Fall 2012 – Summer 2013
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. The Admissions Committee looks for indicators of intellectual curiosity, community engagement, political/social insight, leadership skills, ability to work with others, openness to diversity, maturity, judgment, and potential for development through opportunity or adversity, among other criteria. The Admissions 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 Application 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 socially and culturally diverse learning community drawn from across Canada and beyond, in which there is a balance of women and men, English and French speakers, and a wide range of career aspirations, backgrounds, and life experiences.
The B.C.L./LL.B. is a limited enrolment program for which admission is competitive. Each year the Faculty admits approximately 172 new students. Successful applicants are chosen by the Faculty's Admissions Committee, which is composed 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.
Candidates must have a minimum of two years (60 credits) of university studies, or a diploma of collegial studies (DCS) from a Quebec College of General and Professional Education (CEGEP), at the time of registration. Students with a French Baccalaureate from Quebec (Collège international Marie de France or Collège Stanislas) are also eligible to apply.
While candidates who have completed 60 credits of university study are eligible to apply to the Faculty of Law, due to the competition for admission, almost all students admitted in the “university” category have completed an undergraduate degree.
McGill's integrated program is offered in a bilingual environment. Candidates must demonstrate substantial reading ability in, and aural comprehension of, both English and French. Reading of complex substantive texts in French and English are assigned in all first-year courses and in many upper-year courses, irrespective of the language of instruction of the course.
The Faculty's policy of passive bilingualism permits students to submit written work, write exams, and ask questions in class in either English or French, regardless of the language of instruction. Students may fulfil their Moot Court requirements in English or French. First-year courses are offered in English and French, and a number of upper-year courses are offered in one language only. While examination questions are set in the language in which a course is given, any examination may contain extensive passages in either French or English.
In order to get a sense of the level of reading comprehension that is expected of McGill Law students, candidates are encouraged to visit the website of the Supreme Court of Canada and to read judgments in English and in French.
Candidates intending to proceed to the Bar of Quebec or the Board of Notaries of Quebec should carefully review University Regulations and Resources > Undergraduate > Admission to Professional and Graduate Studies > Language Requirements for Professions. The Charter of the French Language imposes certain mandatory language requirements on attorneys and notaries who practise in Quebec.
North American 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 do 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 of acquiring practical experience working at the Legal Clinic in Kahnawake, to participate in the Faculty's High School Outreach Program with the Kahnawake Survival School, as well as the chance to participate in the national Kawaskimhon Moot. Students can spend a term away to partake in the Intensive Program in Aboriginal Lands, Resources, and Governments at Osgoode Hall Law School, and the Indigenous Peoples and Policies Program at the University of Arizona.
Aboriginal students may be eligible for numerous sources of financial support. For more information, see www.mcgill.ca/fph/scholarships.
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.
Aboriginal applicants who wish to enrol 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, or in Le Programme propédeutique prédroit pour candidats autochtones, offered by the University of Ottawa. Financial assistance from the federal government is also available for summer pre-law programs.
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:
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 fulfil all the standard entrance requirements of the Faculty of Law.
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.