The Canadian legal system differs between provinces with three different legal areas.
Quebec has a Civil Law system based on the French legal system whereas the rest of Canada has a Common Law system based on the British legal system and an Aboriginal Law system that governs people such as the Inuit, First Nations, and Métis people. It is a popular destination for LLM students and law schools in Canada offer LLM courses in English and French.
Here are five of the best LLM programs in Canada*.
The LLM program at the University of Toronto is divided into two types, a taught LLM program with coursework only or a thesis only option. Both types can be specialised into the areas of Legal Theory, Business Law, Health Law, Criminal Law, and Ethics & Policy. The LLM programs are not designed for lawyers from other jurisdictions to then be able to practice law in Ontario. The course is usually studied full time in one year.
The McGill LLM is a one-year intensive full-time course and is offered with a coursework only route or as a thesis only route. LLM students can focus on areas such as Air & Space Law, Environmental Law, and Bioethics on the General LLM course. McGill University aims to offer an LLM program using the most recent research and technology to give their students all of the advantages when they start working in legal practice.
The Peter A Allard School of Law at the University of British Columbia offers an LLM program on a full-time and part-time basis. Full-time students take one year to complete the program and part-time students take up to two years. Students can focus on Tax Law or Common Law and modules include Canadian Public Law and Canadian Private Law.
The unique legal set up of Quebec and Canada means that the Université de Montréal has a strong tradition of training students to work in the Civil and Common Law systems. They have one of the largest law departments in Canada and offer an LLM in Common Law in English. The rest of their LLM courses are taught in French and the LLM in Common Law is a full-time course that takes one year to complete.
This is not an LLM for international students or those from outside of the province of Ontario as it will not qualify them to practice the law in Ontario. The LLM by Research at Osgoode Hall Law School at York University is for those law students who wish to pursue intensive and deep research into the law. Students study this on a full-time basis and usually take two semesters, but must take no more than four semesters, to complete their research.
Numbers of Students & International Students
Here is a table showing the number of students attending these universities in Canada, and the percentage of these that are international students.