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Application Deadlines for Canadian Law Schools

Law School Personal Statement Guide


Applying to Law School

Whether you are applying to Canadian law schools or US law schools, the application process is quite similar. The most important factors are your undergraduate GPA and your LSAT score (except for Quebec Civil Law schools, which do not require the LSAT). The application generally involves filling out your academic and personal information (either in an online system or on paper), writing a personal statement, listing your extra-curricular experiences (either in a résumé or by filling out a table), and asking for letters of reference from two or three professors. However, some law schools do not require letters of reference. Most law schools ask for an open-topic personal statement of roughly two pages, but some law schools might ask for several shorter essays on more specific topics, some schools want to know why you want to pursue law, or why you are choosing to apply to a given school.

In general, the most time-consuming components of applying to law school are preparing for the LSAT and writing a personal statement. Some schools require you to write the LSAT no later than the December prior to the calendar year when you would begin law school, but others will also accept the February LSAT.

Most law schools publish on their Websites information on GPA and LSAT scores that would make a student a competitive applicant to their school (often, this information is listed under the profile of the entering class, which shows the median LSAT and median GPA). Use this information to determine which schools you are likely to be accepted into.

Should I Attend Law School in Canada or in the US?

There are several important differences between law school in Canada and law school in the US. There is a much wider range of law schools and lawyers in the US than in Canada. For example, in the US, a lawyer who graduates from the best Tier 1 school in the country might earn a salary four times greater than another lawyer who graduates from a lower-end Tier 4 law school. By comparison, the highest-ranked and the lowest-ranked law schools in Canada are not that different; in Canada, a lawyer’s salary depends much more on where the lawyer works (e.g. Bay Street vs. rural Manitoba) than on the law school the lawyer attended.

In Canada, new law school graduates must complete job training for one year (a process called “articling”) before becoming lawyers, whereas this is not the case in the US. Law school is much more expensive in the US than in Canada; tuition fees are in the $40,000-$60,000 range in the former and the $10,000-$20,000 range in the latter. However, a graduate with good marks from one of the top US law schools can quickly pay off law school debt by taking on the highest-paying job available, as the starting salary of the top jobs at Wall St. law firms is significantly higher than that at Bay St. law firms.

Some students with very high academic achievements may consider going to the US to attend the top law schools there. If Canadian law schools were placed within US law school rankings, the highest-ranking Canadian school would probably rank in the top 20, but not the top 10. Therefore, some students go to the US for a more academically challenging legal studies experience. However, it should be kept in mind that it is advisable to attend law school where you intend to practice law afterwards.

While it is possible to practice law in Canada with an American law school degree or vice versa (except in Quebec), it is more difficult in some jurisdictions than in others, and some of the courses in law school teach material specific to one country which you would not be able to use afterwards (e.g. Canadian constitutional law or US corporate tax law). If you know where you want to live and practice law after graduation, it is recommended that you go to law school there.



. Go to USA