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Evaluation of applications

The University of Ottawa, Faculty of Law, Common Law Section is a vibrant and diverse academic environment that trains competent lawyers who are sensitive to the needs of their community.

What are we looking for in a candidate?

The University of Ottawa, Faculty of Law, Common Law Section is a vibrant and diverse academic environment that trains competent lawyers who are sensitive to the needs of their community. To ensure that the student body represents the fullest possible range of social, economic, ethnic and cultural perspectives in our society, the Admissions Committee considers many factors in evaluating applicants.

These include:

  • significant achievements in extracurricular activities while at university or in community involvement;
  • outstanding qualities or achievements in previous careers;
  • linguistic, cultural or other factors that add to an applicant’s overall academic achievement; and
  • personal success in overcoming challenges such as a disability or financial hardship.

Any information provided will be considered in a manner consistent with the Ontario Human Rights Code.

Apart from those in the Mature category, applicants must have completed at least three years of undergraduate studies (the equivalent of 90 credits or 30 half-courses) prior to beginning law school. Students are strongly encouraged to complete their undergraduate program of studies in full prior to beginning law school.

Undergraduate academic performance is a significant numerical factor in the evaluation process. Most successful applicants have at least an A- or 80% average overall (CGPA).

The Law School Admission Test (LSAT) is mandatory for admission to the English JD program. The Faculty of Law does not have a cut-off or minimum score requirement. However, the Law School looks for an LSAT score above the 70th percentile (158 or higher). 

The weight given to the LSAT will vary according to the other elements in your file. If English is not your first language, the LSAT, while relevant, may carry less weight in the Admission Committee’s evaluation of the application. The LSAT is not a requirement for admission to our French JD programs.

File assessment process

The Admissions Committee is composed of professors and third-year students.

The Admissions Committee evaluates first year applicants on a continuous basis as each applicant’s file is complete. Decisions are based on the information provided at the time a file is reviewed. Documents received after a decision is taken will not be considered. Please note that files are not assessed until they are complete and all required documents have been provided by the applicant to OLSAS.

The first Offers of Admission are sent in early January. The Admissions Office will make every effort to notify applicants of decisions by late May. However, files continue to be assessed and students are advised if they have been placed on the waiting list. As responses are received, new spaces can open up until the end of August.

Decisions made by the Admissions Committee cannot be appealed.

If you wish to re-apply during a subsequent year, you must submit an entirely new application to OLSAS.