Alberta is home to the University of Calgary Faculty of Law – one of the province’s top legal education providers. In this article, you will learn all things about the University of Calgary Law, its special qualities and strengths, entry requirements, admissions statistics, financial information, and the curriculum.

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Summary of University of Calgary Faculty of Law

Every law school is different, and in this section, you will find what makes UCalgary Law unique compared to other schools in Canada.

Strengths of Calgary Law School

The University of Calgary offers a strong focus on Environmental Law, which is unique compared to other Canadian JD programs. It offers special classes in Sea (Marine) Law, Oil and Gas Law and Contracts, and Renewable Energy, the last one runs a joint practical program with the University of Houston.

The University of Calgary Law Department is popular for its great employability statistics amongst final-year articling clerkships’ searchers: 96% in 2016, 99% in 2017-2018, 100% in 2019 and 98% in 2020. The missing percentages reflect students that have either not reported their progress or not searched vacancies at all.

Special Qualities of Calgary Law School

The University of Calgary partners with the University of Ottawa to deliver the Certification in French common law, Certification de common law en français.

  • Popular extracurricular activities include:
    • competitive Mooting and Debating;
    • Judicial shadowing law aid centers and clinics;
    • the Public Interest Law Clinic;
    • the Alberta Civil Liberties Research Centre;
    • Student Legal Assistance and the Canadian Institute of Resources Law; and
    • Environmental Law and Practice Journal.

Future law students at the University of Calgary will also be eligible for international exchange law programs. These include France, Germany, Hong Kong, Mexico, the Netherlands, Singapore, Scotland, England, the USA, and Australia in both English-speaking and non-English speaking institutions.

University of Calgary Law Admissions

The application process is almost reminiscent of rolling basis recruitment – candidates are prompted to apply by November 1. University states that early applicants will stand a higher chance of their application being reviewed at a quicker pace. Note that no applications will be reviewed, even if they are submitted by November 1, unless they have got the full package of application documents enclosed in them.


The LSAT admission score requirement was downgraded from 162 in 2016 to 161 from 2017 onwards. This amounts to the top 82nd percentile. One’s highest LSAT score, if sat on multiple occasions, will be taken into account.


Between 2016 and 2020, the grade point average criterium fluctuated between 3.63 and 3.66.

References and Academic Transcripts

References/letters of reference will be dropped out of the admissions process in autumn 2022.

Make sure to send all your post-secondary academic transcripts together with your other application documents. If transcripts are received earlier, they cannot be assessed separately.

Personal Statement

The Statement of Interest is a 500-word explanation and expression of interest in the field of law and the University of Calgary itself.

Diversity and Minorities

Diversity and inclusion are key principles of the Admissions Committee. Minority candidates can accompany the standard application documents with a 1,000-word statement covering any systematic barriers, cultural background, personal challenges, and achievements.


Non-academic pursuits, such as any employment history will also be of advantage in the holistic admissions process.

Enrolment Statistics

Currently, a total of 378 students are enrolled across the three years of the Juris Doctor program, of which 300 are enrolled in full-time education and the remaining are part-timers. Roughly 30 academic staff work with this number of students.

2016 enrolment statistics saw 1,174 applications submitted and 122 first-year places awarded, 10.4% admission rate. 2017 witnessed a proportional increase in the number of applications and first-year places: 1,184 and 130, respectively, 10.9% admission rate). During 2018, there was a slight decrease to 1,050 applications contesting for 129 places, 12.2% enrolment rate). The same trend continued in 2019 when 1,058 applications rivalled for 128 places, meaning that 12.1% were successful in securing a place on the Juris Doctor program.

2020 application levels returned back to those of 2017 – 135 students were sieved from a cohort of 1,186 applicants (an 11.3% enrolment rate).

The average age of new first-year students at the U of C Law is 25-26, although candidates’ age ranges from the early-20s to the mid-50s.

In recent years, the average female enrolment has been 48.8%, whereas in terms of provincial acceptance – on average, between 27-31% of all enrolled students come from around six to eight other Canadian territories.

Student Finance Information

View of the main entrance to UCalgary law

University of Calgary Law School Tuition

Canadian and International students at the University of UCalgary Law pay different fees associated with their degrees. Compared with other universities across Canada, tuition fees are listed per three-unit courses.

Canadian citizens International students
First-year fees (price per three-unit course) $1,174.92 CDN $3,826.92 CDN
Second and Third year fees (per year) $1,174.92 CDN $3,826.92 CDN
Ancillary fees $819.23 CDN $819.23 CDN
Estimated textbooks’ costs $1,900 CDN $1,900 CDN
Application fee $125 CDN $145 CDN
Additional living expenses per year $12,000 CDN to $15,000 CDN $12,000 CDN to $15,000 CDN
Three-year total fees: $86,228.87 CDN * $172,889.71 CDN *

* The University of Calgary necessitates that its law students complete a total of 98 units across the Juris Doctor program. Therefore, in calculating the total fees, we have divided 98 by three and used the relevant price per unit as a multiplier.

Both categories of students are presumed not to be on any financial aid, yet if you are curious as to how university expenses can be lowered, head over to the next section of this article.

Scholarships at University of Calgary Faculty of Law

Internal scholarships based on academic merit, GPA, specific module performance, background and community leadership are very competitive and hard to obtain, yet certainly worthy to compete for. They are:

  • The Faculty of Law Undergraduate Awards of Excellence of $10,000 CDN offered to three entry-level students;
  • The Faculty of Law NREEL Scholarship totalling $10,000 CDN for its one lucky recipient;
  • The Faculty of Law Undergraduate Award of Excellence for BIPOC students valued at $10,000 CDN designated for one entry-level student;
  • The $10,000 CDN Inter Pipeline Awards gifted to one student of each of the Indigenous and Black minorities;
  • The Dean of Law Award of Excellence worth $15,000 CDN for one student soon to be in Year One; and
  • The absolute grand scholarship: the Burnett, Duckworth & Palmer LLP $60,000 CDN scholarship across the three-year length of the Juris Doctor program.

The ‘Scholarships’ page of the Law Faculty of the University of Calgary provides links to external financial aid awards. These links will guide you as to how to secure governmental loan funding if one is not an Alberta resident and has to re-locate.

The Curriculum

University of Calgary law courses are annually distributed across three semesters: the 13-week-long Fall semester, the three-week January semester and the January-March Winter semester.


During their first year, students will cover the following modules:

  • An intensive block of the Foundations in Law & Justice I modules;
  • Foundations in Law & Justice II (a continuation of learning about the basics of law and legal skills);
  • Legislation;
  • Property;
  • Torts;
  • Contracts;
  • Constitutional Law;
  • Crime: Law and Procedure; and
  • Professional Development.

No electives are offered during the entry year of the course.

Second and Third Years

The following modules are mandatory during the penultimate and final years of the course:

  • Negotiation (studied in Year Two);
  • Advocacy (taught in Year Three);
  • Civil Procedure;
  • Ethical Lawyering assessed on a performance basis; and
  • The Upper-Year Writing Requirement in documentation and research.

Optional modules during the upper years of the curriculum include, but are not restricted to:

  • Administrative Law;
  • Advanced Private Law;
  • Bankruptcy and Restructuring Law;
  • Business Associations;
  • Commercial Arbitration Law;
  • Corporate Finance Law;
  • Corporate Governance and Litigation;
  • Corporate Tax;
  • Criminal Process;
  • Critical Legal Theories;
  • Employment Law;
  • Environment Law;
  • Estate Planning;
  • Family Law;
  • Health Law;
  • Human Rights Law;
  • Immigration and Refugee Law;
  • Indigenous People and the Law;
  • Insurance Law;
  • Intellectual Property Law;
  • International Human Rights and Humanitarian Law;
  • International Law;
  • International Tax Law;
  • Labour Law;
  • Mergers and Acquisitions;
  • Mining Law;
  • Municipal Law;
  • Oil and Gas Law;
  • Real Estate Transactions;
  • Renewable Energy Law;
  • Securities Law;
  • Tax Policy;
  • Trusts; and
  • Wills and Estates.

More About Calgary Law

The University of Calgary School of Law has a long and vibrant history and a dynamic student life. Its unique triangularly connected ‘Energy-Innovation-Impact’ strategy is what makes it stand out from other law schools in Canada. If you choose to study law in Calgary, you will receive a well-rounded and innovative legal education.

In 1913 the faculty of law in Calgary was established, yet hopes to extend the access to legal education across Alberta proved to be short-lived as soon World War I erupted in 1914. For the next 60 or so years Calgary did not witness a single law graduate as the only faculty of law in the province was located in Edmonton.

The year 1976 obstructed this tendency after an ambitious committee meeting received ministerial approval to advance the opening of the University of Calgary School of Law. That same year the law library was, which back then accommodated 60 first-year students and less than 10 academic staff.

Since then the faculty of law has produced numerous graduates, who went on to shape the legal scene on the provincial and federal levels. A law degree from this university is recognized by all law societies in Canada.

By Georgi Minchev