Law Schools in Toronto

Last Updated on May 24, 2022

Law schools in Toronto are ranked among the best in Canada. If you plan on attending law school, then Toronto can be your final destination. The city is large enough to provide many opportunities and yet small enough to retain its charm.

You will spend years in the classroom and on campus, but once you are full-time in the working world, it may feel like your education is still ongoing. Your legal education will never be over and there is no better place to continue learning than at one of the many law schools in Toronto.

Why U of T? | University of Toronto Faculty of Law

Before you embark on the journey into the legal profession, first understand the basic qualifications for studying and practicing law. Learn about the minimum education required, the structure of the JD program, and the key steps to be licensed to practice. Read how to get started on becoming a lawyer in Ontario.

The JD is the first level of professional law degree. It is an undergraduate degree akin to a bachelor of law, with which subsequent graduate law degrees may be pursued, e.g. LLM, SJD.

The JD program is designed as a three-year full-time program (in special circumstances an admitted full-time student may seek permission to complete the program as a half-time student). Courses are offered in the Fall and Winter terms only, with no summer term of courses.

In-class attendance is required, since online, distance or dedicated weekend/evening program versions are not available. Active, real time engagement is an essential component to the JD program, and all students must expect to be called upon to participate in class discussion.  

There is one entry point into the degree program each year in the latter half of August (first year entry) or early September (upper year entry).

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Law Schools in Toronto

Our JD admissions process is designed to identify exceptional students who will bring a broad and complex set of life experiences to the study of law. We strive to build a diverse and unique community of students who will forge lifelong friendships as they learn with and from each other.

The admission policies and application procedures are the same for domestic (citizens and permanent residents of Canada) and international applicants.

We use three sources of information to assess your application: 

  • your Law School Admissions Test (LSAT) results,
  • your post-secondary records of academic achievement, and
  • your personal essays.  

The review process is holistic, which means that we look at all of these factors together.  Students tell us they are surprised at how much emphasis we place on the personal essays.  We rely on the essays for information that cannot be conveyed by numbers. Multiple readers assess each file to get a full sense of the unique strengths each applicant will bring to the first year class.

Our holistic admissions approach also means that if your undergraduate record (and graduate, if applicable) and LSAT score (or scores) are below our medians, you should still consider applying. Every year we accept candidates with scores that may appear to be less competitive but whose applications are considered as a whole merit admission.

There are separate admissions categories for mature students and Indigenous applicants. 

Legal education in Toronto (Canada)

Generally, entry into law programs in Canada is based primarily on a combination of the student’s previous grades as well as, for English-language common-law programs, their score on the Law School Admission Test (LSAT). Factors such as specialized degrees, work experience, community involvement, personal character, extracurricular activities and references are sometimes taken into account, for which the Universities of Calgary, Windsor and McGill’s holistic law school admissions are well known, but the LSAT remains far more determinative of admission than comparable standardized tests for other disciplines, such as the MCAT or GMAT. Quebec law schools, including the dual-curriculum, bilingual McGill University Faculty of Law, do not require applicants to write the LSAT, although any scores are generally taken into account; nor do the French-language common-law programs at the Université de Moncton École de Droit and University of Ottawa Faculty of Law.

Building Tour | University of Toronto Faculty of Law | University of  toronto, House columns, Building

All of Canada’s law schools are affiliated with public universities and are thus public institutions. This practice has been held to have helped reduce disparities in the quality of students and instruction between the schools. Since there is a limited number of positions in each law school’s annual admissions, entry to all Canadian law schools is intensely competitive: most law schools receive far more applicants than they can accommodate. Most schools focus on their respective regions, and many graduates remain in the region in which the school is located, though the relatively uniform quality of the law schools affords greater geographic mobility to graduates.

After completing the Juris Doctor, LL.B., or B.C.L., students must article for about a year (in Quebec, the six-month stage is the equivalent to articling); this can be a challenge for those with lower grades, as there is often a shortage of articling positions, and the completion of articles is required to be able to practice law in Canada. Articling involves on-the-job training, at a lower introductory salary, under the supervision of a lawyer licensed by the Provincial Bar who has been practising for a minimum of 5 years. After ten to sixteen months of articling and call to the bar, lawyers are free to practice in their own right: many are hired by the same lawyer or firm for which they articled, while some choose to begin independent practices or accept positions with different employers. Others may leave the private practice of law to work in government or industry as a lawyer or in a law-related position.

University of toronto law school ranking

The University of Toronto’s Faculty of Law placed as one of the top 10 law schools in the world in the Times Higher Education World University Rankings 2020, the school announced.

It placed 10th on the list, the highest among law schools outside the United States and the United Kingdom, according to the statement.

The Times Higher Education World University Rankings catalogued more than 1,250 educational institutions across 86 countries in 2019, the announcement said. It evaluates research-intensive universities on the following criteria: teaching (the learning environment); research (volume, income and reputation), international outlook (staff, students and research); citations (research influence); and industry income (knowledge transfer), it said.

The ranking uses 13 performance indicators to determine its comparisons, and it is independently audited by professional services firm PricewaterhouseCoopers. According to the university, the overall methodology is recalibrated for each subject, with the weightings changed to suit the individual fields.

The top three places were occupied by Stanford University, University of Cambridge, and Yale University, respectively. Meanwhile, the next two Canadian universities on the list were McGill University in 20th place and University of British Columbia, which was tied at 34th place with Northwestern University in the U.S.

University of Toronto Faculty of Law - 78 Queens Park, Toronto, ON M5S 2C5,  Canada

Law Schools in Canada

SchoolProvince (city)DegreeTypeFounded
Dalhousie University, Schulich School of LawNova Scotia (Halifax)JDPublic1883
Lakehead University, Bora Laskin Faculty of LawOntario (Thunder Bay)JDPublic2013
McGill University, Faculty of LawQuebec (Montreal)LL.B.Public1968
Queen’s University, Faculty of LawOntario (Kingston)JDPublic1957
Thompson Rivers University, Faculty of LawBritish Columbia (Kamloops)JDPublic2011
University of Alberta, Faculty of LawAlberta (Edmonton)JDPublic1912
University of British Columbia, Peter A. Allard School of LawBritish Columbia (Vancouver)JDPublic1945
University of Calgary, Faculty of LawAlberta (Calgary)JDPublic1976
University of Manitoba, Robson Hall Faculty of LawManitoba (Winnipeg)JDPublic1914
University of New Brunswick, Faculty of LawNew Brunswick (Fredericton)JDPublic1892
University of Ottawa, Faculty of LawOntario (Ottawa)JDPublic1953
University of Saskatchewan, College of LawSaskatchewan (Saskatoon)JDPublic1912
University of Toronto, Faculty of LawOntario (Toronto)JDPublic1949
University of Victoria, Faculty of LawBritish Columbia (Victoria)JDPublic1975
University of Western Ontario, Faculty of LawOntario (London)JDPublic1959
University of Windsor, Faculty of LawOntario (Windsor)JDPublic1967
Université de Moncton, École de droitNew Brunswick (Moncton)JDPublic1978
Université de Montréal, Faculté de droitQuebec (Montreal)JD in North American Common LawPublic2011
York University, Osgoode Hall Law SchoolOntario (Toronto)JDPublic1889

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