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Our JD Programs

"Our duty is to prepare students for the profession they’re joining, not the one we joined. And no question, their profession is going to look different from ours."
-Ian Holloway, dean 

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Calgary Curriculum

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The JD Program

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Joint Programs

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Experiential Learning

How our JD program works

Our Juris Doctor (JD) program will prepare you for a variety of roles within the legal system, lays the groundwork for the development of competent, talented, creative and sensitive professionals, and will ensure that you are ready for the rapidly changing legal marketplace.

The program satisfies the requirements of the Law Societies of common law Canada for admission to the practice of law.

Each year is broken down into 3 semesters: 

  • Fall semester: 13 weeks (3 week block week course + 10 week semester for first year students) 
  • January semester: 3 week (block week course)
  • Winter semester: 10 weeks (late January to March)
Two students walk past a display on a wall in the law school.

First-year program

  • (September) Your first three weeks of law school will be spent in an intensive block course, Foundations in Law & Justice I. This course will cover introductory legal concepts, reading and briefing cases and interpreting statutes, critical perspectives on law through topical/current “cases,” and the role of lawyers in a system of laws and in society.
  • (January) Foundations in Law & Justice II will cover introductory skills in legal research, writing and advocacy, and will include drafting and a writing/advocacy assignment.
  • Legislation (Fall term) will focus on drafting and interpreting legislation. This course is taught through performance-based learning and involves multiple forms of assessment.
  • Throughout the remainder of your first year, you will study core substantive law course, including Property, Torts, Contracts, Constitutional Law and Crime.

Second- and third-year program

  • (January) Three-week block course in Negotiation (second year) and Advocacy (third year)
  • You will choose from a number of courses focusing on legal theory and other perspectives on the law.
  • The Upper-Year Writing Requirement will require performance and documentation of student research.
  • You will be able to choose between courses taught with traditional methods or using performance-based learning methods.
  • Core required courses, specifically Civil Procedure and Ethical Lawyering, will be taught through performance-based evaluation.

Auditing courses at UCalgary Law

Permission will only be granted to individuals who hold a law degree and are currently practicing law in the province of Alberta. Space restrictions limit the number of students allowed to audit law courses.

You must email the Student Services office at to initiate the application/approval process. All admission, registration and fee deadlines which apply to regular students must be met. Tuition and fees are paid on a per-course basis.

Auditors may not participate in assignments, examinations or parts of courses such as laboratories. They may participate in class discussion with the instructor's consent. If the instructor wishes the student to participate in activities other than class discussions, permission must be obtained from the Associate Dean (Academic).

Courses for credit as a non-law student

Permission will only be granted to UCalgary students registered in the Faculty of Graduate Studies, persons holding a law degree from an accredited Canadian or American law school, and students admitted to UCalgary Law through an international student exchange program.

You must email the Student Services office at to initiate the application/approval process. Approval is required before any person not enrolled in the JD or LLM programs will be permitted to take a course for credit in the Faculty of Law.

UCalgary students registered in the Faculty of Graduate Studies must show that the proposed JD course is related to their studies, and the student must have their supervisor’s consent.

Persons holding a law degree from an accredited Canadian or American law school will not be permitted to enroll in compulsory courses at the Faculty of Law absent exceptional circumstances.