Students learn as much outside a traditional classroom setting as within. Our BCL/JD Program expands the range of opportunities for students to contribute to the wider community, while receiving course credit for their work.
Every year, McGill students participate in a number of national and international competitions called moots. Each moot concentrates on a specific area of law, and teams are given a legal problem requiring focused analysis and research. Mooters are evaluated on their ability to plead their case and respond to intense questioning from the bench, while the team factum is assessed for precise use of law and clarity of drafting.
The Faculty’s participants distinguish themselves every year in the provincial, national and international rounds of these competitions, and we have the trophy cases to prove it! McGill regularly sends teams to the Philip C. Jessup International Law Moot, the Tribunal-École Pierre-Basile Migneault, Concours Charles Rousseau, the Laskin Moot Court competition, the Gale Cup Moot, the Kawaskimhon (Aboriginal) Moot, the Wilson Moot, the Sopinka Cup, the Corporate & Securities Competition, and more.
See Law Student Affairs Office: Competitive Mooting
McGill offers a unique for-credit program of student clerkships, allowing selected senior students to work with judges from Quebec’s Court of Appeal, Superior Court, along with other courts and administrative tribunals for credit during the year. Students gain invaluable research and writing experience and an insider’s understanding of the court system, while being mentored by an experienced judge. Student clerkships are prestigious positions involving a minimum of 100 hours work per term; students must take an oath of a confidentiality to maintain the integrity of the court.
Recent graduates also pursue clerkships to launch their careers, clerking at the Supreme Court of Canada, the Federal Court of Canada and provincial courts. The Faculty’s integrated program, as well as its bilingualism, makes our alumni coveted court clerks.
Tutorial leaders and group assistants
The Legal Methodology program is a mandatory component of the first- and second-year curriculum, and is where the nuts and bolts of using legal research tools and developing legal writing skills are pursued. Senior students can apply to lead small groups (20-25 students) at either level. As Tutorial Leaders, senior students are partnered with professors and they together develop assignments in a specific field of law. Being a Tutorial Leader is an invaluable way of helping newer students become the best researchers they can be, while developing teaching and leadership skills and working in partnership with Faculty members. The focus on a specific area of law also allows the Tutorial Leaders to deepen their understanding in this area.
Group Assistants lead tutorial sessions, answer questions and explain concepts in connection with a specific course.
See Law Student Affairs Office: Group Assistants & Legal Methodology Tutorial Leaders
The Faculty has many exchange agreements with leading law faculties around the world, such as the North American Consortium on Legal Education. McGill students receive credit equivalence to study at these other institutions for a term and pay McGill fees.
See Law Student Affairs Office: Exchange, Study Away & Summer Programs
Legal Information Clinic at McGill
The Legal Information Clinic at McGill began in 1973 as a modest attempt by a handful of students to get some practical experience while helping the community. It has since grown into a cornerstone service, with nearly half of the Faculty’s students volunteering their time to help about 4000 clients each year. It remains the only wholly student-run legal clinic in North America. The Clinic offers a walk-in service, a telephone information hotline, and a Student Advocacy service where law students represent other McGill students in disciplinary and grievance cases with the university. The Clinic also offers information sessions for community-based organizations.
Legal Clinic Course
The Legal Clinic Course gives students an opportunity to earn credits toward their degree while enriching their legal education through practical work experience in law-related fields. Students work in community organizations and legal clinics, under the supervision of a lawyer, providing information and assistance to socially disadvantaged individuals.
This course promotes a deeper understanding of the legal system’s response to poverty and inequality. Students are confronted with the social reality of access to justice and the interrelationship between legal concerns and economic, psychological, ethical and other social problems.
The work covers areas such as family, consumer, criminal, landlord-tenant, immigration, environmental and human rights. Our 16 local partner organizations include Action Réfugiés Montréal, Éducaloi, Innocence McGill, Mile End Legal Clinic and Project Genesis.
See Student Affairs Office: Legal Clinic Course
Student-run, peer-reviewed law journals
The Faculty of Law has several student-run, peer-reviewed journals. Students work in various roles at these journals and can receive 2 to 6 credits toward their degree for their work.
McGill Journal of Dispute Resolution
The McGill Journal of Dispute Resolution (MJDR) is a bilingual, peer-reviewed, student-run academic journal dedicated to the presentation and promotion of high quality scholarship in the fields of arbitration, mediation, facilitation, negotiation and other forms of alternative dispute resolution.
McGill Journal of International Law & Legal Pluralism
Inter Gentes - McGill Journal of International Law & Legal Pluralism engages in critical dialogue and rethinks international law through the lens of legal pluralism. Given that the law between States is changing into law among peoples with plural and complex sources of normativity, this international – or transnational legal system – thrives on its diversity, provided that its actors remain actively engaged in dialogue. Inter Gentes contributes to this exchange by serving as an online global forum for the informed, plural, and collective redefinition of the law between peoples. Through its website, the Journal represents an innovative platform to discuss and debate articles in French, Spanish and English, rather than simply showcasing academic writing.
McGill Journal of Law and Health
The McGill Journal of Law and Health (MJLH) is a student-run, online, peer-reviewed journal. It is an interdisciplinary project consisting of an anthology of scholarly contributions by renowned academics and practitioners alongside an organic online database—a resource of recent developments in the field of health law. Both components aim to inform the vital public debate surrounding health, public policy and ethics and to critically explore the nexus of health and law in a transsystemic framework. The MJLH is an open-access journal that is available on our website free of charge.
McGill Journal of Sustainable Development Law (MJSDL)
The issue of development, with its impact on environmental degradation and human rights, is of growing concern; yet there are few outlets for informed and focused commentary on these issues, particularly in Canada. In response to this void, students at the Faculty of Law at McGill University founded the MJSDL in 2005. This student-run, peer-reviewed academic journal aims to provide a forum for critical analysis and cutting-edge commentary on the intersection between law, development, the environment, domestic and international economies, and society.
McGill Law Journal
The prestigious, student-run McGill Law Journal was founded in 1952 to foster a more profound understanding of the common law and civil law legal traditions. Its articles are consistently cited in Supreme Court of Canada decisions, and the Canadian Guide to Uniform Legal Citation developed by Journal editors is the standard reference guide at a number of courts, law schools, and law journals in Canada.
Selection to the Journal is competitive - candidates are usually invited to apply after their first year of law school, with interviews taking place in early fall of second year. Students who are selected by the editorial board are required to make a two-year commitment, spending their first year as members of the junior board doing fact and footnote checking on manuscripts. In their second year, students can remain on the editorial board as senior members or run for executive management positions. All members of the Journal work with authors to develop their academic writing, and gain a broad, thorough knowledge of research and citation standards while being exposed to cutting-edge legal theory.
International Human Rights Internships
In 1994, the Faculty of Law created a series of human rights partnerships with non-governmental organizations (NGOs) across the globe. Between 20 and 30 students are selected each year to intern at a partner NGO, to apply their legal education in a concrete setting and further develop their interest and commitment to the defence of fundamental human rights.
The International Human Rights Internships Program is a fully credited course that allows students to earn 6 credits toward the completion of the BCL/JD degree, composed of a 12-week field placement and a short Internship report during the summer, followed by a fall seminar course leading to a research paper.
McGill Law students are actively engaged in the Faculty community. Student leadership and engagement opportunities abound - from student government, to clubs, to engagement with the wider Montreal community.
Law Students’ Association (LSA)
The McGill Law Students’ Association (LSA) is an active and vibrant student government.
There are a large number of active student clubs every year. Check out some of the more recent active groups.
Contours is a project based at the Faculty of Law that aims to map and shape the contours of debates, experiences, concerns, and aspirations through written and artistic exploration of the intersection of women and law.
Innocence McGill is a legal clinic based at the Faculty of Law and dedicated to researching and investigating claims of wrongful conviction for serious crimes in Quebec.
Pro Bono Students Canada-McGill
Pro Bono Students Canada-McGill is a national student program that provides free legal services to over 400 public interest and other community organizations, courts and tribunals.
Every Thursday afternoon, an informal Coffeehouse (5 à 7) is held in the Atrium of New Chancellor Day Hall. This social event is a chance to get to know your colleagues outside of a classroom setting. Many Coffeehouses are fundraisers for Student Clubs, while others are sponsored by Law Firms.
L.E.X. Outreach Program
The L.E.X. (Law-Éducation-Connexion) Outreach Program pairs small groups of law students with Montreal-area youth to provide information on legal rights and issues as well as to create pathways to post-secondary education and legal studies.
Frederick Phillips Summer program
The Frederick Phillips Summer program aims to promote access to higher education and mentorship opportunities for Black youth in Montreal.
Student Ambassador Program
The Law Student Ambassadors Program connects admitted and prospective candidates with current law students.
Alumni-Students Mentorship Program
The Alumni Mentorship Program pairs students with alumni working in a wide range of practice areas and settings, as well as with graduates using their degrees outside of practice.
SKILLS21 is a new skills development program for McGill undergraduate students. It aims to provide flexible opportunities and support for McGill undergraduate students in the development of 21st century skills, values, and attitudes.
The program provides students with skills development workshops, in five streams (or skill categories), offered by many partnering units at McGill. Students register for SKILLS21, choose a stream, register for workshops, and attend the workshops. Completion of workshops and streams are recognized on the student's co-curricular record.
The Faculty of Law and McGill University offer many services to students promoting academic success and wellness at every stage of the BCL/JD program.
Student Affairs Office
The Faculty of Law's Student Affairs Office (SAO) provides both student advising services and wellness programs. The SAO supports students in understanding and navigating the academic accommodation process, handles curricular and academic matters, as well as oversees joint degrees, student clerkships, the legal clinic and mooting programs, internships, and first year orientation.
Career Development Office
The Faculty of Law's Career Development Office (CDO) works with students to inform and advise them on career planning. The CDO hosts information sessions and networking events to allow students to meet law firm representatives and learn about alternative career opportunities. The CDO will work with you from the beginning of your studies in first year to help you define your career aspirations and to guide you in meeting your goals.
Student Services on campus
McGill University has a host of Student Services available, including First Peoples House, the Student Wellness Hub, International Student Services, and the Student Accessibility & Achievement. It is worthwhile familiarizing yourself with these services before arriving at McGill.
The Law Faculty’s SAO works closely with the Student Accessibility & Achievement to provide accommodations for students living with illness or disability. If you have received accommodations at any time in the past for disability or illness, contact the Student Accessibility & Achievement before you start the program, as this will greatly facilitate a smooth entry. If you are uncertain whether you will need accommodations, get in touch with the SAO to discuss.