Studying law at the University of British Columbia

Read about University of British Columbia’s law school – the Peter A. Allard School of Law – and the programs it offers and how to apply

Studying law at the University of British Columbia

The University of British Columbia’s Peter A. Allard School of Law is one of the top-ranking law schools in Canada and in the world.

In this article, we will be discussing the admission process for University of British Columbia’s law school, including an overview of these programs.

This article is for undergraduate students who wish to pursue studying in University of British Columbia’s law school. This is also for lawyers – Canadian and foreign alike – who wish to obtain a graduate degree in this University.

What is University of British Columbia’s law school?

The University of British Columbia (UBC) is one of the three universities in British Columbia that offer the Juris Doctor (JD) program.

Situated in a naturally beautiful province, the University of British Columbia’s law school is officially called the Peter A. Allard School of Law. It was named after a proud alumnus of University of British Columbia’s Faculty of Law.

In 2011, Peter Allard donated $11.86 million to the university, most of which went towards the construction of the new law school building.

Mr. Allard made another donation in 2015 – this time, worth $30 million – to the Faculty of Law. At that point, UBC’s law school was renamed Peter A. Allard School of Law.

What degree programs are offered by UBC Law?

University of British Columbia’s law school offers the JD program along with its graduate programs.

UBC also offers online courses for students and lawyers who want to complete their requirements under the National Committee on Accreditation (NCA).

Juris Doctor (JD) Program

The JD Program of the Allard School of Law trains students not just within the four corners of the classroom, but also through hands-on learning opportunities.

The Program is a 3-year full-time course. The first year of study is focused on the basics of Canadian laws and Indigenous studies. The rest of the program can be taken with any of its four specializations or concentrations:

  • Indigenous Legal Studies
  • Business Law
  • Law & Social Justice
  • Environmental and Natural Resource Law

University of British Columbia’s law school is proud of its Indigenous Legal Studies and its Indigenous Community Legal Clinic. Here, free legal services are provided to the Indigenous community, while educating its law student practitioners.

Admission to UBC’s JD Program

The University of British Columbia’s law school offers three admission categories to its first-year applicants:

  • General Applicants: where one’s GPA, LSAT, and personal statement are given equal priority for admission. Applicants must have obtained an undergraduate degree under this category.
  • Discretionary Applicants: for applicants who do not satisfy the General Applicants category due to some factors (e.g., only completed two years in an undergraduate degree, etc.).
  • Indigenous Applicants: for applicants who identify as part of an Indigenous community (First Nations, Métis or Inuit). A scholarship for Indigenous students is also available.

The law school offers an admissions category for International Applicants and Upper Year Applicants.

Here’s what it looks like to study at UBC:

For more information on University of British Columbia’s law school and other law schools in Canada, check out our complete list of Canadian Law Schools 2023/2024.

Graduate Studies

University of British Columbia’s law school offers these graduate programs for lawyers or those who have completed a prior JD degree or Bachelor of Laws (LLB) degree:

Master of Laws (Common Law) (LLM CL)

A one-year program (if full-time) or two-year program (if part-time) for foreign trained or non-common law trained lawyers. To be eligible, one must:

    • be a JD or LLB degree holder, or in the process of completing such degree
    • be a holder of a four-year bachelor’s degree
    • have a minimum overall average in the B+ range during the 3rd and 4th year courses

Master of Laws (LLM)

This is a research-intensive degree where a student focuses on one’s LLM Thesis, in addition to other required courses and electives. To be eligible for the LLM, an applicant must:

    • be a holder of a JD or LLB degree
    • identify their preferred supervisors in their application, listed in the faculty profiles

Master of Laws in Taxation (LLM T)

This is for lawyers and accountants who wish to strengthen their knowledge of Canadian tax laws. It may be completed in just one year (if full-time) or in two years (if part-time). To be admitted, one must:

    • be a holder of a JD or LLB degree, or other relevant undergraduate degree
    • have an excellent academic record and significant work experience in the field of tax

Doctor of Philosophy in Law (PhD in Law)

This is another research-intensive degree, which includes coursework, comprehensive exams, a dissertation (with proposal and defence), and a final examination. To be eligible, one must have:

    • obtained a JD or LLB degree
    • obtained a thesis based LLM degree or its equivalent
    • identified their preferred supervisors (1st and 2nd choice), under the same list of faculty profiles

These graduate programs are not only for Canadian lawyers or JD-degree holders, but also for international students. As such, there are additional minimum academic requirements depending on the country where foreign students earned their academic credentials.

An English proficiency test may be required from foreign students who earned their JD or LLB degrees from a university whose primary language of instruction is not English.

Online Courses

Foreign law students or foreign lawyers who want to practice law in Canada may apply with the NCA-approved online courses offered by University of British Columbia’s law school.

To be eligible, an applicant must:

  • have a prior law degree (JD or LLB, or its equivalent); and
  • have an NCA Assessment Report, or in the process of obtaining one.

How much does UBC law school cost?

Here are the tuition costs when studying at the University of British Columbia’s law school:


Canadian students

Foreign students

JD Program (first year)



LLM CL (total program)



LLM (per year)



LLM T (total program)



PhD in Law (per year)



These rates may change every year. They do not include cost of living and other fees or expenses related to these programs.

There are several scholarships and awards offered by UBC’s law school. These may be based on academic performance, community involvement, and other factors or criteria. They are offered upon admission, or upon application.

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