Juris Doctor

Full-Time Studies in Law

The JD program is designed to train students in those qualities which distinguish the educated lawyer, whether engaged in the practice of law, in government service or elsewhere. Among the qualities stressed are an understanding of the process of ensuring order in a complex and evolving society, precision of thought, an appreciation of the use of the English language in writing and speaking, thoroughness, and the avoidance of superficiality. 

The full-time JD degree typically extends over three academic years, from September to May. A student who has failed the work of a year may, subject to the limitations of space, be readmitted upon application. Students are permitted to take non-medical leaves of absence during their JD. The JD degree must be completed within seven academic years.?Student medical leave must be approved by the Studies Committee in advance. Where a student establishes, to the satisfaction of the Studies Committee, that for medical or personal reasons, the ability to pursue the course is significantly hampered, the Studies Committee may grant a?medical?leave?which would not count towards?the seven years. At the end of a term or a year, the student must apprise the Studies Committee of their situation (see Faculty Regulations). 

 

The regular course requires full-time attendance of students.

  • To complete First Year, the student must have passed all required first-year courses.?
  • To complete Second Year, the student must have passed all mandatory courses and have obtained a total of 29-31 hours of credit.
  • To complete Third Year, the student must have passed all mandatory courses and have obtained a total of 29-31 hours of credit, including a major paper writing requirement, each year.

 

Permission is required before any regular law student may undertake courses in another University Faculty. 

The policy of maintaining fairly small classes reflects the nature of teaching at the Law School. Courses are conducted by the “case method” or otherwise but with emphasis upon discussion between teacher and students, based upon assigned materials and topics that students are expected to have considered in advance. Research and written assignments are required of all students. These may involve substantial time in addition to regular class periods. The work submitted is carefully examined and then critically assessed by the teacher concerned and whenever possible a detailed criticism is provided in an oral interview. 

In addition to course and writing requirements, all students are required to participate in mooting exercises. Third-year students have the opportunity to attend legal aid clinics, the law courts, and special lectures. 

 

Degree Requirements: Full-time program 

First Year Required Courses  

Second Year Required Courses 

  • LAWS 2361.025 and LAWS 2362.025: Civil Procedure 
  • LAWS 2062.05 (or LAWS 2315.025 and LAWS 2325.025): Constitutional Law 
  • LAWS 2311.005 and LAWS 2321.005: Second Year Moot 
  • An elective course with evaluation by major paper (e.g. a “paper” course)*. A student must include at least one major paper course per year, and no more than three. 
  • Additional elective courses to make up a full year of study. A student must have a minimum of 29 credit hours and up to a maximum of 31 credit hours per year. Each term’s work must include a minimum of 12 up to a maximum of 17 credit hours.  

 

Required Course for either Second Year or Third Year 

  • LAWS 2099.02: The Legal Profession and Professional Responsibility 

 

Third Year Required Courses 

  • An elective course with evaluation by major paper (e.g. a “paper” course)

* A student must include at least one major paper course per year, and no more than three. 

  • Additional elective courses to make up a full year of study. A student must have a minimum of 29 credit hours and may have a maximum of 31 credit hours per year. Each term’s work must include a minimum of 12 up to a maximum of 17 credit hours. 

 

Part-Time Studies in Law 

The Schulich School of Law has instituted a part-time JD program in order to facilitate legal studies for those unable to take the full-time program. Students admitted to the part-time program may complete their degree by one of two methods: 

 

Full-Time First Year 

Students may take their first-year program on a full-time basis, and thereafter apply to be admitted to the part-time program for the remainder of the JD program. After first year, students in the part-time program are required to complete a minimum of 58 credit hours over a maximum of six academic years, with a minimum course load of eight credit hours in each academic year. Part-time students must complete at least one optional course involving a major written paper in each 29 credit hours over the period of part-time study. 

Students who enter the program after completion of first and second years on a full-time basis are required to complete their minimum of 29 credit hours over a maximum of six academic years, with a minimum course load of eight credit hours in each academic year. 

Half-Time First Year 

Part-time students who choose to do first year on a half-time basis are required to complete 17 credit hours of the first-year program in their first year, completing Law in its National and International Context, Aboriginal and Indigenous Law in Context, African Nova Scotians and the Law/Critical Race Theory, Contracts and Judicial Decision-Making, and Tort Law and Damage Compensation. The remaining 19 credit hours of the first-year program consisting of Property in its Historical Perspective, Criminal Justice: the Individual and the State, Fundamentals of Public Law, Legal Research and Writing and Introduction to Legal Ethics and the Regulation of the Legal Profession must be completed in the second year. Thereafter, students in the part-time program are required to complete a minimum of 58 credit hours over a maximum of five academic years, with a minimum course load of eight credit hours in each academic year. Part-time students can take a maximum of eleven credit hours per term. Part-time students must complete at least one optional course involving a major written paper in each 29-credit hour block over the period of part-time study. The Faculty encourages part-time students, wherever possible, to do first year on a full-time basis. 

Regulations require that both part-time and full-time students successfully complete the work of second year before advancing to third year. 

Credit Hours (Second and Third Year): Full-time program 

Each student must complete a minimum of 29 and up to a maximum of 31 credit hours per year, and a minimum of 12, up to a maximum of 17 credit hours each term. Students must complete in full the requirements from each year in order to advance.