Last Updated on May 25, 2022
Law is a system of rules created and enforced through social or governmental institutions to regulate behavior, with its precise definition a matter of longstanding debate. It has been variously described as a science and the art of justice. State-enforced laws can be made by a group legislature or by a single legislator, resulting in statutes; by the executive through decrees and regulations; or established by judges through precedent, usually in common law jurisdictions.
Law – or legal studies – refers to the ‘art of justice.’ It has been practiced since 3000 BC by the Ancient Egyptians. While the study has changed through time, one thing is for sure: you need to get a law degree to practice legally. In the following sections, we will list the best pre law schools in canada.
Right here on infolearners, you are privy to a litany of relevant information on best pre law schools in canada, best law schools in canada, best law schools in the world, how to become a lawyer in canada and so much more. Take out time to visit our catalog for more information on similar topics.
How to become a lawyer in canada
Get Your Canadian Undergraduate Pre-Law Major
Most Canadian law schools require that you have a bachelor’s degree or have completed 90 credit hours (three years) towards a bachelor’s degree, prior to entering law school. Check the LSAC Official Guide to Canadian Law Schools for your chosen school’s admission policies regarding undergraduate education.
Because Canadian education is regulated on a provincial level, there are no national accreditation bodies for Canadian colleges and universities. Government organizations recognize certain colleges and universities within their jurisdiction.
If your undergraduate institution is accredited by one of the above-mentioned organizations, you should be assured that Canadian law schools would accept your undergraduate education as valid.
Requirements and Standards
Again, each Canadian law school has its own requirements and standards regarding the undergraduate education you must complete before applying to law school. Most have credit requirements, while others may require certain courses to be taken. Check with your chosen law school’s policies for more information.
LSAT (Law School Admission Test) in Canada
You must pass the LSAT, or Law School Admission Test, before you will be accepted into any LSAC-member Canadian law school. This standardized entrance test is given four times annually.
How to prepare
You can access free study materials, such as practice tests and sample questions and answers, at the LSAT website. Other preparation material for the LSAT in Canada includes:
LSAT Exam Prep Courses in Canada:
- LSAT Prep Courses, Oxford Seminars, Locations Across Canada
- LSAT Prep, Richardson Prep Center, Toronto
- Official LSAT Prep, Khan Academy, online
There are three key areas tested on the LSAT:
- Reading Comprehension – Long, complex passages resembling information you will encounter in law school and in the law profession are presented. You must answer questions based upon your ability to understand, make inferences, and draw conclusions from these passages.
- Analytical Reasoning– Your abilities to see relationships and draw conclusions are tested here.
- Logical Reasoning– You must identify the strengths and weaknesses in given arguments in this section of the LSAT.
Although not scored as part of the LSAT, you must also produce a writing sample on a given topic. This will be sent to the law schools to which you apply for their review.
Applications for the LSAT are taken online. The LSAT is given on Mondays and Saturdays in November, January, March, June and July.
Go to Law School in Canada
The next step in the process of becoming a Canadian lawyer is to go to law school. View the LSAC Official Guide to Canadian Law Schools for application procedures for the law school in which you intend to apply for admission. There are 24 law schools in Canada, each of which offers a professional law degree in one or both of Canada’s law systems. Two legal traditions exist in Canada: French civil law, dominant in Quebec; and English common law, dominant in all other provinces and territories.
If you intend to practice law in Quebec, you must graduate from a Quebec law school. If you intend to practice in an English common law jurisdiction in Canada, you must graduate from one of the common-law schools in the other provinces/territories. Canada has mobility agreements among the provinces/territories that allow lawyers licensed in one common-law jurisdiction to practice in another common-law jurisdiction.
Complete Your Province’s Bar Admission Course and Articling
The next step in becoming a Canadian lawyer in all provinces is to complete your province’s Bar Admission Course. This differs a bit from one province to the next, as you will see below.
Best Pre Law Schools In Canada
These are the best universities for law degrees in Canada.
It offers the JD programme for undergraduates as well as a range of postgraduate degree programmes including the master of laws (LLM), global professional master of laws (GPLLM), doctor of juridical science (SJD) and master of studies in law (MSL).
Outside the classroom, law students are encouraged to engage with the local community. The school has set up a legal clinic to offer support to members of the community who are struggling financially. Students work under the guidance of faculty staff but are fully responsible for individual files and regularly appear before courts on behalf of their clients.
Law students at the University of Toronto are able to further enrich their studies by participating in various legal programmes. The Pro Bono Students Canada scheme pairs students with lawyers and government agencies to do pro bono work across Canada. Students also have the opportunity to work with lawyers as part of the International Human Rights Programme, which works towards improving human rights in Canada and around the world.
There are a number of research centres and institutes including the David Asper Centre for Constitutional Rights, the Centre for the Legal Profession, the Centre for Innovation Law and Policy, and the Capital Markets Institute.
McGill University has a unique BCL/JD programme in which students graduate with two degrees: a JD and a Bachelor of Civil Law. This provides students with a broad understanding of the law and the ability to practise law in all Canadian provinces and several US states and adapt their learning elsewhere.
There are two graduate programmes: doctor of civil law (DCL) and master of laws (LLM). The master’s programme offers courses in the fields of general law, air and space law, environment and bioethics, among others.
Teaching and research focuses on understanding law through its relationship with other disciplines such as economics, literature, sociology, philosophy and politics. Legal research is carried out in four main areas: dispute resolution, legal pluralism and human rights, legal theory and comparative law and public policy.
The faculty hosts a number of events for law students. Recent events include “Leading the Change: The Potential and Power of Women in Law” and the Animal & Environmental Law Mini-Conference for Students.
The School of Law offers the JD programme for undergraduates. There are also four graduate programmes available: master of laws (common law), master of laws in taxation, master of laws (LLM) and doctor of philosophy in law.
In their second and third year, students are given the opportunity to participate in clinical and externship programmes to gain practical skills and solve real-life legal problems. There is a range of options, including criminal clinic, indigenous community legal clinic and judicial externship.
Students can also take part in a moot court, which is a simulated court hearing. This provides students with he opportunity to train alongside experienced lawyers and judges and participate in a true-to-life hearing.
The Osgoode Hall Law School offers the JD programme as well as two types of LLM degrees: the research LLM and professional LLM. The research LLM is a full-time course and requires students to write a thesis, whereas the professional LLM is designed for professionals who can choose to study part-time or full-time and are not required to write a thesis. The school also offers a doctoral degree, the PhD in law, which consists of extensive, research-intensive study.
Osgoode’s Research Office was set up to support students and staff in their research initiatives. Most research is carried out at the school’s centres and institutes, such as the Institute for Feminist Legal Studies, the Jack & Mae Nathanson Centre on Transnational Human Rights, Crime and Security, and the Jay and Barbara Hennick Centre for Business and Law.
The University of Montreal offers the bachelor of laws programme as well as a range of graduate programmes, including the master of laws (LLM), JD in North American common law, and business law in a global context.
For graduates looking for a short-term course there is a 15-17 credits programme, which offers specialised training in a particular area of law. The faculty also offers a doctor in law and a joint doctor in law programme in collaboration with partner universities in Belgium, France and Germany.
Students can take part in a number of activities and clinics, such as an internship in the community, the legal aid clinic, the practical case management workshop, and a research internship with a judge.
Best law schools in canada
=9. University of Calgary
Despite falling 13 places this year, the University of Calgary remains in Canada’s top 10 in joint 9th place. The university ranks joint 246th in the world and earns its highest score in the international faculty indicator, where it ranks 212th in the world.
The University of Calgary was founded in 1944 as the Calgary branch of the University of Alberta and has since separated into an independent university with five campuses and over 33,000 students.
=9. Queen’s University
Located in Kingston, Ontario, Queen’s University comes 9th in Canada this year, after dropping seven places in the world rankings to joint 246th. The university performs exceptionally well in the employer reputation indicator, where it ranks 99th worldwide.
With more than 24,000 students, 91 percent of Queen’s University’s graduates are employed within six months of graduation.
8. Western University
Western University climbs eight places in the world university rankings this year to reach joint 203rd. One of Canada’s top research universities, Western University was founded in 1878 and has more than 38,000 students from 121 countries. The university performs well in the citations per faculty and employer reputation indicators.
7. University of Waterloo
Rising seven places in the world ranking this year but remaining in seventh place in Canada, is the University of Waterloo. The University of Waterloo ranks joint 166th in the world rankings in 2021, performing well in the employer reputation indicator, where it places 85th worldwide.
Established in 1956, the university boasts three campuses and is a member of the prestigious U15 research group.
6. McMaster University
After dropping four places in the rankings this year, McMaster University takes 144th place in the world university rankings. The international faculty indicator is where McMaster University earns its highest ranking, placing 83rd in the world. The university is located in Hamilton, Ontario and is best known for its prestigious medical school.
5. University of Alberta
In 119th place is the University of Alberta, dropping six places this year. The University of Alberta is home to 40,000 students and is comprised of four campuses. It earns its highest score in the international faculty indicator.
4. Université de Montréal
Overtaking the University of Alberta this year to steal fourth place in Canada is Université de Montréal. A French language public research university in Montreal, the university was founded in 1878 and has over 67,350 students including 10,000 international students.
3. University of British Columbia
Over to the top three, we have the University of British Columbia ranking third in Canada and 45th in the world, after rising six places this year. Ranking 28th in the world for the academic reputation indicator, the University of British Columbia aims to embrace innovation and challenge the status quo.
2. McGill University
Located in Montreal, McGill University remains in second place in Canada this year, climbing four places in the rankings to joint 31st. McGill University counts 12 Nobel Laurates and 145 Rhodes Scholars amongst its alumni as well as Canada’s current prime minister, Justin Trudeau.
1. University of Toronto
The top university in Canada once again this year is the University of Toronto in joint 25th worldwide. The university rose four places in this year’s rankings and earns high scores across most of the indicators, particularly academic reputation, where it ranks 15th worldwide.
Best law schools in the world
#1: Harvard College
A traditional feeder school, a Harvard education will undoubtedly give you an advantage in your law school applications, especially with the right grades and LSAT scores. Harvard also has several organizations for pre-law students, including the Harvard Law Society and the Harvard College Black Pre-Law Association. You’ll also be able to take advantage of Harvard’s alumni network at top schools and law firms.
#2: Yale University
Yale is considered the top law school in the country, and is the 4th best university overall according to US News and World Report. Though Yale does not have a pre-law major, the school does offer an interdisciplinary track that allows students to create their own major that can give them the skills that law schools seek. The Yale Law School Admission Council also provides undergraduates with pre-law counseling and events throughout the year.
#3: Northwestern University
Northwestern is known for academic rigor, and a big school means lots of resources, including their own law school. Northwestern’s Legal Studies track can be completed as a major or a minor, and differs from pre-law programs in that it has an interdisciplinary focus and aims to teach students to think critically about the relationship between law and society, and includes everything from psychology to literature to religious studies. It’s a well-rounded degree, and the added advantage of being in Chicago means more opportunities for internships.
#4: University of Maryland
The University of Maryland has a department dedicated to advising pre-law students, which also connects students with resources and mentors, and works closely with the university’s law school. Maryland also has a three year arts/law degree program, in which a student can apply to law school in their third year of undergrad, and be awarded their baccalaureate degree in their first year of law school. College Park is also close to Washington D.C., which can help you with landing an internship.
#5: Georgetown University
Georgetown’s pre-law advising center offers resources on all things law school, including one-on-one advising, help with applications, and workshops. Additionally, Georgetown’s record of academics in the humanities make it a great place to learn the skills necessary to excel in law school, and its Washington D.C. location means opportunities to have internships and make connections with those working in the legal field or in politics.
#6: New York University
NYU is in the middle of one of the biggest cities in the world, and certainly offers a ton of opportunities for internships both in the legal industry and beyond. NYU also offers the Lawyer Alumni Mentoring Program, or LAMP, for pre-law students. The school’s academics are rigorous overall, and has a strong record in the humanities, particularly English.
#7: Michigan State University
Michigan State offers a pre-law major that is also considered a liberal arts degree. The pre-law major aims to introduce students to legal studies while also teaching critical thinking and analytical skills so that pre-law majors are prepared to work in law enforcement, become paralegals, or go into a career in government.
#8: University of Texas at Austin
UT Austin’s career center hosts one of the largest Law Fairs in the country every year, which allows students to interact with over 100 law school admissions professionals. The career center also hosts panels and workshops, law school application coaching, and more. If you’re stuck between majors, these resources can help you decide what is best for you, and what will help you stand out on an application. UT Austin offers many majors in both sciences and humanities, and UT students go onto to law school with degrees in numerous fields.
#9: Florida State University
In addition to one of the country’s top Criminal Justice programs, FSU has a pre-law advising center that helps students magnify their achievements within their majors, and works closely with the law school. FSU hosts the Donald J. Weidner Summer Program for Legal Studies, a four-week program taught by law professors. Even better: 70% of program attendees have gone on to law school. The program is open to undergraduates from all schools and is competitive.
#10: George Washington University
George Washington University encourages pre-law students to establish themselves as pre-law early on, and take advantage of the many groups, societies, and panels dedicated to that goal. Advisers at GW help you find the law schools that are the best fit for your background and goals, and they tailor your undergrad education to those schools. Additionally, the Washington D.C. location makes for a great spot to score internships.
#11: Nova Southeastern University
Nova Southeastern is a little different than the other schools on this list because of its thorough pre-law (legal studies) major that offers an undergraduate law degree. Nova Southeastern is dedicated to helping students prepare for law school by offering a challenging program and a dedicated interest in the humanities. The school’s B.S. in Legal Studies major also allows students to take classes in philosophy, history, and more as they work toward their degree.