How to Apply
All Dalhousie professional programs, including law, have a separate application process and generally requires previous university study for admission. Students are admitted to classes as full or part-time undergraduates in law.
Application Process Checklist
Take the Law School Admissions Test (LSAT)
Applicants under all admissions categories are required to provide a valid score for the Law School Admission Test (LSAT). The LSAT is a standardized test built to assess key skills that contribute to success in law school. The test is overseen by the Law School Admissions Council (LSAC). The LSAT is administered several times a year across Canada and around the world.
Please note the following policies:
- LSATs written after March 1st will not be considered for admission commencing in September of the same year.
- if you take the LSAT multiple times, we will only use the highest score in your assessment.
- we only consider LSATs written within five years of when you apply.
The Schulich School of Law does not endorse any specific preparation method for the LSAT, nor is there any recommended amount of time required to prepare for the LSAT. Because learning is highly individualized, a particular preparation material/method that works for one person is not guaranteed to work for everyone. There are many prep resources available including books, tutors, online and in-person courses and practice tests. We recommend researching the various options to find one that works best for you.
For more information on preparing and writing the LSAT, visit the Law School Admissions Council (LSAC) website.
Complete Dalhousie's Online Application Form
All JD applicants are required to complete Dalhousie’s online application form; including submitting your personal statement.
Applicants seeking admission to the JD program must submit their completed online application by February 28, 11:59 pm AT. Applicants who wish to be considered for early admission and entrance scholarships must submit their application by November 30, 11:59 PM AT.
Please note it is the responsibility of the applicant to ensure that all required documentation is received by the JD Admissions Office. Incomplete applications will not be assessed. See the Supporting Documents section below for more information on what is required.
When beginning your online application, you should have the following documents/information available:
- personal statement
- work experience
- information on volunteer and community activities
- dates spent at academic institutions (including exchanges)
Pay The Application Fee
A non-refundable application fee ($70), must accompany each application for it to be considered complete and for processing to begin. Your application will not be reviewed until the fee is received. There is no fee waiver available for the application fee.
Keep in mind that once you pay your fee, it generally takes three (3) weeks for your application to be processed before review of your file can begin.
You will be prompted to make your fee payment once you submit the online application.
Submit Supporting Documents
All applicants to the Schulich School of Law's JD program are required to submit documentation in addition to the online application. The specific documents may be dependent upon your admission category. In order for your application to be assessed for admission, your file must be complete. A complete file consists of your online application, and all required supporting documents.
Supporting documents may be submitted to the JD Admission Office before or after the completion of the online applicatoin.
It is your responsibility to ensure that all materials relevant to your application are received by the Admissions Office by the required deadlines.
Learn more about submitting your supporting documents below.
Check the Status of Your Application
Once your application has been submitted, you can log into the online application to check the status of your application and the receipt of your supporting documents. The system is updared on an ongoing basis as supporting documents are received.
Please allow at least three (3) weeks after your online application has been submitted, and your application fee paid, for the portal to initially be updated.
When applying to the Schulich School of Law's JD Program, it is important to think of your online application and supporting documents as a complete package. Your file will not begin the review process until all required supporting documents have been received by the Admissions Office and your application fee has been paid.
It is your responsibility to ensure that all materials relevant to your application are received by the JD Admissions Office by the required deadlines. Items marked with an * are required by all applicants.
Please note: applicants may have supporting documents submitted on their behalf from referees and academic institutions before they submit their online appliation.
You do not need to submit your LSAT score(s) to us. By providing your LSAC account number on the online application form, we will be able to retrieve the information automatically from LSAC. This includes updated test results should you write the LSAT after submitting your application documents.
Your personal statement is a very important part of your application. It is where the Admissions Committee can learn about you. We truly value a wide variety of backgrounds, identities, and aspirations, so be authentic and be yourself.
In your personal statement you may include your reasons for applying to law school, information or context about your academic performance/extra-curricular activities, key accomplishments from your paid/volunteer experience, your personal commitment to equity, diversity and inclusion, barriers you have overcome and/or any other personal information that you may wish to bring to the attention of the Admissions Committee. This may include any special skills, talents, or experiences that you feel have given you a unique way of looking at the world.
The Schulich School of Law is committed to equity, diversity and inclusion in legal education and the legal profession. We strive to admit a first-year class of students that is enriched by a wide range of backgrounds and experiences. This includes individuals from historically disadvantaged groups, who will contribute to the fabric of the law school community. If you are from a historically disadvantaged group, you may describe how you are culturally, racially, or socially diverse and how these qualities have contributed to your character. For example, this may include, the languages you understand and speak, your Mi’kmaq, African Nova Scotian or other Indigenous, Black or other racial identity, your cultural background, how you live with a disability or your experiences with a mental illness, your sexual orientation or gender identity, financial challenges you faced, your unique family history or your religious or conscientious beliefs.
Applicants who have applied under an application category other than General should include any information required for that category, as outlined on the Admissions Categories & Program Options page.
Letters of Reference*
Update for 2022-23 Academic Letter of Reference Requirements
Due to many academic institutions sustaining online learning in response to Covid-19, applicants to the Schulich School of Law are only required to submit ONE academic reference if they are currently attending or graduated from university within three years. The second reference may come from a non-academic referee.
Applicants are still required to submit two letters of reference.
This exception is in place for the 2022-23 admission cycle only.
How to submit
Referees must send the references directly to the Admissions Office by mail, fax or from a professional e-mail address. Referees may use either the Referee Statement Form (Appendix A) or provide the reference on their official letterhead.
Applicants are responsible to provide their referees with the Referee Statement Form and to ensure the references are submitted to the Admissions Office by the required deadline.
Requirements (please see above for updated academic reference policy)
Two academic references are required for all applicants currently attending university or who have graduated within the last three years. An academic reference should be from someone who knows you well and is familiar with your academic performance (i.e. a professor or advisor).
- If you are unable to secure two academic references, you may provide a non-academic reference as your second reference. Please let us know in a separate document why you cannot provide two academic references.
Applicants who have graduated more than three years ago may provide non-academic references (i.e. professional, employment, or volunteer references).
Special and Mature applicants should arrange to have references and/or assessments submitted from people familiar with the applicant’s non-academic contributions and achievements.
We require one official transcript from all post-secondary institutions that you have attended, including colleges and institutions attended for an exchange program or transfer credit.
- Please note that if an applicant does not include transcripts for all institutions, or reflects attending all institutions in their online application, the Admissions Office will not assess the file.
Official transcripts must be sent directly from the issuing institution. We will accept official transcripts by mail, courier or fax. We will also accept an official electronic transcript from the issuing institution, or the electronic transcript service approved by the issuing institution.
- Please note you do not need to provide your Dalhousie or King’s College transcripts. They will be provided to the Admissions Office directly from the Dalhousie University Registrar’s Office.
If you have attended a post-secondary degree granting institution outside of North America, we require you to submit your transcripts via the World Education Service (WES) at WES.org.
- Please note that WES.org has multiple services. The "course-by-course evalulation" is required to translate the courses and their marks from your transcript into a North American grading scheme
Applicants who have completed an international exchange as part of a degree program in Canada or the United States must submit official transcripts for all courses taken at all international institutions.
If you want us to include the grades from your exchange in the calculation of your GPA, your official exchange transcript must be submitted to our office via WES.org. Alternatively, you may have the international institution send the official transcript directly to our office, in which case your exchange grades will not be included in the calculation of your GPA. Please note the exception to this policy as outlined below.
- Please note that WES.org has multiple services. The "course-by-course evaluation" is required to translate the courses and their marks from your transcript into a North American grading scheme.
Exception: If you attended an exchange institution outside of North America and the letter or numerical grades are included on your Canadian or US institution’s transcript, you do not need to submit the exchange transcript via WES.org and we will include your exchange grades in the calculation of your GPA. We still require a transcript from the exchange institution.
Medical documents may be used in support of a diagnosis or underlying condition that may have affected your academic performance or life experiences.
Applicants may have a medical professional complete a Medical Statement Form (Appendix B) or provide a statement on their official letterhead. Other official medical documents are also accepted.
English Comprehension Test
Because the LSAT has a built-in English comprehension component, JD Admissions does not require international applicants to take any other English language test.
The Admissions Committee will review and take into consideration all documents and statements submitted with your application as part of the holistic review process. In addition to the required document types above, candidates may submit additional statements as outlined below and dependent upon their applicant category.
Work/Life Experience Applicants
Candidates who are relying upon work/life experience as a main consideration for admission are recommended to provide a detailed resume in addition to (or in lieu of) the information requested on the online application form.
Part-Time Program Applicant
Part-time program applicants should provide a statement outlining why they wish to study part-time.
Important Admission Dates
We work on a rolling admissions basis, meaning that offers of acceptance may be made up to the end of the admissions process in June. While we welcome you to contact us with any questions or concerns you might have at any time during the admissions process, we are unable to give any status updates until the admissions process is complete and final offers are made.
|September||Applications open for classes starting in the fall of the next academic year.|
|November 30||All completed applications received by 11:59 PM AST on Nov. 30 will be given early consideration for admission and entrance scholarships.|
|Last LSAT sitting of calendar year||This is the last LSAT considered for early admission and entrance scholarships (usually in November)|
|January 15||Deadline for submission of entrance scholarship applications.|
|February LSAT Writing||Final LSAT writing considered for September admission in same calendar year. This means LSATs written after March 1 will not be considered for admission in September of the same year.|
|February 28||Final deadline to complete application|
|May 13||Final deadline for Admissions Office to receive updated transcripts from applicants who have completed the final semester of their university degree.|
|June 30||Final admissions decisions made and all candidates notified.|