Your First Year

Your first year of law school at the University of Ottawa, will mark a challenging, rewarding and unique experience. During Orientation week we will help you get acquainted with faculty members, with the city of Ottawa, and with the colleagues and friends with whom you will be studying over the next three years. You will also be matched with an upper-year Peer Advisor to help facilitate your transition to law school and for continued academic success throughout the year.

Over your first year of study, you will be instructed in six core areas of law as well as in alternative dispute resolution. They are:

Dispute Resolution and Professional Responsibility 
Constitutional Law I
Criminal Law and Procedure
First Year Thematic Course
Introduction to Public Law and Legislation

Our faculty recognizes the importance of active participation in debate and the benefits of student interaction within a close classroom setting. With this in mind, each first year student is assigned to a "small group" core course of about 20 students. You will become well-versed in legal writing & research techniques as well as receive individualized feedback from your "small group" professor.

In addition to learning the "language of law", a distinguishing feature of our first year curriculum is an immediate immersion in intensive Alternative Dispute Resolution training.

This three-week-long practical unit is designed to prepare you for mediation case analysis, effective client representation, and for developing specialized strategies to creatively solve disputes.

This exceptional program is undertaken through "actual-case"-based mediation exercises and student interaction with local members of the Bar.

As mediation is mandatory in the National Capital region, and on its way to full implementation across Ontario, employers will clearly recognize our graduates as being fully equipped for the demands of the legal profession.

You have a challenging road ahead and we wish you every success in your legal career. We hope you will choose the University of Ottawa to best prepare you for that route.

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