Applications - Programs with Exchange Partners
Western and l’Université Laval offer students the opportunity to obtain both the common law degree and civil law degree in four years of study at both institutions. Not only do students have the opportunity to develop their skills in the other official language and increase their knowledge of the other legal system, they also have access to membership in both the Law Society of Upper Canada and the Barreau du Québec.
Students who participate in the Western/Université Laval dual degree program are eligible to apply for the prestigious Richard J. Schmeelk Fellowship. The Fellowship provides $10,000 per term to students, with the aim of promoting intercultural awareness and interprovincial studies. The deadline for the Schmeelk Fellowship is April 15, therefore Laval applicants interested in an early acceptance (or conditional acceptance) so they can satisfy the deadline for possible Schmeelk Foundation funding should have their application to Western Law NO LATER than March 15.
Application documents required for Laval students:
- Signed application form.
- A personal statement of up to 7000 characters (including spaces). There are two parts to the Personal Statement. Please refer to this form for specific instructions and attach your statement to it.
- Official transcripts of all non-Western post-secondary grades sent directly to the Admissions Office by the issuing institution.
- Reference letters (two are required; one must be from a law professor) sent directly to the Admissions Office by your referees.
- Letter from Laval confirming academic standing in the top 50% of your year.
- A copy of your LSAT Score Report, if the LSAT was ever written.
- Application fee of $100.00. (Please make the cheque payable to The University of Western Ontario).
Given the importance of bilingualism and the advantages of knowing both Canadian legal systems, Western and L'Université Laval have partnered to offer students the opportunity to obtain both the common law and civil law degrees after a combined four years of study at both institutions: 3 years at the home university (which must include one semester on exchange at the partner university) and 1 additional year at the partner university.
Students in this program develop their skills in the other official language, increase their knowledge of another legal system, and may become licensed with both the Law Society of Ontario and the Barreau du Québec.
To be eligible for the program students must:
- Have completed either a JD (Western) or an LLB (Laval) while standing in the top 50% of their year (based on the aggregate of their grades from all years);
- Have participated in the Laval/Western Law Exchange Program (one semester) during their three-year law program; and
- Have demonstrated the ability to learn law in the other language.
The enrollment of students in this program will not affect the number of students admissible into the first year of law at Western.
Year 1 - First-year of law school at the home institution
Years 2 & 3 - During year 2 or 3, the student must spend one semester on exchange at the other institution. The remaining three semesters in year 2 and 3 will be spent at their home university. Student then earns a JD or LLB, as the case may be.
Year 4: Final year of law school at the other institution. Student earns the second credential: an LLB or JD, as the case may be.
Program of Study
For Western Students at Laval
Students must complete the following courses:
- Obligations I: Contrat (DRT-1001)
- Droit des biens (DRT-1003)
- Droit des personnes physiques et de la famille (DRT-1004)
- Obligations II: Responsabilité (DRT-2000)
- Procédure civile I (DRT-1006)
- Obligations III: Exécution et extinction (DRT-2002)
- L'entreprise et ses principaux contrats (DRT-2004)
- Droit du travail fondamental (DRT-2003) (unless a Laval equivalent has been or is taken)
Students must also complete one course in each of the two blocks (critical and methodology). Legal Ethics and Professionalism satisfies the requirement of the critical block and Legal Research, Writing and Advocacy satisfies the methodological component.
The following optional courses are suggested:
- Sûretés réelles et publicité des droits (DRT-2250)
- Contrats de vente, de louage et d'entreprise ou de service (DRT-2251)
- Droit de la famille (DRT-2252)
- Procédure civile II (DRT-2450)
- Courses in Québec private law
Students must select other courses from the optional curriculum to complete a total of 45 credits at Laval, including the 15 credits completed during their Laval Exchange term. The optional courses selected cannot be equivalent to the ones completed at Western. A list of equivalents is available from Laval's Faculty of Law Student Mobility Coordinator.
Western students at Laval must follow the regular schedules and methods of examination at Laval. They may write examinations and papers in English.
Western students are required to provide proof of proficiency in French before admission to the program after year 3 and again directly prior to convocation from Laval in year 4.
For Laval Students at Western
Students must complete the following courses:
- Contracts (5 credits)
- Torts (5 credits)
- Property (5 credits)
- Civil Procedure (4 credits)
Students must also complete or have completed, either at Laval or Western, the following courses or their equivalent, as approved by the Associate Dean (Academic) at Western:
- Corporate Law (4 credits)
- Legal Ethics and Professionalism (4 credits)
- Administrative Law (4 credits)
Additionally, students select electives from a wide range of courses offered at Western so that they complete 29-31 credits in their final year.
Laval Students cannot select Western courses that are considered equivalent to courses they have already taken at Laval, except with the approval of the Associate Dean (Academic). A list of equivalents is available from Western Law's International Programs Office.
Unless granted an exemption by the Associate Dean (Academic), students must also satisfy Western's writing requirements. This can be done in one of two ways:
(1) by completing two research essay requirements; or
(2) by completing one research essay and one legal writing requirement.
To satisfy a research essay requirement, a student must take an upper-year course that requires a written essay worth at least two credit hours. To satisfy a legal writing requirement, a student must take an upper-year course (or courses) requiring a legal writing assignment (or assignments) worth at least two credit hours.
Laval students at Western must follow the regular schedules and methods of examination at Western.
A student whose first language is not English may be given extra time to write examinations. The amount of extra time permitted shall be determined by the Associate Dean (Academic).
JD Students at Western are eligible to apply to Western’s international dual degree program with the Faculty of Law at the University of Groningen provided they:
- apply during their second year of Law School for a Fall term exchange at Groningen;
- participate in the exchange in their third year of law school; and
- stand in the top 50% of their class at Western.
Applications are processed through Western Law’s International Programs Office.
This combined program will permit University of Western Ontario (Western) students to earn a JD from Western and an LLM from the University of Gronigen [Faculteit der Rechtsgeleerdheid, Rijksuniversiteit Groningen] (RuG), in 3 and 1/2 years. Similarly, RuG students will be able to complement their Netherlands Law Degree by earning a Western JD by attending Western for an exchange year and one additional year of study.
JD/LLM Program for Western Law Students
Western Law students seeking admission to the combined program will apply to the Western Law Exchange Program during their first or second year to go on exchange to RuG. Students accepted on the one-term exchange will be eligible to apply to RuG for admission to the combined program, provided they stand in the top half of their Western class. Students will have to maintain this standing during the remainder of their JD program to enrol in RuG's LLM program.
Western students will attend RuG on an exchange for one term during their second or third year. After graduating with a JD, Western students in the combined program will return to RuG for an additional term to take the remainder of their LLM courses. RuG has two terms. The first runs from September to the beginning of February and the second runs from February to August.
Western students going to RuG will have seven LLM programs from which to choose:
- Energy and Climate Law
- European Economic Law
- Global Criminal Law
- International Business Law
- International Commercial Law
- International Human Rights Law
- Public International Law
Each LLM program consists of a minimum of six courses, a seminar and a thesis. A total of 60 European Credits (EC) must be taken to graduate from the program. One EC is equivalent to 28 hours of study. The courses in the LLM program are offered in English. The specific course requirements for each LLM program are available from the co-ordinators of the combined program.
JD Program for RuG Law Students
After completing two years of their three-year law degree or three years of their four-year law degree at RuG, students may apply to the combined program, provided they stand in the top half of their RuG class. Students will have to maintain this standing during the remainder of their law degree at RuG to enrol in Western's JD program. RuG students accepted into the program will be required to complete two years at the Western Faculty of Law.
During their initial year at Western, the RuG students will be enrolled in the regular first-year program. In the second year of the combined program, RuG students will be required to take the compulsory elements of Western's regular upper-year program. In addition to these compulsory elements, students will select additional upper-year courses so as to enrol in a combined minimum of 29 credit hours. Students must satisfy Western’s writing requirements unless they have already written a thesis as part of RuG’s LLM program or unless they receive an exemption from the Associate Dean (Academic). The requirements of Western's first and upper-year law program are available from the co-ordinators of the combined program.
Once admitted into the combined program, students will be required to meet the academic progression requirements of the school they are attending. Similarly, students will have to comply with the student code of conduct and academic integrity requirements of that school.
Western students admitted to the combined program will remain eligible under the normal Western rules for the Dean's Honor List and to graduate with distinction. RuG students admitted to the combined program will be eligible for the Dean's Honor List in each of their two years of study at Western, and will graduate with distinction from Western if they are on the Dean's Honor List in both years.
Each institution will appoint a faculty member to serve as the co-ordinator of the combined degree program. The co-ordinators will be responsible for admission decisions and the on-going operation of the combined program. The co-ordinators will attempt to maintain reciprocity in the number of incoming and outgoing students at the two schools.
RuG students in the first year of the JD at Western will, like other exchange students, pay regular tuition to RuG. In their second year, they will pay tuition to Western at the same level as its other second-year students. Western students in the first term of the LLM at RuG will pay regular Western tuition to Western. In their second term they will pay foreign graduate school tuition to RuG.