With the new year underway, many of us are starting to re-focus our attention on professional development goals for 2019. For some, that may include an application to Osgoode’s Professional LLM Program.
In recent posts, we’ve given some insight into the program and the application process; covering video interviews with Part-time and Full-Time LLM students, and experiential pieces ranging from Orientation for our International students to Convocation for our recent graduates.
With the majority of Professional LLM applications scheduled for arrival in the next few months, we sat down with our Admissions team to discuss some of the most frequently asked questions they receive.
As you prepare your own application and collect your necessary supporting documents, these are some things you might want to keep in mind and may, in fact, be some of the same questions you currently have during your application process.
Q: I’m not a lawyer. Can I apply for the Professional LLM?
Yes! We encourage executives and experienced professionals who deal with legal issues and risks on a regular basis to apply for an Osgoode Professional LLM. Applicants without a law degree, but with relevant work experience bring a wealth of industry knowledge to the classroom and we value the perspective they provide to the LLM experience.
Q: I want to apply for the LLM in Canadian Common Law but I’m not an international student. Do I still need to contact International Admissions?
Yes, all applicants for this specialization need to apply via International Admissions. If you are a Canadian citizen and have completed your LLB internationally, or, if you are an internationally trained lawyer, you will need to contact International Admissions.
Q: What should I write for my writing sample? How long should it be?
Your writing sample should be one piece, approximately five to ten pages in length, that clearly demonstrates your academic writing skills (critical thinking, research, and analysis). The sample can be an academic piece or professional piece depending on what is most relevant to your current professional status. Avoid submitting court pleadings, court forms, or other legal documents; unresearched opinion pieces; non-analytical summaries of law; or co-authored papers.
The easiest way to decide which sample type is most suitable – are you currently employed or studying?
> Currently employed: a professional writing sample.
For lawyers: this can include a factum or summary judgment, as long as the piece relates to the course or specialization you are applying for.
For professionals: Write a brief analytical comment on a legal topic that is of interest to you
> Studying / have just completed full-time study: an academic piece.
An academic piece would, more suitably, complement your application and illustrate your most recent work.
Q: Can I provide more than two letters of references?
The Professional LLM application committee will only review two letters of reference and will not open additional letters.
Q: I’m interested in a specialization, but it hasn’t started yet – can I take single courses in the interim and apply for the specialization when it’s offered again?
If you have a JD/LLB from a Canadian university or are licensed to practice law in Canada, you may be interested in enrolling as a non-degree student through Single Course Enrollment (SCE).
If you have a law degree from an institution outside of Canada and want to join the Canadian Common Law program, you have the option to taking up to 12 credits of courses from the Canadian Common Law stream through Single Course Enrollment (SCE).
Single courses enrollment is not available to students without a law degree.
Q: Can I see what courses are available for the Professional LLM I want to study?
Course schedules for the current term are available on each specialization page on our website.
You can check Term course schedules two ways:
– Head to our Professional LLM page & select the Specialization you’re interested in. Scroll down to the ‘Degree Requirements Overview’ which will list the courses offered for the current term. From here, you can also view courses for the upcoming term(s). At the top-right section of each Specialization page, there is a ‘Program Schedule’ box. Select the term you’re interested in applying for & hit ‘Go’.
– Head to the Term Course Listing page on our website. Select the Professional LLM Specialization & Term you’re interested in applying for and hit ‘Submit’.
Q: How will courses be evaluated?
The method in which you are evaluated is totally dependent upon your course instructor. Osgoode’s Professional LLM courses are designed with working professionals in mind; flexible scheduling and videoconferencing availability for most specializations.
Methods of evaluation vary course by course. However, courses (excluding courses from the Canadian Common Law program) are generally evaluated through a take-home examination or final research paper. Courses may also have presentations or in-class components as part of the method of evaluation.
All courses in the Canadian Common Law program are evaluated by an invigilated final examination and a research essay.
Q: I have a very demanding work schedule – how much time do I need to commit to the Part-Time LLM each week?
Typically, part-time students take 6.0 credits per term (either one 6.0 credit or two 3.0 credit courses). A 6.0 credit course has approximately 36 hours of in-class time, and, as a general rule, students should be prepared for roughly three hours of out-of-class time to complete readings and assignments each week.
Courses are typically scheduled as either intensives (for a 6.0 credit course: Monday to Friday, 9:00am -5:00pm; for a 3.0 credit course: Thursday, 7:00pm – 10:00pm and Friday & Saturday, 9:00am-5:00pm) or as weekly courses (for a 6.0 credit course: 12 weekly 7:00pm -10:00pm sessions; for a 3.0 credit course: six weekly 7:00pm – 10:00pm sessions).
Q: Can I sit in a class before I apply?
Currently, you are not able to take part in a Professional LLM class before applying. But stay tuned – we’re hoping to provide this service to potential applicants as part of the application process in the second half of 2018.