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. 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 for the practice of law.

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 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 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 Legal Traditions (0.5)

Aboriginal 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 Legal Issues (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)

Four-month, unpaid Practice Placement firm 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)

Current 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                                 Intellectual Property & Indigenous Knowledge
Tax Law                                                            Special Topics: Natural Resources
Public Health Law                                           Advanced Civil Practice
Labour & Employment Law                          Directed Research Paper


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.