What We Do

Approving Canadian Law School Programs

The Federation approves all Canadian common law programs. Through an annual review, we ensure law schools meet the standards of the National Requirement.

The National Requirement has been in force since 2015 and is updated as required. It includes the skills and competencies law graduates from Canada or abroad must have to qualify for entry to law society bar admission programs. It also includes the learning resources law school programs in Canada must have to be approved.

A program not yet operating or that has not produced its first graduating class may receive only preliminary approval. Once a program with preliminary approval produces graduates, it is reviewed annually along with a law school’s existing programs.

Two approval models

Two models are used for granting approval. The Program Approval Model assesses the program, and all graduates collectively, to ensure it meets the National Requirement. The Individual Student Approval Model, or ISAM, assesses individual graduates to determine if each meets the National Requirement. To learn more, consult the Conditions of Law School Approvals.

The current list of approved programs is available here.

If, during the annual review process, the Federation finds that some aspect of a law school’s operation appears not to meet requirements, we ask the law school to explain how it will address the perceived shortcoming. You can review an outline of the Federation’s concerns and law school responses here

Students who graduated from a Canadian common law program in 2015 or earlier are eligible for entry into bar admission programs in any common law jurisdiction, unless otherwise indicated.

Law school program definitions

  • Dual Program – combined completion of a J.D./LL.B. plus a J.D./LL.B. from another university
  • Joint Program – combined completion of a J.D./LL.B. plus a degree from another discipline within the same university, either undergraduate or graduate
  • One Year Program – a one-year J.D./LL.B. for graduates of Canadian civil law programs