Law

Law

Location

  • Faculty of Law
  • Graduate Programs in Law
  • New Chancellor Day Hall
  • 3644 Peel Street, Room 406
  • Montreal QC H3A 1W9
  • Canada
  • Telephone: 514-398-6635
  • Fax: 514-398-8453
  • Email: grad.law [at] mcgill.ca
  • Website: www.mcgill.ca/law-gradprograms

Associate Dean (Graduate Studies) – Richard Gold

About Law

Graduate students in Law at McGill have one thing in common: a sharp curiosity to explore ideas and projects in an environment that is uniquely comparative and pluralist.

The extensive and impressive history of graduate teaching and supervision at McGill, combined with the innovations in legal pedagogy for which the Faculty of Law is celebrated, create an unrivaled quality and experience for graduate students. Grounded in Montreal, a city that embodies a lively mix of languages, cultures, and communities, the Faculty of Law invites students pursuing their D.C.L. and LL.M. degrees to discover and write within a community of legal scholars that is internationally renowned and engaging.

McGill's Faculty of Law is a meeting place for the major languages of North America, for the world’s legal traditions, and for students who wish to participate in the graduate life of a truly outstanding, prestigious, and intellectually vibrant Faculty of Law.

The Faculty of Law offers a range of programs at the graduate level. These include the degrees of Master of Laws (LL.M.) with thesis and non-thesis options, Doctor of Civil Law (D.C.L.), and Graduate Certificates.

Students may choose to pursue either the LL.M. in general Law, Air and Space Law, Bioethics, Comparative Law, Environment, or European Studies; or the D.C.L. in general Law, Comparative Law, or Air and Space Law. Graduate Certificates may only be completed in Comparative Law or in Air and Space Law.

Master of Laws (LL.M.) Degrees

Master of Laws (LL.M.) Law (Thesis) (45 credits)

The LL.M. thesis program is geared toward students who wish to continue their legal education primarily through research, as the program concentrates on the production of a 30,000-word thesis, as well as some graduate-level coursework.

Master of Laws (LL.M.) Law (Thesis): Air and Space Law (45 credits)

The LL.M. thesis program in Air and Space Law is available to qualifying applicants holding an undergraduate law degree who wish to focus on original scholarly research and writing under the supervision of a law professor. This program involves a combination of coursework and research credits (a thesis of 30,000 words). The thesis must show familiarity with previous work in the field and demonstrate the student’s capacity for independent analysis, writing skills, and organization.

Master of Laws (LL.M.) Law (Thesis): Bioethics (45 credits)

The master’s specialization in Bioethics is an interdisciplinary program that emphasizes both the conceptual and practical aspects of Bioethics. Students apply through either the Faculty of Law, Medicine, Religious Studies, or the Department of Philosophy. Students pursuing the LL.M. in Bioethics are bound by the requirements of the Faculty of Law’s LL.M. program. This program is offered as a thesis option only.

Master of Laws (LL.M.) Law (Thesis): Comparative Law (45 credits)

In the field of Comparative Law, students are encouraged to think about the nature and value of comparative scholarship both through the courses that they take (particularly the Legal Traditions course, which is required for all students in Comparative Law) and through their master’s thesis. As such, students are encouraged and given opportunities to explore how juridical analyses are enriched through openness to learning from diversity in research methods, theoretical frameworks, legal traditions and doctrines, languages, and disciplinary perspectives. The LL.M. thesis program in Comparative Law requires several graduate-level courses and the production of a 30,000-word thesis.

Master of Laws (LL.M.) Law (Thesis): Environment (45 credits)

The graduate option in Environment is a cross-disciplinary option offered in conjunction with the McGill School of Environment within the LL.M. (thesis or non-thesis), providing students with an appreciation for the role of science, politics, and ethics in informed decision-making in the environment sector. The thesis option requires the production of a 30,000-word thesis.

Master of Laws (LL.M.) Law (Thesis): European Studies (47 credits)

The European Studies Option (ESO) is a cross-disciplinary program offered as an option within the existing LL.M. Thesis program. This option is open to students whose work is focused on Europe, in particular on issues relating to European integration, broadly understood.

Note: Availability of this program is subject to relevant courses being offered in a given year.
Master of Laws (LL.M.) Law (Non-Thesis) (45 credits)

The LL.M. Non-Thesis program is geared toward students who wish to continue their legal education largely through graduate-level coursework. The program requires two terms of coursework as well as a 15,000-word research project.

Master of Laws (LL.M.) Law (Non-Thesis): Air and Space Law (45 credits)

The LL.M. non-thesis program in Air and Space Law is available to qualifying applicants holding an undergraduate law degree who wish to gain a wide exposure to a range of taught courses within, and related to, the domain of Air and Space Law. The non-thesis option requires a 15,000-word research project, with the remaining credits earned in courses.

Master of Laws (LL.M.) Law (Non-Thesis): Comparative Law (45 credits)

In the field of Comparative Law, students are encouraged to think about the nature and value of comparative scholarship both through the courses that they take (particularly the Legal Traditions course, which is required for all students in Comparative Law) and through their master’s research project. As such, students are encouraged and given opportunities to explore how juridical analyses are enriched through openness to learning from diversity in research methods, theoretical frameworks, legal traditions and doctrines, languages, and disciplinary perspectives. The LL.M. non-thesis program requires two terms of graduate-level coursework and another term to produce a 15,000-word research project.

Master of Laws (LL.M.) Law (Non-Thesis): Environment (45 credits)

The graduate option in Environment is a cross-disciplinary option offered in conjunction with the McGill School of Environment within the LL.M. (thesis or non-thesis) providing students with an appreciation for the role of science in informed decision-making in the environment sector, and its influence on political, socio-economic, and ethical judgments. The non-thesis option requires two terms of graduate-level coursework on environment law, as well as a 15,000-word research project.

Doctor of Civil Law (D.C.L.) Degrees

Doctor of Civil Law (D.C.L.)

The Doctor of Civil Law program is centred around the doctoral thesis, which develops a substantive and original contribution to legal research and knowledge under the supervision of a faculty member. Many doctoral candidates intend on pursuing an academic career, and develop their approach to pedagogy, research, and writing while at McGill.

Doctor of Civil Law (D.C.L.) Air and Space Law

The Doctor of Civil Law in Air and Space Law is a research degree ideal for scholars intent on deepening and broadening their critical understanding of the law, as well as their original engagement with it. The program offers a curriculum exploring legal issues that arise from international civil aviation and new technologies in space. It also provides students with a comprehensive understanding of the legal processes regulating worldwide aerospace activities.

Doctor of Civil Law (D.C.L.) Comparative Law

Doctoral students in Comparative Law are encouraged to think about the nature and value of comparative scholarship both through coursework (particularly the Legal Traditions course, which is required for all students in Comparative Law) and through their doctoral thesis. As such, students are encouraged and given opportunities to explore how juridical analyses are enriched through openness to learning with diverse research methods, theoretical frameworks, legal traditions and doctrines, languages, and disciplinary perspectives.

Graduate Certificates

Graduate Certificate Air and Space Law (Gr. Cert.) Air and Space Law (15 credits)

The Graduate Certificate in Air and Space Law is a coursework program with a limited research and writing requirement. It is particularly appropriate for students with a strong professional orientation who do not wish to write a thesis. This certificate is particularly appropriate for jurists and other professionals who wish to pursue graduate-level legal studies in aviation, air and space law, government regulations, conventions, and treaties dealing with these areas.

Graduate Certificate (Gr.Cert.) Comparative Law (15 credits)

The Graduate Certificate in Comparative Law provides advanced training to candidates who do not wish to undertake the master's degree. The Graduate Certificate is particularly appropriate for judges, law professors, and legal practitioners from countries undergoing substantial legal reform (such as post-Communist or developing countries) who wish to pursue advanced studies in areas such as civil, commercial, or human rights law.

Taken from Programs, Courses and University Regulations 2017-2018 (last updated Jul. 10, 2017).

Law Admission Requirements and Application Procedures

Admission Requirements

The Graduate Admissions Committee of the Faculty of Law reviews applications and makes recommendations regarding admission. Final admission decisions are determined by admissions policies set by Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies.

For information and application forms, please visit the Faculty website or contact the Faculty's Graduate Programs Office at:

Note that applicants must submit their application through uApply. Any questions regarding the status of an application must be sent via the uApply communication tool.

Language Requirement

Graduate-level courses are generally offered in English, and an adequate level of proficiency in English must be demonstrated for admission. In order to understand all course materials, the ability to speak and read French is an asset. At McGill's Faculty of Law, all students may choose to write essays, examinations, and theses in English or French. In areas such as the study of private law in the civilian tradition or comparative private law, a reading knowledge of French is essential.

Applicants to graduate studies whose mother tongue is not English, and who have not completed an undergraduate or graduate degree from a recognized Canadian or American (English or French) institution or from a recognized foreign institution where English is the language of instruction, must submit documented proof of English proficiency. Prior to admission, appropriate test results must be submitted directly from the TOEFL, IELTS, MELAB, Cambridge English Language Assessment, or Pearson Edexcel offices. An institutional version of the TOEFL is not acceptable. Applications without an appropriate test result may not be reviewed.

One of the following language requirements must be met:

  • 100 or higher on the TOEFL (iBT) with the Writing component score 25 or higher and with each of the three remaining component scores 23 or higher
  • a band score of 7.0 or higher on the IELTS (Academic module) with the Writing component score 7.0 or higher and each of the three remaining component scores 6.5 or higher
  • a grade of 90% or higher on the MELAB
  • a grade of “A” (Excellent) on the University of Cambridge ESOL Certificate in Advanced English (CAE)
  • a grade of “B” (Good) or higher on the University of Cambridge ESOL Certificate of Proficiency in English (CPE)
  • an overall grade of “Distinction” or higher on the Edexcel London Test of English (Level 4)
  • an overall grade of “Merit” or higher on the Edexcel London Test of English (Level 5)

Alternatively, candidates may satisfy the language requirement by successfully completing one of the following two credentials within McGill's School of Continuing Studies (Continuing Studies > Areas of Study > Languages > English Language Programs):

For information about the TOEFL, including the registration process, visit www.ets.org/toefl. For information about the IELTS, visit www.ielts.org. There may be a lengthy delay for registration, and it takes approximately 40 days to communicate the results. For both tests, the official results should be sent directly from the testing institutions to McGill University. McGill’s institutional code is 0935; this code must be provided to the testing agencies when requesting a test report form. For further information on English proficiency tests, visit www.mcgill.ca/law-gradprograms/prospective-students/admissions/eligibility.

D.C.L. Degree

Applicants demonstrating outstanding academic ability will be considered for admission to the doctoral program.

Admission to the D.C.L. program occurs only when all four of the following conditions are met:

  1. The candidate holds a bachelor's degree (or equivalent) in Law (such as LL.B. or J.D.).*
  2. The candidate holds a master's degree (or equivalent) in Law with thesis. (Review of the master’s thesis is normally part of the admission decision–making process. In exceptional cases, a candidate with a non-thesis master's degree with an outstanding academic record may be admitted to the D.C.L. program.)*
  3. The candidate maintained, for each prior degree, a cumulative grade point average (CGPA) of 3.0 out of 4.0 (or equivalent) or higher. (Note that this standing does not guarantee admission; the Graduate Admissions Committee weighs the entire dossier, including the applicant's reference letters and the quality of the research proposal.)
  4. The Graduate Admissions Committee is satisfied that the quality of the candidate's previous research is sufficient to justify admission to a D.C.L. program.

Admission to the doctoral program is always dependent on the availability of a suitable supervisor.

* Candidates holding law degrees from programs delivered by distance or by online teaching and learning are inadmissible to the McGill LL.M., D.C.L., or Graduate Certificate programs.

LL.M. Degrees

Candidates for admission to the master's programs must hold a bachelor's degree (or equivalent) in Law (such as LL.B. or J.D.), with a minimum cumulative grade point average (CGPA) of 3.0 out of 4.0 (or equivalent).* This standing does not guarantee admission; the Graduate Admissions Committee weighs the entire dossier, including the applicant's reference letters and the quality of the research proposal.

* Candidates holding law degrees from programs delivered by distance or by online teaching and learning are inadmissible to the McGill LL.M., D.C.L., or Graduate Certificate programs.

LL.M. Interdisciplinary Options

  1. Environment Option: This option is available to students who apply for admission to the LL.M. Thesis or Non-Thesis program at the Faculty of Law. For further information, see Environment > Graduate > Browse Academic Units & Programs > Environment or visit www.mcgill.ca/mse/envroption.
  2. European Studies Option: This option is available to students who apply for admission to the LL.M. Thesis program at the Faculty of Law. Note that the availability of this option is subject to relevant courses being offered in a given year.

LL.M. Specialization in Bioethics

Requirements for admission to the master's program in Bioethics from the base discipline of Law are the same as for admission to the LL.M.

For further information, see Medicine > Graduate > Browse Academic Units & Programs > Bioethics or visit www.mcgill.ca/biomedicalethicsunit/teaching/masters.

Graduate Certificate Programs

The requirements for admission to the graduate certificate programs are essentially the same as for the master's programs, except that greater weight may be placed on professional experience. For further information, visit www.mcgill.ca/law-gradprograms/prospective-students/admissions/eligibility. Graduate certificate programs are available in the following two fields:

  1. Graduate Certificate in Air and Space Law
  2. Graduate Certificate in Comparative Law
Note: ALL international students must obtain permission to study from the governments of Quebec and Canada. Immigration Quebec issues the Certificate of Acceptance of Quebec (CAQ) and Citizenship and Immigration Canada issues federal Study Permits. You may also wish to contact International Student Services for assistance.

Application Procedures

McGill’s online application form for graduate program candidates is available at www.mcgill.ca/gradapplicants/apply.

See University Regulations & Resources > Graduate > Graduate Admissions and Application Procedures > Application Procedures for detailed application procedures.

Additional Requirements

The items below are additional requirements set by the Faculty of Law. For more information, visit www.mcgill.ca/law-gradprograms/prospective-students/admissions/deadlines-and-required-documents.

  • Research Proposal (D.C.L. and LL.M. applicants)
  • Personal Statement (graduate certificate applicants only)
  • Two Reference Letters from academic referees
  • Curriculum Vitae
  • Master's thesis (D.C.L. applicants only)

Application Dates and Deadlines

Application opening dates are set by Enrolment Services in consultation with Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies (GPS), while application deadlines are set by the Faculty of Law and may be revised at any time. Applicants must verify all deadlines and documentation requirements well in advance on the appropriate McGill departmental website; please consult the list at www.mcgill.ca/gps/contact/graduate-program.

  Application Opening Dates Application Deadlines
  All Applicants Non-Canadian citizens (incl. Special, Visiting & Exchange) Canadian citizens/Perm. residents of Canada (incl. Special, Visiting & Exchange) Current McGill Students (any citizenship)
Fall Term: Sept. 15 Dec. 15 Dec. 15 Dec. 15
Winter Term: N/A N/A N/A N/A
Summer Term: N/A N/A N/A N/A

The application deadline to all graduate programs in law (LL.M., D.C.L., Graduate Certificates) is December 15. The Faculty of Law will not consider applications received on or after December 16.

The Faculty of Law offers Fall term admission only; the Faculty will not consider applications for Winter or Summer entry. Applications submitted for the Winter and Summer terms will be cancelled WITHOUT reimbursement of the application fee.

Note: The application fee is non-refundable.
Taken from Programs, Courses and University Regulations 2017-2018 (last updated Jul. 10, 2017).