McGill University Law School Info Session Recap

Updated: Nov 10, 2020

Hey everyone! Last week PISA was proud to host an info session with the Assistant Dean of Admissions and Recruitment at McGill Law, Ms. Andra Syvänen. Ms. Syvänen spoke to us about the program itself, the incredible opportunities that McGill Law offers, and some of the admission requirements. If you missed the info session, don’t worry! You can find a detailed overview below in bullet point-form. If you’re interested in applying to McGill Law, definitely keep an eye on the fast-approaching deadline of November 1st. If you have any questions about the event or any information in this blog post don’t hesitate to reach out! 


Initial facts:

  • Offer an integrated BCL/JD program

  • Rank top 20 in the world! 

  • transsystemic courses, learn common and civil law at the same time, combined law approach 

  • focus on teaching, theoretical approach 

  • Teaches concepts of civil law, common law, and Indigenous legal traditions


Program Overview:

  • designed to be done within 3 ½ years (105 credits)

  • two choices of majors, commercial negotiation and dispute resolution, or international human rights and development (if you choose to do a major it will most likely take 4 years)

  • minors in arts science, or managements 

  • option of an honors 

  • two joint program options - Law/MBA Law/MSW (social work)


Funding:

  • scholarships and financial aid are widely offered 

  • McCall McBain - early deadline!! (september of the year preceding your entrance)

  • McGill law entrance scholarships - automatically considered (awarded to 25% of admitted applicants

  • Entrance Bursaries - based on financial need, must apply after being accepted  

Opportunities:

  • several experiential learning/on-campus opportunities offered

  • international human rights internships 

  • community legal clinic placements

  • legal information clinic, pro bono 

  • clubs, journals, student associations, activities 


Ideal Candidate

  • looks for more than just academic ability (maturity, ethics, positivity, drive, leadership ability, experience, etc.) **holistic**

  • passive bilingualism - must be able to comprehend both French and English at an intermediate level

  • presentations/exams/papers can be done in either English or French (you get to choose)

  • Class interactions and course materials may be given in either languages, and some courses are offered entirely in french

  • Must have a B2 level of french (if you have only taken high-school level french you most likely do not have the level of french necessary)

  • There will be a form to complete to show your french ability, they will also look at your transcript, CV, and ask your reference to rate your french skills (may be a phone conversation to see your comprehension ability)


LSAT - not required!

  •  is not required because the LSAT is not offered in french - if you do write it, you must inform McGill and they will take your score into consideration

  • November LSAT is recommended, you can write it in January but it will delay the consideration of your application


Competitiveness - in 2019 there were 1423 applicants, 234 offers made, and 182 spots

  • Average was 85%, average LSAT score was 161 (39% of the incoming class took the LSAT)

  • Average age of students entering was 24 - ranged from 17 to 49

  • No preferred program to be accepted into law school! Admissions looks for consistency, improvement, difficulty, and range in the courses you take in undergrad


Admissions Requirements - highly recommended to complete your bachelors (can apply with only 60 uni credits but no-one without a Bachelors (unless straight out of CEGEP) has been accepted in the past 3 years)

  • supporting documents 

  • Transcript - uses CGPA (excluding Winter 2020 because of COVID)

  • references (2), mature students can use professional recommendations but academic references are HIGHLY preferred

  • CV - maximum length 2 pages, note all work experience and how many hours worked  during the academic year

  • personal statement (super important) 

  • Give a snapshot of who you are (why law? Why McGill? Why you?)

  • Don’t waste space summarizing your CV

  • Write the whole letter in one language - don’t make it bilingual (can have the CV in french and letter in english or vice versa)

  • Get someone else to edit it for you! spelling/grammar mistakes are bad

  • note if youre part of a marginalized group, and how this is affected your life/desire to go to law school, etc

  • Don’t need a formal “Dear ___, Sincerely yours, ___” 

  • additional supporting documents 

  • extenuating circumstances - if there is anything ‘negative’ you would like to clarify about your application (lower grades, if you’ve taken a semester off, etc.)

  • indigenous applications - if you are Indigenous then you will fill out a supplementary document on your connection to your community or your aspirations to build a connection through law school (to acknowledge the structural inequalities that can often place Indigenous students at a disadvantage)


Application Deadline - Nov 1! Nov 8th for your supporting documents - offers of admissions start in December and go until June (when you receive your offer of admissions has no bearing on the quality of your application)


Aliosha Hurry (UBishops alum and current McGill law student):

  • References letters are really easy to get at Bishop’s - try and get to know/work with professors who you want to write you a reference, and take smaller classes with them so they can get to know you academically

  • Get involved at Bishops to add to your CV (try a wide range of activities), use this in your personal statement to show how strong a candidate you are and what you’ll bring to McGill

  • Personal statement - do your research on McGill and reflect that in your “why McGill” section, be critical of yourself and highlight your strengths




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