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Requirements for Admission to Law

ADMISSIONS CRITERIA

The Admissions Committee of the Faculty of Law uses a holistic approach to reviewing applications, taking into consideration a number of factors in addition to grades and Law School Admission Test (LSAT) results. Applicants from a broad range of backgrounds, who have demonstrated academic ability and good potential for success, will be selected. The Faculty of Law is committed to its goal of high quality legal education that prepares law graduates for the practice of law in smaller centres throughout Canada.

APPLICATION PROCEDURES

All applications to the Faculty of Law must be submitted to the Ontario Law School Applications Service (OLSAS) online at www.ouac.on.ca/olsas. The application deadline for the JD program is November 1 in the year preceding commencement of studies. Applicants must ensure their application materials and supporting documentation is sent to OLSAS. Applications that are incomplete will not be considered. All files must contain the following:

1. OLSAS application
2. Official transcripts for all postsecondary institutions attended
3. Personal statement
4. Official LSAT scores
5. References
6. Supporting evidence, where necessary

In addition the Admissions Committee may interview applicants as part of the selection process.

ACADEMIC REQUIREMENTS

To be considered for admission, applicants must:

Have successfully completed a minimum of three years of full-time undergraduate studies at a recognized university. Preference will be given to applicants with an undergraduate degree. Applicants may apply in the third or final year of their undergraduate program. Have an overall academic standing of B+/75% with an A-/80% in the last two years of study at the undergraduate level.

LAW SCHOOL ADMISSION TEST (LSAT)

All applicants are required to take the Law School Admission Test (LSAT). The LSAT is administered several times throughout the year in a number of locations across Canada and the United States. For additional information about upcoming test dates and registration for the LSAT, visit www.lsac.org. It is not necessary to apply to the Faculty of Law prior to registering for the LSAT. Lakehead University does not set a minimum LSAT score. The weight given to the LSAT varies depending on the fulfillment of other elements of the application. Admission decisions are made on a rolling basis. As such, applicants are required to take the LSAT no later than the February test date. If applicants complete the LSAT more than once, the highest test result reported by the Law School Admission Service in the year of application is used for admission. An LSAT score is valid for 5 years.

PERSONAL STATEMENT

All applicants must complete the Personal Statement with their OLSAS application. The Personal Statement provides applicants with the opportunity to outline those features of the application that distinguish them as a desirable applicant to the Faculty of Law at Lakehead University. The Personal Statement can include information about what led the applicant to make the decision to apply to study law, preparedness for the study of law, future aspirations once graduated from law, as well as the applicant's particular interest in Lakehead University and the Faculty of Law. Applicants may also wish to include information about any anomalies in their academic record, highlight non-academic accomplishments, and any circumstances that have contributed to, or detracted from, their academic and non-academic success.

The members of the Admissions Committee will consider the Personal Statement in the context of the rest of the application. It must be authored entirely by the applicant and must not exceed 8,000 characters in length.

REFERENCES

All applicants must provide at least two letters of reference: one academic and one may be non-academic; however, two academic references are preferred. Referees should have extensive personal knowledge of the applicant in order to make statements concerning the applicant's character, personal qualities, academic competencies, employment performance, volunteer contributions and other areas that may be of interest to the Admissions Committee.

Letters of reference must be confidential and submitted directly by the referee to OLSAS. Applicants should arrange for their referees to use the OLSAS Confidential Reference Forms that are provided with the application.

TRANSCRIPTS

Official transcripts are required for all postsecondary institutions attended, including transcripts from studies as a visiting or exchange student. All transcripts are to be ordered by the applicant and sent directly to OLSAS from the host institution.

LANGUAGE PROFICIENCY

An excellent command of spoken and written English is essential for success. As an exception to the Lakehead University admission standard for Proficiency in English Language, the Faculty of Law requires a higher test score. Applicants whose native language is not English, and who cannot verify having studied in an English language school system for more than three (3) full years, will be required to present proof of English language proficiency by achieving appropriate standing on one of the following tests:

TOEFL (internet-based):
Minimum Score: 103
Minimum Individual Scores: Writing 7, Speaking 7, Reading 6.5, Listening 6.5

FOREIGN AND PRIVATE UNIVERSITIES

Applicants educated ouside of Canada or the United States, who have obtained a degree, or are working towards the completion of an undergraduate degree from a foreign country, must have all official transcripts translated (if applicable) and evaluated by World Education Services (WES) or a equivalent service. A course-by-course evaluation specifying Canadian degree, grade and credit hour equivalency is required. Applicants are responsible for the costs associated with the evaluation and any translation required.

APPLICATION CATEGORIES

There are three major categories of admission in the first year of the Juris Doctor (JD) program: General, Aboriginal and Access.

General Applicants
The General category is to be used by all applicants to the first-year JD program, unless applicants feel that they qualify to apply under the Access or Aboriginal (First Nation, Metis and Inuit) categories.

Aboriginal (First Nation, Metis and Inuit) Applicants
Lakehead University is committed to the goal of increasing Aboriginal representation within the legal profession and welcomes applications from Canadian Aboriginal people. Under the Aboriginal category, applicants must be of indigenous ancestry, First Nation, Metis or Inuit. Aboriginal applicants may apply under the General category if desired. Aboriginal applicants are required to submit a letter of status from either a band council or Aboriginal organization to support their application under this category. Aboriginal applicants are requested to outline in their personal statement their interest in, identification with, and connection to their communities.

Access Category
Lakehead encourages applications from candidates whose backgrounds, qualities or experiences allow them to make unique contributions to the law community, the legal profession and society in general. The Admissions Committee will consider an applicant whose academic performance has been significantly affected by some proven disadvantage under the Access category. The barriers may include, but are not limited to, cultural, financial and physical or learning disabilities. Applicants are required to describe how the disadvantage has affected their academic record as part of the Personal Profile and must provide supporting references and documentation.

APPLICANT RESPONSIBILITY

It is the applicant's responsibility to ensure that application information is truthful, complete and correct. The University reserves the right to verify any information provided as part of the application. If information in the application form is determined to be false or misleading, concealed or withheld, the application may be invalidated which could result in its immediate rejection or in the revocation of an offer of admission or expulsion from the University.