Canada has many opportunities for international and domestic LLM students, making it a great choice for studying a Master of Laws. It is also an affordable option when compared to the United States and the UK.
The Canadian Government plans on doubling the number of international students in Canada by 2022, so there has never been a better time to plan to study an LLM in Canada as an international or domestic student.
Here we give you some of the reasons why it's a great idea to study your LLM in Canada..
Great Academic System
The education system in Canada is well respected and offers robust undergraduate and postgraduate learning options. Most institutions in Canada are large campus-based universities with a wide range of subjects and extra-curricular programs. Education is regulated at the Province level so a university in Ontario will have a different application system to a university in British Columbia. It is unlikely that an LLM from a Canadian law school alone will qualify you to sit a particular Province's Bar Exam and you should check with the Federation of Law Societies of Canada about your existing legal education. There are a number of well-respected Law Schools in Canada, and among them are the University of Toronto, Dalhousie University, McGill University and Osgoode Hall Law School at York University.
Variety of Subjects and Study Methods
There is a great selection of LLM options available to those students in Canada. For example, at the University of Toronto, subjects covered by the LLM course include Business Law, Criminal Law, Health Law, Ethics and Policy, and Legal Theory. While Dalhousie University offers a range of subjects to study on the LLM program, including Intellectual Property Law, Free Trade and Conflict Prevention. Most Law Schools in Canada offer an LLM on a full-time basis only, but Osgoode Hall Law School offers a part-time option for professionals and subjects offered include Family Law, Canadian Common Law, and Energy and Infrastructure Law. Osgoode also offers courses for internationally trained lawyers to learn about the practice of Common Law in Canada.
Dual Official Languages
Much of life in Canada is conducted in both the official languages of English and French. However, universities and law schools in English speaking provinces generally teach in English and those based in Quebec teach in French. Many students will be proficient or even completely bi-lingual by the time they study an LLM program, as many career paths in Canada require proficiency in both languages. English speaking international students will have plenty of chances to learn and improve their French skills. Similarly, French students studying in Quebec will have many opportunities to improve their English skills.
Along with the two official languages there are also two legal systems in Canada. Quebec operates in the Civil Law Tradition based on the French Code Napoléon and the remaining Provinces use the English Legal Tradition of Common Law like much of the English speaking world. There are also complex treaties that have been entered with the Aboriginal people of Canada for the use of land and for the setting out of Aboriginal rights.
The benefits of international study are numerous, as you will gain an understanding of how the people of another country think, feel and regard the rest of the world. If you want to have an international base to your career, then building up a network of contacts around the world through international study is a great way to do this. Remember Canadian students will also benefit from meeting and working with international students creating student bodies on the LLM courses with a range of previous experiences and opinions.