To be eligible for selection, an applicant must have:
- obtained an undergraduate degree in an approved course of studies from a degree-granting university; or
- successfully completed the first three years (minimum 90 credits) or more of an approved course of studies leading to an undergraduate degree at UBC or completed the equivalent at a degree-granting university; or
- successfully completed the first two years of studies leading to an undergraduate degree at UBC or other degree-granting university, and be currently enrolled in the third year of the degree program. (An offer of admission will be conditional on successful completion of the third year by June 30 with a minimum of 90 credits at UBC, or the equivalent at a degree-granting university, and maintenance of the academic average obtained in the first two years of studies. 30 of the 90-credit requirement must be completed at the senior level).
Note: Courses completed toward a diploma program and subsequently transferred to a degree program will not be considered until the degree has been granted. Prospective applicants should be aware that almost all of our students have completed a four-year degree.
Applicants should regard their satisfaction of the entrance requirements as meaning only that they are eligible for selection. The median applicant accepted has an academic average of approximately 83%, with an LSAT score of 166 (91st percentile). The academic average and LSAT score are weighted equally. In calculating the academic average, only those years of undergraduate study making up the first undergraduate degree that are complete at the time of deadline for application are considered, except for item 3 above, where the applicant must maintain the overall standing of the first two years of studies. Generally, no greater weight is attached to one series of academic courses or disciplines than to another. Performance courses (including Fine Arts) are counted towards the required minimum 90 credits though the grades earned in such courses are not usually counted when calculating the academic average. Second degrees or graduate degrees are not taken into account, except within the Discretionary category discussed below. The personal statement may be used to assess admissibility and it will be used, in conjunction with the academic average and LSAT score, to determine entrance scholarship offers.
All courses completed towards an undergraduate degree will be considered for admission. Courses in progress, during the final year of an undergraduate program, will not be used in the calculation of the admission GPA. For applicants who have completed a minimum of 90 credits or the equivalent at a degree-granting institution (typically those who are in their fourth year of a four-year undergraduate degree), the lowest 12 credits (equivalent to four UBC term/semester courses or two year-long courses) will be eliminated from the calculation of the admission GPA. For applicants in the third year of an undergraduate degree program at the time of application, the lowest 6 credits (equivalent to two UBC term/semester courses or one year-long course) will be eliminated from the calculation of the admission GPA.
A personal statement is required in all categories. General applicants may request that special circumstances be considered in determining their academic average. The special factors or circumstances (such as medical or other emergency matters) must be documented fully. If a General applicant requests the Admissions Committee to consider making an adjustment to the academic average (not including certain courses or a year), the facts must be verified and supported by appropriate documentation. If the special circumstances are medical, then a doctor's letter is required. Not all special circumstances can be considered in the General category. Certain factors such as financial hardship, learning disabilities or other disadvantages, or ethnic background, can only be considered in the Discretionary category.
General applicants will be advised via email as soon as possible whether their application has been accepted, rejected or placed on the wait list. No emails denying admission will be made prior to receipt of the January LSAT scores. Early offers within the General category begin in late November. The majority of decisions within the General and Indigenous categories are made by the end of April. Applicants placed on the wait list may receive a final decision as late as August.
Because of special factors in life, an applicant may not satisfy one or more of the requirements for the General applicant category, but may have other relevant achievements and experience. The Admissions Committee has the discretion to respond to this type of situation by considering factors such as disability or special needs, financial disadvantage, membership in a historically disadvantaged group, and any other factors that the applicant wishes the Admissions Committee to consider. They may have other relevant personal achievements, work experience, contributions to their community, or personal challenges in their lives that are extraordinary and would not normally be experienced by other applicants to the law school. The process by which the Admissions Committee reviews these Discretionary category applications is designed to provide the opportunity for applicants of this nature to receive individual and exceptional scrutiny of their special circumstances for these candidates to be able to join and contribute to the richness and diverse nature of the academic community and ultimately to the practice of law in the society that is served by the Allard School of Law.
Discretionary applicants are normally required to have completed the first two years of an approved course of studies leading to an undergraduate degree at an approved college or university. A personal statement, LSAT score, and two letters of reference are required, and where appropriate, documentation such as medical reports should be submitted. Each application is considered individually on its merits. If an applicant has completed an undergraduate degree they will also automatically be considered within the General category as well.
Discretionary applicants must submit a personal statement detailing the special factors, including their achievements and work experience that they wish the Admissions Committee to consider. Each application is considered individually on its merits. It is important that applicants send detailed accounts of their circumstances, including their involvement in community or charitable organizations. In this category it is also important that applicants submit documentation (e.g., medical reports, if applicable or letters of reference) for the Admissions Committee to evaluate their files. Incomplete applications cannot be evaluated and it is the responsibility of applicants to ensure their applications are complete. Decisions in this category are made by the end of May.
Self-Identifying Indigenous applicants including First Nations, Métis or Inuit, are encouraged to apply in the Indigenous category. Those applying in the Indigenous category will automatically be considered in the General category as well.
Applicants via the Indigenous category, are strongly advised to contact the Associate Director of Indigenous Legal Studies early in the application process to discuss application requirements.
The Faculty considers the applicant's involvement with a commitment to Indigenous communities and organizations, and the applicant's intention to use their legal training to advance Indigenous concerns and interests. All applicants are required to provide evidence of their eligibility to apply in the Indigenous category by supplying a photocopy of their Indian status card, Métis card, or Government of Canada or respective provincial or territorial government documentation supporting their self-identification. Non-status Indians should contact the Associate Director of the Indigenous Legal Studies for additional information. In addition, a personal statement is required, two letters of recommendation, LSAT score, and official transcripts are required.
Other Admission Categories (other than to first year)
Each year there are many requests for admission to the upper years. Only a few applicants, however, can be accommodated.
Applicants who have started their J.D. degree at another Canadian common law school can apply under the Transfer category. Applicants who have graduated from a foreign law school can apply under the Advanced Standing category; however their credentials must be reviewed by the National Committee on Accreditation and they are required to write the LSAT. They must successfully complete two years of legal studies at Allard Law to receive a degree from Allard Law.
- Transfer. Students at other Canadian common law schools who have completed their first year of legal studies may apply for transfer to Allard Law. The Admissions Committee may give preference to applicants who:
- would have been admitted to the first year of legal studies at Allard Law at the time of being admitted to their present institution;
- have achieved satisfactory academic performance in their legal studies at their current institution; and
- have compelling reasons for transferring to Allard Law, which include compassionate grounds in which the applicant has no control over the circumstances.
Applicants must submit a personal statement, a copy of their LSAT score, official undergraduate and law transcripts, two letters of reference from law professors, and a letter of good standing from their current school with their application.
- Advanced Standing. Graduates of foreign law schools who have been evaluated by the National Committee on Accreditation and received advanced standing, or graduates of Quebec civil law schools, may apply to complete two years of legal studies at Allard Law to obtain a J.D. Applicants must have written the LSAT and must submit official undergraduate and law transcripts, a personal statement explaining the reasons for the request, a letter from the National Committee on Accreditation, and two letters of reference. Applicants who hold law degrees from foreign jurisdictions are advised to contact the Master of Laws (Common Law) (LLM CL) program or the Distance Learning program.
Please note that applicants admitted in the following category are not eligible to receive a J.D. from the Allard School of Law.
- Visiting (Letter of Permission). Students enrolled in a J.D. program at an approved law school may request permission from their current school to attend one year or one term of either the second- or third-year program at the Allard School of Law on a letter of permission basis. Students must submit a letter of permission from the Associate Dean of their current law school, a copy of their LSAT score (if applicable), a personal statement with compelling reasons for their request, official undergraduate and law transcripts, as well as two letters of reference from law professors. Criteria for selection are the same as for transfer requests (see above). Visiting status will be granted to successful applicants for a maximum of one year.
- Unclassified. The J.D. program will no longer be accepting applications from Unclassified (NCA) students. Applicants who hold law degrees from foreign jurisdictions are advised to contact the Master of Laws (Common Law) (LLM CL) program or the Distance Learning program.
Canadian Civil Law Programs
Graduates from a civil law program at a Canadian law school may:
- apply to the National Committee on Accreditation and apply to the LLM CL program or Distance Learning program at the law school; or
- apply for Advanced Standing (see above).
Students currently enrolled in a civil law program at a Canadian law school are not eligible to transfer to the Allard School of Law. They may, however, request visiting (letter of permission) status at the Allard School of Law if permitted to do so by their current law school. Visiting status will be granted for a maximum of one year only.