OLSAS – University of Windsor

Note: This application guide contains information for fall 2021 admission.

University program information is subject to change. View the application for the most up-to-date details.

Last updated: August 20, 2020

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About Windsor Law

Windsor Law is an exceptional law school offering a broad legal education and practical law skills in an intimate environment that nurtures lifelong relationships. We have an international reputation for our focus on the themes of access to justice and transnational legal issues. It permeates all that we do – our admission policy, our curriculum, our experiential learning and our research.

The Faculty of Law is located on the main campus of the University of Windsor, approximately 3 kilometres west of downtown Windsor. The campus is situated along the Detroit River at the foot of the Ambassador Bridge to the United States.

Construction to the Ron W. Ianni Law building is scheduled to begin in winter 2021. During this period, Windsor Law students, faculty, and staff will temporarily relocate into “law clusters” around the rest of the campus. You can find more information on the University of Windsor website.

The Law building faces one of the most beautiful waterfronts in Canada. There is no better place to study comparative Canada-US law or to earn joint Canadian & American Dual Juris Doctor (JD) degrees that will allow you to practice law in both countries.

At Windsor Law, the admission process is decidedly different. We actively seek a diverse student body through the thoughtful consideration of the whole person and through financial aid to make law school accessible and affordable to our students.

The Faculty is accredited by the Law Society of Ontario and all of the other common law societies in Canada.

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Admission and Criteria

At Windsor Law, your application for admission is reviewed through a holistic lens. As a candidate, you have the opportunity to provide the Admissions Committee with a range of information that supports your application for entry.

As a candidate seeking admission to the studies leading to the JD degree, you must follow the procedures and submit the documentation required for the year you wish to enter in.

The Admissions Committee establishes the admission policy and criteria, as well as procedures for the application assessments. The Committee consists of the Associate Dean as Chair, the Assistant Dean (Admissions, Recruitment and External Affairs) as Vice Chair, professors and students. The Admissions Committee establishes the admission criteria and procedures for each admission year.

Objective

The admission policy objective is to select those students who will excel in the study of law and who have the potential to contribute creatively and meaningfully to the law school and the community.

Criteria

The Admissions Committee considers most applicants in the framework of the following criteria:

  1. University Program
    Your undergraduate average and academic performance trends, awards and prizes, the nature and content of the program taken, and the level of any degree(s) or diplomas obtained are considered.
  2. Work Experience
    Your part-time, summer and full-time work experience is analyzed for signs of organizational and administrative skills as well as initiative. Vocational, professional or other special qualifications will be considered.
  3. Community Involvement
    Contribution to the community (city/town, university, religious, etc.) will be assessed for indications of commitment to the community. Factors examined include the nature of your participation in service clubs, community service organizations and religious, athletic and social organizations.
  4. Personal Accomplishments
    Personal accomplishments are considered. Factors can include extracurricular activities, hobbies and special accomplishments, artistic and athletic accomplishments, and communication skills and languages spoken.
  5. Career Objectives
    Your career objectives are considered, including how and where your legal education will be employed.
  6. Personal Considerations
    Any personal factors, such as illness, bereavement, unusual family responsibilities or other such circumstances that may have some bearing on your qualifications, are noted.
  7. Law School Admission Test (LSAT) Scores
    The LSAT is required. The LSAT is administered several times each year at convenient locations in Canada and the United States. For detailed information, refer to the LSAT Registration and Information Book or contact the Law School Admission Council (LSAC):

    Law School Admission Council (LSAC)
    662 Penn Street
    Newtown, Pennsylvania, USA 18940

    Telephone: 215-968-1001
    Email: lsacinfo@LSAC.org

You do not need to apply to the Faculty of Law prior to registering for an LSAT. The January LSAT is the last LSAT score Windsor Law will accept in the year of application. We make offers of admission on a rolling basis.

We will not consider LSAT scores written more than 5 years prior to the academic year of application.

Important: No 1 single factor determines admission to Windsor Law. The Admissions Committee assesses applications in light of the previous criteria. The chief source of information about you is that which you provide in your Personal Profile. Take care to present a full and rounded view of yourself in your Personal Profile.

The application and the Personal Profile (found in the application in “School Submissions”) were developed to provide you with the opportunity to assemble a persuasive case for admission.

Admissions Committee members will evaluate the information provided to determine the following:

  • whether you are likely to succeed in law studies
  • if you have social skills and relate well to people
  • if you have talent for administration and organization (particularly of your own time)
  • if you have a well-developed and focused career plan based on a sound perception of your capabilities
  • if you display leadership qualities and writing skills

In the application, you are expected to identify significant experiences and accomplishments and indicate how they relate to the admission criteria.

For example, you should describe particular experiences (work, cultural, sporting and academic) in sufficient detail to allow the evaluators to make an assessment.

You should describe any experience that demonstrates that you are self-disciplined and committed to excellence in any field.

Committee members are interested in those experiences that show that you are devoted to self-improvement, involvement in the community and service to others.

Contributions to the following help demonstrate this:

  • hospitals,
  • charitable organizations,
  • religious institutions,
  • disadvantaged and underprivileged groups and individuals and
  • political parties and athletics, among other activities.

If you are a member of a group that is disadvantaged for any reason, these circumstances should be made known to the Admissions Committee.

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.

Read more about applying as an Indigenous applicant.

If you are an Indigenous applicant who is considered to have good potential for the study of law, you may receive an unconditional or a conditional acceptance to the Faculty of Law. If you have received a conditional acceptance and have successfully completed the Indigenous Law Centre Summer Program offered each year at the University of Saskatchewan in Saskatoon, you will be admitted to the first year of the JD program at Windsor and are eligible for course credit (advanced standing) for 1 first-year course.

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 must include with your application a letter advising of the intention to complete the Indigenous Law Centre Summer Program at the University of Saskatchewan should you receive a conditional acceptance.

For more information about the program, contact:

Indigenous Law Centre
University of Saskatchewan
Law Building, Room 160
15 Campus Drive
Saskatoon SK  S7N 5A6

Telephone: 306-966-6189
Fax: 306-966-6207

Although we encourage you, as an Indigenous applicant, to complete the LSAT, in special circumstances this requirement may be waived. 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.

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Application Procedures

All Ontario law schools use the common, online Ontario Law School Application Service (OLSAS). For more information about this application, other admission materials and a Personal Profile for the University of Windsor, visit the OLSAS Application Guide.

Application Deadlines

  • The application deadline for the JD program is November 1, 2020.
  • The application deadline for the Canadian & American Dual JD Program is May 1, 2021.

The Admissions Committee evaluates applications for first-year admission on a continuous basis as the files are completed. All files must contain:

  1. OLSAS application
  2. University of Windsor Personal Profile (found in the application in “School Submissions”)
  3. All official transcripts
    • The Canadian & American Dual JD Program requires the completion of an undergraduate degree by August 1, 2021.
    • If you have received an offer of admission to the Canadian & American Dual JD program, you must submit final official transcripts by August 1, 2021, unless you have just completed your degree.
  4. Current official LSAT score report; LSAT scores written in the previous 5 years
  5. 2 letters of reference (1 academic and 1 non-academic) on the forms specifically provided for this purpose
    • You are required to submit 2 letters of reference.
    • If you attended a postsecondary institution during the 3 years prior to the application, you are required to submit 1 academic reference and 1 non‑academic reference.
    • If you did not, you may submit 2 non-academic references.
  6. Electronic reference forms are provided by, and should be forwarded directly to, OLSAS by the referee.
  7. Canadian & American Dual JD program Supplemental Application Form (if applicable)

Late Applications

OLSAS applications are due at the OUAC by the specified deadlines. You may request an extended deadline by email and addressed to:

Chair, Admissions Committee
Faculty of Law, University of Windsor
401 Sunset Avenue
Windsor ON  N9B 3P4

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.

Applications for Transfer into the JD Program

Subject to the availability of places, the Faculty of Law may admit candidates who have successfully completed the first year of a JD program at another common law school into the second year of the JD program.

Preference will be given to applicants who have attended a Canadian common law school. You may be eligible for the JD degree from the University of Windsor upon successful completion of 2 years of academic work, subject to meeting our academic requirements.

The deadline for applications is May 1, 2021.

All applications are subject to Windsor Law’s usual admission criteria. Where necessary, the Admissions Committee may ask you to have your academic record evaluated by World Education Services (WES).

Applications for Advanced Standing to the JD Program

If you have attended a foreign law school for more than 1 year, you may apply for advanced standing in the JD program. This will normally require 2 years of full-time study in the JD program at Windsor Law.

You may be eligible for the JD degree from the University of Windsor upon successfully completing 2 years of academic work, subject to meeting our academic requirements.

The deadline for applications is November 1, 2020.

All applications are subject to the usual admission criteria. Where necessary, the Admissions Committee may ask you to have your academic record interpreted and/or translated by WES or an equivalent service.

Students Visiting on a Letter of Permission

Subject to the availability of places, the Faculty of Law may admit visiting students from other law schools into the study program for up to 1 year.

The deadline for applications is May 1, 2021.

All applications are subject to Windsor Law’s usual admission criteria. Where necessary, the Admissions Committee may ask you to have your academic record evaluated by WES.

Certificate of Equivalence Applicants

If you have completed your law degree at a foreign law school or are qualified to practice in a foreign jurisdiction, you may apply for a Certificate of Equivalence from the National Committee on Accreditation (NCA), which may be acceptable to some Law Societies in Canada.

Subject to the availability of places, you may be admitted into the program of study for less than 2 years of study if recommended by the NCA.

No degree is granted by the University of Windsor.

You are required to submit the NCA Assessment Result letter or report from the NCA. You may obtain information by contacting the NCA:

National Committee on Accreditation
Federation of Law Societies of Canada
World Exchange Plaza
1810-45 O’Connor Street
Ottawa ON  K1P 1A4

Telephone: 613-236-7250, ext. 229
Email: nca@flsc.ca

Study Exchanges

We have developed a broad range of student exchange partnerships with other universities around the world for our students. If you are currently attending 1 of our partner institutions, we invite you to apply for an exchange through their exchange office.

Refer to our exchange partners.

Admission to the Practice of Law

A law degree does not in itself entitle one to practice law. If you propose to enter the practice of law in any province or territory of Canada, you must consult directly with the Law Society of such province or territory to determine its admission requirements.

The Law Society of Ontario, in prescribing the conditions for admission to the practice of law in Ontario, requires that you graduate from an approved course of no less than 3 years leading to the JD degree in an approved law school.

The law program at the Faculty of Law, University of Windsor, has been approved by the Law Society of Ontario and the Federation of Law Societies of Canada. Students graduating with the JD degree, who otherwise meet the Law Society of Ontario’s requirements, are eligible for admission to membership in the Law Society of Ontario and for entrance to the Licensing Process.

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Programs at Windsor

JD Program

The program leading to the JD degree requires admission as a full-time student for 3 years or as a half-time student for 6 years.

First-year Program

The first-year curriculum provides a basic level of instruction through mandatory courses in all the fundamental areas, problems and principles of law. The compulsory first-year curriculum includes:

  • Access to Justice
  • Property Law
  • Contract Law
  • Criminal Law and Procedure
  • Constitutional Law
  • Legal Research and Writing
  • Indigenous Legal Orders

Upper-year Program

Civil Procedure is required in your second year.

In your upper years, you must also complete:

  • 1 academic research paper worth at least 50% of the grade in any course,
  • 1 course from a group of courses that gives a broader perspective of the legal process and legal theory,
  • 1 course from a group of courses on transnational law,
  • 1 course on professional legal ethics and
  • 1 course on torts.

You must satisfy the Federation of Law Societies’ competency in the principles of administrative law. The remainder of the JD program is comprised of optional courses that meet your needs and interests.

Canadian & American Dual JD Program

Windsor Law and the University of Detroit Mercy School of Law (Detroit Mercy Law) have collaborated to create a unique Canadian & American Dual JD program. This is the only comparative program of its kind in Canada and the United States in which students can earn 2 law degrees in 3 years.

Successful graduates earn both an American JD and a Canadian JD.

A Windsor Law JD is a second-entry undergraduate professional university degree. The Windsor Law JD is not accredited by the American Bar Association (ABA).

The Detroit Mercy Law JD is accredited by the ABA, allowing graduates to sit for any bar exam in the United States. Therefore, the Canadian & American Dual JD program prepares you to sit for both Canadian and US bar exams and to practice in both countries

The Canadian & American Dual JD program requires you to successfully complete 60 credit hours of course work at Detroit Mercy Law and 44 credit hours of course work at Windsor Law. Most required courses taken at either law school provide a comparative analysis of both US and Canadian law relevant to the subject area.

Admission and Criteria

You must have successfully completed your undergraduate degree by August 1 in the year of entry.

You are considered by the Canadian & American Dual JD program Admissions Committee using the 7 criteria:

  1. Grade point average (GPA) and university program,
  2. Work experience,
  3. Community involvement,
  4. Personal accomplishments,
  5. Career objectives,
  6. Personal considerations and
  7. LSAT score.

The Canadian & American Dual JD program Admissions Committee places significant weight on your GPA and LSAT score. However, there are no cut-offs for the program with respect to these scores. The Admissions Committee assesses applications in light of the 7 criteria listed.

The chief source of information about you is the information you provide in your Personal Profile (found in the application in “School Submissions”) you submit with your application. Take care to present a full and rounded view of yourself in your Personal Profile.

Canadian & American Dual JD Program Application Procedure

Applications are considered for first-year enrollment only; current law students cannot transfer into the Canadian & American Dual JD program.

The Admissions Committee is composed of faculty members from both the University of Detroit Mercy School of Law and the Faculty of Law, University of Windsor.

Detroit Mercy Law requires applicants to submit a Supplemental Application Form, which must be completed and uploaded through your OLSAS application.

The following materials are required to apply to the Canadian & American Dual JD program:

  1. OLSAS application
  2. University of Windsor Personal Profile (part of the application in “School Submissions”)
  3. All official transcripts
  4. Current LSAT score
  5. 2 letters of reference (1 academic and 1 non-academic)
  6. Canadian & American Dual JD Program Supplemental Application Form (found in the application and should be uploaded via Secure Applicant Messaging)

Application Deadline: May 1, 2021
OLSAS must receive your completed application for admission to the Canadian & American Dual JD by May 1, 2021.

Late Applications

After May 1, 2021, you may request an extended deadline by sending an email and addressing it to:

Director, Canadian & American Dual JD Program
Faculty of Law, University of Windsor
401 Sunset Avenue
Windsor ON  N9B 3P4

You must state your reasons for failing to meet the original deadline of May 1, 2021.

You must complete your application file for the Canadian & American Dual JD program by May 1, 2021. Files completed after this date may not be considered.

Immigration Requirements

If you are qualified, you may need study Visa(s) to participate in the program as it involves study in both the United States and Canada. Make sure you have a valid passport. You will receive information in mid-May concerning study Visa arrangements necessary to participate in the program.

If you are not a citizen of Canada or the United States, you may need consular approval for your study Visa. If you are not a citizen of either country, allow additional time for Visa processing.

We welcome all students to the program; however, be advised that enrollment in the program requires that you be legally entitled to study in both the United States and Canada, and that visa eligibility is at the discretion of the US Department of Homeland Security and the Canadian Border Service Administration.

For more information, visit the US Department of Homeland Security website and the Government of Canada Immigration and Citizenship website.

Course of Study as of 2020-2021 Academic Year (Subject to Change)

First Year

Windsor Law:

  • CDN & US Property Law (6 credits)
  • CDN & US Contracts (6 credits)
  • CDN & US Criminal Law (6 credits)
  • CDN Constitutional Law (5 credits)
  • Indigenous Legal Orders (3 credits)

Detroit Mercy Law:

  • Comparative Legal Writing & Research (9 credits)

The Comparative Legal Writing & Research course at Detroit Mercy Law is a unique course specifically designed for students in the Canadian & American Dual JD program. You will learn the legal research methods and legal processes involved in both Canada and the United States, as well as prepare a number of written assignments and participate in a moot court experience specifically designed for each jurisdiction.

Summer After First Year

Detroit Mercy Law:

  • US Civil Procedure (3 credits)
  • US Constitutional Law (4 credits) (subject to change)

Second Year

Windsor Law:

  • CDN Civil Procedure (4 credits)

Detroit Mercy Law:

  • CDN & US Evidence (5 credits)
  • CDN & US Torts (5 credits)
  • CDN & US Professional Responsibility (4 credits)
  • CDN & US Business Organizations (5 credits)

Third Year

Windsor Law: 

  • Administrative Law (4 credits)
  • Sufficient electives to complete 45 total credits at Windsor

Detroit Mercy Law: 

  • Transnational Law course (total 6 credits)
  • Law Firm Program (3 credits)
  • Clinic (3 credits)
  • Upper level writing requirement (2 credits)
  • Sufficient electives to complete 60 credits at Detroit Mercy Law

The Integrated Master of Social Work/Juris Doctor (MSW/JD) Program

The objective of the MSW/JD joint-degree program is to promote the integration of law and social work through an interdisciplinary commitment to social justice.

The joint-degree program is designed to enable you to obtain a JD and an MSW a full year sooner than would be possible had you chosen to pursue the degrees independently.

If you hold a Bachelor of Social Work (BSW) degree, you will be eligible to complete the program in 3 years, while students without a BSW will be eligible to complete it in 4 years.

If you seek to enter the MSW/JD program, indicate so on your application. If you apply to the MSW/JD program, you must apply separately to the Faculty of Law and the School of Social Work and meet the admission criteria for each program.

Application Deadline

Faculty of Law: November 1 (JD)
School of Social Work: January 15 (MSW)

The Integrated Master of Business Administration/Juris Doctor (MBA/JD) Program

The admission procedure for the integrated program consists of 2 stages. At the first stage, you must meet the admission requirements of both the MBA and JD programs. Therefore, you must submit separate applications to the Faculty of Law and the Faculty of Graduate Studies and Research for admission to the regular degree program in Law and the MBA.

To facilitate academic and career planning, it is strongly suggested that you make these applications simultaneously. If you are accepted to both the MBA and JD programs, you will be accepted to the integrated program and will proceed to attend first year in either faculty. You will be granted a deferred admission to the other faculty in the program.

This special deferred admission will be revoked if your performance in the first program fails to meet the first-year academic standards of the program. In such case, you may re-apply for regular admission to the second-degree program.

If you are attending the first year of either the JD or MBA program, your application will also be considered. You must meet the admission requirements and application deadline for the program you are seeking entry for.

Application Deadlines

Faculty of Law: November 1 (JD)
Faculty of Graduate Studies and Research: May 1 (MBA)

Half-Time Law Study

The Faculty of Law, University of Windsor, has a limited enrollment Half-Time Law Study Program. Half-time studies are intended for those who are unable to study full time. The program cannot be completed through evening courses only.

As a Half-Time Program applicant, you must meet our general admission requirements or special admission requirements for Indigenous applicants.

In addition, you must demonstrate that you are unable to attend law school on a full-time basis because of 1 or more of the following reasons:

  1. Exceptional family obligations either to young children or dependants (including persons with a disability or requiring special care) requiring your presence at home.
  2. Substantial financial hardship (e.g., loss or reduction in employment imposing significant financial hardship, with particular attention being given to single income families or people on limited or tentative incomes).
  3. A requirement for a reduced work load due to your health or disability.
  4. Career: In very limited circumstances, consideration may also be given to occupational involvement where you are established in a public service career and your work would be assisted and improved by the study of law.

Attach a written statement to your regular application and any supporting documentation relevant to your need for attending the Half-Time Program using the criteria listed in this section to provide a detailed explanation of why you are unable to attend as a full-time student.

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Other Programs and Activities

Clinical and Experiential Learning at Windsor Law

We have many work-integrated, place-based, clinical and experiential learning opportunities for students. Our programs place you in many work and volunteer environments where you can learn more about law in action.

The following programs are available to second- and third-year law students.

  • Our experiential learning curriculum features the Clinical Law Program, which sensitizes you to the various roles that lawyers perform as client counsellors, advocates, policymakers, legal scholars and custodians of the legal system, and offers academic term credit. The program includes Community Legal Aid (CLA), Legal Assistance of Windsor (LAW), the Chatham-Kent Legal Clinic and Community Legal Assistance-Sarnia.
  • We recently launched our Externship Program. As an extern, you will be placed in a law-related community organization, legal clinic, legal aid office, government office or not-for-profit organization for 1 term, where you will contribute meaningfully to the organization’s work. There is an array of sites in a variety of practice areas, including immigration, health, criminal, family, elder, child, municipal and environmental law. There are placements in the Greater Toronto Area, Sarnia, Chatham and Hamilton.
  • The Summary Advice Drop-in Clinic for Migrant Farmworkers Initiative provides a biweekly summary advice clinic for migrant farmworkers at various places in the Leamington area.
  • The Class Action Clinic provides legal services and resources to class members, and also creates public legal education material.
  • The Intellectual Property Law Institute, a joint effort of the University of Detroit Mercy, Wayne State University and the University of Windsor, features courses taught by either full-time law professors of 1 of the 3 participating law schools or by practicing lawyers with extensive experience in some area of intellectual property.
  • The Northwest Territories Clerkship Program enables you to serve as a clerk for the Supreme Court of the Northwest Territories (NWT) as a research project for credit towards your JD. As a clerk, you are based in Yellowknife, NWT, and travel occasionally to outlying regions with the Supreme Court of the NWT.
  • The Judicial Internship Program exposes you to the experience of clerking with Ontario courts and the benefits of interaction with judges. There are Provincial Court Criminal Clerkships and Provincial Court Family Law Clerkships in Windsor, Chatham, Newmarket and Halton, Ontario.
  • The Law and Technology (LTEC) Lab is a community of interest that gathers University of Windsor faculty, students and alumni whose research, teaching and experiential learning initiatives revolve around the themes of law and technology. The LTEC Lab focuses on clinical and experiential learning, as well as a commitment to outreach programs for start-ups and entrepreneurs.
  • The Transnational Environmental Law Clinic provides you with the unique opportunity to refine your understanding of environmental law and network with decision-makers in both Canada and the United States.
  • We have a robust Advocacy and Mooting program.

Details about the application process are contained in the Faculty of Law Calendar and on the University of Windsor website.

Activities

You may volunteer in:

  • Community Legal Aid
  • Pro Bono Students Canada
  • The Windsor Review of Legal and Social Issues (a student run, peer-reviewed journal)
  • Justice at Work
  • The Peer Mentorship Program (PMP)
  • The Student Law Society (SLS)
  • Various other student groups and clubs

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Entrance Awards and Scholarships

Windsor Law has a generous scholarship and bursary program that offers assistance to students with financial need. In addition, we offer many awards that recognize students who demonstrate good citizenship and academic excellence. Although students are automatically considered for some awards, other awards may require an application.

The financial challenges that a student faces when pursuing a legal education can be challenging. We are committed to further enhancing needs-based scholarships and awards so the financial aid program remains strong and responsive to students’ needs.

During the 2018-2019 academic year, we awarded close to $3 million in financial aid to students to assist them with managing the cost of a legal education.

We have partnered with Scotiabank to offer enhancements to their Scotia Professional Student Plan, including increased borrowing limits and preferential repayment terms. The program is administered only out of Scotiabank’s main branch in Windsor. We encourage you to speak with a Professional Banking Advisor at 519-973-5397 to determine how this program can help you fund your legal education at Windsor Law.

Read more about awards and scholarships.

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Contact Information

Information About Applications

Applicant Services/Law Division
Office of the Registrar
University of Windsor
401 Sunset Avenue
Windsor ON  N9B 3P4

Telephone: 519-253-3000, ext. 6459, 6460, 6461 or 6462
Fax: 519-971-3653
Email: lawadmit@uwindsor.ca

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