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Official Guide to Canadian JD Programs401 Sunset Avenue, Windsor, ON N9B 3P4, Canada
The University of Windsor law faculty welcomed its first law students in 1968. In five decades, Windsor Law has earned distinction among law schools for our emphases on access to justice, community service, clinical and experiential learning, and taking advantage of our border location—transnational law.
The law faculty is located on the main campus of the University of Windsor, approximately two miles from downtown Windsor. Its campus comprises 75 acres situated on the Detroit River at the foot of the imposing Ambassador Bridge to the United States. The university is fully accredited to the doctorial level. The faculty is accredited by the Law Society of Ontario and by all of the other common-law societies of Canada.
Degrees and combined degrees available—JD, Canadian & American Dual JD, MBA/JD, MSW/JD, LLM
- Through our Canadian & American Dual JD Program with the University of Detroit Mercy School of Law, students complete 104 credits in three years while attending both law schools simultaneously. Successful graduates receive both their Canadian Juris Doctor (JD) and their American Juris Doctor (JD) degrees. The program prepares graduates to practice law in both Canada and the United States.
- An integrated MBA/JD Program is offered in conjunction with the Odette School of Business.
- The MSW/JD Program is offered in conjunction with the School of Social Work.
- The LLM Program—Students may choose from two streams: a one-year (12-month) regular LLM or a two-year (24-month) LLM with Certificate in University Teaching and Learning.
- Special programs may be established in an area of the student’s special interest under the supervision of faculty members in the form of a supervised research study program.
The JD Program
The program leading to the degree of Juris Doctor (JD) requires admission as a full-time student for three years or as a half-time student for six years. The structure of this program is based on a compulsory first year and two required courses in upper years.
Students must also complete a research paper worth at least 50% of the grade in any course, one course from a group of courses that give a broader perspective of the legal process and legal theory and one course from a group of transnational law courses.
Each student must take a minimum of 29 credits and a maximum of 32 credits per year with a minimum of 13 credits and a maximum of 18 credits in each term. These requirements may be varied by the Faculty Council or its delegate in individual cases.
Clinical Law Program
Clinical Law Program sensitizes you to the various roles that lawyers perform as client counsellors, advocates, policymakers, legal scholars and custodians of the legal system, and offers academic term credit. The program includes Community Legal Aid (CLA), Legal Assistance of Windsor (LAW), the Chatham-Kent Legal Clinic and Community Legal Assistance-Sarnia.
We recently launched our Externship Program. As an extern, you will be placed in a law-related community organization, legal clinic, legal aid office, government office or not-for-profit organization for 1 term, where you will contribute meaningfully to the organization’s work. There is an array of sites in a variety of practice areas, including immigration, health, criminal, family, elder, child, municipal and environmental law. There are placements in the Greater Toronto Area, Sarnia, Chatham and Hamilton.
Clinic for Migrant Farmworkers Initiative
The Summary Advice Drop-in Clinic for Migrant Farmworkers Initiative provides a biweekly summary advice clinic for migrant farmworkers at various places in the Leamington area.
Class Action Clinic
The Class Action Clinic provides legal services and resources to class members, and also creates public legal education material.
Judicial Internship Program
The Judicial Internship Program exposes you to the experience of clerking with Ontario courts and the benefits of interaction with judges. There are Provincial Court Criminal Clerkships and Provincial Court Family Law Clerkships in Windsor, Chatham, Newmarket and Halton, Ontario.
Northwest Territories Clerkship Program
The Northwest Territories Clerkship Program enables you to serve as a clerk for the Supreme Court of the Northwest Territories (NWT) as a research project for credit towards your JD. As a clerk, you are based in Yellowknife, NWT, and travel occasionally to outlying regions with the Supreme Court of the NWT.
Transnational Environmental Law Clinic
The Transnational Environmental Law Clinic provides you with the unique opportunity to refine your understanding of environmental law and network with decision-makers in both Canada and the United States.
Advocacy and Mooting Program
The Windsor Law Advocacy and Mooting Program (AMP) gives students the opportunity to engage in a wide variety of advocacy competitions, including mooting (appellate advocacy), mock trial competitions, mock mediation, client counselling and negotiation competitions, and Indigenous forms of dispute resolution. Windsor Law competes in approximately 10-15 competitions each year.
Clubs and Committees
Find a club or committee that resonates with you and join in as a member or get further involved in their leadership, or create one of your own.
Career Placement and Bar Passage
Career Services Office
Through our Career Services Office, students obtain assistance with the identification of career paths and objectives, résumé and cover-letter writing skills, successful interviewing techniques, and transitioning from student to practitioner. Our Career Services program provides individual counseling, as well as seminars, workshops, panel discussions, and job-shadowing opportunities; provides information on traditional and nontraditional legal careers; and encourages students to explore the wide range of possibilities for utilizing their law degree. It is responsible for the administration of various recruitment programs, including on-campus interviews, and the coordination of our annual Career Day featuring legal employers from a variety of markets.
Tuition and Aid
At Windsor Law, we recognize the financial challenges that many students face when pursuing a legal education. Fifty percent of our students receive funding in addition to provincial student loans. In 2019, we awarded a total of $3 million in bursaries.
Students may qualify for scholarships at both the University of Detroit Mercy and the University of Windsor, see the University of Detroit Mercy Scholarships and the University of Windsor Scholarships. In addition, the Canadian & American Dual JD program awards one entrance scholarship and some achievement scholarships at the end of each year.
Students are automatically considered for some awards; others may require an application.
Awards are administered by the Office of the Assistant Dean (Admissions, Recruitment and External Relations).
Students may also be eligible for a number of external awards.
Students may be eligible for both government and in-course bursaries.
Admission Decisions: Beyond the Numbers
The objective of the admission policy is to select from among the many applicants those who will excel at the study of law and, at the same time, contribute creatively and meaningfully to the law school and the community.
The admission criteria and procedure for the entering class are
- university program
- work experience
- community involvement
- personal accomplishments
- career objectives
- personal considerations
- Law School Admission Test scores
No one factor is solely determinative of admission to the law school. The Admission Committee assesses applications in light of all the above criteria.
Windsor Law recognizes that Aboriginal Canadians are not adequately represented within the legal profession. The admission policy of the Faculty of Law encourages Aboriginal Canadians to pursue legal studies.
Unconditional and conditional acceptances may be granted to Aboriginal Canadian applicants who are considered to have good potential for the study of law. Applicants who have received a conditional acceptance from the Faculty of Law, and who have successfully completed the program of Legal Studies for Native People offered each summer by the Native Law Centre at the University of Saskatchewan, will be admitted to the first year of the JD program and may receive credit for Property Law.