JD admission FAQs

How many students attend UVic Law?

About 110 students are enrolled in the first-year program each year. However, with upper-year admissions, exchange students and other program options, we usually have 360 to 380 students enrolled during the academic year. Generally speaking, about 55% of the students are women and approximately 20% are visible minorities. Typically, 40% of UVic Law students are from outside of British Columbia.

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What is the average class size?

All first-year UVic Law students must participate in the full-time Legal Process course during their first three weeks of law school. For the Legal Process program, students are divided into five groups of 25 students or less.

During the remainder of the first-year program, class sizes vary from 25 to 60 students. Upper-year class sizes are 10 to 24 students in seminar courses, and 25 to 50 students in lecture courses.

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How many faculty members does UVic Law have?

There are 36 regular faculty members, of whom 17 are women. The number of part-time faculty and sessional instructors varies from year to year. Normally, there are approximately 30 part-time, sessional or adjunct faculty members, about one-third of whom are women.

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Does the faculty offer any experiential learning opportunities?

There are opportunities for study through the following programs and research centres:

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Does the faculty offer a part-time program?

A limited number of positions in the Faculty of Law are available for part-time legal studies. Students must demonstrate to the satisfaction of the faculty that they are unable to attend on a full-time basis because of health reasons, physical disability, exceptional family circumstances or financial hardship.

Students must ensure that their part-time program conforms to the Law Society requirements in the province in which they wish to practice. A request to participate in part-time studies should be made in writing and submitted to the Law Admissions Office once the applicant has been admitted to the faculty.

Please be advised that there is no separate program for part-time students. Part-time students simply take a reduced course load, so their courses may be scheduled throughout the day. In first year, courses are typically scheduled between 8:30 am and 4:30 pm. Upper-year courses are scheduled throughout the day, as well as in the evening. Consequently, it is difficult for a part-time student to maintain full-time employment during regular working hours, unless her or his employer is willing to be flexible to accommodate the student's course timetable.

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Does the faculty offer any double degree programs?

The Faculty of Law offers the following double degree programs:

Students who apply and are accepted into both the Faculty of Law and the other faculty in question may earn both degrees concurrently in four years, with modified requirements for each.

The law school also offers a joint Common Law/Civil Law Degree (JD/BCL) program for students who have completed their Civil Law Degree in Quebec.

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Can the JD program be taken through distance education?

UVic Law does not offer a distance education program leading to an JD, nor do we anticipate that there will be a distance education option at any time in the future.

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Does the Faculty of Law treat college courses the same as university courses?

All college courses which qualify as university transfer courses are treated in the same manner as university courses.

*Please note that performance based courses will not be included in your GPA calculation.

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Does the faculty have a preference for a specific area of undergraduate study?

The faculty has no preference. Our students come from a broad spectrum of academic disciplines and a wide variety of undergraduate degree programs.

*Please note that performance based courses will not be included in your GPA calculation.

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Does the faculty give preference to UVic grads or BC residents?

Neither. Residency is not a factor in our admissions decisions.

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Are work experience, volunteer work and extracurricular activities considered in the evaluation?

When an applicant is borderline competitive, the admissions committee may consider the applicant's personal statement. If an applicant is not already competitive based on their GPA and LSAT score, this assessment may lead to an offer. 

It is important to note that these subjective factors will not compensate for an LSAT score or GPA that is significantly lower than the competitive level.

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What should I include in my personal statement?

Personal statement guidelines can be found online.

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What admissions categories are there? 

First year admissions:

Upper year admissions:

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Is there a mature student admissions category?

We do not have a mature applicant category, but we do consider work experience in assessing applications in both the regular admission category and the discretionary category. Age is not a factor in the admissions process. As well, it is extremely unlikely that anyone with fewer than three years of university or college would be admitted in any of our applicant categories.

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What is the application deadline?

The application period begins on September 1.

The application deadlines are:

  • January 15 for entry as a first year student
  • March 31 for entry as a summer session student
  • April 30 for entry as an upper year student
  • July 31 for entry as an upper year visiting student (January entry term only)

*Please note that the above deadlines apply only to the application.

The deadlines for supporting documentation (including transcripts) are:

  • March 1 for entry as a first year student
  • April 30 for entry as a summer session student
  • June 30 for entry as an upper year student
  • August 31 for entry as an upper year visiting student (January entry term only)

You have the option of uploading your unofficial transcripts directly to your application. If you are made an offer of admission, we will ask you to send official transcripts by mail or courier.

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How much is the application fee?

$92 for first year and upper year applicants

$36.50 for summer session applicants

You can pay by credit card or INTERAC online.

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Are letters of reference required?

We do not require letters of reference in our regular category. However, we do request that applicants provide us with the names and contact information for two referees on the application form, whom we can contact to verify the information provided on the application form and personal statement.

We do require two letters of reference for our discretionary category, one of which must be an academic reference. The other letter should be a character or employment reference. Letters should be sent directly from your references by email to lclerk2@uvic.ca or by mail to Admissions, Faculty of Law.

We also require two letters of reference for our Indigenous category, one of which must fully describe an applicant's connection(s) to the Aboriginal community and the second must be an academic reference. Letters should be sent directly from your references by email to lclerk2@uvic.ca or by mail to Admissions, Faculty of Law.

The deadline for letters of reference for our discretionary category and our Indigenous category is March 1.

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How can I apply?

UVic's Faculty of Law application can be found online and does require a credit card payment.

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When can I expect to be notified if I have been accepted?

We begin evaluating an application when all of the supporting documentation has been received. We begin making offers as early as October to candidates whose files are complete and who clearly meet our admission standards. We maintain what is often referred to as a "rolling" admissions process. Offers of admission are only open for acceptance for a limited period of time.

If the offer is not accepted within the time specified, the place will be offered to another applicant. We anticipate having all our decisions made by mid-May. At that time, we may ask a number of applicants whether they wish to remain on a "waiting list". If any places become available, offers will be made to applicants on the waiting list up until registration day.

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May I defer my acceptance to a subsequent year?

Deferral of acceptance will be granted only in exceptional circumstances, such as unique study or work opportunities, or personal or family hardships. If permission is granted to defer enrolment to the following year, the full acceptance deposit must remain with the faculty.

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How early can I write the LSAT and TOEFL before applying?

We will accept LSAT scores that are up to five years old. The oldest LSAT score we will accept in the 2016-2017 admission cycle is from the December 2011 sitting. We will only be able to receive your TOEFL score if it was written within the past two years.

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How does the Faculty of Law weight GPA and LSAT scores?

GPA is weighted at 50% the LSAT is weighted at 50%. In addition, an assessment is made based on an applicant's personal statement. This information may be used to determine an applicant's admissibility and will be used in conjunction with academic performance and the LSAT score to evaluate candidates for entrance scholarships.

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What GPA do I need to be admitted?

The minimum academic requirement for admission to UVic Law is 45 UVic equivalents (90 credits) leading towards a bachelor's degree. We use the cumulative average of all of your undergraduate course work when calculating your GPA. Depending upon the number of units/credits completed, we will eliminate some of the worst grades from the GPA calculation, according to an established sliding scale. For example, if applicants have a four year degree (60 units/120 credits), we eliminate the 9 worst units (18 credits) from the GPA calculation. It does not matter when the worst grades were achieved. We do not consider performance based courses in your GPA calculation.

To give you an idea of what has been competitive in the most recent admission cycle in the Regular category, please consult our First Year Class Demographics-Regular category chart.

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What if my undergraduate institution has a different grading scale than UVic?

A variety of conversion charts are used by institutions whose grading systems are substantially different from UVic Law's. If the transcript shows a percentage grade, we convert it to our scale. However, if the grading scale is only slightly different and no percentages are reported, the grades must be taken at face value.

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Can I apply even though I still have courses in progress?

Yes. We will do an initial evaluation based on the courses completed at the time of application and will not make a final decision on your file until we receive updated transcripts for the fall courses in progress. You must send your updated transcripts to us by the supporting document deadline of March 1.

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If I failed a course in my undergraduate degree program and retake it, does UVic Law only use the new grade?

No. We will include both the old and new grades in our evaluation. However, the discounts mentioned above may eliminate the lower mark from the GPA calculation.

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Does UVic Law count exchange term grades in its evaluation?

Yes. However, if the grading system is not easily transferable to the North American system, the grades will not be included in the GPA calculation.

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Does UVic Law count graduate courses in its evaluation?

We do not include graduate courses in our assessment of applications.

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Does UVic Law count courses taken after graduation or through an unclassified year of study?

Our admissions committee examines a student's post-secondary academic record, including post-degree courses. However, introductory courses (100-level and 200-level) that are taken after the completion of a degree will not be included in the GPA calculation.

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What LSAT score do I need to be admitted?

As a matter of policy, we do not set minimum GPA or LSAT requirements. GPA is weighted at 50% and LSAT is weighted at 50%. The ranges of GPAs and LSAT scores that are competitive in any given year are determined by a number of factors. Foremost among them is the quality of the applicant pool. If we receive a large number of applications from people with very high GPAs and LSAT scores, admission in that year is going to be more competitive.  

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Do I need to sign up for the Credential Assembly Service (CAS)?

No. We do not subscribe to that service.

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What if I have written the LSAT more than once?

We use the highest score in computing our admissions index number. The LSAT may be written up to three times in a two-year period.

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What is the last LSAT test date that UVic Law will accept for first-year admissions?

The February test date is the last date that you can write the LSAT and still be eligible for admission in September.

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How do I register to write the LSAT?

The LSAT is administered through the Law School Admissions Council (LSAC). You can obtain information about the LSAT and register online at www.lsac.org.

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How much are tuition and fees?

The tuition for the 2016-17 academic year is $9,393.44 for domestic students, plus applicable student society and activity fees of approximately $1,110.70 for the academic year. For further details or to obtain the rates for international students, see the UVic Academic Calendar or the Tuition and Fees Schedule from Accounting Services.

Domestic students undertaking co-op work terms pay a fee of $675.70 per work term.

A mandatory extended medical and dental plan and a bus pass for students is included in your student fees. For information regarding these programs, please visit the University of Victoria Student Society (UVSS) website at www.uvss.uvic.ca.

For more information about current UVic Law tuition and fees, please visit the Tuition and financial aid page.

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What is the approximate cost of textbooks in the first year?

Law students should expect to spend approximately $1,500 per year on texts and course materials.

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Does the Faculty of Law offer scholarships?

Accepted applicants are automatically considered for entrance scholarships. There is no separate application form. In the past, these scholarships have ranged between $1,000 and $12,000 and they are awarded to the most qualified students in our applicant pool.

We endeavour to inform the successful scholarship recipients as soon as possible after we have made an offer of admission, but sometimes notification is not made until May or later.

In addition to entrance scholarships, numerous scholarships and course prizes are awarded to students on the basis of academic achievement during their law school studies.

Entrance scholarships in the Faculty of Law are governed by the University of Victoria's General Regulation on Undergraduate Awards mutatis mutandis. The general regulations on entrance scholarships do not apply to the Faculty of Law because our students do not enter the law program immediately after high school or transfer in from another Canadian College or University.

The applicable portions of the Regulation state:

Except where the terms and conditions of an undergraduate award specifically state otherwise, award winners must normally return to UVic in the next Winter Session (Sept - April) and enroll as a full-time student (12 units) to receive the award.

Students who enroll as a full-time student and subsequently withdraw from courses, so that they fall below 12 units, may have the value of their award reduced accordingly if the value of the award exceeds their assessed tuition and fees.

The link to the regulation is: http://registrar.uvic.ca/safa/scholarships/scholarshipregulations.html

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Does the faculty offer bursaries?

The Faculty of Law has a sizeable bursary program available for those students with demonstrated financial need and who can show that they have made reasonable efforts to earn income and save for the upcoming academic term(s) during the pre-study period (usually the summer months).

In order to be eligible to receive bursary funding, a student must first apply for a government student loan. Denial of a student loan does not necessarily preclude a student from being considered for bursary funding.

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How do I apply for bursaries?

Law bursary applications are available online, starting in early summer. Notices are sent out to students via email in advance of each deadline to remind students to apply and to supply other pertinent information, however students are responsible for ensuring that deadlines are met.

There is only one application form for all bursaries administered by UVic Law. However, students must also apply for a general University of Victoria Undergraduate Bursary to be eligible for a law bursary. Law bursary applications will not be considered if that additional application has not been submitted.

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What computer facilities are available for students in the Fraser Building?

A 34-unit computer lab is available for student use within the Diana M. Priestly Law Library. All students are provided with an email account and have free access to many legal databases. Most classrooms are outfitted with computer docking ports for laptops. The Fraser Building is served by a wireless network.

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Is parking available on campus? How much does it cost?

There are large parking lots adjacent to the Murray and Anne Fraser Building. Information on parking permits and rates is available from Campus Security Services.

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How easy is it to find living accommodations near the law school?

The following information is provided to help you research housing options, locate rental listings and look for roommates. The information is provided solely for the convenience of incoming UVic Law students. The Law Faculty does not endorse any of the resources contained in this list and accepts no responsibility for the content of individual websites.

Rental arrangements vary from residence to residence. While it is not rare to find owners willing to forgo leases and operate on a month-to-month basis, most students find themselves in a September-April lease arrangement.

Residence Services for on-campus housing information and application: http://www.uvic.ca/residence/

Housing Services off-campus housing registry: http://www.uvic.ca/residence/home/home/off-campus/index.php

craigslist: https://victoria.craigslist.ca/

Oodle Listings in Victoria: http://canada.oodle.com/regions/victoria/

Used.ca (under "Real Estate & Businesses"): http://www.usedvictoria.com/

Bus service to the university is quick and convenient from most parts of the city.

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