You have several options when pursuing your formal education goals: graduate programs in academic subjects (e.g., Master’s or Ph.D programs); professional programs (e.g., law school, medical school, dental school); post-diploma and professional programs at colleges that generally require a Bachelor’s degree to qualify for application and can sometimes exist as a joint program with a university; or other educational opportunities (e.g., courses offered through the Human Resources Professionals Association of Ontario or the Canadian Securities Institute).
Now that you have decided to enrol in a graduate or professional program, the first step is to choose the program that will best meet your needs. Talk to professors, admissions staff, graduate students, and alumni to help you determine which program to enter. Ask about each school’s reputation in the field. Contact the department or faculty of the school you want to attend to get further information; administrators may start a file based on this initial contact. Finally, a campus visit can go a long way towards helping you make an informed decision.
It may be helpful to find a professor who shares your interests and who will act as a mentor. This professor may be willing to help you identify the programs that are best suited to your interests and assist you in the selection and application processes. Also consider contacting the graduate student associations at your universities of interest as well as relevant professional associations: they may provide you with first-hand, up-to-date insights into programs.
A law degree is a big commitment, and a very different experience than an undergraduate degree. You may want to think about how the program aligns with your interests and your financial support, as well as how the program relates to your career goals.
You could start by:
There are many different types of law programs. To enter practice as a lawyer, you would pursue a Bachelor of Laws (L.L.B.), a Juris Doctor (J.D.), or a Licentiate of Law (L.L.L.). The L.L.L. designation is earned by people who study civil law, which applies in Quebec. The L.L.B. and J.D. are earned by people who study common law, which applies in all other Canadian provinces.
For people who are considering work in either Canada or the U.S., or will pursue a legal practice that requires knowledge of both legal systems, some schools offer a joint Canadian and U.S. J.D. program. If you plan to practice in only one country, often the simplest route is to complete your degree in the country where you want to practice.
If you have specialized interests or interests that span multiple disciplines, many law schools offer joint programs where you can earn your L.L.B or J.D. in combination with a Master’s degree. If you want to pursue advanced training in the law, but do not want to practice as a lawyer, a Master’s degree and/or Ph.D. in law is another potential option.
The information in this CareerHub section is directed at people who are pursing an L.L.B., a J.D., or an L.L.L. If you are interested in a Master’s or Ph.D. in law, review the information on graduate school.
A J.D., L.L.B., or L.L.L. is a three–year program. A joint Canadian and U.S. J.D. is normally a four–year program, and joint programs that combine a J.D. with another advanced degree normally range from four to six years. A Master’s degree in law is normally two years, and a Ph.D. in law is a minimum of four years.
To find a good program fit, you will need to understand your interests and motivations for further study. Ultimately, how a program connects with your specific reasons for further education will guide your decision.
Start by doing your research into possible programs to learn more. If you need support to identify your interests and motivations or to weigh program options, you can book a drop-in with a further education advisor.
One way to start off your research into law programs is to make a list of potential programs to consider. You can find a list of accredited L.L.B., J.D., and L.L.L. programs on the Law School Admission Council website.
For Master’s and Ph.D. programs in law, search sites can help you understand which programs are available. You can limit your search by a variety of factors that reflect your needs and interests. Here are some websites to get you started:
Your search terminology might restrict the options you find in these search sites; you can also use a web search and the graduate studies page of any universities you are particularly interested in.
An alternate way of researching graduate programs is to investigate the teaching and research interests of the program faculty. You could begin by reading widely in your target field. In this process, you will identify areas of research and specific researchers whose work interests you. You can search the researchers and areas of research to identify programs that support this area of study.
Depending on where you will be applying, the application and start timelines, document conventions, and program structure may be different. It is important to research the conventions in the location you are applying to.
If you are applying outside of Canada you will need to meet immigration requirements in the country you will be living in. Immigration requirements vary widely; you will need to research them thoroughly as part of your planning. You may also need to show proof that you can pay tuition when you enter the country where you will study.
Depending on your immigration status in the country where you will study, you may be considered an international student. International students often pay higher tuition. Some programs in the United States give special status to Canadian applicants.
Some institutions have rolling admissions, which means applications are accepted at any time or before the advertised deadline. Admissions committees will review a complete file and make offers and funding decisions based on an applicant’s file. Applying early to a program can help you secure a spot before more competitive applications are received.
Some programs have several admission categories (e.g., regular, mature, special consideration, access). The Grade Point Average (GPA) requirement and admission test scores may vary based on competition from individuals in a particular applicant pool. It is not detrimental to apply to a category other than “regular.” Showing that you maintained a good GPA while dealing with special circumstances can work to your advantage.
Ascertain which of the following are required:
Identify what types and levels of previous education are required. For some professional programs, a completed undergraduate degree is not required. When applying to a graduate program, you usually need a degree in the same area, but not in every case.
If you are considering completing a graduate degree to boost your GPA to enter a professional program, be aware that most will not consider your graduate GPA. Most professional programs only consider your undergrad GPA.
Generally, no extra consideration is given if you are currently, or have been, a student at the university to which you are applying.
Some programs require certain prerequisites to assess whether an applicant is ready to successfully complete a program. Often prerequisite courses need to meet a GPA cutoff. Prerequisites can change, so keep up to date on each program’s requirements.
Check with the admission’s office about necessary prerequisites if the information is not clear on their website: you can send a course description (including the URL) and course syllabus for the course(s) you determine meets the prerequisite requirements. The more information provided to an admissions office, hopefully, the faster the response time. Try to obtain written confirmation from the admissions office, as a paper trail will provide proof that the courses you have completed meet the school’s requirements. There are many programs that will not evaluate prerequisites until you have completed and paid for the application. Some institutions provide a list of courses accepted from other universities.
Some programs allow you to complete prerequisites as late as the term prior to the program start date, while others do not. Always verify the latest date of graduation (or prerequisite completion) accepted.
Please note that staff in the Centre for Career Development cannot advise you about whether courses meet a program’s prerequisites.
Admission requirements usually state the minimum GPA required to be admitted to a program. If this is not clear, contact the school to find out the GPA requirement and how it is computed. Different possibilities might include: a cumulative average, your grades for the last two years, your grades in your major, the last year of study, or marks in courses related to the program, and so on. The minimum requirement varies by program and a competitive GPA is typically higher than the minimum. The minimum GPA for a Master’s program is usually 75%. If you have a lower GPA in your last or last one or two years of study, this will be a red flag for admissions officers, as it can be interpreted to indicate either that you will not be successful in a graduate program, or that you have not grasped the core concepts required for a graduate/professional program.
The required GPA for professional programs tends to be in the low 80’s. If applying while completing a 4-year degree, most programs only consider 4A term marks and earlier, or in some cases 3B marks and earlier.
Institutions use either a 10-point or a 4-point scale, so it is important to ask how your average will be converted. Visit the program website to see if GPAs are posted for previous years. If you are applying to faculties of law, medicine, or rehab sciences in Ontario, the Ontario Universities’ Application Centre (OUAC) has GPA conversion charts published for each type of program.
For an international or exchange term, the program may need a World Education Service (WES) conversion of your grades. Allow enough time for grade conversion through WES or to order and send transcripts by the deadline date.
When applying to any graduate or professional program, check if an admission test is required and what the deadline is for score submission. If an admission test score is required, be aware that stellar results can often balance out a mediocre GPA, and that, conversely, the opposite is also true.
Some programs accept test scores after the application deadline. In most cases, test results are available four to six weeks after the test date. If you are applying to a program with rolling admissions, a complete application package (including test scores) is required before your application can be evaluated.
Prepare thoroughly for the test you need to write; plan to write it just once. At the same time, though, it is advisable that you write an admission test early enough that you could rewrite it if necessary. Determine how recent your score must be for any given application, plus how multiple scores are handled (e.g., do they consider the highest score, or do they take an average of all scores achieved?). Do not write an admission test the first time without preparing just to “try it out,” as admission committees sometimes have access to score cancellations. Note that there is a waiting period for retaking admission tests and that they can often only be retaken a limited number of times.
Allow enough time to register for the test, order study materials, study, and, if desired, attend a preparation course. Some University of Waterloo clubs on campus hold practice tests, so check their websites for information. The Centre for Career Development has practice test books that you can borrow. A link to admission test information is available on the Centre for Career Development website. Some admission tests are written at a computer-based testing centre. On the test date, you may be required to provide a list of schools that you are applying to.
Here is a list of admission tests:
The Graduate Records Examination (GRE) may be required for application to graduate schools. There is a GRE general test and a GRE subject test, but not all schools require both test results. The GRE general test is written at a computer-based testing site and has several sections: verbal reasoning, quantitative reasoning, and analytical writing. Contact the programs to which you are applying to determine if they use the results from every section. Doing so may help you to decide if you need to rewrite the test if your test results were low in certain sections.
The GRE subject test is a paper-based test written at testing sites across Canada. The test can be taken as often as it is offered (i.e., April, October, and November). If your scores are good, it may be to your advantage to submit them to all schools, even to those that do not require them.
The GRE is generally not required by Canadian programs if your undergraduate education was completed in Canada or the United States, but it is almost always required for graduate programs in the United States.
Only you can decide if you want to take an admission-test preparation course. Be sure to do your research to determine the value of such preparation. It is recommended that you check whether: the course fits your learning style; the course is offered online or in-person; the course is available weekends or evenings; the instructor’s experience teaching the course materials is substantial; the course covers topic content, strategies, practice tests, or too much of any one of these; the duration of the course is manageable. A longer course is not necessarily better; some companies include the amount of time spent on practice tests in their total time calculations. It is useful to use previously administered tests as a preparation tool. These are often available through the test registration site. If possible, complete practice tests in the format in which you will have to write: paper or computer-based. Each company has different teaching strategies and it can be confusing to use multiple sources of information. Some companies provide University of Waterloo students discounts; for details, visit the list of preparation courses on the Centre for Career Development’s website.
Some programs have language proficiency requirements. If your native language is English OR you have completed the four full years of your undergraduate degree at an English speaking institution, a test is generally not required. Some programs may waive the admission test scores if you can provide proof of proficiency from other sources such as courses, but if they recommend you take it — do it!
You may need to take the International English Language Testing System (IELTS); the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL); Test of Written English (TWE); or Test of English as a Foreign Language, Test of Spoken English (TOEFL TSE).
Ascertain if any type of experience is necessary to a successful application (i.e., volunteer, extra-curricular, or work). If so, consider which type(s) are required and what would be the most relevant experiences within each type (e.g., work experience is mandatory when applying to most MBA programs). If you are applying to a graduate program, research experience can be a plus. If you are applying to a health-related professional program, in most cases experience from within the profession is necessary. Use experiences from work, volunteering, extra-curricular activities, memberships in clubs/teams, and shadowing to show the depth of your understanding about the profession you want to enter in your application.
Well-rounded students who show leadership qualities, relate well to others, and possess organizational skills have an edge in the application process. In fact, according to Scholarships Canada, involvement in extra-curricular activities can greatly increase your chances of receiving a scholarship. However, admission committees also recognize that over-involvement in such activities can adversely affect your GPA, so be sure to engage only in the number of activities that you can effectively manage.
Even though many students apply to research-based Master’s programs without any research experience, having it can provide a competitive advantage. It is highly recommended that if you apply for a direct entry Ph.D program that you do get prior research experience. Start thinking about what interests you, and try to gain experience in this area. This will help you find a program and potential supervisor. The University of Waterloo library site has an extensive list of research databases to view journal articles and find what fascinates you.
To gain research experiences seek out opportunities such as the NSERC Undergraduate Research Awards (USRA) positions. Applications for an NSERC USRA are very competitive. Some departments offer University Research Assistantships that could provide research experience.
Securing an Undergraduate Research Internship (URI) would allow you to hold a research position with a professor; these opportunities are managed by Co-operative and Experiential Education and the program is open to regular and co-op students. Be proactive and approach a professor, tell them about the program, and provide the URL so they can complete the application.
Another option is to volunteer in a lab on campus where permitted. You could run experiments or even conduct basic literature reviews for professors or grad students. Approach faculty members and explain how your skills and background will be an asset to their research. Consider the faculty member’s perspective and do not focus just on what you will get out of the experience.
Often your fourth year design project or final thesis course and paper will provide research exposure. If you are in a co-op program, you can look for research-based work terms at Waterloo, other institutions, or in industry.
Seek to publish your work whenever possible. It will be especially important if applying to a Ph.D program — giving you a competitive edge. You do not have to be the first author. Take any opportunity to contribute to a study, write up a journal article, or participate in a conference presentation/abstract.
Talk to a faculty member to find out how you could turn your senior-year course project into a publication.
What is CASPer®?
CASPer® (Computer–based Assessment for Sampling Personal Characteristics) is an admissions test that assesses interpersonal and non–cognitive skills like communication, collaboration, interpersonal, ethical–decision making, empathy, compassion, integrity, etc. through a scenario–based format. The scenarios are largely ethical in nature and the questions asked gauge your personal attributes and characteristics using concrete examples of real–world situations.
CASPer® is not a knowledge–based test.
Who uses CASPer®?
CASPer® is increasingly being used by many professional programs, and is common health–related programs such as medicine, nursing, optometry, pharmacy, and more. Programs can add CASPer® to their list of requirements for any application cycle, so check the information for the year of your application cycle.
How do I find out if I need CASPer®?
There are two ways to find out if you need to take CASPer® for your application(s):
What is the CASPer® testing process like?
CASPer® is a computer–based online test, meaning you can take this test in any environment with a reliable internet connection and minimal distractions. The test is 90 minutes in length and is comprised of 10–12 sections. Each section will present a video or written scenario. You can only watch the video or read the written passage once per scenario. Following each scenario, applicants are required to type out an answer three questions in five minutes. Each response is graded by a different marker, so 10–12 people mark your CASPer® test.
Very few schools are explicit about the possible ways that CASPer® scores are used in their admission decisions.
How many times do I need to take the test?
You will need to take the test at least once for every year you apply, as your test scores are only valid for one year.
Generally, the content of the CASPer® test is unique to each program type and country, so you may need to take the test more than once in a cycle if you are applying to multiple program types. However, if you are applying to the professions of dentistry, medicine and optometry in Canada you will write the test once during an admissions cycle. If you are applying to both Canadian and US medical schools, you need to write the US and Canadian CASPer® test.
How can I prepare for CASPer®?
There are many different ways you could prepare yourself for the CASPer® test. There isn’t one right way to prepare for this or any other admissions test. But in general, exposing yourself to the testing format, familiarizing yourself with relevant content, and finding an approach that works for you so you can structure your thoughts and move through the content quickly are key to doing your best.
Check the Test Prep page of CASPer®’s website for their tips to prepare for your test day.
You can test out some common strategies and see which ones help you to best organize your thoughts and make sure that you’re addressing all the questions.
If you are looking for more specific tips and tricks to help you prepare and be successful writing CASPer®, think about some combination of these options:
If you’re not sure where to start, drop by the Centre for Career Development library in the Tatham Centre.
How should I format my responses?
There isn’t one right format for a CASPer® response, but finding a format or strategy that works well for you can help you respond effectively and avoid getting bogged down in organizational details that have little bearing on how your response is scored. Test out different options and see which works best for you and the way your brain likes to organize information. Here’s one example:
Here’s one recommended format on how to approach CASPer®:
Due to the limited time to answer each question it may be helpful to use this format:
Are there test prep courses for CASPer®?
There are companies that offer CASPer® prep courses; however, UWaterloo students that provided feedback after writing CASPer® do not think they are necessary, nor do Admission Directors. At minimum, it will be helpful to understand the CASPer® format and strategies on how to write it.
Should you decide that practice and preparation are useful for you, check out the preparation program supported by CASPer® here.
What kinds of questions will they ask?
Generally, they’re asking reflective questions about your approach or action–oriented response to a specific scenario. The scenarios are ethical in nature, meaning there is no one right answer and typically multiple perspectives to be considered. The scenarios and following questions may or may not be health–related, but they certainly will relate to your ability to analyze a complex situation and communicate with others. Here are some examples to start:
Video shows two people arguing about a convicted pedophile, John, who will be released soon from jail and will be living in their neighbourhood. Do you agree with this decision to release John?
Personal Descriptor CASPer® example: Consider the experiences you have and insight gained from these experiences that led you to believe that you would be a good physician.
Video of Head of Athletic Department talking to a mother who was complaining about her child not being selected for a team. Mother’s question at the end of the scenario was “Are you going to continue to allow this?”
Personal Descriptor CASPer® example: Talk about a stressful situation you have encountered.
Can I get access to sample questions from previous tests?
Yes, it is possible to access question banks with CASPer® scenarios and questions to aid in your preparation beyond what’s available on the CASPer® website itself. The strength of third–party resources and their proximity to actual CASPer® scenarios depends highly on the specific resource and the extent to which the banks get updated each application cycle.
Unlike the MCAT, it’s not necessary to make use of extensive question banks to be successful, and these resources can be costly. If this option doesn’t work for you, that’s okay! Think about using some of the other strategies mentioned here. If you still have questions about the best method for you, you can connect with a Further Education Advisor in a drop–in to start a conversation.
Check if references are required and, if so, the number and type (academic or non-academic). Many programs require two academic references (meaning professors — although exceptions can be made for those who have been out of school for some time), while some ask for one academic and one non-academic. Examples of non-academic references are coaches, volunteer supervisors, and employers. If there are no guidelines on which type of reference is required, academic reference letters are usually highly valued, as your referee should be able to speak to your ability to be successful in a professional/graduate school.
Evaluate who can best provide a non-academic reference letter. Asking someone with a prestigious title, but who cannot provide any substance on your capabilities (with proof) will add no value to your application. Consider first what you want discussed in your reference letter and then find people who can provide that information.
Ask your potential referees in person: “Will you have time to write a strong supporting reference letter?” Then listen to how the individual responds. If you detect any hesitation, try to find someone else. Individuals could be reluctant to write a letter of reference if they have little to say that is positive about your work, or alternatively if they have little memory of you. Many referees will try to let you down easily in such cases. Providing them a way to say “no” can help ensure that you obtain only the most positive of references for your application, whereas including references from individuals who indicate that they do not know you well can be very detrimental to your application.
If your referee is unsure of what to include in the reference letter, suggest that they: include their credentials/accomplishments; provide proof about your abilities/attributes; and share what you accomplished in the course/work term (e.g., assignments, presentations, grades received), difficulty of course/work experience, and comparison of you to other successful students.
It is recommended that you cultivate relationships throughout your university experience, so that when the time comes to ask potential referees to write a letter, you have some choices. Many students worry about how to go about doing this, as they may not feel close enough to their professors to be memorable. But there are ways to tackle this challenge. Pick a professor from whom you have taken several classes, or one to whom you have submitted a particularly strong essay or project. Visit the professor during his or her office hours, or ask questions after class. Show that you are interested in the class content, and that you have a goal to attend graduate school or a professional program. You can mention through this process that in the future you hope that they might write a reference letter for you. This may help them to pay more attention to you. Start establishing these connections today.
Give referees enough time to write effective letters. Ask 4 to 6 weeks in advance for a reference letter, and provide the form, addressed envelope with postage (if necessary), your personal statement/letter of intent, a list of projects completed in their courses, admission requirements, and your résumé — anything that will help their task of writing a letter. Provide a general idea of why you want to attend that particular professional/graduate program, as well as what areas of the field interest you. Ask if your referee requires more information to write your letter.
Sometimes you will be given the option of an “open” versus a “closed” reference letter. An open letter means that you can read it prior to submission; however, it is best not to choose this option as such letters are not viewed as favourably as “closed,” and thus confidential, letters.
If you are not using a centralized application centre, referees will need to provide you with a reference letter for each program or school to which you are applying. These programs will require referees to submit references either directly to the program (electronically after you have provided their name/contact information, or by mail) or in a sealed envelope with a signature across the closing to the applicant. The application process might indicate when your references have been received, so you can use this information to follow-up and remind your referees if necessary. If you apply through a centralized application service, each referee completes only one reference form or letter, which is submitted directly to the application centre for distribution to each institution.
Admission committees look for specific examples of academic abilities as well as discipline, persistence, and responsibility. If a reference form is required, read through the different categories a referee needs to complete because this information may help you identify whom to ask to complete the form and reference letter. Always remember to send a thank-you note to your referee(s).
Transcripts need to be ordered directly from the school(s) you attended unless you are currently enrolled in, or have graduated from, an Ontario university or college and are applying through OUAC. In the latter case, submit a transcript request form to OUAC, and your transcripts will be ordered and forwarded to the institutions to which you are applying. If you are applying to a program at a school that you have already attended, you may not be required to submit a transcript.
It is always a good idea to check your unofficial transcript to ensure it is accurate. Allow enough time to order and have transcripts sent to the school to which you are applying. (At the University of Waterloo this is from the Registrar‘s Office for undergraduate transcripts and the Graduate Studies Office for graduate transcripts.) You may be asked to submit the transcript with your application package in a sealed, signed envelope. Check the admission requirements to determine if a final transcript needs to be sent after you complete your degree.
Graduate degree programs may begin in January, May, or September, and applications are generally due between December and February (for a September start date). In Ontario, applications to certain programs are made through OUAC. The online application becomes available approximately three months prior to the deadline. It usually takes between 5 to 25 to complete an application, so allow yourself enough time to do a thorough job. You do not need to complete the application in one sitting; you can enter and exit the application until you decide you are ready to submit. The following are applications available through OUAC:
If applying to professional programs outside Ontario, contact each institution to check the number of applicants accepted from out of province. Apply directly to each institution. In many cases, an online application form is used.
If your application process involves an interview, please review the Interviewing pages within this Further education section to learn more about graduate/professional school interviews.
If you receive an offer from your second-choice school, contact your first-choice school to see if you can accelerate its decision. If you receive a letter stating you are on a waiting list, determine if you can take steps to increase the likelihood of being accepted. It may be possible to provide additional reference letters and other information to show how your skills and experience have grown since your original application. If possible, visit schools and try to meet with decision makers. And, if you know a faculty member with connections to your program or institution of choice, ask him or her to speak to the admissions committee on your behalf.
Although many students strengthen their qualifications and reapply, it is important to be realistic (i.e., know when and how to develop a viable alternative that will still allow you to realize many of your goals).
If you are unsure of your interests or goals, or don‘t have a parallel plan, please review the Decision-making section of CareerHub.
At minimum, your grades, experiences (work, volunteer, academic), and admission test (LSAT, or possibly GRE).
Your major and minor will not make a difference in your law school application, and L.L.B. and J.D. programs do not commonly have required prerequisite courses.
Each law school calculates your admission average differently, and competitive grades change every year.
Some law schools will use an average percentage grade for admission and others will use a GPA. Law schools may look at all of your undergraduate grades, your most recent performance, or your best performance, depending on their grade policies.
GPA is a grading system on a 4.0 scale. It measures how well and how consistently you perform. Take a look at the GPA conversion table to see how your University of Waterloo grade for each course maps over to a GPA value.
Convert each individual UWaterloo grade to a GPA value, then average. Use a calculator like whatsmygpa.ca to calculate your GPA more easily.
Grades are the most important factor to manage during your undergraduate degree. They are often the first point of assessment; if you don’t pass the grades-based assessment, your file will not be looked at further.
The LSAT is a standardized law school admissions test that aims to assess a broad range of skills. It is broken down into five main sections: 1) Logical Reasoning, 2) Reading Comprehension, 3) Logic Games, 4) LSAT Experimental section (not scored), 5) Writing Sample.
Learn more about the LSAT and access LSAT resources and sample tests on the Law School Admission Council (LSAC) website.
Some programs are beginning to accept scores from the GMAT or GRE instead of the LSAT. Check the policy for each institution you will apply to before deciding which admission test is best for you.
This varies by school and by year. For many Canadian institutions, the LSAT works in partnership with your grades, so a higher LSAT score can mitigate lower grades on an application.
No. The LSAT is expensive, stressful, and time consuming. You can write practice tests instead of the real thing. You can find practice tests through LSAC directly, or through a variety of third–party companies.
There is no one right answer to this question; when your practice test scores are consistently in the range you want to achieve and you feel comfortable with the testing format, you are ready to write.
Past successful writers recommend that you make a study plan that is tailored for your learning style.
There are many ways to structure your time and study for this type of test.
You may also wish to use a combination of these methods. The most important thing is that you choose a style and plan that works for you.
Use LSAT resources. You could:
The UWaterloo Legal Studies Society occasionally runs mock LSATs. Check their website and Facebook presence for more information.
Write when your practice scores are consistently in the range you want to achieve. Above all, write the test when you are ready.
Plan to write early enough in advance of your application that you could rewrite to improve your score if necessary. Some schools will accept a test written after their application deadline, but this may affect your chances of receiving an offer as institutions often begin sending offers before their deadline.
You can find LSAT dates, set up an account, and register for a test through LSAC.
There is no set list; lawyers work in many different contexts and on many different topics, so pursuing any experiences you are interested in will help to qualify you for law school. You will include your experiences on your application sketch and in your personal statements.
Choose things that you enjoy and want to spend time doing. Law schools value the quality of your experience more than the quantity; you will benefit from having longer and progressively more demanding activities that show your personality and interests.
Start tracking your activities, including start and end dates, key accomplishments, and contacts who can verify that you completed the activity. You will need this when you apply to law school and it is easier to record during an activity than to remember later.
Transcript: Thinking about Law - PPCN Fall 2016 (PDF)
You can find a list of accredited L.L.B., J.D., and L.L.L. programs on the Law School Admission Council website.
Ontario law schools use a common application through the Ontario Law School Application Service (OLSAS).
Outside of Ontario in Canada, schools use an individualized application process that you can access on each school’s website.
Most U.S. law schools require that you apply through the Credential Assembly Service (CAS) and submit additional documents directly to the law school.
Most law schools will require an application, LSAT score, transcript, letters of recommendation, and a personal statement. Some schools may require additional documentation.
For Ontario applications, you can access detailed admission requirements on OLSAS. For institutions outside of Ontario, you can access detailed admission requirements on each institution’s website.
It’s a heavily modified version of a résumé. It allows you to enter a limited number of experiences that you accumulated from the time you finished high school to the present.
You will need to know the start and end dates and approximate time commitment. You will also describe each experience in a short character limit and provide a verifier who can confirm that you completed each activity.
You can add the same activity to the sketch more than once. If you have more than the number of experiences allowed, you will need to cut something else to make space for the duplicate entry. This can buy you space for a more detailed description.
You will write a personal statement for each school you apply to through OLSAS. Each school has different question prompts and length requirements; exceptional applications are tailored to each institution. Plan plenty of time to complete your personal statement(s) and review the personal statement section of CareerHub for tips on writing effectively.
Transcript: Ontario Law School Applications (PDF)
Transcript: The Sketch (PDF)
Transcript: References (PDF)
Transcript: LSAT, Transcripts, and GPA (PDF)
Transcript: Personal Statement Writing (PDF)
Transcript: School Submissions: Lakehead University (PDF)
Transcript: School Submissions: University of Ottawa (PDF)
Transcript: School Submissions: Queen’s University (PDF)
Transcript: School Submissions: University of Toronto (PDF)
Transcript: School Submissions: Western University (PDF)
Transcript: School Submissions: University of Windsor (PDF)
Transcript: Tuition and Scholarships (PDF)
Transcript: Out of Province Applications (PDF)
Transcript: Resources (PDF)
Canadian law schools do not use interviews as part of their standard admission process.
If you are applying to a professional program (e.g., Speech Language Pathology, Audiology, Social Work, etc.), please see the interview section under your program of interest.
In rare cases, a school may reach out to you for a conversation that could be similar to an interview. To prepare for those rare situations, here’s some general information about planning for interviews for graduate or professional school.
Preparing for a professional or graduate school interview isn’t all that different from any other interview. If you’ve interviewed for any job or volunteer position before, you have a head start! The short answer is, do whatever you need to do to feel prepared and confident heading into the interview. That could include:
Here are some common questions you can practice for professional school interviews, no matter which program you’re interviewing for: