Student life at the Faculty of Law
McGill is an international university, open to the world, located in one of the great cities in North America. Leading figures in every field from all over the globe come to McGill to give talks and to see the progress of our research. It's an exciting place to study.
There’s always something happening on McGill’s campus, whether in the Faculty of Law or beyond. Myriad clubs and activities, a full roster of visiting speakers and plenty of opportunities for community service promise enriching ways to spend time. Not that there’s anything wrong with having a little fun along the way!
A diverse student body
We attract students from just about every province and territory in Canada; several Americans; and a handful of foreign students from as far away as Australia to Zimbabwe each year. Toss in 40-50 exchange students from leading law faculties around the world, and McGill’s Faculty of Law offers a unique and multicultural environment that’ s reflected in a range of student clubs and activities.
We’re extremely proud of the support we extend to all first-year law students:
- Faculty and upper-year students plan an extensive Orientation for incoming students with a range of social and academic events, activities, and sporting events to help get first-years meeting other students and profs in a casual environment.
- All first-year students are assigned to a 25-person legal methodology group, under the stewardship of two senior students working with a professor. Newcomers get their first exposure to legal research and writing while working closely with the same small group all year. This promotes the kind of personal connections that will extend far beyond the three to four years of law school, while giving first-years a pair of senior students to turn to for advice.
- First-years are also assigned a Law Partner through a mentoring program organized by the Law Students Association. Law partners answer questions, point out the best legal research tools, offer advice on elective courses, and buy the occasional drink for their protégé(e).
A voice in the Faculty
Students sit on all Faculty of Law committees as full voting members, including the hiring, admissions, curriculum, and equity committees, and on Faculty Council. Student perspectives are actively sought out by questionnaire or survey when the Faculty is considering any changes that would affect student life, and members of the Law Students Association executive meet regularly with the Dean, the Associate Dean (Academic)and the Assistant Dean (Student Life and Learning).
It’s certainly not all work, work, work at the Faculty - we’re a hotbed of social, intellectual, and athletic fun too!
The Faculty’s in-house student weekly publishes rants, philosophical ramblings, poetry, and all manner of opinion. It’s also the paper of record for publicizing upcoming events and keeping everyone posted on how the Faculty sports teams are doing against the medical school and the engineers.
Whether you’re interested in volleyball, soccer, hockey, or inner tube water polo, the Faculty has an intramural team that could stand the extra help. “A” level teams know what they’re doing, and competition for the championship mugs is fierce, but the “B” and “C” level teams are more social than skilled. Everyone needs to get out of the library once in a while. The Law Students Association organises the Malpractice Cup during Homecoming week, a sporting and trivia event that pits Law against Medicine, and there's also the annual Law Games, held at a different university each year. You can also join McGill Athletics.
Started in the 1980s when a couple of current profs were law students themselves, Coffee House has become the Faculty’s Thursday afternoon tradition. It’s a chance to relax, have a beer or a soda, talk to friends, and make plans for the weekend. Some Coffee Houses are sponsored by law firms, and others are fundraising venues for a worthy cause. Either way, it’s the focal point of the week, a place where students can chat with professors and get to know one another outside the classroom.
Every winter, students and professors spend weeks writing and rehearsing skits and songs spoofing courses, legal trends, and news items, culminating in a standing-room only evening of hilarity and levity in the runup to exams. Skit Nite raises over 20,000 dollars each year for five Montreal charities that aid battered women, hungry children, the homeless, and youth on the street, turning a fun night into a significant fundraising event for the greater community. (see some photos from the 2013 Skit Nite on our Facebook page)
Clubs and Associations
McGill's Faculty of Law's student body is one of the most active and dynamic in Canada. With dozens of highly active student clubs there's something for everyone.
For a full list, visit the Law Students Association's Clubs page.