A new option for non-legal professionals

If you are about to enroll in an LLM without a law degree, ensure you take the steps you need to succeed.

All non-legal professionals who are admitted to the LLM program must complete GNRL 6149 – Introduction to Graduate Legal Studies in their first term of study. LLM students take this course as a fast-paced intensive, over 3-5 days at the beginning of the program. Each year, students inquire about taking this course before they begin the LLM program – and now you have that option!

Our Prep Course for Non-Legal Professionals, Introduction to Graduate Legal Studies is designed as a mini law school bootcamp. The course takes place, online (through live video conference) over two months. Develop the essential legal research and writing skills, foundational understanding of the Canadian legal system, and the confidence you need to succeed when you begin your LLM program.

Students may now enroll in the prep course as non-degree students before beginning their LLM program, and can take the course at a slower pace.

Who should apply?

Enrollment in the Prep Course for Non-Legal Professionals is reserved for candidates who have been or who will be extended an offer of admission to join an LLM Program. When applying to the Prep Course, the Admissions Committee uses your application materials to consider your candidacy for both the Prep Course and the LLM Program.

You can get an LLM without a law degree – for more information on what we’re looking for in non-legal professionals in the LLM program, see our blog post here.

Alumni Spotlight

Part-Time LLM in Financial Law alumna, Joanne Thornton, on getting an LLM without a law degree.

Joanne Thornton

Joanne is the Bank of Montreal’s head of Volcker Rule Compliance Office. Despite more than a decade as a regulatory compliance professional, she had never had any formal legal training and worried that this could put her at a disadvantage. Here, she discusses the process of getting an LLM without a law degree.

Course Format and Application Timing

When taken as a standalone option before beginning the LLM program the prep course runs over two months, in the evening, through live video conference.

We accept new applications for the Prep Course 2-3 times per year. Upcoming intakes are as follows:

Course IntakeOpen for ApplicationsDeadline to Apply
Fall 2024
Course Runs October-November
February 1July 1
Summer 2025 (Early Session)
Course Runs May-June
TBDTBD
Summer 2025 (Late Session)
Course Runs July-August
TBDTBD

Non-Degree Student Status and Advanced Standing Option

What is non-degree status?
Students who take the Prep Course as a standalone option are enrolled in a non-degree status and are only permitted to take the Prep Course. Tuition for the course is billed at the non-degree (“single course enrollment”) rate for a 3 credit course see: here.

The tuition fee will be credited back to you at the end of your LLM program, if you opt to petition for advanced standing. 

What is advanced standing?  
Once you have your final grade for the prep course and have begun your first term of the LLM program you can petition for advanced standing. By petitioning for advanced standing your completion of GNRL 6149 – Introduction to Graduate Legal Studies will be counted towards your degree requirements for your LLM program. This is a two-step process: 

Step 1: In your first term – you create the petition (we’ll provide you with specific steps once the course has concluded). Once the petition has been processed your GNRL 6149 (a 3-credit course) will be counted towards the 36 credits required for your LLM program. 

Step 2: Once you have fulfilled all of the degree requirements for your LLM program and are eligible to graduate, the tuition fee you paid for GNRL 6149 will be credited to your account as a bursary.  

In terms of fees, this means that you will be front-loading your tuition for the LLM program. Ultimately, however, if you apply for advanced standing for GNRL 6149 you will not be paying an extra fee to take the course.  

Please note that if for any reason you withdraw or do not complete the LLM program you will not receive bursary credit for completing the Prep Course. 

Do I have to apply for advanced standing?
No. While most students will choose to have their prep course counted towards their degree requirements, you may choose not to so that you can take an additional course during your degree.

Attend an upcoming information session.

Admission Requirements

The Admissions Committee considers each application holistically on the basis of factors such as academic background, professional work experience and whether the program fits your stated goals. Admission to the program is competitive. The information below represents the minimum requirements for admission consideration to our graduate degree programs – meeting these criteria does not guarantee admission.  

Undergraduate degree (a graduate degree is an asset to non-legal professionals)

Overall B (75%) average (or equivalent)

Professional work experience (at least 5 years of related senior-level experience)

Acceptable English language proficiency (see requirements)

How to Apply

Create Your OsgoodePD Applicant Profile

Create an applicant profile in our online application portal. This portal allows us to gather your information, transcripts, and other documents electronically. You will receive an email with directions outlining how to create a new password for your application, along with a link to access the application.

Upload Application Documents

The following documents are required:

  • Resume/CV
  • Writing Sample
  • Contact Information for Two References
  • Transcripts
  • Official Proof of Language Proficiency (if applicable)

For more information, see our Application Documents to Upload section.

Pay and Submit

Once your application is completed, you will be required to pay a non-refundable $130 CAD application fee.

Wait for Review

Timelines for decisions vary by program, but we will be in touch if we have questions about your application or need more information.

Frequently Asked Questions

Contact Us

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