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Law Co-op

Tharani (law) traveled to Ghana to work for Canadian Lawyers Abroad.

Tharani (law) traveled to Ghana to work for Canadian Lawyers Abroad.


The Law Co-op Program provides law students with the exciting opportunity to work in a variety of legal settings before graduation. As a co-op student, you’ll complete two co-op work terms with employers in law. You’ll gain relevant, paid work experience, build competencies and get a head start on your law career.

Law Co-op admits 50 first-year law students by lottery each year. To include your name in the lottery, please contact us to apply.

Wondering what it's like to be a co-op student? Check out our student stories!

Contact: 250-721-8195, lawcoop@uvic.ca
Office: Fraser Building, room 140 (map)
Faculty: Faculty of Law


The co-op process

The co-op process

Once you’re accepted into a co-op program:

  1. Download and sign the Terms and Conditions form and submit it to your co-op office.
  2. Attend a co-op seminar where you will learn about career prospects, learning objectives, résumé and cover letter preparation, job development and more.
  3. Discuss your job search goals with your coordinator and prepare to apply for jobs.
  4. Apply for jobs by submitting your cover letter, résumé and transcript.
  5. If you’re shortlisted by an employer, you’ll be interviewed.
  6. If you’re the successful candidate, you’ll receive a formal job offer from the employer via your coordinator. In most cases, you’ll have 24 hours to accept or decline.
  7. Within two weeks of the start of your work term, sign in to Learning in Motion and go to the "co-op module." Click on "My competency development" and create a record for your work term. You'll see a tab called "Learning Objectives" - work with your supervisor to identify 3 to 5 competencies that you'd like to complete during your work term. Describe your goals on the learning objectives form (part 1 of the Competency Assessment). Check out the Description of the 10 core competencies and the competency kit for tips.
  8. Normally, your co-op coordinator will visit you and your employer at your workplace halfway through the work term. You’ll have the chance to discuss how your work term is going. A week before your work site visit, you'll receive an email reminding you to sign in to Learning in Motion to complete the mid-term assessment form (part 2 of the Competency Assessment). Your supervisor will receive a copy of your form once you've submitted it online; he or she will then complete the supervisor portion. Check out the Description of the 10 core competencies and the competency kit for tips.
  9. At the end of your work term, you'll receive an email reminding you to sign in to Learning in Motion to complete the final assessment form (part 3 of the Competency Assessment). Your supervisor will receive a copy of your form once you've submitted it online; he or she will then complete the supervisor portion. Check out the Description of the 10 core competencies and the competency kit for tips.
  10. At the end of your work term, you'll complete a work term submission, which usually includes writing a work term report, and may include an oral presentation and a debriefing session.
  11. If you successfully complete the co-op program, you’ll earn a co-op designation on your degree. Ask your coordinator for specific requirements.

There are no guarantees you’ll secure a co-op placement every time you look. To improve your chances, cast a wide net—apply to a wide range of jobs with different employers in various locations. The more you put in, the more you’ll gain from your co-op experience!

Co-op schedule

Co-op work terms are scheduled like academic terms— they normally begin in September, January and May. Co-op will usually increase the length of your degree by four to eight months.

Participating in the Law Co-op Program does, however, impact involvement in some academic and extra-curricular activities, as follows:

  • Mandatory Academic Summer:  All Law Co-op students are required to attend one academic summer session. Students are not permitted to complete all of their work terms during summer semesters. Third year students (co-op and non co-op) have priority for admission to Law Centre during summer academic semesters.  Law Co-op students are not guaranteed a space in Law Centre in order to attend a second academic summer term, and are responsible for planning accordingly. 
  • Mandatory Schedules:  Law Co-op students are required to follow one of the three academic/work term schedules outlined below.  Any schedule changes must be approved, in writing, by both the Law Co-op Coordinator and the Associate Dean, Academic and Student Relations, and approval will be granted only in exceptional circumstances. 

Option 1

Year 1

Fall

 

Spring

 

Summer

Year 2

Fall

 

Spring

 

Summer

Year 3

Fall

 

Spring

 

Summer

Study

 

Study

 

Work

 

Study

 

Work

Study

OptionalWork (or study)

 

Study

 

Study (if needed)

Option 2

Year 1

Fall

 

Spring

 

Summer

Year 2

Fall

 

Spring

 

Summer

Year 3

Fall

 

Spring

 

Summer

Year 4

Fall

Study

 

Study

 

Opt Out

 

Study

 

Work

Study

Work

 

Study

 

Optional Work (or study)

 

Study (if needed) 

Option 3

Year 1

Fall

 

Spring

 

Summer

Year 2

Fall

 

Spring

 

Summer

Year 3

Fall

 

Spring

Study

 

Study

 

Study

 

Work

 

Study

Work

Study

 

Study

  • Co-op Course and Job Search:  Co-op students are required to attend the Co-op class and search for Co-op positions while attending an academic term.  The time commitment can be equivalent to taking an additional course.
  • Mooting: The alternating academic/work term Co-op schedule impacts eligibility for moots and can limit Co-op student participation.   To moot, students require the permission of the Law Co-op Coordinator and the Associate Dean, Academic and Student Relations, and in some cases a Co-op employer.
  • Environmental Law Clinic (ELC) Intensive:  Three students will be permitted to participate in both the Law Co-op Program and the ELC Intensive during each academic year.  Participating in both the ELC Intensive and the Law Co-op Program requires the permission of the Law Co-op Coordinator and the Associate Dean, Academic and Student Relations.  Please speak to the Law Co-op Coordinator and the ELC Program Director for more information about the admission process. 
  • Appeal:  Law Co-op may be able to accommodate one student each year who wishes to enroll in both Co-op and Appeal.  Participating in both Appeal and the Law Co-op Program requires the written permission of the Law Co-op Coordinator and the Associate Dean, Academic and Student Relations.   Please speak to the Law Co-op Coordinator for more information. 
  • Law Students Society (LSS):  Co-op students are eligible to compete for some LSS positions and typically do a split term, meaning they run with another classmate who has an opposite academic/work term schedule.  Some positions, such as LSS President and Treasurer, however, cannot be split between two students thus making Co-op students ineligible to compete. 
  • Faculty Research Positions/Fellowships:  Non-coop students have priority in competitions for these positions.
  • Course selection:  Due to the alternating academic/work term Co-op schedule, there will be some limits to course selection.  Please refer to the Course Offerings Patterns document on the UVic Law website for guidance with course selection. 
  • Graduate later:  Work terms extend the length of the J.D. with Co-op program.  Please speak to the Law Co-op Coordinator and/or the Law Careers officer about how this may impact access to articles and clerkships. 

Academic credit

Undergraduate students earn 4.5 units of credit for each co-op work term completed. Graduate students earn 3.0 units. These credits won’t replace the credits you need to complete your academic program—they’ll go towards the co-op designation you’ll receive on your degree.

These credits give you full-time student status during your work term, so you’ll have access to services like the UVic bus pass and health care coverage.

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