5 Best Law Schools in Canada

With an average annual income for lawyers sitting comfortably at 112,000 CAD, it’s not surprising that so many students choose to pursue a degree in law. But money aside, the legal profession offers a challenging, but highly rewarding field of work in a well-respected industry. However, due to the competitiveness of the industry, it’s important that you choose the right law school.

First, International students will be required to supply a history of academic excellence for admission into the best law schools the country has to offer. Once past the initial hurdle of entry, law school students will then undergo a four-year educational journey before finally undertaking the Bar exam. Success there will consign students a license to practice law in Canada. To ensure a fair process for international students wishing to study, the Canadian government implemented in 2018 the Study Direct Stream (SDS) visa program. It allows for a streamlined process for international students to begin their studies.

Thankfully, for both international and local students both, Canadian law schools not only offer a diverse, multi-cultural society to engage in but also a robust legal education to apply themselves to. While Canadian law schools do focus on deep familiarization with Canadian law, many of the best law schools provide opportunities for students to also study and engage in international law. These well-respected law schools are in high demand, so competition for entry will be something you have to consider.

Read on for an overview of the top law schools in Canada.

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Best Law Schools in Canada

1. University of Toronto

The University of Toronto is far and away the best law school in Canada for hopeful, future legal professionals. Regarded as one of the world’s number twenty law schools, the University of Toronto aims to cultivate an academically gifted and engaged student body to achieve distinction in studies. With the university’s focus set on a high-level education, diversity, and a deep commitment for the justice system, students can expect a challenging yet inviting environment to complete their studies.

The law school dates to 1887 and is one of the oldest faculties at the University of Toronto.

All courses and degrees are taught in English.

2. Queen’s University

  • Law School Link
  • Degrees Offered: JD, LL.M., PhD, Diploma
  • Language: English

Renowned for their study of criminal and family law, Queen’s University is committed to high academic achievement for current and prospective students. Focusing on delivering an innovative educational experience, many of the law school’s faculty members have been hired with the past five years. These faculty members bring with them a fresh, generational perspective to lead budding legal scholars in new and exciting directions.

Alongside their methodology, the university takes pride in cultivating successful students of the law. They assert themselves as one of the best law schools in Canada for students looking for a dynamic, yet demanding environment to complete their law degree.

All courses and degrees are taught in English.

3. McGill University

  • Law School Link
  • Degrees Offered: BCL, JD, LL.M., PhD
  • Language: English and French

Sometimes known as the ‘Harvard of the North’, McGill’s reputation as one of the top law schools in Canada is built upon the efforts of exemplary staff and a prestigious background of teaching. Founded in 1848, the McGill University law faculty promises prospective students a highly distinctive, critical approach built upon 172 years of development.

From graduates serving several courts, including the Supreme Court of Canada, to scholars in business and law, to the political office of Prime Minister, McGill University boasts a diverse track record of success amongst their alumni.

All courses and degrees are taught in English and French.

4. University of Montreal (Université de Montréal)

  • Law School Link
  • Degrees Offered: LL.M, LL.B, PhD
  • Language: English and French

The Université de Montréal, or the University of Montreal, is a French-language speaking university founded in 1878. The university’s faculty of law is recognized for academic excellence, something that the university takes great pride in. Montreal’s mission is to stand apart for other legal academies. It supplies students with a blend of intellectual pluralism and progressive research in the field of law. By developing and lecturing on traditional legal concepts with an interdisciplinary approach to law, students are encouraged to research and engage with the content alongside their professors.

Montreal University dates to 1878, and their mission has remained unchanged: to help students become the accomplished and engaged world citizens of tomorrow.

International courses are taught in English while general law is taught in French and some English.

5. Peter A. Allard School of Law at University of British Columbia (UBC)

This year marks the 75th anniversary for the Peter A. Allard School of Law – more commonly known as Allard law school – and though its tenure is shorter than the others on this list, Allard law school have solidified themselves as one of the top law schools in all of Canada. Specialists in business law, environmental law, Asian legal studies, and feminist legal studies, Allard law school emphasizes outstanding academic achievement for their students.

Aside from the excellent education provided to students at UBC, one unique fact separates this university from others in Canada: Peter A. Allard himself. A graduate of the class of 1970-1971, Peter Allard decided to give back to the university in the form of a $30 million dollar donation with the goal of helping students to pursue a profession that strives to create a more just society.


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