If you’re wondering how to get into Western Law, you’re in the right place! Western Law is one of the best law schools in Canada with a curriculum that focuses on bringing together concepts in legal writing, research, and advocacy. If you’re planning to apply to Western Law, be mindful of the admissions process and application requirements to earn your way into this program. In this article, we will discuss curriculum highlights, admissions statistics, tuition, selection factors, and everything else you need to know to improve your chances of getting accepted into one of the top law schools in Canada.
Disclaimer: Please note: although we have made every effort to provide the most accurate information, admissions information changes frequently. Therefore, we encourage you to verify these details with the official university admissions office. You are responsible for your own results. BeMo does not endorse nor affiliate with any official universities, colleges, or test administrators and vice versa.
Mission Statement, Strategic Plan, and Vision
In its new updated strategic plan, Western University lists four priorities: leading in learning, raising expectations, reaching beyond campus, and taking charge of its destiny.
For its mission, Western Law commits to the following priorities: “attracting excellent JD candidates with a range of perspectives and experiences, and reducing unwarranted barriers to access; offering academically rigorous, and relevant legal education in an atmosphere that promotes informed, critical and collegial debate; producing outstanding scholarship that engages the academy, profession, policy-makers, and society.”
The Academic Curriculum
There are several required first-year courses for JD students consisting of Torts; Property; Contracts; Criminal Law; Constitutional Law; Legal Research, Writing, and Advocacy; and Legal Ethics and Professionalism or Corporate Law. The objective of these mandatory course items is to familiarize students with a range of high-level concepts to prepare them for upper-level, more focused, and complex areas of study. This first-year curriculum takes place over two terms in winter and fall, accumulating in approximately 36 weeks of study.
One notable aspect of the first-year curriculum is the small group format, which limits class size to about 21 students. The small class size allows students to participate more frequently, ask questions, collaborate, and develop key skills, such as legal analysis, writing, research, and oral communication. Students will receive more attention from their professors and personalized feedback on projects. Smaller class sizes also encourage more interactions and networking opportunities among students and faculty.
The upper-level curriculum is more focused and requires fewer mandatory classes. These include Administrative Law, Civil Procedure, Corporate Law or Legal Ethics and Professionalism, electives, and Indigenous Law. This second year of the program also focuses more heavily on writing, which will be honed through essays. Besides these basic course requirements, students will also apply theoretical and practical knowledge through capstone courses, which expose them to the range of responsibilities entailed in a career as a lawyer. Some capstone projects aren’t offered every year, so make sure you ask a faculty member about what projects are available for you to join each semester. Here are some common capstone projects: oral advocacy exercises for civil and criminal trials, field trips to courts and government agencies, clinical opportunities to represent clients, client and file management, applied research projects, and simulation of litigation files or corporate mergers. A key component of experiential learning is the externships, in which students are assigned a placement location to work in a legal domain designated by the program director.
Legal clinics allow students to participate in research assignments. These assignments vary, but you can visit Western Law’s website to find out which case profiles they are working on. One of the most notable of these current profiles is the Anova project, in which students assist in preparing legal information concerning sexual assault, consent, and domestic abuse. Anova is the product of a merger between London’s Women’s Community House and Sexual Assault Centre London. Other active categories of these legal clinics include research and clinical assistance. Students will have the opportunity to explore one or more of these areas during the program.
Let’s take a look at some of the law school admissions statistics for Western Law:
The most recent class profile for Western Law indicates that there were 2,778 OLSAS applications. The class size was 185: 55% female, 42% male, and 3% undeclared. The enrollment rate was approximately 6.7%, suggesting that Western Law is not one of the easiest law schools to get into in Canada. The emphasis on having smaller class sizes also contributes to the lower acceptance rates. For a competitive program like this, it can be helpful to consider Canadian law school admissions help.
Western Law Enrollment Rate:
Geographically, the majority of students who enrolled were in-province at 91%, yet applicants should not be discouraged from applying if they come from diverse locations and backgrounds. According to Western Law’s diversity initiative, Indigenous students will receive credits in property law for completing the University of Saskatchewan Indigenous Law Centre summer program. Prospective Black students will receive financial aid in the form of an application fee waiver, an LSAT prep course, and a voucher for the Ontario University Application Centre (OUAC) fee.
Class Gender Ratio:
If you’re wondering how to get into law school with a low GPA, here are the facts: regarding academic information for the most recent class profile, the average median cumulative GPA was 3.6, the mean highest LSAT score was 163, and 16% of enrolled students also had graduate degrees. The academic background of enrolled students was also fairly varied with 46 undergraduate programs represented.
LSAT scores were some of the highest among Canadian Law schools and even law schools in the US, surpassing Osgoode Hall Law School, Queen’s Law, University of New Brunswick Law, and Penn State Law. Compared to other Canadian law schools, Western was a little more forgiving with respect to GPA scores, with their most recent class profile hovering just below most of the other major programs at 3.6. If you’re planning on applying to Western Law, you will need to aim at least slightly above this GPA average and preferably have an LSAT score in the 80th percentile.
Tuition and Scholarships
As noted in the FAQs on Western Law’s website, admissions decisions are made separate from scholarship qualifications, meaning that if you didn’t receive a scholarship offer in your acceptance, you are still eligible for one pending further consideration of your profile.
Students will be paying their tuition fees on a per-course basis. The total tuition and fees are estimated to be $21,822 CAD per year. The cost range of book supplies is $800–1,400.
In general, students are eligible for scholarships depending on a review of financial need, extracurricular activities, and evidence of leadership, entrepreneurship, and public service. Applicants will be automatically considered for entrance scholarships during the admissions process; however, for scholarships based on criteria such as financial need, students will have to submit an online financial need application.
Most scholarships are strictly merit-based. Although there are many, a few include the Beryl E. Theobald Entrance Scholarship, Blake Scholarship, Cassels & Graydon Entrance Scholarships, and Bredt/Cameron Entrance Scholarship in Law. Students are awarded scholarships primarily based on academic performance in pre-law studies. Other scholarships consider academic performance combined with financial need, extracurriculars, community or public service, and background. To find out which scholarships you are eligible for, you can visit the financial aid and awards website at Western Law. If you want to qualify for most of these scholarships, you will need to demonstrate outstanding performance in your undergraduate studies, particularly in the law prerequisite courses and in your most recent two years of study.
Applying to law school? Learn what the application process looks like in this video.
How to Apply to Western Law
Students must apply through the Ontario Law School Application Service (OLSAS) to have their materials reviewed by Western Law. All the application requirements will be listed on OLSAS directly; all you need to do is follow the steps and submit each form with the correct information. Make sure you follow the steps below to fulfill the requirements:
First-year applicants must submit their application materials through OLSAS by November 1st. Upper-year applicants must submit their applications by May 1st for fall admission. Applications submitted through OLSAS will be transferred to the Western Professional Admissions Office to be reviewed by the Associate Dean, Assistant Deans, faculty members, and third-year students. All applicants who sent their application through OLSAS will be notified that their applications have been received and are now being reviewed. The first round of offers will be sent starting in mid-December. For upper-year applicants, offers will be made on a rolling basis starting early July.
There are a variety of applicant characteristics that must be weighed before making an offer of enrollment. On its website, Western Law confirms what its most recent year class profile indicates: that they look for candidates who don’t just have good LSAT and GPA scores, but for those who garnish strong academic performance with relevant experience. They are also looking for applicants who demonstrate strong communication and interpersonal skills. To accentuate these characteristics in your application, you should focus on drawing from your experience, either from work or law school extracurriculars, to produce a strong personal statement.
Let’s take a look at each of the application requirements more closely:
Western Law will use your academic transcripts to evaluate your cumulative GPA. While your entire transcript will be taken into consideration, more weight will be given to your most recent two years of study, defined as your most recent 20 semester-long courses, including summer terms if applicable. The weight given to your most recent two years will increase if your cumulative GPA falls below the 3.7 GPA median.
Law School Personal Statement
Western Law doesn’t use a law school optional essay to evaluate applicants, so your personal statement is your only chance to introduce yourself to admissions and convince them you’re a strong candidate. However, you may use law school admissions essay topics to inspire your written materials.
The personal statement has specific formatting and content requirements. The essay is broken up into two parts:
Part C is only offered to Access and Indigenous students. For those to which this applies, this section cannot exceed 1,000 characters. This section is similar to a law school diversity statement and serves as an opportunity for certain applicants to discuss disadvantages or barriers they faced, or if they’re an Indigenous applicant, to explain their ties to the Indigenous communities.
The Law School Admission Test (LSAT) is the most important aspect of your application besides GPA. You are allowed to submit multiple scores, but your most recent one that is higher will be given greater weight. Western Law prefers that you submit your LSAT scores before you submit your application, but if you submit after the deadline, you can indicate this on your OLSAS application. Once they are processed, your LSAT scores will be sent to Western Law. If you’re wondering how to study for the LSAT, you can consider purchasing an LSAT preparation course or talking to a law school advisor. It is recommended that you take the LSAT in the summer after the third year of your undergraduate studies.
Letters of Recommendation
You must submit two law school letters of recommendation. One of these letters should come from either a professor or someone in academia with whom you’ve made a connection. The second letter can come from a non-academic source; however, you should avoid using friends or family, as they cannot represent an unbiased view of you as a candidate. Generally, your referees should talk about who they are, how they know you and for how long, and why they recommend you for the program. Your letters must be submitted via OLSAS. On the application page, add the information about your referee, submit it, and then your referees will be notified so they can complete the letters online. Because your referees must submit their letters through OLSAS, make sure you mention this and ask well in advance of the November 1st deadline to allow them enough time to write you an outstanding letter.
Are you wondering if working with a law school advisor is worth it? Check out this infographic:
Acceptance and Waitlist
Applicants who receive an offer of admission can accept or reject the offer via OLSAS. You will receive a digital letter with the steps you need to take to accept the offer, as well as how you can pay the tuition deposit and apply for financial aid. OLSAS will start registering accepted offers in mid-January, so be sure to visit your profile regularly during this time.
If you are waitlisted, this means that your application has been put on hold. Western Law doesn’t rank their waitlist, and they do not reveal how many people are on their waitlist at a given time because this number can change frequently. If you are waitlisted, you may receive an offer before July 1st, but most selected applicants on the waitlist will receive offers closer to July and August. Admissions decisions become final at the end of June, which means once quotas are filled for Western combined-degree students, waitlisted candidates will receive offers. Waitlisted applicants are reviewed holistically, meaning that candidates who possess the greatest number of desired characteristics will receive an offer if spots are open.
1. How competitive is Western Law School?
Western Law is one of the more competitive schools when it comes to enrollment rate. For recent years, the enrollment rate was 6.7%, which is slightly lower than some of the other Canadian law schools.
2. What GPA should I aim for if I’m applying to Western Law?
The median GPA for the most recent class profile was 3.6. Western Law doesn’t have a strict GPA cutoff, but they advise that you aim for a 3.7.
3. What LSAT score should I aim for if I’m applying to Western Law?
The most recent class profile showed a median of 163. You should be aiming for at least the average, but ideally above. Note that you can take the LSAT multiple times and Western Law will count your highest score. LSAT scores are admissible for up to five years. Western Law prefers candidates with a score above the 80th percentile.
4. What combined degree options does Western Law offer?
Undergraduate combined-degree programs include the HBA/JD with the Ivey Business School or BESc/JD with the engineering department. For graduate combined-degree programs, options are the JD/MSc in geology or geophysics, JD/MA in history, and JD/MBA.
5. How does Western Law choose which waitlisted applicants to send offers to?
If there are available spots open, waitlisted applicants will receive an offer based on their entire applicant profile. Note that waitlisted applicants aren’t ranked.
6. How can I apply to Western Law?
You must apply through OLSAS. You will need to submit a transcript, personal statement, two reference letters, and LSAT scores.
7. Does Western Law provide optional essays?
No. Instead, you have the option of choosing one of five questions to address in part B of your personal statement.
8. Does Western Law only consider the last two years of my undergraduate GPA?
Western Law will evaluate the entirety of your undergraduate cumulative GPA, not just the last two years. Your most recent two years might be given more consideration if your GPA is below 3.7.
Like our blog? Write for us! >>
Have a question? Ask our admissions experts below and we'll answer your questions!