Instructions for supporting documents have recently changed. Candidates are encouraged to read this entire page carefully before submitting their supporting documents. In particular, re-applicant to the program must ensure that they inform themself of these changes before re-applying.
Applicants must upload supporting documents on the Applicant Portal by the supporting document deadline specified by their applicant category.
Applicants must ensure that their application is complete with all supporting documents. Files will only be reviewed when all supporting documents have been received.
Note for International students
In addition to preparing the supporting documents below, non-Canadian applicants should contact the Canadian Embassy in their home country at least one year prior to program start date to find out what type of additional official documents may be needed, along with medical examinations, etc. McGill International Student Services provides valuable information about this, including Pre-Arrival Orientation Webinars.
Supporting documents required for all categories of applicants (unless otherwise indicated):
All post-secondary transcripts
Personal statement (750 word maximum; 1200 word maximum for applicants in the optional Indigenous category)
Curriculum vitae (2-page maximum)
Proof of proficiency in English and French
2 References (not required for Exchange applicants)
Additional documents may be required:
Letter of permission (Exchange and Visiting applicants only)
Photocopy of passport (Exchange applicants only)
Final decision from the Comité des équivalences of the Barreau du Québec (Comité des équivalences applicants only)
Final decision from the Chambre des notaires (Chambre des notaires applicants only)
Documents submitted to McGill University in support of an application, including, but not limited to transcripts, diplomas, references, 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.
After successfully applying, applicants will login to the Applicant Portal and upload their supporting documents. In the Applicant Portal, an application checklist will show candidates the status of their file. Candidates must consult their checklist regularly as this is where the Admissions Office will update their file and indicate if more, or revised, information is needed.
If the supporting document a candidate uploaded shows a date in the “completed on” column on the application checklist, then the document has been accepted by the Admissions Office. If the icon to the left of the item in the checklist is an “X” , there is a problem with the document they uploaded and the Admissions Office is asking them to upload a new version. Candidates will also receive a notification from the Applicant Portal that they have outstanding checklist items. Candidates must pay particular attention to uploaded transcripts on the application checklist, as these files are often problematic due to illegible scans.
New items may also be added to a candidate’s checklist when necessary to complete the admissions file. Applicants should respond to such requests for documentation by uploading the appropriate document in a timely manner. Failure to do so could result in a delay in the review of their file, or their file being cancelled.
Uploading supporting documents
Candidates must upload their supporting documents via the Applicant Portal. They must not be mailed or emailed to the Admissions Office.
Only one version of the Personal Statement the Extenuating Circumstances form and the CV is accepted. Candidates must ensure that they have uploaded the correct version of these documents. Candidates may submit updated transcripts and must contact the Admissions Office to do so.
Only required supporting documents will be added to a candidate’s file. Please refrain from sending other items, as these will not be considered as part of the admission file.
Submit documents as early as possible. If candidates wait until the deadline to submit their documents, the Admissions office will be less available to assist them should they encounter issues in the process.
Inquiries about supporting documents should be directed to:
Email: admissions.law [at] mcgill.ca
Mailing supporting documents (exceptional circumstances only)
In exceptional circumstances, uploading documents may not be possible. In such cases, applicants may mail, courier, or submit documents in person to this address:
BCL/JD Admissions Office
Faculty of Law, McGill University
New Chancellor Day Hall
3644 Peel Street, Room 418
Montreal, Quebec H3A 1W9
Documents sent by mail must be postmarked or delivered on or before the relevant deadline date. Documents sent by email or fax will not be accepted, unless permission is granted by the Admissions Office.
All applicants must submit a complete academic record from all previous post-secondary studies. They should also submit any transcripts issued to the applicant after the deadline date, until such time as the applicant has received a final decision from the Admissions Committee. CEGEP applicants should submit their transcripts only once they include at least three complete semesters of grades.
The record of previous post-secondary studies includes transcripts for studies completed while on exchange, unless the marks as well as the credits obtained are already included on transcripts issued by the candidate’s home university. It also includes transcripts from French or English courses taken outside a degree program, which would contribute to an assessment of a candidate’s language competency. Candidates must also report any courses taken outside a degree program in the Academic History section of the online application form. All transcripts must be uploaded in the Applicant Portal.
Applicants will be prompted to include their cumulative GPA converted to the McGill grading scale and will be directed to instructions for completing this conversion. Please consult the McGill Grad applicants site for more information. Transcripts that are uploaded via the Applicant Portal are considered unofficial. The Admissions office will request official transcripts if and when an offer of admission is made. Our offer of admission will be conditional upon the receipt and verification of these official documents. If a candidate has uploaded unofficial transcripts, they are not required to submit official transcripts until we request them.
Scanning transcripts: Make sure that the page orientation of the scanned document matches the original. For example, transcripts that are printed vertically (portrait) should be scanned so that they appear in portrait format. Transcripts printed horizontally (landscape) should appear in landscape format. To prevent refusal of their uploaded transcripts, candidates should make sure that their scans are legible – for example, they are not fuzzy, too small, or too pale to read easily. Candidates should refer to the “Admissions Checklist” section above, for information on how to know whether their documents have been approved or refused as illegible by the Admissions office.
Transcripts in a language other than English or French must be accompanied by an English or French translation provided either by the school issuing the transcript or by a certified translator.
Transfer students should forward the transcript of their winter term results as soon as they become available. Transfer applications will not be evaluated without these results.
McGill Law Admissions does not receive transcripts through the Law School Data Assembly Service or through OLSAS.
Applicants do not need to upload their LSAT test results. The Admissions Office receives LSAT results directly from the Law School Admission Council (LSAC) for those candidates who have taken, or plan to take, the LSAT.
Applicants must submit an essay of a maximum of 750 words, referred to as the Personal Statement. Please visit the Indigenous Applicants page for Personal Statement instructions for candidates applying in the optional Indigenous applicant category.
What is the purpose of the Personal Statement?
The Personal Statement is candidates’ moment to showcase the unique aspects of their motivations, their background, and their personality that make them a compelling candidate for our program.
The Admissions Committee relies on the Personal Statement to understand the factors that motivate candidates to pursue a legal education, the particular meaning that the study of law holds for them, and the reasons for their interest in our program. In addition, the Personal Statement shows the Admissions Committee candidates’ writing skills, their ability to present their ideas in English and/or French, and their maturity and judgment as shown through their writing. Given the importance of strong writing skills for success in law school, a well-written Personal Statement is a critical component of a successful application.
What is the Admissions Committee looking for in the Personal Statement?
The Admissions Committee is interested in hearing why candidates’ want to study law, why they are interested in McGill’s program in particular, and what they will bring to our learning community. The Committee looks 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 and judgment.
We strongly encourage applicants belonging an equity-deserving group to include information in their Personal Statements on how their personal circumstances, lived experience, work, community involvement, and extra-curricular activities relate to their desire and preparation to study law at McGill University.
The Personal Statement should be a product of candidates’ own reflection. We truly value a wide range of backgrounds, identities, and future aspirations. Whether a candidate wishes to become a practicing lawyer or they have other ideas about their career path following a legal education, their application, and specifically their Personal Statement, should show thoughtful consideration of their reasons for studying law, and at our Faculty in particular.
Read our Admissions Policies to get a sense of what we look for in our admitted students.
Before writing, candidates should reflect critically on their motivations, interests, convictions and connection to our program. Law faculties all tend to have their own strengths and particularities. Doing some research may help candidates identify and articulate their particular interest in studying at McGill.
The Personal Statement should not be used as a vehicle for narrating or repeating aspects that appear elsewhere in the application. The limited writing space should be used to tie the various threads of the application together, rather than repeating a candidate’s name or field of study or listing the various extracurricular activities included in the CV. The Admissions Committee is looking for an authentic and original explanation of a candidate’s interests in studying law at McGill that connects the various elements of the application.
The Personal Statement is not a cover letter. It does not need to include the Faculty of Law’s mailing address, the date or formal greetings or salutations.
Candidates may submit their Personal Statement in English or French. It is important that candidates write the statement in whatever of the two language(s) they are most comfortable expressing themselves. Candidates are discouraged from using the Personal Statement as a way to establish their bilingualism unless they are very comfortable expressing themselves in the other language.
The Personal Statement must follow our formatting guidelines (see below) and must be free of grammatical, syntax and punctuation errors. Candidates should review and edit their personal statements multiple times before submission. They may even consider having a friend, family member or academic advisor review the document to ensure it contains no errors. Only one submission of the Personal Statement is accepted so it is important to submit the Personal Statement in its final version of both format and substance.
Candidates who have applied to the Faculty in the past must submit a new Personal Statement with any new application. Re-applicants who make no substantive changes to their Personal Statement from one application to the next are unlikely to be viewed as competitive.
- Maximum 750 words
- Candidates must include a word count at the end of the Personal Statement.
- Candidates must include their name at the top right corner of all pages.
Applicants are required to submit a CV highlighting:
- Academic background and achievements;
- Work experience;
- Volunteer and community work;
- Extra-curricular activities;
- Sports, hobbies, and other significant interests;
- Language skills.
The CV assists the Admissions Committee in assessing a candidate's academic strength, depth of involvement in extra-curricular activities, leadership, and time management skills.
Applicants are strongly encouraged to indicate the number of hours worked during their studies, as well as the time commitment involved in any volunteer and community activities. It is in applicants’ interests to share with the Admissions Committee their academic and non-academic contributions and distinctions. Any and all work experience is relevant.
Candidates who have applied to the Faculty of Law in previous years are required to submit an updated CV.
The CV must conform to the two-page maximum. The Admissions Committee will not read beyond the two-page limit.
While candidates may format their CV in any way that best presents the information, we have provided a recommended template with instructions below.
Template: CV template
Two (2) references are required. The Admissions Committee does not accept additional references.
When a student applies for the BCL/JD program, they are required to provide their referee's contact information during the application process. An automated email will be sent to the provided referees, containing instructions to fill in the form and upload their reference letters directly onto our application platform. Candidates wishing to make a referee substitution may do so until the Supporting Document deadline as long as the reference has not yet been submitted. In this case, please follow the instructions the Applicant Portal.
Applicants are strongly encouraged 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 provide both references from CEGEP or college professors.
Those applying under the optional category for Indigenous applicants should visit the Indigenous Applicant page for more information about selecting references.
Applicants who are unable to obtain academic references should submit letters from individuals who are well placed to evaluate the applicant's academic abilities such as critical thinking, research, and writing; these may be professional references from a person who is in a supervisory position vis-à-vis the applicant.
Candidates are encouraged to review the reference form and communicate with potential referees in order to ensure they are be best placed to respond to the questions asked (e.g., if there are too many “Unable to Judge” responses on the form, it is unlikely to be helpful to the Admissions Committee in reviewing the application).
Personal references, meaning those who have not been in an instructor, supervisor, or other similar role to the candidate, are not helpful.
McGill will request references on your behalf from referees you identify on the application form.
Two references are required.
Referees will receive an email with instructions on how to submit the reference form.
Be sure to indicate valid institutional or corporate e-mail addresses in your online application. References sent from a public domain address such as Hotmail, Gmail, Yahoo Mail or Videotron, etc, will not be considered official.
The candidate must inform their referees what category of admission they are applying under. It is the candidate's responsibility to ensure that Reference forms are received by the Admissions Office by the applicable deadline.
The Admissions Office does not confirm receipt of references with the referee via email. Applicants are instead encouraged to verify the status of their documents via their Supporting Documents Checklist in the Applicant Portal.
Starting in the 2023 admissions cycle, re-applicants must identify all referees in the Recommendations section of the online application, which will automatically send the referees the reference form. While re-applicants are welcome to identify the same referees as in a past application, the referees should be informed that they will need to submit a new form.
If an applicant has experienced any serious medical or personal difficulty(ies) that have had an impact on their academic performance as demonstrated in their official transcripts, for a defined period of time (including the manner in which they have completed their degree requirements), they may complete an extenuating circumstances form to support their application.
The review of requests for consideration of extenuating circumstances by the Admissions Office will be guided by the following factors:
The credibility of the circumstances, including supporting official or objective documentation provided;
The time-frame of the circumstances (defined start and end dates);
The connection between the described circumstances and the applicant’s academic performance (specific semesters or courses which were affected).
Where an applicant’s circumstances are determined to be credible, circumscribed in time, and having had an impact on academic performance, the Admissions Office will determine what, if any, adjustments can be made to the overall academic evaluation in light of the circumstances. The standard adjustment could be (but is not limited to) assessing academic performance using available records, but excluding those elements affected by the extenuating circumstances. Whether and to what extent adjustments will be made is at the discretion of the Office and its decisions in this regard are final.
Applicants wishing to declare extenuating circumstances should do so in the application. They will be prompted to complete the extenuating circumstances form, which will be added as a checklist item.
The extenuating circumstances form should include be accompanied by supporting documentation, limited to 1 to 2 pages maximum (where applicable).
Only one version is accepted. Updates and additional documents sent by mail will not be included.
Law School Admission Test (LSAT)
Applicants do not need to submit their LSAT test results. The Admissions Office receives LSAT results directly from the Law School Admission Council (LSAC) for those candidates who have taken, or plan to take, the LSAT.
Letters of Permission/Nomination
For candidates applying as Exchange or Visiting students only. The permission/nomination letter should be written on university letterhead and include the student’s name, the faculty where the student wishes to study and the semester(s) of the exchange.
Photocopy of Passport
For candidates applying as Exchange students only. Candidates should upload a scanned copy of their passport.
Proof of language proficiency
Please see the Eligibility section for required documents to prove proficiency in English and French.