JD/JID Joint Degree Program Admissions FAQ



JD versus JD/JID Questions: 

If I am currently in UVic’s JD program, can I transfer to the JD/JID program? 
Normally you cannot transfer from our JD program to the JID program.  However, for the 2018 intake only, current UVic JD students can submit an application to the joint degree program. If you are accepted into the joint degree program, no credit will be given for first year courses partially or fully completed, with the exception of Law, Legislation and Policy.

If I am currently in a JD program at another law school, can I transfer to the JD/JID program or enrol as a visiting student?
No, the transsystemic nature of the courses in first year means that it's not possible to enter the program in second or third year. Consequently, we will not be accepting external transfers to this program. Nor will there be capacity in the upper year JID courses to accommodate visiting students. However, UVic Law will be creating a coursework master’s degree in Indigenous Law to allow JD students to benefit from the JD/JID curriculum. The coursework master’s is not expected to be available for two to three years.

If I have already been accepted into the JD program, can I transfer my admission to the JD/JID joint degree program?
No. The requirements and evaluation of applications are different for each program. You will need to apply separately to the joint degree program, but you would not have to pay a second application fee.

If I have been accepted to the JD/JID program, can I transfer to the JD program?
It’s possible, but your application would need to be reviewed by the JD Admissions Committee.  Any offer of admission would depend upon the space availability in the first year JD class.

How is this program different from the Indigenous Governance program at UVic? 
The focus is different, in that program the focus is on resurgence and revitalization. This program is more focused on engaging with indigenous legal traditions and comparing/contrasting them with common law legal traditions.

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PROCEDURAL APPLICATION QUESTIONS:

When can I apply for this program?
February 23, 2018 – April 4, 2018 at 4:00 pm. Normally there is a 6-week documentation period/deadline following application submission, but given the short application period for the first cohort starting September 2018, all documentation must be submitted by the application deadline of April 4, 2018. Letters of reference may be submitted up until April 11.

What is the application fee?
$93.75. If you have already applied to and paid the application fee for the JD program and would like to apply for the JD/JID program, you will not have to pay the application fee a second time. Please contact the Law Admissions Office (250-721-8151 or lclerk2@uvic.ca) for directions about how to proceed.

How can I apply?
UVic's Faculty of Law application can be found online. You can pay the application fee by credit card or INTERAC online.

What admissions categories are there? 

What should I include in my personal statement and JID statement?
Personal statement guidelines can be found online. Review them carefully before writing your personal statement. 

Your JID statement (which is separate from your personal statement) should describe your connection to and/or involvement in an Indigenous community, the reasons why you want to pursue the JD/JID program and how you will enrich the learning environment at the law school.

Are letters of reference required?
We require two letters of reference, one of which must be an academic reference. The other letter should address your suitability for and commitment to the JD/JID program. Letters should be sent directly from your references by email to lclerk2@uvic.ca or by mail to Faculty of Law Admission, University of Victoria, PO Box 1700 STN CSC, Victoria, BC, V8W 2Y2.

If you cannot supply an academic letter of reference, please contact the Law Admissions Officer at lawadmss@uvic.ca.

When can I expect to be notified if I have been accepted?
We begin evaluating an application when an application is complete and all supporting documentation has been received. 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 early summer. 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 the last business day prior to registration day.

Given that the program is still awaiting Ministry of Advanced Education program approval, what will happen to accepted applicants should the approval not be received in time for a September 2018 start date?
If you have been given and accepted an offer, you may defer your acceptance to September 2019. Or, you may ask for your application to be considered for the JD program.

Is there a minimum number of accepted applicants required for the first cohort to start in September 2018?
Approximately 12.

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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APPLICATION EVALUATION QUESTIONS:

How will my application be evaluated?
Admission decisions are determined by a holistic review of the applicant’s academic evaluation (pre-law academic record and Law School Admission Test (LSAT) score) and all other elements in the application. The admissions process will closely consider the reasons applicants provide for doing the program and their connections to Indigenous communities.

Does the faculty give preference to UVic grads or BC residents?
No. Residency is not a factor in our admissions decisions. We expect to enrol students from all across the country, including the northern territories.

Are work experience, volunteer work and extracurricular activities considered in the evaluation?
Yes. For the JD/JID program, the Admissions Committee will be considering these experiences and activities as part of its holistic review.

Does the faculty prefer 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. Performance based courses will not be included in your GPA calculation.

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. Performance based courses will not be included in your GPA calculation.

What if my undergraduate institution has a different grading scale than UVic?
We use a variety of conversion charts to convert grades from institutions whose grading systems are substantially different from UVic’s. If the transcript shows a percentage grade, we convert it to our scale.

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 courses in progress. You must send your updated transcripts to us by the supporting document deadline.

How do I submit updated unofficial transcripts and other supporting documentation after I have submitted my application?
Email them to lclerk2@uvic.ca or mail them to Faculty of Law Admissions, University of Victoria, PO Box 1700 STN CSC, Victoria, BC, V8W 2Y2.

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.

Does UVic Law count international 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.

Does UVic Law count graduate courses in its evaluation?
We do not include graduate courses in our assessment of applications. However, the Admissions Committee will consider graduate work as part of its holistic review.

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.

How does the Faculty of Law weight GPA and LSAT scores?
GPA is weighted at 50% the LSAT is weighted at 50% in the academic evaluation.

How early can I write the LSAT and TOEFL before applying?
We will accept LSAT scores that are up to five years old. We will accept TOEFL scores written within the past two years.

What LSAT score do I need to be admitted?
As a matter of policy, we do not set minimum GPA or LSAT requirements. 

Do I need to sign up for the Credential Assembly Service (CAS)?
No. We do not subscribe to that service.

What if I have written the LSAT more than once?
We use the highest score in computing our admissions index number.

What is the last LSAT test date that UVic Law will accept for first-year admissions?
For the first intake in September of 2018, we will accept scores from the June 2018 LSAT sitting. For all subsequent intakes, the February test date is the last date that you can write the LSAT and still be eligible for admission  the following September.

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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PROGRAM QUESTIONS:

Will JD/JID students pay the same tuition per semester as JD students?
Yes. UVic Law has the second lowest tuition and fees of all the Common-Law law schools in Canada. It has one of the most generous student financial aid programs, and we are raising additional funds so that even after taking the new JD/JID students into consideration, the financial aid available per student will remain the same or better than it is now. If you need information on our financial aid program, please contact our Financial Aid Officer at lawfao@uvic.ca.

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.

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.

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.

Students admitted to the faculty after the Law Bursary Program deadline has passed will be granted an extension.

Can the JD/JID be taken on a part time basis?
There is no part time admissions category for this program. However, part time studies may be approved under special circumstances and on a case by case basis.

What is the average class size?
All first-year UVic Law students must participate in the full-time Legal Process course during their first two weeks of law school. For the Legal Process program, students are divided into groups of 25 students or fewer. 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.

Will the JD/JID courses be available to JD students?
First year core courses specific to the JD/JID program are only available to JD/JID program students. However, we expect many JD courses to be enhanced to include more Indigenous law content.

What does the JD/JID curriculum for first year courses include?
The courses will include the content of the corresponding JD courses together with the legal principles and procedures of one or more Indigenous peoples on comparable subjects. Students will obtain both the relevant Common Law and a grounding in the approach of at least one Indigenous legal order.

Can JD/JID students do co-op and exchange terms?
Co-op will not be available for JD/JID students due to the unique demands of the curriculum and the amount of time students will already be off campus. Students will have significant experiential learning through the field schools. Exchange is a possibility, but will be assessed on a case-by-case basis and may, on occasion, also be possible through the field schools. 

Can JD/JID students enrol in the clinical programs?
The Law Centre, Business Law Clinic, Environmental Law Clinic and Criminal Law term may be open to JD/JID students on a case by case basis. Students can discuss their options with the Student Services Office.

Can JD/JID students also do the double degree programs with MPA and MBA? 
No.

Can the JD/JID program be taken through distance education?
No. UVic Law does not offer a distance education option for any of its degree programs nor do we anticipate that there will be a distance education option at any time in the future.

Will different Indigenous perspectives be considered?
Each field course will generally be focused on one specific community’s legal perspective in order to give it the necessary rigour of analysis. However, different courses may offer perspectives from different legal orders (e.g. Constitutional law from an Anishinaabe perspective, and Property law from a Gitxsan perspective).

How will the program deal with the secrecy of some indigenous legal traditions?
The program will only focus on Indigenous traditions and areas of law that the faculty has been invited to explore. Some communities have already invited the faculty to work with them. The program will follow the model of the Indigenous Law Research Unit which has effectively worked with numerous indigenous groups over a long period of time.

Will there be a budget for new staff and elders?
Yes. New staff has been contemplated in the budget to meet the additional demand without causing a strain on the current staff. This includes administrative staff and Amicus student support staff. There is also a budget for elders.

How will the new student, faculty and staff space be accommodated?
A new wing will be built to accommodate the increased numbers. It will provide a symbolically and structurally appropriate home for the JD/JID program and the Faculty's research and outreach on Indigenous law. The design will foster interaction between students, faculty and staff; and JD and JD/JID students will exchange insights in common classes, seminars and student organizations.

What will JD/JID students do in their summers?
They have the option of working or taking elective law courses. The JD/JID program budget provides for additional resources for the Law Careers Office. The distinctive skills developed by the JD/JID program will be of interest to many employers, especially to Indigenous, federal, and provincial governments. 

How easy is it to find living accommodations near the law school?
Most law students live off-campus. Popular neighbourhoods are Fernwood, Royal Oak, Gordon Head, James Bay, Fairfield and downtown. Finding a place on or near a bus route is good if you will not have a vehicle with you. Bus service to the university is quick and convenient from most parts of the city. Many people bike as well.

On-campus housing
JD/JID students are classified as undergraduate students; however, for the purposes of on-campus housing applications ONLY, law students are considered as graduate students. If you apply for on-campus housing, use the graduate application for on-campus housing. You will have access to apartment and cluster style housing.

Residence Services for on-campus housing information and application: www.uvic.ca/residence/future-residents/graduate/index.php

Off-campus housing
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.

Housing Services off-campus housing registry: 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/

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