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The Bora Laskin Faculty of Law at Lakehead University is teaching law in a new and different way.
The theory of the law is integrated into the practice of law. The core law subjects essential to a quality law program remain, but they are tied to necessary practice skills. Law professors are working with practitioners to create hands-on, realistic learning opportunities for students. Much like the model of the Northern Ontario School of Medicine, law students learn by doing; where their classroom instruction is applied in the field. The objective: to prepare students as best it can for the practice of law.
Under one hundred students are admitted each year - making us the smallest law school in Canada. Being small allows us flexibility and creativity. It also means we know all our students by name and care about their success. First year classes are split into two sections of students. The sections, in turn, will have tutorial groups of approximately 10-15 students.
Our Juris Doctor (JD) degree is a three year second-entry, undergraduate program of study. A total of 18 full course equivalents (18 FCEs) are required for graduation. Each year will require 6 FCEs to be completed. Where indicated, a one-hour tutorial will be provided as an integral portion of the course offering.
Announced in November 2013 by the Law Society of Upper Canada (LSUC), all JD graduates in Lakehead's program will be a part of the Integrated Practice Curriculum (IPC), which will mean that our graduates will be eligible for licensing in Ontario upon graduation. This was approved due to our innovative curriculum that builds skills in all courses at all year levels, with a four month placement in third year of study.
The Faculty of Law’s innovative curriculum meets all requirements and standards of any law degree program in Ontario – and more. In addition to the staple law courses, the Faculty will focus on three realities that affect the North and rural Canada in general:
- Aboriginal and Indigenous Law and issues related to Aboriginal peoples;
- essentials of small firm and solo practitioner law practice; and
- law as it relates to natural resources, with emphasis on mining, forestry and development.
The first year is entirely mandatory and provides a foundation in the law and an introduction to fundamental legal skills such as making oral submissions, drafting documents, making written submissions, legal analysis, legal research, negotiation and fact finding.
In second year there are 5 mandatory courses (2 full year - Aboriginal Law, Civil Practice and 3 half year - Business Organizations, Administrative Law, Professional Responsibility, and Evidence). The rest of the course load is chosen from electives.
In third year students will spend one semester in a four-month unpaid Practice Placement firm of any size in Ontario. The Practice Placement office will work with students to best match their interests in type of law as well as ideal location throughout Ontario. In the alternate semester, students will take the remainder of their mandatory courses and elective requirements.
In addition, law students must write a legal research paper for the Upper Division Writing Requirement to graduate. There are two options to fulfill this requirement: 1) through an approved course that allows for a paper as a final assessment or 2) through a Directed Research Paper course with a faculty member supervisor.
Please note that second and third year electives are being added to as the faculty continues to grow. However not all electives will be run each year. Electives will be able to be taken by either second or third year law students, with third year law students having preference for courses they were unable to take in second year.
For a listing of current available courses, please visit the Academic Calendar.
For more information about the curriculum, please see the Integrated Practice Curriculum page.