Dalhousie University Schulich School of Law
The information on this page was provided by the law school.
Official Guide to LLM, Master’s, and Certificate Programs
The Schulich School of Law has a stimulating and robust graduate program, offering the Master of Laws (LLM) and the Doctor of Philosophy in Law (PhD) degrees. This program comprises a vibrant, collegial, and close-knit intellectual community of bright, motivated students from around the world. It combines personally tailored study plans with close supervision from some of Canada’s finest legal minds. Our students are enthusiastic and curious; they have a broad range of experiences and interests in diverse areas of law and policy.
Why Study at the Schulich School of Law?
Our faculty members teach and conduct research in all of the main areas of the law and are keen to question the limits of the law. In addition to our three centres of excellence—Health Law Institute, Law & Technology Institute, Marine & Environmental Law Institute—our legal experts cover international business law, criminal justice, and Indigenous and Aboriginal law, to name a few. While graduate students are here, they will learn the law in different ways through participating in the lively Schulich Law community of lectures, workshops, and conferences.
Our graduate students will have gained knowledge and skills for careers in academia, private practice, national and international governmental organizations, counsel for NGOs and enterprise, and more. In their chosen fields, they will make extraordinary contributions to legal knowledge, policy, and research at home and abroad.
Our law school is located in Halifax, the capital of the East Coast province of Nova Scotia. Often referred to as Canada’s best-kept secret, Halifax boasts a youthful spirit, rich history, and scenic waterfront. The coastal city’s urban charm is complemented by its natural beauty. As one of our graduate students put it, “Halifax is big enough to explore yet small enough to connect.”
Scholarships are available to outstanding applicants in both the LLM and PhD programs. The application deadline is January 15. For more information, visit dal.ca/grad/studylaw.
Introducing the Dalhousie Law Graduate Society (DLGS)
The DLGS is a community of graduate law students at the Schulich School of Law, Dalhousie University. The society includes Master of Laws (LLM), doctorate (PhD), and postdoctorate students. The society is here to fulfill the need of the graduate community, to further the importance of partnership to scholarship, and to fulfill the need for representation and advocacy for our common interest both within and outside the school of law.
The DLGS has five primary objectives:
- To create a platform for research, peer review, and publication
- To advocate for, among other things, the availability and standardization of paid teaching and research opportunities for graduate students; and for job opportunities for those not wishing to pursue academia
- To provide a central portal for disclosure of research grant opportunities and peer application assistance
- To organize and hold a monthly graduate students’ research café and an annual or biannual Dal Graduate Law Students Conference
- To, from time-to-time, organize social gatherings both in and out of the law school
While the above objectives are central to the DLGS mandate, they are by no means exhaustive. We seek input from all graduate students on any other issues that the DLGS may become involved.
We believe we are better together. Together, we can help make graduate life at Schulich Law an even more engaging and enjoyable experience.
Applicants for admission to the LLM program should hold a first degree in law equivalent to the Dalhousie JD, passed with at least a 3.5 GPA. Requirements for both the LLM and PhD programs include:
- application and fee
- proof of English proficiency
- two reference letters
- motivation letter
- sample of legal writing
- thesis proposal (unless applying for the LLM course work stream)
The ability to conduct research is a prerequisite for admission. The application deadline for both programs is January 15.
English Language Proficiency
Candidates from outside Canada whose first language is not English will be required to provide official results from an English-language proficiency test (TOEFL iBT 100, TOEFL PB 600, IELTS 7.5).
LLM Program Options
We offer two options for the LLM program. The first is a combination of a thesis plus three courses. The second is a program of six courses, all of which require substantial research papers.
You may choose to do either of these options on a full-time (usually one year) or a part-time (usually two or more years) basis.
Students usually complete the program's three courses during the first and second terms (September to April) of the academic year before completing a supervised thesis over the course of the summer (May to August).
The coursework LLM option includes six courses that each conclude with a substantial paper. This version of our LLM normally runs from September to May.
Before deciding on the thesis or coursework option, candidates who are contemplating future doctoral studies should note that some doctoral programs require the completion of a Master of Laws degree which includes a thesis.