In the nation’s capital, you’ll find the University of Ottawa Faculty of Law – one of Canada’s leading law schools. In this overview, you’ll find unique qualities, admissions requirements, enrolment statistics, financial information, and the curriculum of this prestigious institution.
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Law School Summary
There are many law schools in Canada and each one has a unique selling point. Below you will find what makes Ottawa law school one of a kind in Canada.
Strengths of UOttawa Law
The University of Ottawa is renowned for its Public Law. However, with the construction of a new Business Law Clinic, anybody interested in Business or Corporate Law ought to consider applying to this Canadian university. Furthermore, the Law Faculty also promotes unique electives, for example, units in Aboriginal Law, Health Law and the connection between Law and Technology.
Mooting has always been at the heart of western law schools and the University of Ottawa can certainly boast about its triumphs in international competitive mooting. Especially when it was crowned champion of Vis Moot and had the better of Harvard Law School’s mooting team on several occasions.
Special Qualities of UOttawa Law
Most notably, unlike other universities, the University of Ottawa provides three-year-long academic teaching both in English and French for its common law section and solely in French for the civil law discipline.
Fauteux Hall also welcomes the Norton Rose Fulbright classroom. The School upholds major ties with the Canadian Supreme Court and Parliament, which together with its three law clinics’ schemes facilitate students in securing internships.
Opportunities for exchange programs are widespread at this university. Australia is a particularly popular destination amongst common law students, whereas Europe’s France and Norway and South America’s Argentina, Chile, and Mexico attract civil law students.
University of Ottawa Law Requirements
This section will outline admission requirements for the common law program as well as the civil law program. The application deadline for a start in September is November 1 of each year. For example, if one wishes to undertake a program commencing in September 2022, they need to make sure that their applications have been submitted by November 1, 2021.
UOttawa Law School Admissions has insisted not to ‘use the personal statement as a resume’ and instead treat it as something ‘similar to an interview’. Hence, both of these stages are merged together in the body of an 8,000-character Personal Statement.
- Nevertheless, there is an exception in relation to Mature or Indigenous applicants. Both must submit an up-to-date resume. Indigenous applicants must also submit a reference letter from a non-academic referee in describing their Indigenous community involvement.
Letters of Reference
The University of Ottawa mandates applicants to supply at least two letters of reference. Both references should preferably be from referees bonded to the applicants in an academic context, including professors, research supervisors, or teaching assistants. In the circumstances where two references of this kind are unable to be put forward, one of the letters of reference may be from a person reliable enough to portray an accurate picture of one’s academic capacity and professional skills.
- Mature candidates are unable to evade the admission requirement of references and must also obtain references. They can be from such people, who are able to appropriately comment on one’s research and managerial abilities, critical thinking, teamwork, oral and written communication.
Transcripts play a central role in the admission process. The University of Ottawa is inconsiderate of graduate degrees, so various bachelor degrees equivalent of 90 credits, e.g. ranging from Automation and Robotics, Music or Animation to Business Administration, will enable you to apply.
- Next on our list comes the Law School Admission Test (LSAT), an obligatory application criterium for the common program taught in English, but one that civil program candidates are exempt from taking.
- The LSAT must be completed in November at the latest.
- Successful applications will typically average more than the 70th percentile – an LSAT score of a minimum of 157 (out of a maximum of 180).
In relation to the grade point average (GPA) from candidates’ undergraduate degrees, those who scored 80% or more (an overall A grade) are likely to secure a place to study law the University of Ottawa.
- This is the requirement for the common program – the civil program, on the other hand, demands a GPA of 3.70.
Enrolment Statistics of the University of Ottawa Faculty of Law
Recent data from four years ago (2017) indicates that the English program is indisputably the harder one to secure a place at. On average only 12% of all applicants are successful in their quest of first-year enrolment. Statistically, this translates to 320 course places per 2,637 submitted applications.
On the other side, the Law School Admission Council summarised that 2017 saw 80 first-year law students making their way through a panel of 185 applicants. This subsequently equates to a significantly increased admission rate of 43% for the civil French program.
Student Finance Information
Tuition at Ottawa Law School
We will expound on the costs associated with obtaining a law degree from the Ottawa law school by comparing the difference between the tuition fees for full-time Canadian citizens and full-time International students.
|$8,784 CDN (common)
$4,923 CDN (civil)
|$32,169 CDN (common)
$20,627 CDN (civil)
|$17,568 CDN (common)
$9.846 CDN (civil)
|$64,338 CDN (common)
|Estimated textbooks’ costs
|OLSAC application fee
|Additional living expenses per year
|$11,000 CDN to $14,000 CDN
|$11,000 CDN to $14,000 CDN
|Total (per year)
|$31,568 CDN (common)
$23,846 CDN (civil)
|$78,338 CDN (common)
$55,254 CDN (civil)
Scholarships at the University of Ottawa Faculty of Law
The University of Ottawa law school generously offers over 80 scholarships and 70 bursaries annually.
- Aspiring scholars compete over four categories: first, second and third-year students, plus National Program students.
- All scholarships under each categorization are listed on the UOttawa Financial Aid Office’s website with full details as to the eligibility and application requirements being attached to each one.
International students enjoy specially designated bursaries, which result in a marked reduction of civil program tuition fees.
The Curriculum at Ottawa Law School
First-year common law UOttawa students must accomplish the Legal Foundations: Research, Strategy, Analysis; Contracts; Public International Law or Project Management; Dispute Resolution and Professional Responsibility, and Property modules.
- These five UOttawa common law courses will be joined by three electives – Introduction to Public Law and Constitutional Law, Criminal Law and Procedure, and Torts. The class dimensions are either small-sized classes of 18-25 students or large groups of approximately 75-80 students.
First year civil program students will study the following modules in French: Droit penal, Introduction à la résolution des différends, Droits des biens, Les contrats, Délits civils, Compétences et habiletés juridiques, Droit constitutionnel I and Législation. No electives are available at this stage of the degree.
The mandatory second year common law courses include Constitutional Law II, Civil Procedure I, Administrative Law and Business Organisations or the Special Course in Business Law.
- Students need to accumulate knowledge in between 18 and 27 units. Further information as to the selection of optional modules is available below.
Droit constitutionnel II, Droit des sociétés, Procédure civile I, Droit administrative and Responsabilité professionnelle are all mandatory courses in the civil program.
- Electives need to amount to between 15 and 27 units. Further information as to the selection of optional modules is available below.
The final year fixed common law modules include Civil Procedure I, Administrative Law and Business Organizations or the Special Course in Business Law, unless completed in Year Two.
- Electives need to amount to between 21 and 30 units. Further information as to the selection of optional modules is available below.
The final year civil program consists of these modules: Droit des sociétés, Procédure civile I, Droit administratif and Responsabilité professionnelle, unless all are completed in Year Two.
- Electives need to amount to between 18 and 30 units. Further information as to the selection of optional modules is available below.
The civil and common law electives are split into the following options:
- Aboriginal Law and Indigenous Legal Traditions;
- Dispute Resolution & Professionalism;
- Environmental Law;
- Health Law;
- International Law;
- Law and Social Justice;
- Law and Technology; and
- Public Law.
There is a majorly extensive list of units under each option, so students must determine which ones to study, bearing in mind the calculation of the minimal units’ number.
More About UOttawa Law
A 15-minute walk away from the Ontario Court of Justice and Supreme Court of Canada stands a five-storey building in central Ottawa, Fauteux Hall. It is home to the civil and common law subsidiaries of the Faculty of Law at the University of Ottawa. Hosted in the same building is the bilingual Brian Dickson Law Library serving the 1,180 full-time and 38 part-time students enrolled in the legal courses.
The alumni network includes Justices of the SCC, politicians, Federal/Appellate judges, and managerial officials at Norton Rose Fulbright and White & Case LLP. From human rights lawyers to corporate lawyers to criminal lawyers – the alumni network of UOttawa Law is truly impressive.
By Georgi Minchev