UVic Law is one of the leading law schools in British Columbia and Canada. It is home to a leading Canadian common law degree program and a unique Indigenous law program. On this page, you will learn about admissions requirements and enrolment rates, tuition fees and scholarships, and what modules form the curriculum of the Juris Doctor program.
2-Year Accelerated LLB Degree is a perfect alternative to studying a traditional 3-year law degree.
Law School Summary
There are many advantages of attending this school of law and the most prominent ones are listed below.
Strengths of UVic Law School
The University of Victoria’s Law Faculty is among Canada’s top-ranked schools, previously being ranked as the absolute leader between 2001-2003 including and 2005.
Victoria’s Law Faculty is a vibrant place with a 23-sub-division Law Society. Some of them are the:
- Business Law Association;
- Criminal Law Club;
- Environmental Law Club;
- Intellectual Property/Information Technology Club;
- Labour Law Club;
- Level Justice;
- Philosophy of Law Club; and the
- LawTech Society.
Apart from that, practical opportunities arise in the Business Law Clinic, the Environmental Law Centre clinic, the Law Centre clinic, and the Criminal law term. The number of clinical placements varies depending on the clinic. However, Victoria Law has the largest number of clinical placements per student in the country.
While there are such modules that when combined will lay a solid foundation for entering the world of Corporate & Commercial Law, the University of Victoria is a place with interesting International Law module variations.
Special Qualities of UVic Law School
Entry-year classes range from 25 to 60 students per class, which is three times more than upper-year classes consisting of 10-24 students. Otherwise, lectures can accommodate from 25-50 students.
DLA Piper and Gowling WLG are two of the more notable international law firms partnering with the University of Victoria. Other Canadian legal giants in liaison with the University of Victoria are Blake, Cassels and Graydon LLP, Borden Ladner Gervais LLP, and Miller Thompson LLP.
There are many other firms that subsidize scholarships at the University of Victoria. Firms and their recruitment departments tend to keep an eye on students’ progression. Thus, securing a scholarship and achieving good grades could possibly aid you in articling applicaitons.
As the University of Victoria is a major Canadian university, it has established itself as a popular exchange program destination for students from respectable law schools abroad in:
- Singapore, Hong Kong, China, Thailand, India;
- the United States;
- Ireland, the UK, Belgium, France, the Netherlands;
- Ghana; and
- Australia and New Zealand.
UVic Law Requirements
Applications for first-year JD students open in September and close on January 15 of the intake year.
- The University of Victoria requires that applicants have completed undergraduate studies via a standard three or four-year program.
Personal statements are an essential part of the application:
- Part A is a 750-word elaboration of one’s motivation to join the University of Victoria as a law student; and
- Part B is a bullet-point-styled listing of one’s work, academic, extracurricular and social achievements the Admissions Committee ought to reasonably consider in their holistic assessment of the candidate.
GPA and LSAT
The University of Victoria weights the Law School Admission Test (LSAT) and one’s grade point average (GPA) on an equal basis.
- Achieving a place in the top 92nd percentile on the LSAT and obtaining a GPA of 3.85 will most definitely make a leap closer to securing a first-year place.
- LSAT scores received up to five years prior to the intake year will also be valid during the admissions process.
Academic transcripts must also be forwarded to the Admissions Committee. Foreign applicants must receive the World Education Service’s transcript assessment.
Letters of Reference
Unlike other higher legal education programs, Victoria’s Law Faculty has excluded the letters of reference as one of its several application components for the ‘Regular’ category.
- However, candidates under the ‘Discretionary’ classification should submit a single academic letter of reference and another one of employment character.
- Moreover, Indigenous candidates should also provide a single academic reference, plus another letter of reference to highlight their local community involvement.
- March 1 of the intake year is the deadline to submit any letters of reference if they are required.
International applicants (primarily) and anybody else, who has not completed undergraduate studies for at least three years in an English-speaking university, or one whose mother tongue is different to English must present;
- An overall IELTS score of 7.0 with no less than 6.5 in each component; or more preferably
- A TOEFL iBT collective mark of 100, with no less than 25 on each component (or 600 out of 677 points if the test is paper-based).
UVic Law Admissions Statistics
The University of Victoria Law Faculty’s student population in the JD program numbers 375 people across all three years of the course.
What we know as statistics concerning enrolment are the following:
- Previously, 105 first-year places were competed for by an undisclosed number of candidates.
- More recently, the first-year JD program places were increased to 110 and 1,000 people rivalled for them. Hence, the admission rate stands at 11%, which is about 3-5% higher than that of other Canadian Law schools.
On average between 360-380 people are enrolled across all three years of the course. Just over a third are from outside of British Columbia. Close to 60% are females, and every one in five identifying as a visible minority.
Student Finance Information
Tuition at UVic Law
Similar to other law degrees, there are disparities between the fees Canadian and International students are liable to pay.
First-year fees (inclusive of ancillary fees)
$24,000 CDN to $28,000 CDN
Second- and Third-year fees (per year)
$24,000 CDN to $28,000 CDN
Estimated textbooks’ costs (per year)
Law Co-op termly fees
Additional living expenses per year
Three-year total fees:
No less than $80,697 CDN
No less than $130,001 CDN
The University of Victoria’s Law Department is certainly not shy in offering truly generous financial aid. In general, scholarships range between $1,000 CDN to $15,000 CDN, whilst most bursaries are rounded off at $1,000 CDN. Some scholarships are renewable.
Scholarships are most commonly awarded on the following basis:
- Receiving the Law Faculty’s recommendation;
- Showcasing academic abilities and/or student leadership and/or sporting talent;
- Being interested and successful in certain types of Law, e.g. Administrative, Business, Environmental, Criminal, Intellectual Property, Technology, and Tax Law;
- Having proven oneself as a determined, resilient student;
- Being Indigenous, from an underrepresented group or being disabled;
- Strong engagement in student life and within the Law Faculty;
- Taking part in various extracurricular activities and/or community service;
- Instilling innovation into their work methods; and
- Supporting fellow students and staff members.
A great number of alumni have joined forces together to materialize these financial awards. Yet notably The University of Victoria partners with a respectable number of law firms to fund its scholarships:
- Bennett Jones LLP;
- Blake, Cassels and Graydon LLP;
- Borden Ladner Gervais LLP;
- Carfra Lawton LLP;
- DLA Piper LLP;
- Fasken LLP;
- Gowling WLG LLP;
- Guild Yule LLP;
- Harper Grey LLP;
- Lawson Lundell LLP;
- Mandell Pinder LLP;
- McCarthy Tetrault LLP;
- Miller Thomson LLP; and
- Nash Johnston LLP.
The Curriculum at University of Victoria Law School
UVic Law courses vary depending on the year of study.
During the first two weeks of the course, students will automatically be enrolled in these two modules:
- Legal Research and Writing; and
- Legal Process.
Any other mandatory or elective modules are not explicitly stated, however, it is known that they will cover different legal aspects from the private and public legal spheres.
Second and Third Years
The University of Victoria’s Faculty of Law literally comments on its upper-year mandatory courses: ‘After the first year, many of your courses will be optional, although there are some mandatory courses that you must take to meet your degree requirements.’
The majority of upper-year modules are electives varying from this slightly purposely shortened list:
- Business Law Clinic;
- Children and the Law;
- Commercial and Consumer Law;
- Comparative Copyright Law;
- Competition Law;
- Contemporary Issues in Law;
- Criminal Law Term;
- Employment Law;
- Environmental Law;
- Health Law;
- Indigenous Law Research, Method and Practice;
- Insurance Law;
- Intellectual Property;
- International Law;
- Labour Law;
- Law of the European Union;
- Refugee Law;
- Sentencing: Law, Theory and Practice;
- The Constitutional Law Process;
- The Criminal Law Process;
- Transsystemic Constitutional Law;
- Trusts; and
- Wills, Estates & Succession Planning.
More About UVic Law School
Not majorly distant from the Cadboro Bay stretches the Fraser Building encircled by West Campus Way, McGill Road, and Ring Road. The Fraser building commemorates Murray Fraser, the Law School’s inaugural Dean, and Anne Fraser, a pioneering education innovator at the University of Victoria. Nowadays, the Fraser building teaches the JD, Master of Laws, and Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) in law programs.
Law students gain a wide range of benefits from this legal institution by being taught by leading legal academics and having access to a UVic law library.
The University also provides one of a kind joint degree program: JD and Juris Indigenarum Doctor (JID). After graduation from this program, you will have two degrees, JD and JID. Graduates from this program are able to practice with Indigenous legal orders and will be able to effectively navigate between common law and indigenous law. Indigenous communities and Canadian efforts of reconciliation stand to benefit from this new type of legal professionals