COVID-19 / Information for Incoming and Future UVic Law Students


 Incoming First-Year JD and JD/JID Students (September 2020) 

Will COVID-19 impact the start of law school in September?

Effective May 11th, 2020 the University of Victoria announced that UVic will offer programming mostly online for the fall term. Please know that UVic Law remains committed to offering high quality academic programming and experiential learning opportunities that will help you achieve your educational goals. Your well-being is and will continue to be front and centre in our decision-making. Faculty and staff at UVic Law are working to develop creative and innovative learning opportunities for you for the fall. Although, guidance from the premier and provincial health officer indicates that physical distancing measures will remain in place and that gatherings with over fifty people will not be permitted for the foreseeable future, we are looking at hybrid ways of offering the law curriculum to our law students.


Is an online curriculum currently being considered for September?

Yes. The University of Victoria will be offering programming mostly online for the fall term. Faculty and staff at UVic Law will be working over the summer to ensure that you are provided with an engaging education through a hybrid of programing including interactive asynchronous and synchronous online learning. While we are unable to answer some questions yet, we will provide updates through this webpage as details become available.


I do not want to begin my JD program online. May I defer my start date?

A deferral based on online delivery for a term, or perhaps even two, is not considered a sufficient reason for deferring entry. An applicant has the option of re-applying next year if they do not want to accept the methods by which the University may have to adapt to accommodate the next incoming class.  We believe that everybody, including applicants who have received offers, should be required to do their part to get through this pandemic.


What is the deferral policy?

The deferral policy was included with your letter of offer. We are maintaining our current deferral policy and will only grant deferrals in very exceptional circumstances. Working for another year to save more money, travelling, pursuing another educational endeavour, or a preference for in-person learning are not considered grounds for a deferral.


 JD and JD/JID applicants for September 2021 

I chose Credit/No Credit for some or all of my Winter grades. Will this negatively impact my application?

We are aware that many post-secondary institutions are offering differential grading options for the 2019-2020 academic year. They are either changing their grading systems to credit/no credit, or allowing students to have an option to elect credit/no credit due to COVID-19. Future applicants are advised that this will not negatively affect eligibility to apply. 


Will you be accepting LSAT scores written after January?

At this time the answer is no. As events continue to unfold we will ensure that this website remains updated to keep you informed.

We recommend that you also keep tabs on LSAC’s COVID-19 updates as well. Specifically, any changes to test dates, changes and cancellations.


How will COVID-19 potentially affect my application?

We understand that all applicants will likely be affected by COVID-19 in some way.  This will be taken into account when assessing all applications. Any extraordinary or unusual challenges you are facing with respect to the COVID-19 situation may be addressed in your personal statement.


Transfer and Letter of Permission Applicants

My law school was pass/fail for the Winter semester. How will this be assessed?

We anticipate that assessing transfer applications for Fall 2020 will present unique challenges due to COVID-19. We give greater weight to law school grades (rather than undergraduate performance) in our admission decisions for upper-year applicants. We are very cognizant of the effects of the pandemic on student achievement, and your semester of Pass/Fail will not be held against you. Each file is assessed holistically, and your term of Pass/Fail grades will be taken as an indication that you have met learning outcomes in the Spring 2020 term, alongside an assessment of your other law school grades.  Given the unique circumstances of this past term, your undergraduate grades and your LSAT score may be more relevant to our assessment than in the previous years. All other admission requirements remain the same and will be considered accordingly.

The number of transfer applicants we can admit is dependent on the number of our own students transferring to other the schools. In any given year this number is very limited, and in some years we are unable to admit any transfer students.

For Letter of Permission applicants, we take a holistic approach to each application to visit. We look at your previous academics, your law school marks and if your letter of permission states that you are only permitted to take certain courses with us, we ensure that if we make you an offer of admission to visit with us, we will have space in those courses.



Will you consider COVID-19 related circumstances in my application?

We understand that all applicants will likely be affected by COVID-19 in some way. We will keep this in mind when assessing all applications.


Will the deadline for upper year applications be extended?

No, the application deadline for Fall 2020 upper-year applications cannot be extended for a number of reasons, including course registration – which takes place in late-June – so all upper-year applicants can move forward in making their plans for the upcoming fall term as soon as possible.