The Canadian & American Dual Juris Doctor (JD) program, founded in 1983, is a collaboration between Windsor Law and Detroit Mercy Law. It is the only program of its kind in North America that allows graduates to obtain two law degrees in three years.
The program is accredited by the Federation of Law Societies of Canada and the American Bar Association. Successful graduates receive both a Canadian and American JD degree, positioning them to write bar examinations in Canada and the US. Career possibilities are vast for Dual JD graduates on both sides of the border.
Dual JD students attend classes regularly at Windsor Law and Detroit Mercy Law. The two schools are located mere kilometres from one another. Most required Dual JD courses are taught in a comparative format where students are exposed to Canadian and US law. Further, students are immersed in two different legal cultures while attending both institutions.
The Canadian & American Dual JD program is a challenging course of study. Students take a combined 105 credits at Windsor Law and Detroit Mercy Law over three years (45 credits in Windsor and 60 credits in Detroit). Due to the program’s unique structure, students must maintain full-time enrollment status. There is no part-time study option, nor does the program accept transfers. It is highly recommended that Dual JD students not work during the fall and winter terms, especially during their first year of study.
Dual JD students are able to take advantage of unique learning experiences at Windsor Law and Detroit Mercy Law, including:
- Law Firm Program courses (designed to simulate a real-world practice experience);
- Clinics and externship opportunities (which allow students to gain real legal experience);
- Courses that focus on Indigenous rights and reconciliation;
- Courses with transnational dimensions (which analyze and compare different legal systems); and
- Mooting and advocacy programs (which involve simulations in courtroom environments, negotiations, Indigenous resolution processes, client consultations, etc.)
Dual JD students are required to take the following core first-year courses during the fall and winter terms:
- Canadian & US Property Law
- Canadian & US Contract Law
- Canadian & US Criminal Law
- Canadian Constitutional Law
- Indigenous Legal Orders
- Comparative Legal Research & Writing
Dual JD students continue their studies in the summer term of their first year. They are required to take the following courses at Detroit Mercy Law during the summer term:
- US Constitutional Law
- US Civil Procedure
In their second year of study, Dual JD students must take the following courses:
- Canadian & US Torts
- Canadian & US Professional Responsibility
- Canadian Civil Procedure
- Canadian & US Evidence
- Canadian & US Business Organizations
Dual JD students are responsible for fulfilling additional degree requirements during their second and third year of study. They must take the following courses:
- Administrative Law (Windsor Law)
- A Law Firm Program course (Detroit Mercy Law)
- Two transnational law courses (Detroit Mercy Law)
- An upper-level writing course (Detroit Mercy Law)
- A legal clinic (Detroit Mercy Law)
Dual JD students have a range of student supports available at both Windsor Law and Detroit Mercy Law, including:
- Academic orientations to welcome you to the program
- Academic success and bar exam preparation assistance
- Access to an Indigenous Legal Studies Coordinator and Elder in Residence
- Career services staff to help you secure employment during and after law school
- Events to connect with alumni
- Faculty mentors
- Mental health and wellness initiatives (including access to an embedded clinical therapist at Windsor Law and community building activities at Detroit Mercy Law)
- Peer mentorship programs
- Student clubs and activities (i.e. Student Bar Association, Students’ Law Society, Black Law Students' Association)
- Student services staff to guide you through your three years in the program
Canadian Dual JD students must be eligible to obtain F-1 student status, which allows them to study in the United States. American Dual JD students must be eligible to obtain a Canadian Study Permit, which allows them to study in Canada.
Students who do not have status in Canada or the United States can still apply and be accepted to the Dual JD program. Staff work closely with all admitted students to help them secure required immigration documents.
If you are applying to primarily Canadian law schools, use OLSAS. If you are applying to primarily American law schools, you can use LSAC.
Admissions are coordinated between Windsor Law and Detroit Mercy Law, so you do not need to apply to both schools separately.