The Common Law Section is pleased to offer some of the most exciting programs of study available anywhere, helping students acquire the necessary skills and knowledge to uphold the rule of law and the values of the Charter. Our objective is to provide a full service legal education, complemented by areas of specialization that reflect our faculty strengths and our location in the National Capital.
As a professional program, the Common Law Section prepares students for entrance to the practice of law or other careers in the public and private sectors where a legal education is required or beneficial. As an academic program, the Section is committed to providing students with intellectual development consistent with their strong academic background. These professional and intellectual objectives are achieved in a manner which is mindful of the privilege and power often accorded to lawyers in our society.
Our programs concentrate on more than just the letter of the law; we address the spirit of the law and the ideal of justice. In our view, it is the duty of the program to respect and promote the full range of diversity reflecting the multi-lingual, multi-cultural and multi-racial characteristics of the women and men in our programs and in Canadian society. Our students are Canada’s future leaders.
At the Common Law Section, we offer a wide variety of programs:
- Regular JD Programs - For those who have already completed their undergraduate studies and wish to study only Common Law
- Combined Programs - For those who have already completed their undergraduate studies and wish to study Common Law in conjunction with another field
- Combined Undergraduate Programs - For those who have not yet begun their undergraduate studies and wish to study Common Law in conjunction with their undergraduate studies
For those who have already completed their undergraduate studies and wish to study only Common Law
The English Common Law Program is our largest program, with an incoming class of 280 entering students each year. This program trains students for legal practice in any Common Law jurisdiction in Canada. Students may choose to take some of their upper-year electives in French.
The French Common Law Program is one of only two programs of its type in the world. It is designed to respond to the needs of Franco-Ontarians for both French legal education and legal services, and also to give Francophones from other provinces the opportunity to study in French. This program has a class size of 80 students. Students may choose to take up to 25% of their upper-year electives in English.
The 8-month National Program is designed to immerse graduates of Canadian civil law schools in the common law tradition. The aim of the National Program has always been to produce “National Lawyers”, lawyers who understand and appreciate the full richness of Canada’s diverse legal traditions. This program has an incoming class of around 20 students. In order to be eligible for this program, applicants must have completed an LL.L. at a Canadian institution. This program is bilingual, and proficiency in French is required.
For those who have already completed their undergraduate studies and wish to study Common Law in conjunction with another field
This unique four-year dual credential program is designed for those seeking training in Canadian and American legal systems. Students spend two years at uOttawa and two years at one of two U.S. law schools: Michigan State University College of Law in East Lansing, Michigan or American University (Washington College of Law) in Washington D.C. Upon completion, students obtain a law degree from each law school, which opens the door to the full practice of law in the U.S. and Canada.
The Common Law Section and the Norman Paterson School of International Affairs (NPSIA) at Carleton University offer a combined four-year program leading to a Master of Arts (International Affairs) and a JD degree. The program is designed for students with a strong interest in international law and relations and provides an excellent basis for a career in government or the private sector, as well as advanced studies in international affairs and international law.
This innovative program, offered by the Faculty of Law and the Telfer School of Management, is designed to educate a new generation of leaders—business executives who can manage independently the legal challenges of contemporary corporate life; lawyers who can address the business needs of their corporate clients; and entrepreneurs who will move seamlessly between business and law. In recognition of the complementary skills required for success in both business and law, students can earn both their MBA and JD degrees in less than four years.
Le Programme de droit canadien allows students to earn both a JD and an LL.L. in three years. It is an innovative program that permits students to benefit from the richness of diverse Canadian legal traditions in order to better respond to changes in society. Twenty exceptional candidates are admitted each year to the PDC. Students spend three years, including summer course-work, at the Faculty of Law. Certain courses are designed specifically for PDC students, and most of the program is offered in French, though knowledge of English is required.
For those who have not yet begun their undergraduate studies and wish to study Common Law in conjunction with their undergraduate studies
The combined Political Science and French Juris Doctor program provides an opportunity for students who have been admitted to the Faculty of Social Sciences to complete all the requirements of both programs in a period of six (6) years, obtaining two separate degrees at the end of their studies: a Bachelor of Social Sciences (with or without mention of the immersion program for anglophones) and a Juris Doctor (JD). Admission is run at the undergraduate level, not by the Faculty of Law. This program is only offered in French.
The integrated Commercial Sciences and French Juris Doctor program allows lawyers and those interested in Management to understand the issues and analyses from these two complementary disciplinary fields. This combined program allows students to complete all of the requirements of both programs within a period of six years, en route to obtaining two separate degrees at the end of their studies: a Bachelor of Commerce (with or without mention of the immersion program for anglophones) and a Juris Doctor (JD). Admission is run at the undergraduate level, not by the Faculty of Law.
If you have previously studied law and wish to attend uOttawa as a Transfer Student, for a Letter of Permission, as a Special Student, or to meet requirements set out by the NCA, you must apply as an Upper-Year Applicant.