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Canadian Law School Rankings

Using law school rankings to help you decide which LLM course to choose in Canada to apply for is a good starting point, however be careful as it can be rather omplicated and challenging!

A quick online search will reveal a long list of different rankings all vying for your attention. But are they all important? And are they all useful?

To put it simply, you need to accept that you may find some Canadian law school rankings more useful than others. 

Here is a list of the best ranked Canadian law schools according to University Magazine**.

Canadian Law School Rankings
**Some universities in Canada use a Grade Point Average (GPA) out of 4 and others use a GPA out of 100. 

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Different rankings reveal different facts 

What Canadian law school rankings you turn to will depend on what you are looking for. Do you want to know how the Canadian law school you are considering sits within a Canadian, North American or Global context? Or do you just want to know what current and past LLM students felt about their education? If it’s a global picture that you’re after you could try using a worldwide ranking system like QS World University Rankings by Subject will help you narrow down which law schools in Canada have an excellent global reputation. Organisations like QS World Rankings or Times Higher Education publish their results annually, so you know the information you are looking at is current. If you are more interested in law schools in a strictly Canadian context, then try sources like University Magazine who publish the rankings produced by Academics Major each year. 

How to use rankings

Again, how you choose to use the rankings depends again on what you are looking for. Do you just want to know about academic results? Are you interested in what the academic staff have published recently and what current students think of the facilities? Or are you more interested in the atmosphere of the campus? In which case there are rankings about all sorts of interesting aspects of Canadian law schools such as student satisfaction or how safe the campus is considered by students? Alternatively, you might want to look at the current graduate employment figures six months after completing the course, or view the expected salaries that graduates gain on average after five years. Once you've found a relevant ranking check to see how it was compiled, and if it was created from student questionnaires, and if so how many students were actually contacted? A quick look through the methodology should easily tell you if the ranking is of any use to you. 

What to look out for 

Check your rankings to see if it is only a ranking of JD results, as ideally you will want to see more about the postgraduate or LLM course rankings. Does the law school promote its position in a particular ranking list, like the University of Toronto? If so, then it is probably an academically respected ranking, but have a look and see how it was compiled. Keep an eye out for a law school that suddenly pops up high on a ranking list, especially if the list is from online student reviews as in some cases these can be tampered with by different groups leading to inaccurate results. 

What additional information should you find? 

Check to see if the law school you're considering is only well placed in law subject area league tables, or if the wider institution also places well. If it does, then you have probably found a robust academic environment to attend, but that doesn't mean an institution with an outstanding law department only should be avoided. It's all about what is right for you. Check to see how the law school places in other non-academic areas too, perhaps in sporting events or artistic or cultural pursuits. This will all give you an idea of the atmosphere of the campus and what else of value is going on. 


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