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University of Calgary Calendar 2016-2017 Faculty of Law 2. Faculty Information
2. Faculty Information
Contact Information

Location: Murray Fraser Hall Room 2380

Student Information: 403.220.4155

Faculty number: 403.220.7115

Email address:

Web page:


The Faculty of Law at the University of Calgary officially opened in 1976 with a first year class of 60 students and 9 faculty members. The graduate program at the Faculty was instituted in 1988 with a focus on natural resources, energy and environmental law. Today the Faculty of Law admits 120 students into its JD program annually. The graduate program now consists of a course-based and thesis based LLM program, as well as a Post-baccalaureate Certificate, all of which continue to concentrate on issues and topics related to natural resources, energy and environmental law.

JD Program

Students are admitted into the JD program after successfully completing at least 60 units (10.0 full-course equivalents) in a program of study leading to a degree at a university in Alberta, or its equivalent. Almost every JD student has completed at least one university degree prior to beginning his or her JD studies.

The first year of the JD program is common to all students, and consists of intensive courses in Foundations of Law and Justice (in September and January) as well as courses in Legislation, Constitutional Law, Crime: Law and Procedure, Property, Torts and Contracts.

In the second and third year of the program students complete required courses in Civil Procedure, Administrative Law, Ethical Lawyering, Evidence, Negotiation and Advocacy. They will also take one course within the areas of international law and theoretical perspectives on the law, and fulfill an upper year writing requirement. Students choose the remainder of their courses from their area or areas of interest.

Students in joint degree programs will complete all of the required elements of the JD program.

Students at the Faculty have the opportunity to participate in extra-curricular activities related to the study and practice of law including the Student Legal Assistance legal clinic and Pro Bono Students Canada. In addition, many courses at the Faculty incorporate performance-based learning or have a clinical component.

Courses at the Faculty cover the breadth of the substance and process of law, but also reflect the Faculty’s specialties in natural resources, energy and environmental law, and legal practice.

The Faculty of Law has identified the following minimum standard of competence for our graduates:

1. Substantive legal knowledge

All law graduates should have developed an understanding of:

  • The principles and jurisprudence comprising foundational doctrinal areas of
    law (e.g., torts, contracts, constitutional, property, criminal and
    administrative law)
  • The principles underlying common law and equity
  • Developed knowledge of the sources of law, including the structure of, and
    relationship between, the branches of government
  • The role of legislation in the common law system

2. The context of law

All law graduates should have developed an appreciation of:

  • Various perspectives on law, including theoretical, historical and comparative
  • The implications of international, multidisciplinary and technological
    innovations for law and legal practice
  • The role of policy and its intersection with law
  • The problem of access to justice and the role for lawyers in ameliorating it

3. Legal research

All law graduates should possess the ability to:

  • Develop a coherent research strategy
  • Identify and assess sources of legal and non-legal information appropriate to
    the particular issue(s) or matters

4. Legal analysis and reasoning

All law graduates should have developed the skills necessary for:

  • Developing legal arguments and providing legal opinions, including the
    interpretation and application of statutes and case law
  • Identifying, investigating and assessing a problem, both factually and legally
    placing a problem within a broader context as appropriate
  • Understanding the relationship between different normative orderings, such
    as the relationship between international and domestic law methods
  • Critiquing their own legal reasoning and that of others from substantive,
    normative and procedural perspectives

5. Legal communication

All law graduates should have developed the skills necessary for:

  • Counseling and advising, including ascertaining the client’s needs, wishes and
    risks, providing options to the client, and helping the client to select the
    appropriate option
  • Effective negotiation, advocacy and collaboration
  • Clear and accurate communication in a format appropriate to its purpose
    drafting formal documents
  • Evaluating communication to assess its effectiveness and impact
  • Interpersonal skills, including teamwork and collaboration

6. Dispute resolution skills

All law graduates should have:

  • Familiarity with drafting and transactional skills relevant to the prevention of
  • Knowledge of the characteristics and procedures of available forms of
    dispute resolution
  • The understanding necessary to recommend appropriate form(s) of dispute
    resolution, whether consensus or adjudicative , for particular settings and
    specific conflicts

7. Ethics

All law graduates should have developed a critical understanding of:

  • The normative foundations of the lawyer’s role
  • The scope and limits of the lawyer’s role
  • The law governing lawyers and legal practice
  • The capacity to identify and resolve ethical dilemmas

To practice law in Canada a lawyer must be a member of a provincial law society, in Alberta the Law Society of Alberta. The JD program at the University of Calgary is approved as a law degree sufficient for admission to the Canadian common law law societies. The LLM programs at the University of Calgary are not approved as law degrees sufficient for admission to the Canadian common law law societies and do not allow students to satisfy the requirements for law society admission through the National Committee on Accreditation.

Graduates from the University of Calgary Faculty of Law work in a wide variety of settings. Many graduates work in legal practice assisting individuals, corporations, organizations and government with their legal needs. Faculty of Law graduates also work, however, in diverse professional, business and creative endeavours, including as legislators, judges, executives, entrepreneurs and academics.

The Faculty of Law at the University of Calgary works with all of our graduates to help them secure employment subsequent to graduation. Information on the Faculty’s Career and Development Office can be found here:

Student Affairs

The Society of Law Students is the official student association recognized by the Faculty of Law to represent the interests of all students in the undergraduate law program. The Society is responsible for providing law students with social, sporting, academic, volunteering, and administrative services, as well as being the official liaison between the student body and the Faculty, University and broader legal community.