Read about the three law schools in Toronto, how to apply to their faculty of law, and other necessary information for admission
Choosing the right law school that addresses your needs is important. To help future law school students, this article will discuss Toronto’s law schools and their admission process.
Out of the 23 law schools in Canada, 8 of them are found in Ontario.
In Toronto, there are 3 law schools that offer not just the Juris Doctor (JD) degree program, but also various graduate degree studies.
The 3 law schools in Toronto are:
- Toronto Metropolitan University – Lincoln Alexander School of Law
- York University – Osgoode Hall Law School
- University of Toronto – Faculty of Law
These law schools also offer other degree programs related to the legal profession. This speaks volumes about the quality of education they provide.
Toronto Metropolitan University – Lincoln Alexander School of Law
The Lincoln Alexander School of Law of the Toronto Metropolitan University (TMU) primarily offers its 3-year JD degree program.
TMU’s JD program is unique because it is one of the designated Integrated Practice Curriculum (IPC) by the Law Society of Ontario (LSO). The other one is the Bora Laskin Faculty of Law at Lakehead University.
As an IPC-designated JD program, law graduates of TMU have already completed the experiential training component of LSO’s licensing process to become a lawyer. This means that articling or completing the Law Practice Program is no longer required.
Being IPC-designated, a 15-week professional placement during the final year is an additional component of TMU’s JD program. This aims to equip law graduates with the necessary knowledge and practical skills to practice law in Canada right after graduating.
Hear more about TMU’s Lincoln Alexander School of Law straight from its students and alumni with this video:
For other information on the different law schools in Toronto and elsewhere in Canada, head over to our complete list of Canadian Law Schools 2023/2024.
University of Toronto – Faculty of Law
Offering various degrees and programs, the Faculty of Law of the University of Toronto (UofT) provides not only the JD program, but also several graduate studies.
In addition, UofT offers ‘combined’ JD programs which allow students to finish the JD program, plus an additional graduate-level degree within four years.
Certificate programs for concentration on a specific topic are also offered by UofT. While these are not equivalent to a second degree, it will result in a transcript notation when completed by a JD student.
For applicants who cannot commit to a full-time JD program, UofT offers a unique Half-Time Program. These are for applicants who are eligible for admission, but are under any of the following special circumstances:
- persons with health or physical disability;
- persons with exceptional family obligations to young children or dependents requiring their presence at home; or
- persons who experience exceptional financial hardship.
York University – Osgoode Hall Law School
The Osgoode Hall Law School of York University (YorkU) offers various programs, such as its JD program, graduate studies, and numerous joint or combined degree programs.
Joint programs are two complementary programs, where the second program is taken at another faculty at YorkU. On the other hand, the second degree of combined programs are taken at another law school, along with the YorkU JD program.
YorkU also offers a distinct JD program, where students can choose their own program of study after their first year of studies. Credits can be earned by participating in lectures, seminars, or any other practical forms. Students may also focus on an optional curricular stream of their liking.
The three law schools in Toronto have almost a similar process and requirements as to admissions of first year JD students. Here’s a summary of what a hopeful applicant must know to enter any of Toronto’s law schools.
Requirements for admission to law schools in Toronto
There are three usual components when applying for the first year among Toronto’s law schools:
- Undergraduate degree: all three schools in Toronto require a 3-year undergraduate degree for admission under its general admission category. It may be of any degree or course of study.
- Law School Admission Test (LSAT): no minimum LSAT score, but scores of successful applicants may be based on:
- TMU: applicant’s best or highest LSAT score.
- UofT: applicant’s best or highest LSAT score from the past five years, with a median score 167 of previous successful applicants.
- YorkU: applicant’s best or highest LSAT score from the past five years.
- Grade Point Average (GPA): no minimum GPA score, although the three law schools in Toronto have indicated a median score of previous successful applicants. Also, each law school has a different standard as to its GPA computation:
- TMU: calculated using the applicant’s best 20 single-semester (or equivalent) graded undergraduate degree courses. TMU has not set a minimum or median score for GPA.
- UofT: calculated using all courses of an applicant’s entire undergraduate courses, using the best three academic years of full-time study, with a median score of 3.9 for most successful applicants.
- YorkU: Cumulative GPA (CGPA) is computed based on all years of undergraduate study of an applicant, with a median score of A- (3.7) for most successful applicants.
There are other requirements such as proof of proficiency in the English language, submission of transcript of records to support one’s undergraduate degree, among others. Here’s an in-depth look at important law school requirements.
Admission categories of Toronto’s law schools
The different law schools in Toronto have different admission categories that cater to a specific group of applicants. These categories aim to uphold diversity and representation among the law students in these law schools.
Here are the admission categories:
- General: for applicants who can satisfy the general requirements for admissions (e.g., completed a 3-year undergraduate degree, etc.). Those who cannot be considered as a General Applicant may apply under any of the following categories below.
- Mature: for applicants who have fewer than 2 or 3 years of undergraduate studies but have years of professional or non-academic experience. This category is also for applicants with a wide gap between their previous academic experience due to numerous reasons.
- Access: for applicants who identify themselves as members or part of communities or races that are historically disadvantaged. These include:
- members of 2SLGTBQ+ community;
- those who identify as Black; or
- persons with disabilities
- Indigenous: for applicants who identify themselves as Indigenous people (First Nations, Inuit, and Métis). Additional requirements include any documentation to prove or corroborate the applicant’s identification and participation with an Indigenous community.
The following are the tuition rates of Toronto’s law schools for the first year of their JD program as of 2023:
- TMU: 21,168.00
- UofT: 33,040.00
- YorkU: 25,916.50
Note that these rates are subject to changes and are regularly reviewed by these law schools.
Is cost a major consideration when choosing where to go for law school? Read about the law schools with the cheapest tuition fees across Canada.
To know more about the law schools in Canada, more resources are available on our page on Legal Education.