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Admissions policy

What we look for

The Faculty’s admissions policy is to select applicants who are best suited to studying law in McGill’s uniquely comparative, transsystemic, and bilingual environment. Diversity and excellence are essential to our Faculty. Indeed, our Faculty’s excellence is based on its diversity.

The Admissions Committee looks for indicators of intellectual curiosity, community engagement, insight (cultural, economic, political, social and otherwise), leadership skills, ability to work with others, openness to diversity, maturity, ethical sense, judgment, and potential for development through opportunity or adversity, among other criteria.

The Committee conducts its assessment through a holistic evaluation of each applicant's file, including the applicant's academic record, linguistic abilities, personal statement, extracurricular, community or professional activities, and letters of reference (see Supporting documents).

In addition, applicants must demonstrate substantial reading ability in, and aural comprehension of, both English and French (see Language requirements).

The Admissions Committee seeks to achieve a pluralistic learning community drawn from across Quebec, Canada and beyond, in which there is a wide range of career aspirations, backgrounds and life experiences.

Equity and Diversity

The Faculty of Law is committed to equity and diversity. We welcome applications from Aboriginal persons, persons with disabilities, persons from ethnic minorities and racialized communities, persons of minority sexual orientation or gender identity, women, persons from an economically disadvantaged background, and others who may contribute to equity and diversity.

Aboriginal applicants

First Nations, Inuit and Métis persons are strongly encouraged to apply to the Faculty of Law, and are invited to self-identify on their application form. This allows McGill to inform students about specific services and funding opportunities and to assess its progress in the recruitment and retention of Aboriginal students. This includes 'Status,' 'Treaty,' 'Registered', 'Non-Status,' and 'Non-Registered' Aboriginal persons.

McGill offers Aboriginal students the opportunity to study and complete research with a wide range of legal scholars in English and French. The Faculty is host to a vibrant Aboriginal Law Students’ Association, the activities of which have included guest speakers, conferences, visits to the Supreme Court of Canada to witness hearings on Aboriginal rights cases, as well as visits to First Nation communities to discuss contemporary legal issues with Aboriginal authorities.

McGill also gives Aboriginal students the possibility to acquire practical experience working at the Legal Clinic at Kahnawake, to participate in the Faculty's L.E.X. (Law-Éducation-Connexion) program with the Kahnawake Survival School, as well as the chance to participate in the national Kawaskimhon Moot. Students can partake in a term-away at the Indigenous Peoples and Policies Program at the University of Arizona, and the Intensive Program in Aboriginal Lands, Resources and Governments at Osgoode Hall Law School.

Aboriginal students may be eligible for numerous sources of financial support.

McGill's First Peoples' House provides a sense of community and a voice for Aboriginal students who have left their communities to study at McGill. A “home away from home,” First Peoples’ House offers a mentoring program, computer facilities, guest lectures, elder visits, academic counselling, and an ever expanding resource centre as well as housing.

Aboriginal applicants who wish to enroll in a summer pre-law program may do so in the Program of Legal Studies for Native People (PLSNP) offered through the Native Law Centre at the University of Saskatchewan.  Financial assistance from the federal government is also available for summer pre-law programs.

We also invite you to read our information leaflet Sharing Knowledge: Legal Traditions and First Nations .

Part-time studies

A candidate may seek permission to pursue studies on a part-time basis, either before admission (from the Admissions Committee) or while studying in the Faculty (from the Associate Dean, Academic). The Faculty may grant permission for the duration of studies or for a limited period, provided that the student can demonstrate that full-time study is not possible for any of the following reasons:

  • Pregnancy
  • Health problems, physical disabilities
  • Responsibility for the primary care of others
  • Financial hardship
  • Other special circumstances

Applicants seeking admission to study on a part-time basis must submit a separate letter giving the reasons why they want to study part-time. The Faculty evaluates applications for part-time study on the same basis as those for full-time study.

Students granted permission to register on a part-time basis must register for a minimum of nine credits per term, and complete all the requirements of the B.C.L./LL.B. program within seven academic years.

Candidates seeking admission on a part-time basis must fulfill all the standard entrance requirements of the Faculty of Law.

Course Schedule

All courses offered by the Faculty of Law are given Monday to Friday during the day. Although some courses may finish later, the majority of our courses are taught between 8:00 and 19:00. The Faculty does not offer evening classes, correspondence or distance courses, or internet courses.

Students attend classes at the Faculty of Law in person, and are expected to be fully active in the Faculty and in the community.

Limited enrolment

The B.C.L./LL.B. is a limited enrolment program for which admission is competitive. Each year the Faculty admits approximately 178 new students. Statistics show that the number of applications is approximately eight times greater than the number of available places.

Successful applicants are chosen by the Faculty's Admissions Committee, which is composed this year of eight full-time faculty members appointed by the Dean, two senior law students selected by the Law Students' Association Executive, and the Assistant Dean, Admissions and Recruitment. Each application is reviewed by at least one member of the Admissions Committee, and the majority of applications are reviewed by two or three members before a final decision is rendered by the Assistant Dean, Admissions and Recruitment.

Honesty and Integrity in the Application Process

McGill University and the Faculty of Law value honesty and integrity. Applicants to the Faculty of Law are expected to conduct themselves accordingly. The submission of false, incomplete, inconsistent or misleading information, or any omission that may result in a false or misleading conclusion, constitutes misconduct in the admission process. Instances of such misconduct include, as examples: the submission of a personal statement that was not written by the applicant, and failure to disclose an LSAT score.

A finding of misconduct in the application process may lead – and has led in the past – to a refusal or, if an offer of admission has already been extended, a withdrawal of the offer at the sole discretion of the University. Intent is not an element of a finding of misconduct.

As a member school of the Law School Admissions Council (LSAC), McGill’s Faculty of Law reserves the right to report any misconduct to the LSAC’s Misconduct and Irregularities in the Admissions Process Subcommittee for its investigation.