Discover the different law schools that offer an online law degree in Canada, who are eligible for such learning method, and how to enroll in such programs
Students who cannot commit to a full-time law program, or wish to expand their legal knowledge, may consider taking up an online law degree in Canada.
If you’re an aspiring student considering an online law degree in Canada, this article is for you. Lawyers may also share this article with anyone who might be interested in pursuing an online degree.
To become a lawyer in Canada, one must take up the Juris Doctor (JD) degree program, which usually takes up to 3 to 4 years. It is an undergraduate degree, even though a prior undergraduate degree is required to be admitted as a first year JD student.
Currently, there are no schools in Canada which offer a JD degree program that is administered purely online. However, we'll see further in this article that there are some law schools that offer law certificates and other courses.
There are various advantages that an online law degree in Canada offers.
First, its flexible schedules are convenient for professionals – even lawyers themselves – who want to pursue additional knowledge on a specific topic or area.
Second, its “study at your own pace” environment ensures that no enrollee is burned out due to studying. Here, students have more liberty to work on their requirements and study the provided materials.
Lastly, all of these result in a work-study-life balance, which is in itself a rarity nowadays.
There are several opportunities for those who have taken up an online law degree in Canada. This may include pursuing further studies to become a paralegal or preparing for a JD program.
An online law degree in Canada is also fitting for lawyers and other professionals who need further studies on a specific field of law.
Here are some of the Canadian law schools that offer online law degrees. You may also refer to our complete list of Canadian Law Schools 2023/24 for information on JD programs and other graduate law degrees.
Queen’s University – Faculty of Law
Located in Kingston, Ontario, the Faculty of Law of Queen’s University offers two online courses:
- Certificate in Law (CiL)
- Graduate Diploma in Immigration and Citizenship Law (GDipICL)
These certificates are in addition to Queen’s University’s other programs, such as the JD program, its combined degrees, and graduate studies.
Certificate in Law (CiL)
The CiL is a part-time undergraduate program that offers 7 courses. Students must complete 4 out of these 7 courses to be eligible for graduation. To fully accommodate students, classes are conducted on weekdays, with evening and weekend sessions as well.
This law certificate is for students and professionals who want additional knowledge on the basics of the Canadian legal system. Students may also take up the CiL without admission by applying as a non-degree interest law student.
Admission criteria will depend on each applicant’s case:
- Full-time undergraduate student or those who have completed university:
- Must have completed at least 1 year in a full-time undergraduate degree program or a degree program at a recognized university
- Minimum CGPA of 2.60
- Full-time college student or have completed college:
- Must have completed a two-year diploma or two years of a three-year full-time advanced diploma program
- Minimum CGPA of 2.90
Current undergraduate students at Queen’s University can also take up two of the seven courses as electives.
Graduate Diploma in Immigration and Citizenship Law (GDipICL)
The GDipICL is a graduate program designed for students, professionals, and even lawyers, who want to specialize in Canada’s immigration laws. It is fully offered through online classes, that includes 9 courses over a span of 3 terms.
To be admitted to the GDipICL, an applicant must:
- be a graduate of a bachelor's degree from a recognized university
- have a minimum of B average in the bachelor’s degree
- pass the English Language Proficiency Test, with some exceptions
Alternatively, students can also apply as an:
- Interest Student for Program Credit
- Interest Student for No Program Credit
Watch this video to know more about the GDipICL of Queen’s University:
Queen’s University is one of the best law schools in Ontario – see what other institutions are on our list!
University of British Columbia – Peter A. Allard School of Law
Other than its JD, Masters and Doctorate programs, the Allard School of Law of the University of British Columbia (UBC) also offers these Online Learning Courses:
- Canadian Public Law
- Canadian Criminal Law
- Administrative Law
- Ethics and Professionalism
- Tort Law
- Property Law
- Canadian Private Law: Contracts
These courses are suitable for foreign law students and foreign lawyers who are working on their National Committee on Accreditation (NCA) requirements. An NCA Certificate of Qualification is needed for law society bar admissions in all common law provinces and territories in Canada.
These courses allow students to finish the prescribed learning materials on their own time and schedule.
To be admitted for these courses, an applicant must:
- apply to UBC as a Non-Degree Student
- request for Online Learning Courses at Allard School of Law
Below are the eligibilities to be admitted as UBC’s Non-Degree Student:
- Pass UBC’s English Language Admission Standard
- Must have completed a bachelor’s degree from a recognized institution
York University – Osgoode Hall Law School
Aside from its JD and other graduate studies, the Osgood Hall Law School of York University also offers Short Courses, Conferences, and Certificates. These are offered in-person, hybrid, or purely online.
Each of these have different durations:
- Short Courses: ½ day workshops, to 1-day or 2-day programs.
- Conferences: 1 to 2 days.
- Certificates: average of 30 hours.
These short courses and certificates do not count as an online law degree in Canada. Instead, they work as micro-credentials for lawyers and other professionals who wish to learn more about a specific field of law.
It’s perfect for lawyers and professionals who need to earn their Continuing Professional Development (CPD) requirements or any other accreditations.
Some examples of these Short Courses, Conferences, and Certificates include:
- Civil litigation
- Business law
- Administrative law
- Banking and financial services
- Family law
- Wills, trusts, and estates
The specific topics vary per interest area, and its schedule will depend on availability. Interested applicants should check Osgoode’s webpage on Short Courses, Conferences, and Certificates.
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