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Posted (edited)

Hi Everyone!

Super new to this forum (as in literally just signed up 3 seconds ago after weeks of having dozens of tabs open and reading through countless threads) so apologies in advance if anything I ask is redundant in any way or has already been addressed. Currently a student at the Schulich School of Business, York University in Toronto and am interested in potentially applying to more law schools in Quebec other than McGill; chiefly Laval and Université de Montréal. My main question is regarding the application process as I noticed that the standard JD admissions process differs from the BCL offered in Quebec Schools.

So first and foremost, with regard to Laval:

1) What is a competitive GPA to have?
2) Do they look at an LSAT score if written? (like McGill does)
3) Does the application comprise of the standard personal statement, references and EC list?
4) Just to confirm, when applying fresh out of undergrad, does one applies to the "Bacc 1er cycle"? (not sure if it was a bit confusing on their website or if I'm just not that bright:lol:)

Also, from reading through threads, I noticed that many people pointed out that unlike UOttawa & McGill, which are moreso bilingual schools, Laval is rather a heavily French immersive environment. Can any current or former students speak to this? Also can any of you same lot offer some guidance as to approaching this from an Ontario student's perspective? I do speak French and consider myself practically bilingual; having gone through the French program offered in Ontario schools all my schooling life, then taking advanced French in university as well as completing the Explore program. Would anyone completely advise against being dropped into such an immersive school environment?

Also (last one, I promise) I am going on an international exchange my last semester of 4th year, with regard to applications, does this pose as detrimental in any way? Students have more or less told me that in light of this to simply emphasize to the schools you're applying to to wait on receiving your exchange marks and insist on having them be considered.

Same questions for UdeM,

That's all for now, any help at all would be so greatly appreciated,

Thank you so much!!

Edited by rachelzanebutalawyer

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Posted (edited)

1) For example, if you refer to the UQAM's website, a minimum of 3.6/4.3 GPA might get you an interview (one of the only University in Québec that ask for an interview if you are not from Cégep.) On some other threads I saw a lot of people with a 3.7 that gets in the «Baccalauréat en droit» except for McGill wich need a stronger GPA.

2) No LSAT required. Even for McGill, the LSAT is not necessary but can help you if you have a lower GPA, at least for Quebec-french student.

3)No personal statement, references and EC list, except for McGill. The only thing that matter is your GPA.

4) Undergraduated program = Baccalauréat (1er cycle), since it's Civil Law you will have to apply to this program if I'm not wrong.

*Sorry for bad english, I tried to help you as much as I could but to be 100% sure the best thing is to call the admission of the University in wich you are interressed.

Edited by vinny
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Posted (edited)

Thank you so much!!!!! I really appreciate it, and no need to apologize, I understood you completely:)

So, correct me if I am wrong, I just visited UQAMs website and noticed that if you have obtained an undergraduate degree from a university, you would apply to their 2eme cycle, however at Laval I would have to apply to the 1er cycle? When I apply I will have graduated university with an undergraduate degreee (BBA) so does this just depend on the school I am applying to, or am I missing something?

Also, do all Quebec schools require an interview? I had read somewhere that with McGill, for example, they do phone you to conduct an interview to test your oral communication skills, but that those who wrote their application in French and/or spoke about their French language experience(s) were not contacted for an interview as this was sufficient evidence of their French skills. Is this something that only McGill does?

Thank you so much again for your reply and so sorry if I am being confusing!

Edited by rachelzanebutalawyer

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UQAM baccalauréat en droit is 1er cycle like everywhere else. The masters and doctorate in law, which deepen your understanding of a particular area, are 2nd and 3rd cycle. There is nothing forcing you to do a gradute degree instead of a different undergraduate degree such as law once your first degree is completed.

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Rachel you should note that if you go to a Quebec school that isn't McGill, you're limited to practising in Quebec. If you would wish to then return to Ontario and practise there, you would have to do a one year common law degree program at a school and write the bar for Ontario (or whatever common law province you're looking at practising in). 

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Welcome to the boards!

My attempts at some of your questions:

1) What is a competitive GPA to have?

Typically an A- and above is considered competitive, but that doesn't mean you won't be able to get in with lower, depending on your major and your school.

2) Do they look at an LSAT score if written? (like McGill does)

No. The LSAT is an English test and so no French civil law schools ask for it or even look at it to my knowledge.

3) Does the application comprise of the standard personal statement, references and EC list?

To my knowledge, most, if not all, civil law schools only ask for your grades.

4) Just to confirm, when applying fresh out of undergrad, does one applies to the "Bacc 1er cycle"? (not sure if it was a bit confusing on their website or if I'm just not that bright:lol:)

That's correct. A civil law degree is considered as an undergraduate diploma without the need of a previous bachelor degree, hence a "Bacc 1er cycle" and not "études de 2e cycle", such as an LL.M. or even a J.D. would be.

Also, from reading through threads, I noticed that many people pointed out that unlike UOttawa & McGill, which are moreso bilingual schools, Laval is rather a heavily French immersive environment. Can any current or former students speak to this?

Yes, all law schools in Quebec other than McGill are predominantly francophone. That being said, UdeM probably has quite a bit of anglophone students. When I studied there (quite a few years ago), the split was probably 75/25, and is likely closer to 60/40 now. Schools outside of Montreal tend to have a larger proportion of French students as well as students coming straight out of CEGEP, I would imagine.

Also can any of you same lot offer some guidance as to approaching this from an Ontario student's perspective? I do speak French and consider myself practically bilingual; having gone through the French program offered in Ontario schools all my schooling life, then taking advanced French in university as well as completing the Explore program. Would anyone completely advise against being dropped into such an immersive school environment?

You should be fine. I had some very anglophone students go through the law program at UdeM and do quite well. You'll likely have to work a bit harder at first and force yourself to become comfortable in social settings in your second language, but frankly immersing yourself in a French environment is probably the best thing you can do if you're planning on pursuing a civil law degree and hence, I would imagine, eventually practicing law in Quebec.

Also (last one, I promise) I am going on an international exchange my last semester of 4th year, with regard to applications, does this pose as detrimental in any way? Students have more or less told me that in light of this to simply emphasize to the schools you're applying to to wait on receiving your exchange marks and insist on having them be considered.

I don't think so. Civil law schools are rather straight forward on simply looking at your grades and offering you admission or not. Sometimes only provisional admission based on you passing the rest of your classes.

Hope this helps!

Cheers,

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Posted (edited)
On 10/07/2018 at 12:04 PM, rachelzanebutalawyer said:

Thank you for your response Kevin! so is the BCL (Bacc. in Common Law) equivalent to a JD (the degree offered in other Canadian provinces)?

There are no BCL's in Quebec (the closest thing being the McGill dual program), as there is no Common Law in Quebec. The one-year Common Law program is for people who want knowledge in Common Law for employment reasons, or plan on changing provinces. It is by no means equivalent, but it gives you the basic concepts and allows you to take the Common Law exams.

Mirroring Pzabby's post, I can't figure out if you want to practice civil law in Quebec or have something else in mind. The degrees you spoke of such as UQÀM LLB are in no way Common Law degrees, and it would of course be odd to go to Quebec (aside from McGill) just for Common law. I'd like to add that the UdeM Common Law combined program is very attractive (for people who are mainly studing civil law). Also, there's McGill and Ottawa which could train you more or less equally for both systems. Other schools like UQÀM have one-year partnerships with Ontario schools.

Edited by kevinman4404
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