Faculty of Law

Faculty of Law
Faculty of Law

First Year

The Admissions Committee uses a holistic approach to applications that takes into account a number of factors in addition to grades and the LSAT results. Queen’s Faculty of Law endorses the goal that the geographic, ethnic, cultural, racial and socio-economic diversity of the Canadian population should be reflected in the ranks of those granted access to legal education.

Our Faculty of Law is enriched by the skills, knowledge and experience of students who have been community leaders, excelled in extracurricular activities and enjoyed success in careers prior to the pursuit of a legal education as much as we benefit from students with inquiring minds who have excelled consistently in a broad range of academic disciplines.

All applicants must have successfully completed a minimum of three full years of course work in a degree program at a postsecondary institution that provides an academic environment and education that prepares students for potential success in advanced study at Queen’s. Visit the University Secretariat website for the Senate Policy on the Basis of Admission for Advanced Study and the interpretation guidelines.

The Admissions Committee reviews the nature and content of the undergraduate and graduate programs undertaken. Enrollment at full course load, scholarships,awards and prizes received, the level of the degree obtained (i.e., honours vs. general), consistency and improvement in academic performance, and successful completion of graduate work are weighed positively.

LSAT Requirement

  • All applicants are required to take the LSAT
  • LSAT scores for the past five years may be used.
  • The February test score is the latest score accepted for admission in the current admission cycle
  • The Admissions Committee will rely on the highest score achieved at the time of the admission decision.

Admission Categories

There are three major categories of admission into first year: the General category, the Aboriginal category and the Access category. The first-year class consists of about 200 students. Most students are admitted in the General category. Recently, up to 15% percent of students admitted to the first-year class have been from the Aboriginal and Access categories.

General Category

Your academic record and LSAT score are weighed most heavily in this category. The other Admissions Philosophy criteria are weighed carefully in making distinctions between applicants who are equally competitive on these bases. 

  • Competitive applicants should have at least an “A-” average (GPA 3.7) in their best two years of their undergraduate degree program at a full course load along with an LSAT score of at least 157.  
  • For a student who does not have two years at full course load (ie. at part-time load), more emphasis will be placed on their CGPA, as calculated by OLSAS, which should be at least a 3.3.
Access Category

Queen’s Faculty of Law is committed to enhancing diversity in legal education and the legal profession. To this end, the Faculty encourages applications from candidates whose backgrounds, qualities or experiences allow them to make unique contributions to the law school community, the legal profession and society in general.

The Admissions Committee will consider these factors:

  • disability
  • educational and financial disadvantage
  • membership in a historically disadvantaged group
  • age
  • life experience
  • any other factor relating either to educational barriers you faced, or to your ability to enrich the diversity of the law school community and the legal profession

You must demonstrate the following capabilities:

  • that you have strong potential to complete the JD program
  • that you have the ability to reason and analyze
  • that you can express yourself effectively orally and in writing, and
  • that you possess the skills and attributes necessary to cope with the demands of law school

Traditional measures of academic performance and LSAT scores may be given comparatively less weight in this category, while non-academic experience and personal factors confirming your special circumstances or unique qualities may be given comparatively more weight.

  • Competitive applicants should have at least a “B+” average (GPA 3.3) in their best two years of their undergraduate degree program at a full course load along with an LSAT score of at least 154. 
  • For a student who does not have two years at full course load (ie. at part-time load), more emphasis will be placed on their CGPA, as calculated by OLSAS, which should be at least a 3.0.
Aboriginal Category

Queen’s Faculty of Law is committed to increasing Aboriginal representation within the legal profession and therefore welcomes applications from Indigenous people, including those of Indian (status and non-status), Métis and Inuit heritage.

Applications will be considered based on your interest in, and identification with, your Aboriginal community, as well as other factors, including academic performance, results of the LSAT, employment history, letters of reference and a personal statement. This material will form the basis upon which the Admissions Committee will judge whether you are able to undertake the JD degree program successfully. If there is strong evidence of academic ability in the application, an exception might be made to the academic standards.

PLSNP Program

The Faculty of Law strongly supports the Program of Legal Studies for Native People (PLSNP) at the University of Saskatchewan’s Native Law Centre. The Admissions Committee may admit you to the Aboriginal category unconditionally or subject to successfully completing the PLSNP. 

The Admissions Committee will endeavour to make decisions on completed applications early in the admissions cycle for this category to allow time for those with conditional offers to apply for admission to the Program of Legal Studies for Native People.

For further information on the PLSNP, see www.usask.ca/plsnp.

Application Documentation

It is your responsibility to ensure that your application materials and supporting documents are complete. Applications that are incomplete will not be considered. The application is due to OLSAS by November 1. Please indicate on the OLSAS application if you are writing the LSAT after the deadline date. Reference forms must be forwarded to OLSAS and not submitted directly to Queen’s Law by you or by your referee.  Please provide the following documentation in support of your application to first-year studies:

  1. official transcripts from all postsecondary institutions attended, including those attended as a visiting student on exchange or on a study abroad program;
  2. official LSAT score(s);
  3. a personal statement (see below);
  4. confidential letters of reference (see below); and
  5. supplementary documentation to support the basis of the claim in the Aboriginal and Access categories, as necessary.
Transcripts

Official transcripts of all postsecondary institutions attended, including transcripts from studies as a visiting or exchange student must be ordered and sent through OLSAS. 

Foreign and Private Universities

If you are completing undergraduate studies outside of North America, you must have your foreign transcript assessed by World Education Services (WES). WES assessments are not needed for course work completed on exchange or Letter of Permission if transfer credits for such courses are recorded on the home university transcript.

If you have undertaken graduate studies outside of Canada and the United States, you are not required to have your foreign transcript assessed by WES or an equivalent service, although such assessment may be requested. Candidates from the National Committee on Accreditation (NCA) are not required to have their foreign transcripts assessed by WES or an equivalent service.

Personal Statement

The personal statement:

  • allows you to highlight your academic, personal, professional and extracurricular accomplishments
  • allows you to highlight your interest in studying law at Queen’s
  • can be used to complement material included in your autobiographical sketch
  • must be authored entirely by you
  • must not exceed 6,000 characters in length, including spaces

The Admissions Committee finds the personal statement to be helpful, along with letters of reference, the autobiographical sketch and verifiers, to identify scholarship prospects among applicants who are competitive on the basis of grades and LSAT scores.

In the Access category, a secondary mandatory statement will be required (1500 character limited) and will appear on the OLSAS application after choosing the access category of admission.  Please use this section to address the basis of your access claim and upload corroboration of these circumstances through relevant supporting documentation.

Part-time studies applicants: Outline in the personal statement your reasons for wanting to study part-time.

Letters of Reference

Please provide one academic reference. No more than three letters of reference may be filed to support an application. All letters of reference are confidential and must be submitted by the referee directly to OLSAS. 

Aboriginal category: Provide at least one academic reference and corroboration of your interest in, and identification with, your Aboriginal community.

Supplementary Documentation

To submit supporting documentation, once your application has been submitted, you can upload these documents using the Secure Applicant Messaging tool (SAM). Log in to your submitted application to access SAM, and follow the instructions provided.

Aboriginal category: Please submit a copy of your status card or a non-academic letter of reference to corroborate your identification with an Aboriginal community.

Language Proficiency and TOEFL

An excellent command of spoken and written English is essential for success in law school. A Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) score is required if you are not fluent in English. Test results from the iBT TOEFL are preferred. Other tests of English-language fluency may be considered, according to the Queen’s School of Graduate Studies and Research standards. Find more information about language proficiency.

Personal Information and File Retention Policy

Your files are kept for one year after the initial application in the event that you re-apply. Thereafter, if you do not register, your files are destroyed, unless we receive information about misconduct in the application process. Applicant information provided in electronic format and remitted by OLSAS is collected in our admissions database. This information will be saved in our admissions database for at least 10 years to permit longitudinal or statistical studies, reports or queries pertinent to recruitment, admissions, diversity of the applicant pool and registrant populations, enrollment management, retention and academic progress. Information pertaining to admitted applicants who register at Queen’s may be used for the purpose of participating in correlation studies conducted by the Law School Admission Council to assess the predictive value of the LSAT score and grades at the time of admission in relation to performance in first‑year law. The application documentation submitted on admission is retained as part of the student file for students who are admitted and register at Queen’s Faculty of Law. Such information is held confidentially in the Student Services Office and used in accordance with the privacy and access to information policies of Queen’s University. Personal information may be disclosed to regulatory authorities, law enforcement officials or other persons when authorized or required by law. For details, see the Office of the University Registrar’s website. Questions may be addressed to the Assistant Dean of Students in the Faculty of Law.

Caution

Provision of false or misleading information or failure to provide material information will invalidate the application and will result in immediate rejection or in the revocation of admission and/or registration. You may also be reported to the LSAC Subcommittee for Misconduct and Irregularities in the Admissions Process for further action.

Updated July 2017