Federation of Law Societies of Canada Grants Preliminary Approval of Ryerson University’s Proposed Law Program

After a thorough review, the Common Law Program Approval Committee of the Federation of Law Societies of Canada has granted preliminary approval of a proposed new law program at Ryerson University. In approving the proposed program the Federation’s Canadian Common Law Program Approval Committee identified three concerns that it will monitor in subsequent reviews.

The Approval Committee has a mandate to determine whether a proposed law school program would produce graduates competent for admission to law society bar admission programs. All approved Canadian common law programs must adhere to a National Requirement set by the Federation and the law societies that outlines the knowledge and skills competencies that applicants for entry to the bar admission programs in the Canadian common law jurisdictions must possess.

Until it produces its first graduates, a program that complies with the National Requirement can be granted preliminary approval only and will be subject to regular reviews. The concerns that will be monitored by the Approval Committee in these reviews relate to Ryerson’s  faculty complement, program funding resources, and physical resources available to faculty and staff.

Approval of the academic program is only one phase in the development of a new law school in Canada. Provincial government authorities decide whether universities can offer specific degree programs. In Ontario, pursuant to the Degree Granting Act, a proposed program must be approved by the Ontario Minister of Colleges and Universities.

The Approval Committee’s report on the Ryerson program is available on the Federation web site. Additional information about the Federation’s common law program approval process and the National Requirement is available here.

The Federation of Law Societies of Canada is the national coordinating body of Canada’s 14 provincial and territorial law societies, which regulate more than 117,000 lawyers, 4,500 Quebec notaries, and Ontario’s nearly 8,000 licensed paralegals in the public interest.