The Curriculum

The Bora Laskin Faculty of Law at Lakehead University is teaching law in a new and different way.

Our Juris Doctor (JD) degree is a three year, second-entry, undergraduate program of study. The theory of the law is integrated into the practice of law with the Integrated Practice Curriculum (IPC). The core law subjects essential to a quality law program remain, but they are tied to necessary practice skills. Law professors and practitioners create hands-on, realistic learning opportunities and exercises for students. 

65 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.

Announced in November 2013 by the Law Society of Ontario (LSO), all JD graduates in Lakehead's program complete the Integrated Practice Curriculum (IPC), making our graduates eligible for licensing in Ontario upon graduation, pending successful completion of licensing examinations. The innovative curriculum builds skills and experiential learning into each year of study, in addition to the completion of a full-term Practice Placement during the 3L year.

The Faculty of Law’s innovative curriculum meets all requirements and standards of any law degree program in Ontario – and more. In addition to fundamental law courses, the Faculty focuses on three realities that affect the North and rural Canada in general:

  • Aboriginal and Indigenous Law and issues related to Indigenous 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 students with a theoretical foundation along with IPC skill-building exercises such as oral submissions, drafting documents, written submissions, legal analysis, legal research, negotiation and fact finding.

Constitutional Law (1.0)                                  Legal Research and Writing (0.5)
Contract Law (1.0)                                          Foundations of Canadian Law (0.5)
Criminal Law (1.0)                                           Property Law (0.5)
Tort Law (1.0)                                                  Indigenous Law (0.5)

Indigenous Perspectives (pass/fail experiential course)


The second and third year curriculum build upon the foundation of law and legal skills taught in first year with a combination of required and elective courses.

Mandatory Courses (Second Year)

Aboriginal Law (1.0)                                         Business Organizations (0.5)
Professional Responsibility (0.5)                      Administrative Law (0.5)
Civil Practice (1.0)                                            Evidence (0.5)

Mandatory Courses (can be taken in Second or Third Year)

Wills & Estates (0.5)
Family Law (0.5)
Real Estate Law (0.5)

Mandatory Course (Third Year)

Practice Placement (3.0 FCE)

A four-month, unpaid Practice Placement at a firm / legal organization of any size in Ontario. Student Services 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.

Electives (3.5 FCE)

Sample elective offerings (subject to change from year to year)

Clinical Law (experiential)                            Land Use Law in the North

Alternative Dispute Resolution                     Bankruptcy

Advanced Criminal Law Advocacy               Intellectual Property & Indigenous Knowledge

Tax Law                                                        Special Topics: Natural Resources

Public Health Law                                         Legal French

Labour & Employment Law                          Directed Research Paper

Mooting (experiential)                                   Special Topics: Gladue

Insurance                                                      Elder Law                            


For a listing of current available courses, please visit the Academic Calendar.

For more information about the IPC curriculum, please see the Integrated Practice Curriculum page.