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A word from the Associate Dean, Graduate Studies in Law

Graduate studies in law at McGill

Professor Angela Campbell, Associate Dean of Graduate Studies (Law)
Professor Angela Campbell, Associate Dean of Graduate Studies (Law)

Every year McGill Law welcomes dozens of bright legal minds from around the world to become members of our Faculty community as Master’s (LLM) and doctoral (DCL) students. Our diverse graduate student body is a testament to our Faculty’s stature within the global academic community, as well as its commitment to plurality and open engagement.

LLM and DCL students come to McGill from around the globe, with varied life and professional experiences, and a wide array of educational and legal backgrounds. Although the roads they have travelled differ, our graduate students converge here at McGill Law because of their shared qualities: they are intellectually open, ambitious and aim to deepen and challenge what they’ve learned in their academic and professional paths to-date.    

Students enter McGill’s LLM and DCL programs with various goals in mind. Some seek professional development, aiming to sharpen their experience within particular legal domains, while others endeavor to explore altogether new areas and questions in the law. Some arrive spurred on by sheer intellectual curiosity or the urge to pursue a defined research question, while others are embarking on graduate study as a first phase in an academic career.

Regardless of the nature of their ambitions, all McGill LLM and DCL students seek to learn within a rigorous, creative and supportive academic environment that embraces pluralism and that crosses boundaries of multiple kinds: linguistic, juridical, disciplinary.

Once here at McGill Law, graduate students have the privilege of participating in a preeminent academic institution, which includes close contact with professors who are leaders in the realms of law teaching and legal scholarship. Faculty members welcome and support graduate students in their courses, as supervisors, and through research centres, institutes and working groups.

LLM and DCL candidates also become academic and institutional citizens of McGill’s Law Faculty. They participate in the Faculty’s intellectual life through conversations in classrooms and corridors, in meetings with professors, through work on law journals, by involvement in the annual DCL Students’ Retreat and biweekly DCL Coffee Hours, as members of the numerous research centres and institutes at the Faculty, as DCL teaching mentors and fellows, and through the vast array of conferences and workshops in which they are welcomed.

Our graduate students are institutional citizens -- participating, visible and welcomed in formal and informal governance settings at McGill. They are active in spaces such as the Graduate Law Students’ Association, the Graduate Law Students’ Conference Committee, the McGill Postgraduate Students’ Society, and multiple standing administrative committees within the Faculty of Law and McGill University.

McGill Law’s rich intellectual community and progressive approach to scholarship and teaching provides our graduate students with a strong, inclusive atmosphere for growth, whatever their future path. Our graduate students are entrepreneurial about their scholarship; they are encouraged to design and execute research projects that focus on new, hidden and unorthodox sites of investigation. In this way, McGill Law’s graduate students become disciplinary leaders, forging new paths in their work as Master’s and doctoral candidates that bear relevance in multiple domains and contexts.

Through their graduate work, our students develop capacities, sensitivities and skills that will serve them exceptionally well in any professional setting. They can mount compelling and novel arguments that exhibit sophisticated critical and analytical abilities. They can solve complex problems. They can identify the relevance of social, economic, historical and political contexts to a given legal question. They can explain difficult legal concepts to a diverse range of audiences. And they are tenacious: they can see a sustained, nuanced project through to its completion.

As evident from the Our Alumni: Where Are They Now? webpage, when they leave McGill Law, graduates of our LLM and DCL programs move on to a range of career paths marked by success and diversity.

Whatever your trajectory in the law, we hope that you will consider joining us at McGill, in our beautiful, multicultural city, as you pursue your legal education through graduate study. We look forward to welcoming you to McGill and to Montreal!

Find out more about our Graduate law programs.