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A number of law schools in Canada operate as a faculty or as an affiliated school to a Canadian public university. Twenty law schools offer common law schooling, whereas seven schools offer schooling in the civil law system. Although the judicial system in most Canadian provinces operate under a common law system, the province of Quebec uses the civil law system for private law matters. As a result, most Canadian law schools that offer schooling in civil law are based in Quebec.
Generally, entry into law programs in Canada is based primarily on a combination of the student's previous grades as well as, for English-language common-law programs, their score on the Law School Admission Test (LSAT). Factors such as specialized degrees, work experience, community involvement, personal character, extracurricular activities, and references are sometimes taken into account, for which the Universities of Calgary, Windsor and McGill's holistic law school admissions are well known, but the LSAT remains far more determinative of admission than comparable standardized tests for other disciplines, such as the MCAT or GMAT. Quebec law schools, including the dual-curriculum, bilingual McGill University Faculty of Law, do not require applicants to write the LSAT, although any scores are generally taken into account; nor do the French-language common-law programs at the Université de Moncton École de droit and University of Ottawa Faculty of Law.
All of Canada's law schools are affiliated with public universities, and are thus public institutions. This practice has been held to have helped reduce disparities in the quality of students and instruction as between the schools. Since there is a limited number of positions in each law school's annual admissions, entry to all Canadian law schools is intensely competitive: most law schools receive far more applicants than they can accommodate. Most schools focus on their respective regions, and many graduates remain in the region in which the school is located, though the relatively uniform quality of the law schools affords greater geographic mobility to graduates.
After completing the Juris Doctor (J.D.), a Bachelor of Laws (LL.B.), or a Bachelor of Civil Law (B.C.L.), students must article for about a year (in Quebec, the six-month stage is the equivalent to articling); this can be a challenge for those with lower grades, as there are often a shortage of articling positions, and completion of articles is required to be able to practice law in Canada. Articling involves on-the-job training, at a lower introductory salary, under the supervision of a lawyer licensed by the Provincial Bar who has been practising for a minimum of 5 years. After ten to sixteen months of articling and call to the bar, lawyers are free to practice in their own right: many are hired by the same lawyer or firm for which they articled, while some choose to begin independent practices or accept positions with different employers. Others may leave the private practice of law to work in government or industry as a lawyer or in a law-related position.
|Dalhousie University, Schulich School of Law||Nova Scotia (Halifax)||J.D.||Public||1883|
|Lakehead University, Bora Laskin Faculty of Law||Ontario (Thunder Bay)||2013|
|McGill University, Faculty of Law||Quebec (Montreal)||1968|
|Queen's University, Faculty of Law||Ontario (Kingston)||1957|
|Thompson Rivers University, Faculty of Law||British Columbia (Kamloops)||2011|
|Toronto Metropolitan University, Lincoln Alexander School of Law||Ontario (Toronto)||2019|
|University of Alberta, Faculty of Law||Alberta (Edmonton)||1912|
|University of British Columbia, Peter A. Allard School of Law||British Columbia (Vancouver)||1945|
|University of Calgary, Faculty of Law||Alberta (Calgary)||1976|
|University of Manitoba, Robson Hall Faculty of Law||Manitoba (Winnipeg)||1914|
|University of New Brunswick, Faculty of Law||New Brunswick (Fredericton)||1892|
|University of Ottawa, Faculty of Law||Ontario (Ottawa)||1953|
|University of Saskatchewan, College of Law||Saskatchewan (Saskatoon)||1912|
|University of Toronto, Faculty of Law||Ontario (Toronto)||1949|
|University of Victoria, Faculty of Law||British Columbia (Victoria)||1975|
|University of Western Ontario, Faculty of Law||Ontario (London)||1959|
|University of Windsor, Faculty of Law||Ontario (Windsor)||1967|
|Université de Moncton, École de droit||New Brunswick (Moncton)||1978|
|Université de Montréal, Faculté de droit||Quebec (Montreal)||2011|
|York University, Osgoode Hall Law School||Ontario (Toronto)||1889|
|Université Laval, Faculté de droit||Québec (Quebec City)||LL.B.||Public||1852|
|McGill University, Faculty of Law||Québec (Montréal)||B.C.L.||Public||1848|
|Université de Montréal, Faculté de droit||Québec (Montréal)||LL.B.||Public||1892|
|Université d'Ottawa, Faculté de droit||Ontario (Ottawa)||LL.L.||Public||1953|
|Université du Québec à Montréal, Faculté de science politique et de droit||Québec (Montréal)||LL.B.||Public||1969|
|Université de Sherbrooke, Faculté de droit||Québec (Sherbrooke)||LL.B.||Public||1954|
|Akitsiraq Law School||Nunavut (Iqaluit)||LL.B.||2013|