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JD Programs

Submitted by amabel on Tue, 08/11/2015 - 2:33pm

The Faculty of Law's Juris Doctor (JD) program is designed to prepare students for a variety of roles within the legal system. Designed to lay the groundwork for the development of competent, talented, creative and sensitive professionals, our program prepares students for the rapidly changing society in which the imagination and human qualities of the legally-trained person are likely to be challenged to the fullest.

The JD program may be completed in three years of full-time study or six years of part-time study. The academic year is divided in to two 15-week sessions commencing in September and January. The program satisfies the requirements of the Law Societies of common law Canada for admission to the practice of law.

Full-Time Program

First Year

The first year of the JD program provides the foundation for life-long learning in law, consisting of a series of compulsory courses.

Students must achieve satisfactory performance (i.e., "C-", or higher, or "CR") in the following courses:

  • Law 400: Constitutional Law (5 credits)
  • Law 401: Foundations in Law and Justice I (4 credits)
  • Law 402: Contracts (5 credits)
  • Law 403: Legislation (3 credits)
  • Law 404: Property (5 credits)
  • Law 405: Foundations in Law and Justice II (4 credits)
  • Law 406: Torts (5 credits)
  • Law 410: Crime: Law and Procedure (5 credits)

Upon completion of the first year of the JD program, students will have a solid introduction to legal analysis and the integration of doctrine, skills and policy.

Upper Years

The second and third years of the JD program are designed to allow students to continue to increase both their substantive knowledge of the law and to refine their legal skills. The second year includes five compulsory courses. The third year includes one compulsory course. There is one additional mandatory course, Law 509: Business Associations, which may be completed in either second or third year. There are also two additional mandatory elements - an upper-year writing requirement and an international requirement.

Second-year mandatory courses:

  • Law 503: Administrative Law (3 credits)
  • Law 505: Civil Procedure (3 credits)
  • Law 507: Evidence (3 credits)
  • Law 510: Ethical Lawyering (3 credits)
  • Law 513: Negotiation: Selected Topics (4 credits)

Third-year mandatory course:

  • Law 611: Advocacy: Selected Topics (4 credits)

Mandatory floating course requirement:

  • Law 509: Business Associations (3 credits)

Additional mandatory components for graduation

Students must achieve satisfactory performance (i.e., "C-", or higher, or "CR") in courses taken to satisfy the following elements, and must submit a Written Declaration to the Office of the Associate Dean attesting to their completion of these elements:

  • Upper-year writing requirement
  • International requirement
  • Theoretical Perspectives Requirement

All full-time upper-year JD students must register for at least 12 credits per term, to a maximum of 18, and for a least 31 credits per year, to a maximum of 36.

Over the second and third year of the program, students must complete at least 62 credit hours.

Credit minimums and maximums may only be exceeded with the prior approval of the Office of the Associate Dean (Academic). That approval is given only in the most exceptional circumstances. 

In the Winter term of second year, and in third year, there is considerable opportunity for specialization and the ability to take clinical courses that provide opportunities to develop skills in a practical setting while allowing for academic reflection on practice issues. Most optional courses are open to both second- and third-year students, although some are available only to third-year students. Students should note that many courses have co-requisites and that some courses have pre-requisites. To determine which courses have pre- or co-requisites, please see the complete Course Descriptions document. 

Descriptions of all the courses listed above can be found here.

Part-Time Program

As a part-time student the first year curriculum is divided over a period of two years of academic study. The following courses are required to be taken in the first year of study:
  • LAW 400: Constitutional Law
  • LAW 407: Foundations of Law and Justice I – This course is taught on an intensive basis in the first 3 weeks of fall term to provide students with foundational analytical and critical skills for the subsequent curriculum. Class sessions are scheduled each day between 8:30 a.m.-5:00 p.m. and attendance is mandatory.
  • LAW 408: Foundations in Law & Justice II – This course is taught on an intensive basis in the first 3 weeks of winter term to provide students with the fundamentals of legal research, writing, communication and advocacy. Class sessions are scheduled each day between 8:30 a.m.-5:00 pm and attendance is mandatory.
  • LAW 402: Contracts or LAW 406: Torts

The following courses are then completed in the second year of study:

  • LAW 403: Legislation
  • LAW 404: Property
  • LAW 410: Crime: Law and Procedure
  • LAW 402: Contracts or LAW 406: Torts

Students have an option of continuing in the part-time program or changing to full-time status after completing their 400 level (first year) classes. Classes are usually offered during the day and not evenings within the fall/winter sessions. The Faculty of Law does not currently offer spring or summer classes.

International Energy Lawyers Program

The International Energy Lawyers Program (IELP)


Established in 2012, the International Energy Lawyers Program (IELP) is a joint JD program with the University of Houston Law Center that allows students to earn both Canadian and American law degrees in four years. Upon program completion, students are able to apply for admission to the bars in both Canada and the US, and with skills and knowledge in energy law, will be highly employable across North America. In addition to the regular degree studies, the IELP is structured to facilitate internships in the energy industry. 

Calgary and Houston are the two largest energy hubs in North America, and the IELP allows students to learn to analyze complex emerging issues in the energy and environment sectors. 

UH logoIn May 2015, the program saw its first three graduates. Keep reading to hear what's next for Barrett Schitka, Julia Gill and Andrea James. >>more

The University of Houston Law Center is the leading law school in the nation's fifth largest legal market. Founded in 1947, it is a top-tier institution, awarding JD and LLM degrees. The Law Center is fully accredited by the American Bar Association and is a member of the American Association of Law Schools. 


Interested students should communicate their interest in the IELP during the admissions process or after receiving an acceptance to one of the partner schools. While it is not necessary to apply to both programs simultaneously, an early expression of interest will assist the Associate Dean (Academic) in providing course guidance. 


To be eligible to apply to the IELP, students must have completed the required first-year program and earn a cumulative GPA that places them in the top half of the class.

Students should apply to the program before beginning their second year and must receive formal approval from the advisor at the home school. Students then complete a current application for the partner university and all other requirements to be admitted as a law student. The completed application will be sent to the host law school along with a letter of recommendation from the advisor. The host law school will review the application and accept the student, unless there is an appropriate reason for rejecting the applicant.

Students will usually complete their second year at their home school and years three and four at the partner school. Working closely with the Associate Dean (Academic), students will receive guidance to ensure that they take all courses required at both schools for graduation.

Note: If Calgary students are interested in the program later in their legal education, they should schedule an appointment with the Associate Dean (Academic) to discuss the degree requirements. 

Required courses

Both universities have specific course that students must complete to receive a degree from the respective law school. Some courses must be taken in residence at the particular law school, while others may be taken at either university. See the course breakdown for each school and a suggested degree plan

Fees and Scholarships

Dual degree students will pay tuition and other related fees to the school at which they are taking classes. Calgary students can secure financial aid through the University of Calgary.

Two $15,000 Nexen Inc. International Energy Law Scholarships are available to students for study in the IELP.

Combined JD/MBA

Offered by the Faculty of Law and the Haskayne School of Business, the Juris Doctor (JD)/Master of Business Administration (MBA) student life businesscombines and integrates legal studies and graduate management education, offering tremendous opportunity for students interested in careers in corporate law specialties, management consulting, business or entrepreneurial endeavours.

Students admitted to the combined JD/MBA spend the first year completing the first year core in either the Faculty of Law or Haskayne's MBA program, and the second year completing core studies in the other program. Years three and four combine courses from both faculties in a unique manner that allows students to fulfill the requirements of both degrees in four years rather than five.

Students must apply and be admitted to both the Faculty of Law and Haskayne's MBA program and a separate application to each faculty must be submitted. If you have completed the first year of either the JD or MBA program, you can still apply for the combined JD/MBA program simply by meeting the normal application and admission requirements for the other faculty.

An overview of the program requirements for the Combined JD/MBA is available here.

New in 2013: Combined program applicants who have completed the LSAT with a score of 158 or greater are exempt from taking the GMAT test, a requirement for all other MBA program applicants.

Interested applicants should contact:

Faculty of Law Student Services Office
Tel: 403.220.4155

Download and print the information sheet about the program.

Combined JD/MPP

JD/MPP program

Offered by the Faculty of Law and The School of Public Policy, the Juris Doctor (JD)/Master of Public Policy (MPP) combines the study of law and public policy across a wide spectrum of issue areas including resources and the environment, economic and social issues, international policy, as well as taxation, regulation and public finance.

This 3.5-year program is targeted at students who are interested in developing their legal skills and their ability to understand, analyze, develop and implement public policy. The program prepares students for senior leadership careers in public or private sectors in which coordinated legal and policy expertise is required to achieve success.

Through the JD/MPP you will cover a wide range of topics. The core courses in Law will explore topics such as constitutional law, contracts, property law, dispute resolution, administrative law and ethical lawyering. The Public Policy course will cover decision analysis, effective writing and research, governance and public policy, communicating policy, and markets and public policy.

Download the info sheet about the program.

How to Apply

Applicants must apply and be admitted to the Faculty of Law, The School of Public Policy and the Faculty of Graduate Studies, and a separate application to each faculty must be submitted. Students applying must adhere to all of the requirements of each Faculty/School.

Admission requirements: Faculty of Law

  • Successful completion of 10 full courses or 20 half course equivalents from a university in Alberta or equivalent
  • Successful completion of the LSAT prior to January 1
  • Statement of interest
  • Two letters of reference

Applications to the Faculty of Law must be submitted by November 1 and must be completed online. If you have completed the first year of the JD program, you can still apply for the combined program. Visit our Admissions page for more information about applying to the Faculty of Law.

Admission requirements: The School of Public Policy

  • A minimum 3.30 grade point average (on a four-point scale) in the last two years of an approved program or over the last 10 full course equivalents
  • A current resume
  • A personal statement outlining the applicant's career goals and how the applied-for program would help achieve those goals
  • Two letters of reference
  • (As required) a minimum TOEFL score of 600 (written), 250 (computer-based test) or 100 (Internet-based test), or a score of 7.0 on the IELTS

Applications to The School of Public Policy must be submitted by February 1 for international students, and March 1 for Canadians and Permanent Residents. Visit The School of Public Policy's Admissions page for more information.

Interested applicants should contact:

Faculty of Law
Student Services Office

Tel: 403.220.4155

Course Descriptions