As a first-year student, the Black Law Students Association at UCalgary Law was extremely welcoming, and I was excited about joining the community of Black students.
current JD student
UCalgary BLSA Member Characteristics
The Black Student Admissions Process (BSAP) was introduced in collaboration with and in response to the UCalgary Black Law Students’ Association (BLSA) Calls to Action released in June 2020. Specifically, in response to the Call to Action on admissions reform to encourage and increase the number of BIPOC applicants. UCalgary Law is committed to working with our BLSA to address the existence and impact of systemic racism in the law school admission process and our larger society. The BSAP is one of the ways we as a faculty will act to bring about meaningful change.
The BSAP is meant to provide space for Black applicants to speak about their lived experience and the barriers they have overcome. It is intended to address the under-representation of Black students within our law school and the larger legal community, and to lessen the systemic barriers that lead to the under-representation of Black law students and, consequently, Black lawyers. If they are not admitted under the ordinary admissions process, students who self identify as Black will have their application automatically reviewed by up to two members of the Black Student Admission Process Sub-Committee which will be comprised of Black law students, Black faculty members and Black members of the wider legal community.
No. The criteria for admission under the BSAP will be exactly the same as for the ordinary admission process. The BSAP is not more or less competitive than the ordinary admissions process, and applicants will be assessed on the same admission criteria.
No, there are no quotas for students who participate in the BSAP although it is our goal to encourage and increase the number of BIPOC applicants we receive through establishing the BSAP.
No, the BSAP does not disadvantage applicants who apply through the ordinary application process. Black applicants are assessed on the same criteria as applicants who apply under the ordinary application process. All admissions decisions will be merit-based, taking into account all criteria that forms part of our assessment. It will not be harder or easier to be admitted through either process. For applicants who do not identify as Black or Indigenous (the two distinct admission streams we have, other than our ordinary admission process), but wish to share information related to equity, diversity, lived experience or life achievements, they may do so through the newly expanded Special Facts section to allow for any applicant to share personal information they consider important for the Admissions Committee to know in considering their application. This section is optional and open to all applicants.
No. The decision to self identify as a Black applicant and to use the space provided for a personal essay in the expanded Special Facts section is entirely optional.
No. Our intention is not to impose additional requirements or expectations on applicants under the BSAP. Our intention is to make space for Black applicants, recognizing they are an underrepresented within our law school and the larger legal community. Black applicants are invited to share their unique interests and experiences, whatever those might be, just like any other applicant.
No, there is no other criteria that must be satisfied other than self-identification. The personal essay is optional. All applicants must acknowledge that the information provided in their application is truthful, complete and correct and that submitting information that is determined to be false, misleading or written by someone else may result in revocation of an offer prior to submitting their application.
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