In its annual demographic survey of the incoming class, the Faculty of Law continues to see a richly diverse group of talented students coming to Queen’s.
Thirty-seven per cent of the Class of Law’21 identifies as a member of a racialized group; including Indigenous, South Asian, Black, Latin American, Chinese and more. One in six of our new students speak a language other than English or French at home, with mother tongues that include Anishinaabe, Hindi, Somali, Urdu and more. One in five of our students was born outside of Canada; almost half, 48%, had at least one primary guardian born outside the country.
“At Queen’s, we believe that the legal profession must represent the public, in all its diversity,” says Jane Emrich, Interim Assistant Dean, Students, at the law school. “It is gratifying to see students of all backgrounds choosing Queen’s. Staff such as Ann Deer, our Indigenous Recruitment and Support Coordinator, are essential in helping us build new relationships and encouraging a diverse range of candidates to consider Queen’s as a school of choice.”
The commitment to diversity at the school extends to other populations as well. While 5% of Canadians identify as having a disability, half as many again 7.5% – of Queen's Law's incoming class identify as disabled. About one in six are the first in their family to attend university (and three-quarters the first in their family to attend law school), and one in every eight of these students came from a household earning less than $50,000 per year.
“Statistics like these are why bursary support is such an essential part of our fundraising efforts,” says Dean Bill Flanagan. “Ensuring the doors of Queen's Law remain open to all deserving students – regardless of their economic background – is a goal not only at the school, but one shared by our alumni. We raised more than $600,000 for our various bursary programs last year, and continue to see amazing philanthropy from our alumni who believe that the path to a quality legal education should be open to all.”
It goes without saying that admission data remain stronger than ever: not only are our incoming students more diverse than ever, but their incoming grades continue to increase. “Our GPA and LSAT scores are among the most competitive in Canada, in both the standard and access admission categories,” Emrich says. “We have strong students entering the law school, which is why we have some of Canada's best placement rates leaving it – over 95% of our graduating class of Law’17 had found work by three months after graduation.”
“A legal profession that reflects the public is a fundamental component of access to justice,” Dean Flanagan says. “Our success as a law school can in part be measured by how we live up to that ideal, and I am proud to say we are helping educate a generation of lawyers that will more than ever reflect the diversity of Canada today.”