Message from the Dean

Adam Dodek

I am extremely proud to lead the students, scholars, staff and alumni that make up the uOttawa Common Law community. For over 60 years, the Common Law Section at the University of Ottawa’s Faculty of Law has been at the forefront of legal education and research in Canada. As Common Law’s dean, it is my intention to continue to foster uOttawa Law’s leading national and international reputation, our innovative approach to teaching and research, and our institutional commitment to social justice.

Located in the heart of downtown Ottawa, within walking distance of Parliament Hill and the Supreme Court of Canada, the University of Ottawa provides the best opportunity in the world to study Canada’s legal systems in English or in French. We are located on unceded Algonquin territory and we recognize and are actively engaged in the project of reconciliation.

We have a strong bond with the legal community in Ottawa and a special relationship with the Supreme Court of Canada. Our students have unparalleled access and interaction to the highest judges in the land. Since 2004, we have welcomed every new Supreme Court Justice into our community at the Faculty of Law. We hosted the questioning of Justice Malcolm Rowe in 2016 and interim Dean François Larocque moderated the questioning of Justice Sheilah Martin in 2017.  Our students had the privilege of attending these and many more events. This is only one example of The uOttawa Advantage.

We are national and global leaders in multiple fields, including Aboriginal and Indigenous Law, Dispute Resolution, Environmental Law, Health Law, Immigration and Refugee Law, International Trade, Business and Human Rights Law, Law and Technology, Public Law and Social Justice. We house the Centre for Law, Technology and Society, the Centre for Health Law, Policy and Ethics, the Centre for Environmental Law and Global Sustainability, the Refugee Hub and the Public Law Group. We are also home to the internationally renowned Human Rights Research and Education Centre.

Students at uOttawa Law have the opportunity to study and work with an incredible range of faculty experts, many of whom are renowned as leaders in their respective fields.   On any given day, members of our faculty may be seen testifying before a parliamentary committee, providing expert commentary in the media or contributing to public policy debates on the issues of the day. We are proud to have among our faculty three Canada Research Chairs, three University Research Chairs, three other Chairs and many recipients of prestigious awards including the Order of Canada, the Order of Ontario, the Law Society Medal and Fellows of the Royal Society of Canada.

Students can also take advantage of a wide variety of experiential learning opportunities, ranging from an expanded selection of internship placements, to valuable work experience at one of the Faculty’s three student-run legal clinics:  the University of Ottawa Community Legal Clinic, which deals with criminal and civil matters; the Samuelson-Glushko Canadian Internet Policy and Public Interest Clinic (CIPPIC), which deals with public interest disputes involving technology issues; and the uOttawa-Ecojustice Environmental Law Clinic, which engages in environmental policy litigation.

Moreover, the National Capital offers countless work-study opportunities where students can earn academic credit and experience in placements with the government, courts, tribunals and industry sectors. Our undergraduate and graduate programs are designed to inspire our students to excel and to contribute meaningfully to their societies. We are educating tomorrow’s leaders in law and beyond.

Our alumni work as lawyers in private and public practice, but law has always been a valued education beyond the legal world and this will only increase in the future.   We will see more of our graduates working in business, governments, tech, international organizations and the not-for-profit sector.  They include Supreme Court judges, cabinet ministers, premiers, activists, senior public servants, entrepreneurs, business leaders, leaders of the bar, Stanley Cup champions, community leaders and indigenous leaders.  You can consult the members of the Common Law Honour Society to see some of these leaders.  The thread uniting these graduates is leadership.

At the Common Law Faculty, we are building a community for life.


Adam Dodek, LSM

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