all of the places in the class may be filled (around the end of April).

Deferral of Admission

Requests for deferrals are considered on an individual basis after you are admitted. Deferrals may be granted at the discretion of the Chair of the Admissions Committee.

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Admission as a Transfer JD Student

Transfer Applicants

The Faculty encourages candidates who have successfully completed their first year of an LLB or JD program at another common law school (Canadian or non-Canadian) to apply for entry into the second year of our JD program.

An application is considered when you have completed at least 3 years of full‑time undergraduate university studies and at least 4 of the JD program’s foundation courses, which include the following:

  • Administrative Law
  • Canadian Constitutional Law
  • Contract Law
  • Criminal Law
  • Legal Process
  • Property Law
  • Torts

Generally, transfer students will qualify for the University of Toronto’s JD degree after completing 2 years of study at the law school.

Combined Programs for Transfer Applicants

Transfer applicants may apply for admission to one of our combined programs (see the “Combined Programs” section).

Application Procedure for Transfer Applicants

Transfer applicants must submit the following documentation directly to OLSAS by May 1, 2018:

  1. OLSAS application
  2. Official and original copies of all postsecondary academic transcripts, including final grades for law school courses
  3. LSAT score(s)
  4. Personal statement
  5. A letter from your current law school indicating you are in good standing and have not been subject to any disciplinary actions
  6. An additional essay (optional)

OLSAS online applications are due by 11:59 pm ET on May 1, 2018. OLSAS applications must be submitted by the listed deadline even if other required documents are not yet complete or available. Submit late documents directly to OLSAS as soon as they become available. Applications will only be reviewed after all documents are received.

Find additional information for all applicants.

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Admission as a Letter of Permission Student

Letter of Permission Applicants

If you have successfully completed 2 years in an LLB or JD program at another law school, you will be considered for admission. You may apply to study for up to 1 academic year at the University of Toronto as a Letter of Permission student.

The Letter of Permission is issued by your home institution. As a Letter of Permission student, you do not receive a JD from the University of Toronto. Rather, you receive a law degree from your home institution (subject to the requirements of your home institution).

Application Procedure for Letter of Permission Applicants

Letter of Permission applicants must submit the following documentation directly to OLSAS by May 1, 2018:

  1. OLSAS application
  2. Official and original copies of all postsecondary academic transcripts, including final grades for law school courses
  3. LSAT score(s)
  4. Personal statement
  5. A Letter of Permission from the home institution
  6. A letter from your current law school indicating you are in good standing and have not been subject to any disciplinary actions
  7. An additional essay (optional)

OLSAS online applications are due by 11:59 pm ET on May 1, 2018, and OLSAS paper applications must be postmarked by May 1, 2018. OLSAS applications must be submitted by the listed deadline even if other required documents are not yet complete or available. Submit late documents directly to OLSAS as soon as they become available. Applications will only be reviewed after all documents are received.

Find additional information for all applicants.

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Admission as an NCA Applicant

Regardless of your immigration status in Canada, if you have a law degree from outside of Canada or civil law degree from the province of Quebec and are seeking to qualify to practice law in a common law province in Canada, you must first consult the National Committee on Accreditation (NCA).

The NCA examines the qualifications of internationally trained applicants and makes recommendations on behalf of the Law Society of Upper Canada (and all other law societies in Canada) as to the further study of law required before the applicant is qualified to enter a province’s licensing process. In most cases, the NCA will recommend that you successfully study specific subjects. Successful study of these subjects can be demonstrated by completing specific courses at a Canadian law school or by passing NCA challenge examinations.

Options at the Faculty of Law

There are 2 options at the law school for those who would like to meet the NCA’s requirements:

  1. Global Professional Master of Laws Program (GPLLM)
    The GPLLM program is an executive-style, 12-month graduate degree focused on law from an international perspective. Classes are held one evening per week and on occasional weekends, and are taught by a combination of distinguished faculty and experienced practitioners. Among the 4 program concentrations (Business Law; Canadian Law in a Global Context; Innovation, Law & Technology; and Law of Leadership), the concentration in Canadian Law in a Global Context provides 10 courses designed to meet the NCA’s requirements for internationally-trained lawyers:

    • Business Organizations
    • Applied Legal Research & Writing
    • Canadian Administrative Law
    • Canadian Constitutional Law
    • Canadian Criminal Law
    • Contact Law
    • Foundations of Canadian Law
    • Professional Responsibility
    • Property Law
    • Tort Law

    GPLLM law courses in the other concentrations may also be available to you.

    Depending on your NCA assessments, you may simultaneously complete both the GPLLM graduate degree and meet some or all of your NCA requirements. Find more information about the GPLLM. Find more information about the GPLLM.

  2. Specific JD program courses
    Lawyers with foreign training may also apply to take certain courses in the JD program at the law school to fulfill the NCA’s requirements.The Faculty of Law facilitates the professional accreditation of internationally trained lawyers by admitting some NCA applicants each year to take specific courses for credit. Admission is on a fee-for-course basis (estimated at $6,565 per course for 2018‑2019; subject to change in future academic years). Selection is based primarily on your performance in previous legal studies (including the results of NCA challenge exams) and the Admissions Committee’s assessment. If you have failed any NCA challenge exam, you will not be considered for admission. NCA students are not eligible for financial assistance from the Faculty of Law.

Note: Interviews for articling placement in Ontario generally occur during the summer one full year prior to the start of the placement. Consult the Law Society of Upper Canada or call 416-947-3300 to confirm procedures and deadlines for the Articling Program and the Law Practice Program.

Application Procedure for NCA Applicants

NCA applicants must submit the following documentation directly to OLSAS by May 1, 2018:

  1. OLSAS application
  2. A copy of the NCA assessment, sent directly from the NCA
  3. A copy of the results of all NCA exams, if exams were taken
  4. A written note specifying if you intend to take, or not take, any NCA exams before enrolling at the law school
  5. LSAT score(s), if the LSAT was taken

OLSAS online applications are due by 11:59 pm ET on May 1, 2018. OLSAS applications must be submitted by the listed deadline even if other required documents are not yet complete or available. Submit late documents directly to OLSAS as soon as they become available. Applications will only be reviewed after all documents are received.

Find additional information for all applicants.

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Combined Programs

The Faculty of Law partners with other faculties and departments at the University of Toronto to offer a number of special combined degree programs.

Combined programs allow students to complete the JD program and 1 partner graduate degree program together. The combination refers to being registered in the 2 programs simultaneously rather than in a single packaged program of blended courses. With the combined registration, the 2 degrees are completed sooner than if they were taken separately.

For combined programs, you must apply separately to each program by each program’s application deadlines and procedures, and satisfy each program’s admission requirements. The partner program will apply its own admission standards for selection.

Important: On the law school application form, for the program choices, select both the JD program (first year or transfer) and the desired combined program(s) (e.g., JD/MBA).

The University of Toronto currently offers the following combined programs:

Degree Combination Partner Program Duration
JD/MA Master of Arts – Criminology 3 years
JD/MA Master of Arts – Economics 3 years
JD/MA Master of Arts – English 3 years
JD/MA Master of Arts – European and Russian Affairs 4 years
JD/MBA Master of Business Administration 4 years
JD/MGA Master of Global Affairs 4 years
JD/MI Master of Information 4 years
JD/MPP Master of Public Policy 4 years
JD/MSW Master of Social Work 3 years with a BSW completed
4 years without a BSW
JD/PhD Doctor of Philosophy – Economics See combined programs website
JD/PhD Doctor of Philosophy – Philosophy See combined programs website
JD/PhD Doctor of Philosophy – Political Science See combined programs website

As a prospective combined program student, be aware that because the first year of each of the combined programs includes only courses at the Faculty of Law, it is possible to apply to the combined programs during the first year of the JD program.

In addition to these combined programs, the law school offers a number of certificate and collaborative programs, which you can apply to internally at the law school during the course of your JD studies and not through OLSAS.

These programs include the following:

  • Certificate in Sexual Diversity and Gender Studies
  • Certificate in Aboriginal Legal Studies
  • Certificate in Environmental Studies
  • Collaborative Program in Jewish Studies

Find more information about each combined, certificate, and collaborative program (including contact information).

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Financial Aid

The Financial Aid program at the Faculty of Law at the University of Toronto was designed and developed by students for students. This program is administered and monitored by a committee of faculty members and elected students, and is chaired by the Assistant Dean, JD Program. A few basic ideas frame our Financial Aid programs and policies.

  • We are committed to ensuring that financial aid is available to those students who require it most.
  • We believe that the emphasis on financial need as the main criterion for financial assistance serves both the law school and the broader community by ensuring access to legal education. The vast majority of our financial aid is allocated on the basis of financial need.

In 2015-2016, the Financial Aid program distributed over $3.2 million in bursaries and loan interest payments. 82% of students who applied for financial aid received it, and the average first-year bursary was $9,130. First-year students who received assistance paid an average effective tuition reduction of 30%.

If you apply for financial assistance, you must also apply for government student assistance.

All domestic University of Toronto JD students (including transfer students) are eligible to apply for Faculty of Law financial aid. Letter of Permission, NCA and international students are not eligible to apply for financial aid.

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Residence and Housing

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Additional Information for All Applicants

Add Our Email Address to Your Contact List as a Trusted Sender

We will use email as the primary means of communicating with applicants, including acknowledging the receipt of your application via OLSAS and our final admission decision. As we may use a secure mass emailer, please provide a valid email in your application and add law.admissions@utoronto.ca as a contact to your email address book. This will ensure that you will receive our messages in your inbox rather than in a spam/junk folder.

Fee Waivers

A $100 law school institutional application fee exemption may be requested by those applying for entry into the first-year and transfer into the second year. Fee waivers must be approved prior to submitting the OLSAS online application. Apply for a fee waiver.

Automatic Fee Waiver

If you have received a Canada Student Grant for Persons from Low Income Families at any time over the past five years, the Faculty of Law at the University of Toronto will automatically waive its institutional application fee ($100). To receive this waiver, please check the appropriate box in your online submission.

The option will appear in the “School Submission” section of your application. For more information, contact the JD Admissions Office.

Late Applications

The Faculty of Law at the University of Toronto is prepared to consider requests to submit late applications. Late application requests should be emailed with attachments.

The law school will be more receptive to requests for late applications that are accompanied by unofficial copies of all postsecondary transcripts (and LSAT scores, if the LSAT was taken by the time of the request).

Law School Admission Test (LSAT)

The LSAT is required of all first-year JD, transfer and Letter of Permission applicants. It is not required for NCA applicants.

If the LSAT is written more than once, the Admissions Committee will consider all of the results. Emphasis will be placed on the highest score. For entry in 2018, the earliest acceptable test is the June 2013 test. The latest acceptable test is the February 2018 test. You are strongly encouraged to take the LSAT on an earlier test date.

Personal Statement and Optional Essay

The Admissions Committee does not conduct interviews. For this reason, you are required to submit a personal statement and are encouraged to provide an optional essay.

Use these documents to highlight your academic, personal and professional accomplishments, and share with the Committee a more 3-dimensional picture of yourself and your vision for your legal education at the University of Toronto.

Successful statements tend to be those that feature clear and authentic writing. All applicant statements and essays of applicants who are offered admission are read independently by at least 3 (and as many as 6) Admissions Committee members. The Admissions Committee includes students, senior administrative staff and faculty members.

Aboriginal/Indigenous applicants are encouraged to outline in their personal statements their interest in, identification with, and connection to their communities.

Reference Letters

Reference letters are not required and will not be considered if submitted.

Transcripts

If you have completed your undergraduate degree (or completed more than 1 year of study) at a postsecondary institution outside of Canada or the United States, you may be required to submit a third-party assessment of your transcripts (from World Education Services, or equivalent) as a condition of an offer of admission.

Measures to Safeguard the Integrity of the Admission Process

All application elements for admission to the law school are expected to be authentic, true and, where applicable, your original work. The Faculty of Law reserves the right to verify the authenticity and originality of all submitted application materials and, in its sole discretion, may revoke an offer of admission or take any other reasonable steps to safeguard the integrity of the admissions process.

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Contact Information

Admission Inquiries

You are advised to review the admissions policies and procedures detailed on the Faculty of Law admissions website.

Staff members are available to answer questions in person, by telephone or in writing. They are extremely knowledgeable about the admissions process and can assist you with most matters about your applications.

JD Admissions Office
Faculty of Law, University of Toronto
78 Queen’s Park
Toronto ON  M5S 2C5

Telephone: 416-978-3716
Email: law.admissions@utoronto.ca

Information Sessions/Campus Tours

We invite you to meet with us at 1 of our open houses or admissions information sessions.

See a complete list of our recruitment events.
Book a campus tour.

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