Juris Doctor (JD)

The program leading to the degree of Juris Doctor (JD) requires admission as a full-time student for three years or as a half-time student for six years. The structure of this program is based on a compulsory first year and two required courses in upper years.

Students must also complete a research paper worth at least 50% of the grade in any course, one course from a group of courses that give a broader perspective of the legal process and legal theory and one course from a group of transnational law courses.

Each student must take a minimum of 29 credits and a maximum of 32 credits per year with a minimum of 13 credits and a maximum of 18 credits in each term. These requirements may be varied by the Faculty Council or its delegate in individual cases.

First-Year Required Courses

Windsor Law students receive introductory instruction in fundamental areas, problems and principles of law through a set of mandatory courses. These include:

  • Property
  • Contracts
  • Access to Justice
  • Criminal Law and Procedure
  • Legal Writing and Research
  • Constitutional Law
  • Indigenous Legal Traditions

First year Windsor Law students also take a course that introduces essential perspectives on Access to Justice. Finally, students take an intensive skills-based course, the Windsor Legal Practice Simulation. This intensive introduces students to core elements of client interviewing, ethics-in-practice, problem analysis, and negotiation.

Second-Year Required Courses

Civil Procedure and Torts are the only required courses in second year. They may be taken in either the fall or the winter semester, dependent upon course scheduling.

Compulsory Upper Year Courses and Degree Requirements: 

In either second or third year, each student must complete the following courses and degree requirements mandated by the Federation of Law Societies of Canada:

  • (i) The Legal Profession (LAWG-5939);
  • (ii) Administrative Law (LAWG-5852) or some other course approved by the Associate Dean as meeting the Federation of Law Societies of Canada competency in the principles of administrative law.

Courses Outside the Faculty

Students are allowed, with permission, to enroll in courses that are taught in other faculties at the University of Windsor and certain courses that are taught at the law schools at Wayne State University and the University of Detroit Mercy for credit toward a JD degree.

The remainder of the program is comprised of optional courses so that our students are able to construct a program that meets their individual needs and interests. 

Half-Time Study

The Faculty of Law has a limited enrolment Half-Time Law Study Program intended for those unable to study full-time. The program cannot be completed through evening courses only.

Applicants must meet the Faculty‚Äôs general admission requirements or special admission requirements for Native Canadians. Applicants must also demonstrate they are unable to attend law school on a full-time basis because of one or more of the following:

  1. Exceptional family obligations either to young children or dependants (including persons with disabilities or requiring special care) requiring their presence at home.
  2. Substantial financial hardship: e.g. loss or reduction in employment imposing significant financial hardship with particular attention being given to single-income families, people on limited or tentative incomes.
  3. Where there is a requirement for a reduced workload due to health or disability of the applicant.
  4. Career: In very limited circumstances, consideration may also be given to occupational involvement where an applicant is established in a public service career whose work would be assisted and improved by the study of law.

All candidates must attach to their regular application, a written statement and any supporting documents relevant to their need to attend the Half-Time program. The written statement and supporting documentation must establish that the candidate meets the criteria for admission and must include a detailed explanation of why she/he is unable to attend as a full-time student. Half-time students are fully integrated into the full-time program and complete their program through a combination of day, late afternoon and evening classes. All regular academic and extra-curricular programs are available to half-time students. 

Persons may, in subsequent years, apply or may be required to complete their studies on a full-time basis, as their factual circumstances vary and warrant.