A. First Year
There are two categories for admission into first year, General and Discretionary . The Admission Committee - composed of the director of admissions, faculty members and third year law students - will decide how many offers to make in each category.
Deadlines for First Year Applicants
Application and Transcripts - November 1 for studies commencing the following September.
Last LSAT score accepted - February test for studies commencing the following September.
Normally, at least a three year undergraduate degree is required, although the majority of admitted students will have a four year, or honors, degree. A competitive candidate will have an A- (80%-84%) average (GPA 3.7) particularily for the last two full years of undergraduate study and an LSAT score above the 80th percentile.
The Admissions Committee considers factors other than grades and LSAT, including success in community and public service, business, athletics, or the arts. A full course load throughout the candidate's academic career, enrolment in honors programs and graduate work are also positive factors.
All applicants who apply in one of three discretionary categories must provide evidence confirming the basis of their application. It is recommended that candidates complete three years of undergraduate study before admission. The Admissions Committee may interview applicants in the discretionary categories.
Mature candidates must have at least five years of non-university experience since leaving high school, and must have attended university for two years or possess a university degree. A competitive candidate will have at least two years of university with an overall average of B+ (78% - GPA 3.3) and an LSAT above the 65th percentile.
The Faculty of Law recognizes that members of First Nations, Inuit and Métis are not adequately represented within the legal profession and therefore strongly encourages applications from these groups. Aboriginal candidates may be admitted unconditionally or subject to the successful completion of the Summer Native Law Program at the University of Saskatchewan. Upon successful completion of the program, credit will be given for Property Law. A competitive candidate will have an overall average of B+ (78% - GPA 3.3) and an LSAT above the 60th percentile.
EXTENDED-TIME JD PROGRAM
Applicants whose academic performance has been significantly affected by some proven disadvantage may apply in the Access category. The barriers may include, but are not limited to, cultural, financial, and physical or learning disability. Candidates must describe how the disadvantage has affected their academic record, and provide supporting references and documentation. Applicants with disabilities should provide full documentation from qualified professionals on their disability and its effect on their academic record or LSAT scores. A competitive candidate will have an overall average of B+ (78% - GPA 3.3) and an LSAT score above the 65th percentile.
The Extended-Time JD Program is available to students who have been admitted to the JD Program. The program is designed for students who cannot manage a full-time program. Application to the Extended-Time JD Program should be made at the same time as the application for admission to first year law.
Applicants are required to meet the existing admissions criteria. In addition, all applicants must establish that it would be very difficult to attend law school full-time because of family responsibilities, health issues, disabilities, financial necessity, or other special circumstances. A statement outlining why a student may not be able to carry a full course load should be included in the Personal Statement.
Incoming first-year students in the Extended-Time JD Program are required to take The Foundations of Canadian Law, Legal Ethics and Professionalism and one of the small group courses which includes Legal Research, Writing and Advocacy, in addition to any other course or courses.
Students in the Extended-Time JD Program are required to complete the program within six years. Students will be allowed to transfer to full-time attendance and full-time students who meet the eligibility criteria will be allowed to transfer into the extended time program.
Extended time students are eligible for any entry scholarships or bursaries that are not restricted to full-time students, as well as any prizes or awards in individual courses.
Candidates from Accredited Degree-Granting Institutions
Candidates with acceptable standing at accredited degree-granting institutions may be considered for admission provided that the content of studies completed is equivalent in content to the courses offered by Western, and to the requirements of the program to which the student has applied. The university will review other candidates on an individual basis. Admission in all cases is competitive.
B. Admission to Second and Third Year
There are four categories of applicants for admission to second or third year: Transfer, Advanced Standing, Letter of Permission, and National Committee on Accreditation (NCA). All upper-year applicants apply to the Faculty of Law through the Ontario Law School Application Service. An LSAT is required for all upper-year applicants, with the exception of NCA applicants.
A major consideration in the admissions decision is the availability of places in the Faculty.
Applicants seeking admission to the second or third year of the program must submit: complete official transcripts of all university work undertaken; the results of the LSAT; and two letters of reference from the applicant's law professors. Official transcripts must be sent directly from each university attended by the applicant to the Ontario Law School Application Service.
Deadline for Upper Year Applicants
Application and transcripts - May 1 for studies commencing the following September.
Students currently enrolled in the first year at another Canadian law school may be admitted to the second year of the program as transfer students. If admitted, applicants who successfully complete the last two years of the program will be eligible to receive the Juris Doctor (JD) from The University of Western Ontario. Given the limited number of spaces that are available, consideration will be given to the best qualified applicants and those applicants who, for compassionate reasons, seek a transfer to Western.
Students who have successfully completed part or all of their legal education outside Canada may be considered for admission with advanced standing. Except in extraordinary circumstances, a student will not receive more than one year's advanced standing. If admitted, students will be required to satisfy the program requirements of the Faculty. Upon successful completion of the program, students are eligible for the degree of Juris Doctor (JD) from The University of Western Ontario.
Letter of Permission
The granting of advanced standing and the extent of credit to be given are at the discretion of the Admissions Committee.
Students currently enrolled at a Canadian law school can apply to study for one academic year at Western on a letter of permission. Typically, these requests are made by second-year students, seeking to study at Western in their third year.
Transcripts should be sent directly from the undergraduate institution and law school to Student Services (Admissions), Faculty of Law, Western University, London, Ontario, N6A 3K7.
Students who have been granted permission to register on a letter of permission do not receive the Juris Doctor degree from The University of Western Ontario.
National Committee on Accreditation
Lawyers qualified to practice in a foreign jurisdiction, who seek admission to practice in Canada should first apply to:
National Committee on Accreditation
c/o Federation of Law Societies of Canada
World Exchange Plaza
1810 – 45 rue O’Connor St.
Ottawa, ON K1P 1A4
Telephone: 613-236-7250, ext. 229
C. Law School Admission Test (LSAT)
The NCA assesses the applicant's credentials to determine the Canadian legal education required to bring the applicant to a level equivalent to the Canadian Juris Doctor degree. Based on this assessment, the Committee recommends the courses the applicant requires. A person admitted in this category who satisfactorily completes the required courses, does not receive a Juris Doctor degree from The University of Western Ontario. NCA applicants should inquire in advance of applying whether the Faculty of Law offers, or is in a position to accommodate NCA candidates in, all the courses they require for NCA purposes. Due to the very limited number of positions in available courses, only the strongest NCA applicants will be given priority.
The Law School Admission Test is required for all applicants to first year (with the exception of NCA applicants). Although the LSAT need not have been written before applying:
For first-year applicants, the February LSAT is the latest acceptable test session for admission the following September; and
For upper-year applicants, the June LSAT is the latest acceptable test session for admission the following September.
Details about the LSAT, including registering for the test, may be found at www.lsac.org.
Test centres are located in major cities in Canada and the United States, as well as in many other countries. The test is usually given four times a year in most Canadian Centres - in June, October, December and February.
D. English Requirements
Each student granted admission to Western must be proficient in spoken and written English.
Applicants for whom English is not a first language are required to achieve a satisfactory score on one of the following tests:
Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) and the Test of Written English (TWE)
This test is offered on several dates in a number of places in Canada, the United States and elsewhere. The TOEFL/TWE Bulletin of Information and registration material may be obtained from:
Test of English as a Foreign Language
Princeton, New Jersey
Michigan English Language Assessment Battery (MELAB)
This test is offered in Canada, the United States and elsewhere. Arrangements can be made by contacting:
The English Language Institute
University of Michigan
Ann Arbor, Michigan
International English Language Testing Service (IELTS)
This test is offered in British Council Offices outside Canada and the United States. Arrangements can be made by contacting the British Council Office or:
The IELTS Liaison Officer
10 Spring Gardens
It is the responsibility of the applicant to submit proof of English proficiency, as stated above, to the Admissions Office before an offer of admission can be made.
General and Discretionary Categories SR.08-90