Fall 2013 – Summer 2014
Law at McGill is a limited enrolment program. Apply as early as possible and ensure that we have received all required supporting documents on or before the appropriate deadline. Files are reviewed only when complete.
Candidates must apply to the B.C.L./LL.B. program online. The online application is available as of September 1. In order to avoid unnecessary processing delays, please read the application instructions carefully. Please undergradadmissions [dot] law [at] mcgill [dot] ca (email) the Undergraduate Admissions Office at the Faculty of Law if you are unable to apply online.
Once you have applied, an acknowledgment notice will be sent to the email address indicated on your application the day following the submission of your application form. If you have not received your acknowledgment notice the day following the submission of your application, you should contact the Admissions Office at the Faculty of Law (514-398-6602 or undergradadmissions [dot] law [at] mcgill [dot] ca (email)).
Your acknowledgment notice will provide you with your McGill Identification (ID), and a password that you will need to log in to the Minerva website.
You are responsible for monitoring the status of your application on Minerva. When verifying the status of your application, an indication of “Items outstanding” means that your application is incomplete. If your application remains incomplete after the deadline for submission of supporting documents, your application will be cancelled. An indication of “Ready for review” means that your file is complete and/or under review by the Admissions Committee. Your status will indicate “Ready for review” until a final decision is rendered.
During peak periods (i.e., close to deadlines), the Admissions Office receives a high volume of documents and there may be a delay of up to 48 hours between the receipt of a document and the date on which it is recorded in our information system and verifiable by you on Minerva. Taking this delay into consideration, please contact the Undergraduate Admissions Office only if your file remains incomplete 48 hours past the deadline.
Once an application is complete, it is reviewed by the Admissions Committee. Without exception, every application to the McGill program is reviewed by at least one member of the Admissions Committee; the majority of applications are reviewed by two or three members. Committee members carefully review all documents submitted and evaluate the candidacy according to the Faculty's Admissions Policy, and in comparison to all other candidates in the applicant pool.
A non-refundable application fee of CAD$100 is required for application to the B.C.L./LL.B. program. A credit card (Visa, MasterCard, or American Express only) is required to complete the online application form. McGill's highly secured e-payment service minimizes cardholder risk. Your credit card information is passed instantly to the Moneris payment gateway and is not stored at McGill. Moneris handles 80% of all credit card transactions processed in Canada. If you cannot pay by credit card, please contact the undergradadmissions [dot] law [at] mcgill [dot] ca (Admissions Office at the Faculty of Law). The Faculty may issue a fee waiver to a candidate demonstrating significant financial need.
Applicants to First Year (September entrance only)
Applicants to Upper Year (September entrance only)
Applicants to Upper Year (September or January entrance)
A University applicant to McGill's Faculty of Law must have completed a minimum of two years of full-time university studies (60 credits) at the time of registration. This category includes applicants who, at the time of registration, will have completed more than one year of university studies in addition to a Diploma of Collegial Studies (DCS).
Please note that, while candidates who have completed 60 credits are eligible to apply to the B.C.L./LL.B. program, the strength of the University applicant pool is such that the Faculty rarely admits candidates who will not have completed an undergraduate degree at the time of registration.
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A Mature applicant is defined as an individual who has interrupted his or her formal education for a minimum of five years. Applicants who qualify as Mature must apply in this category. There is no predetermined number of Mature candidates admitted in a given year. A Mature applicant is normally expected to have completed a Diploma of Collegial Studies (DCS) from a CEGEP or two years (60 credits) of university studies. Mature applicants who are regarded as potentially admissible following a review of their file may be required to attend an interview.
In addition to all official post-secondary transcripts, Mature applicants are required to submit a detailed resumé of their non-academic experience along with letters of reference from persons who are familiar with their academic potential. The candidate should seek to demonstrate his or her ability to meet the demands of law studies, to reason and analyze, and to express him/herself well both orally and in writing.
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Candidates may apply on the basis of a Diploma of Collegial Studies (DCS) from a CEGEP, or a Quebec French Baccalaureate (QFB). This category includes candidates who will have completed up to one year of university studies in addition to the DCS or QFB at the time of registration.
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Candidates who will have completed a French Baccalaureate or an International Baccalaureate Diploma outside the province of Quebec, must have completed a minimum of two years of full-time university studies (60 credits), at the time of registration, to be eligible to apply to our program.
Applicants who hold a law degree from a Canadian or foreign university recognized by McGill must apply for admission to the B.C.L./LL.B. program under the Advanced Standing category, unless applying under the Comité des équivalences category (see Comité des équivalences). There are a limited number of places available for Advanced Standing applicants. Applications are evaluated using the same criteria as applications to the first year of the B.C.L./LL.B. program, with particular attention to performance in law studies.
Successful applicants must complete a minimum of 75 credits at McGill and undertake the integrated B.C.L./LL.B. program. It is not possible to obtain either the B.C.L. or the LL.B. degree on its own. The Associate Dean (Academic) determines equivalences for previous studies.
Students who have successfully completed at least one year of full-time studies in an undergraduate program at another Canadian law faculty may apply for admission as a Transfer student. There are a limited number of places available for Transfer students. Transfer applications are evaluated according to the criteria for admission to the first year of the B.C.L./LL.B. program. Particular attention is paid to performance in law studies and reasons for requesting a transfer.
Successful transfer applicants must complete a minimum of 75 credits at McGill. The Associate Dean (Academic) determines credit for previous studies. In most cases, Transfer students will be required to take the trans-systemic first-year courses—Contractual Obligations and Extra-Contractual Obligations/Torts—in order to meet McGill’s degree requirements. Candidates will not receive credit for courses in obligations, contract, or tort taken during a first year completed at another faculty.
The Faculty accepts applications from candidates who hold a law degree from a Canadian or foreign university recognized by McGill and who are seeking to fulfil the requirements of the Comité des équivalences of the Barreau du Québec or of the Chambre des notaires, in order to practice in Quebec. Successful applicants must have the final decision of the Comité des équivalences or the Chambre des notaires in hand at the time of registration.
Students who have completed two years of studies at another law faculty who wish, for academic or personal reasons, to spend a term at McGill may be admitted as a Visiting Student. The Faculty endeavours to accommodate qualified students who are in good standing in their own faculties, where student numbers at McGill permit.
Students from other law faculties who would like to attend McGill as a Visiting Student must apply through the Admissions Office. Their application must include a Letter of Permission from their home university. The Assistant Dean (Student Life and Learning) makes decisions on these applications. Accepted students must arrange their academic program with the Assistant Dean (Student Life and Learning).
Students registered in degree programs in law at universities that have an official exchange agreement with McGill University or with the Faculty of Law may apply as Exchange students. In addition, McGill participates in a number of exchange programs through CREPUQ (la Conférence des Recteurs et Principaux des Universités du Québec). McGill's exchange partners are listed on McGill University's website.
Students participating in an exchange must fill out the online application form. There is no application fee for these candidates.
Exchange students are selected and officially nominated by their home universities. Please note that home university internal application deadlines may vary. McGill considers applicants on an individual basis; the minimum entrance requirement is generally a cumulative B average or its equivalent. Decisions on applications for exchange are made by the Assistant Dean (Student Life and Learning). Admission decisions on exchange applications are final; there is no reconsideration process.
The Faculty has a limited number of places for Exchange students, and entrance into courses which have enrolment limits or require the permission of the instructor is not guaranteed.
The Faculty will exceptionally permit a limited number of candidates not actively pursuing a law degree to apply as Special Students. Students registered in other universities, and candidates not actively pursuing a university degree, may apply to take certain courses within the Faculty.
Special Student status will be granted to applicants who provide compelling academic or professional reasons for taking law courses and who successfully demonstrate the capacity to undertake the requirements of the requested course(s). Status will be granted only where sufficient course space is available.
Special Students are limited to a maximum of 6 credits per term, and to 12 credits in total.
Important information about this category:
The list of courses offered by the Faculty of Law is available from the Student Affairs Office website under Current courses & registration.
The online application is available at the beginning of September. Deadlines vary by category of admission. Applicants must take the time to identify the category in which they must apply. Applicants are responsible for ensuring that the online application is completed by the deadlines indicated below and that all supporting documents are uploaded via Minerva by the deadlines listed below. Applicants who are unable to upload their documents online may send them via post or courier, in which case the documents must be postmarked or delivered on or before their appropriate deadlines listed below.
Incomplete applications will not be circulated to the Admissions Committee.
Please refer to Categories of Applicants in order to determine which deadline applies to you.
|Applicants to First Year (Fall 2014)||Online Application Deadlines||Supporting Document Deadlines|
|University||November 1, 2013||November 8, 2013|
|Mature||November 1, 2013||November 8, 2013|
|CEGEP/Baccalaureate (Collège international Marie de France and Collège Stanislas)||March 1, 2014||March 7, 2014|
|Applicants to Upper Years||Online Application Deadlines||Supporting Document Deadlines|
|Advanced Standing (Fall 2014)||November 1, 2013||January 15, 2014|
|Transfer (Fall 2014)||May 1, 2014||June 15, 2014|
|Comité des équivalences (Fall 2014 entrance)||May 1, 2014||July 1, 2014|
|Chambre des notaires (Fall 2014 entrance)||May 1, 2014||July 1, 2014|
|Special (Fall 2014 entrance)||August 1, 2014||August 8, 2014|
|Visiting (Fall 2014 and/or Winter 2015)||May 1, 2014||June 15, 2014|
|Incoming Exchange (Fall 2014 and/or Winter 2015)||May 1, 2014||June 15, 2014|
|Comité des équivalences (Winter 2014 entrance)||October 1, 2013||December 1, 2013|
|Chambre des notaires (Winter 2014 entrance)||October 1, 2013||December 1, 2013|
|Special (Winter 2014 entrance)||December 1, 2013||December 8, 2013|
Applicants may, and are strongly encouraged to, upload supporting documents via Minerva the day after having completed the online application (after having received the acknowledgment notice via email). Not all documents may be uploaded via Minerva. See Uploading supporting documents below.
Supporting documents required for all categories of applicants (unless otherwise indicated):
The Admissions Office will obtain LSAT results directly from the Law School Admission Council for those candidates who have taken, or plan to take, the LSAT.
After completing the online application, candidates must ensure that required supporting documents are uploaded via Minerva (or, if necessary, mailed directly to the Admissions Office at the Faculty of Law). Documents sent by mail must be postmarked or delivered on or before the dates listed in Application Deadlines for Law Undergraduate Programs. Documents sent by fax or email will not be accepted, unless specifically indicated in the instructions for document submission. See Letters of Reference.
During peak periods (i.e., close to deadlines), the volume of document intake is extremely high (over 1400 applications yearly) and there may be a delay of up to 48 hours between the receipt of a document and the date on which it is recorded in our information system. Taking this delay into consideration, candidates should contact the Undergraduate Admissions Office only if their file remains incomplete 48 hours past the deadline for supporting documents.
Documents submitted to McGill University in support of an application to be admitted, including, but not limited to transcripts, diplomas, letters of reference, and test scores (in paper or electronic format), become the property of McGill University and will not be returned to the applicant or forwarded to another institution.
You are strongly encouraged to upload your supporting documents rather than mailing them. Uploading your documents saves you time, effort, and the expense of mailing transcripts and supporting documents to us. It prevents delays normally incurred in the processing of paper documentation, allows you to associate your documents with the correct application and requirement, and assures you that your documents have been received.
|Documents that can be uploaded via Minerva||Number of uploads allowed|
|Unofficial transcripts||Updated version accepted|
|Resumé||Updated version accepted|
|Letter of extenuating circumstance (if applicable)||One|
|Part-time letter (if applicable)||One|
Please see the instructions for uploading supporting documents. Documents that have been successfully uploaded to an application do not need to be sent by mail.
Below is the address for supporting documents, if submitting in person, by mail, or courier:
Send your documents in as early as possible. The Admissions Committee only reviews files with complete supporting documents. Only required supporting documents will be added to your file. Please refrain from sending other items, as these will not be considered part of your admission file.
Inquiries about supporting documents should be directed to:
Applicants must submit a complete academic record from all previous university studies, as well as subsequent transcripts that become available from the time of application until the applicant has received the Admissions Committee's final decision.
Applicants have three different ways to submit their transcripts:
Transcripts for studies undertaken in Quebec universities may be submitted electronically via the CREPUQ system. Applicants have to contact the registrar of their home university and ask for this arrangement.
Applicants may and are strongly encouraged to upload all their transcripts via Minerva. Transcripts received in this manner are considered unofficial. Applicants will only be asked for official transcripts (sent to us via the CREPUQ system or by mail in an envelope sealed by the registrar of the issuing institute) if and when offered admission to the program. Our offer of admission will be contingent upon the receipt and verification of these official documents. If you have uploaded unofficial transcripts, you are not required to submit official transcripts until we request them from you.
Page Orientation – Make sure that the scanned document orientation matches the original. For example, transcripts that are printed vertically (portrait) should be scanned so that they appear in the portrait format. Transcripts printed horizontally (landscape) should appear in landscape format.
If submitting official transcripts, to be considered official these must be submitted in an envelope sealed by the Office of the Registrar of the issuing institution.
Applicants must submit a brief essay referred to as a Personal Statement. The following is intended to assist in preparing this document.
What is the purpose of the Personal Statement?
Your Personal Statement allows the Admissions Committee to understand the factors that motivate you to pursue a legal education, the particular meaning that the study of law holds for you, and the reasons for your interest in our program. In addition, your Personal Statement shows the Admissions Committee your writing style, your ability to present your ideas in English and/or French, and your maturity and judgment as shown through your writing.
What is the Admissions Committee looking for in reading your Personal Statement?
Members of the Admissions Committee are interested in what you will bring to the study of law and to our learning community, and how you will benefit from the study of law. They look for indicators of intellectual curiosity, community engagement, political/social insight, leadership skills, ability to work with others, openness to diversity (cultural, linguistic, and otherwise), maturity, judgment, and potential for development through opportunity or adversity. On the latter, you may describe your experience as a member of a minority group, or factors that may have made access to a university education difficult. Also, if you are a Mature category applicant, you should discuss the relevance of your past experiences to your current motivation(s) for the study of law, and the reasons for doing so at this point in your life. Ultimately, and whatever your applicant category, the Personal Statement must be a product of your own reflection. We truly value a wide range of backgrounds, identities, and future aspirations. Whether you wish to become a practising lawyer or you have other ideas about your career path following a legal education, your application, and specifically your Personal Statement, should show thoughtful consideration of your reasons for studying law (at our Faculty in particular).
Before writing, reflect critically on your motivations, your interests, and your convictions, and their connection to our program. The Personal Statement should not be used as a vehicle for narrating or repeating your resumé. Bear in mind that you have a limited amount of writing space; make it count. Be authentic. Be yourself. Don’t be afraid to be original, but don’t overlook the importance of the substance. Finally, ensure that your Personal Statement follows our formatting guidelines and that it has grammatical integrity.
The format of the Personal Statement must adhere to the following basic characteristics:
Candidates who have applied to our Faculty in the past must submit a new Personal Statement with any new application. A Personal Statement submitted in respect of a previous application will not be considered.
Serious medical or personal difficulties may have had an impact on an applicant's academic performance. If this is the case, the applicant should submit a separate letter and provide supporting documentation as appropriate. To be able to upload a letter of extenuating circumstances via Minerva, applicants must answer “Yes” to the question related to extenuating circumstances in the online application. As opposed to what is indicated in the online application, please note that the review of a file will not be delayed as the Faculty of Law has the same review process regardless of whether an applicant has extenuating circumstances or not.
Applicants are required to submit a resumé highlighting their:
The resumé assists the Admissions Committee in its assessment of a candidate's academic strength, depth of involvement in extracurricular activities, leadership, and time management skills.
Re-application: Candidates who have applied to the Faculty of Law in previous years are required to submit an updated resumé.
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As of September 1, 2013, the resumé is required to be a maximum of two (2) pages (letter size). Applicants should not expect that the Admissions Committee will read beyond two pages.
Please indicate your name and McGill ID (indicated in the acknowledgment notice) in the top right corner of each page.
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Two (2) letters of reference are required. As of September 1, 2013, the Admissions Committee will not accept additional letters of reference.
Applicants who are students, or who have recently completed programs of study, are expected to provide academic references from current or recent professors or teachers who are familiar with their work. Applicants in the CEGEP and Quebec French Baccalaureate (Collège international Marie de France and Collège Stanislas) category are expected to submit two letters of reference from CEGEP or college professors.
Applicants who are unable to obtain academic references because they are no longer students should submit letters from individuals who are well placed to evaluate the applicant's academic abilities such as critical reading, research, and writing; these may be professional references, but ought to be from a person who is in a supervisory position vis-à-vis the applicant.
Personal references are not helpful.
The candidate must send a copy of the Reference Letter Instructions [.pdf] to the referees to ensure that the letters of reference meet the formatting requirements set out by the Faculty's Admissions Office. The Law Reference Letter Instructions form is available under Letters of reference.
Letters may be sent electronically by the referee via email.
If on paper, the sealed letter of reference may be given to the applicant directly or be mailed to the Law Admissions Office.
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Applicants are not required to take the LSAT. However, if a candidate has taken or will be taking the LSAT, the score will be reviewed by the Admissions Committee. Applicants who have taken or will be taking the test must report the date(s) of sitting(s) and provide their LSAT identification number in the appropriate places on the application. They must do so irrespective of whether the LSAT may, in their own estimation, strengthen or weaken their candidacy.
The Faculty of Law may revoke an offer of admission or cancel an application at any time for material misrepresentation, including omissions, in an application. Although the LSAT is not a mandatory element in an application for admission, every applicant who has taken or will be taking it must disclose their LSAT information and failure to do so is a material misrepresentation. The Admissions Office conducts random verifications for LSAT scores throughout the admissions process and a systematic verification with respect to candidates who receive an offer of admission. These verifications have, in the past, resulted in the revocation of offers of admission.
The Faculty of Law is a bilingual learning environment. We believe it would be disadvantageous to the significant proportion of applicants and admitted students who indicate French as a first language to require, as a matter of eligibility, a test that is offered only in English.
While it is not required, it may nevertheless be advisable for many candidates to consider writing the LSAT. Admission to McGill’s Law program is highly competitive; there are roughly eight times as many applicants as there are available places in the first-year class. Accordingly, candidates are strongly encouraged to apply for admission to a number of faculties of law. Almost all faculties of law outside Quebec (with the exception of the Civil Law program at the University of Ottawa and the French Common Law programs at the University of Moncton and the University of Ottawa) require the LSAT.
The quality of McGill’s applicant pool is exceptionally strong. Among admitted students, the average entering GPA is a 3.7 on a 4.0 scale (about an 84% average). Applicants with academic records below this average GPA or percentile are encouraged to consider writing the LSAT.
Candidates should write the LSAT by December of the year prior to the year for which they seek admission at the latest. Candidates who register for the December LSAT should be aware that consideration of their file will be delayed until receipt of the score.
Applications from candidates who register for the February LSAT of the year for which they seek admission will be reviewed by the Admissions Committee only when all required elements, including the February LSAT score, are received. Given the passing of several months since the application deadline, candidates who register for the February LSAT risk that, by the time the Committee reviews their application, there will no longer be a place to offer even if the Committee wishes to admit.
The Admissions Office obtains test results directly from the Law School Admission Council (LSAC). Applicants whose service with the Law School Admissions Council has expired must reactivate their service in order to enable the Admissions Office to obtain their LSAT score.
McGill University does not administer the LSAT. Applicants who wish to register for the LSAT must do so directly with Law School Admission Council.
For additional information, see the LSAT section of our FAQ.