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Certificate in Foundations for Graduate Legal Studies

Internationally Trained Lawyer Admissions

Contact Us 416-673-4670

Winter 2021 (Open Now)
Applications Due: November 15, 2020

For application instructions please see Application Instructions below.

Who is this Program for?

This program is primarily designed for graduates of law degree programs from outside Canada who are interested in pursuing graduate legal studies in Canada. We also welcome applications from professionals without a law degree who have some law-related work experience or education and who are interested in pursuing further education in law.

The Certificate in Foundations for Graduate Legal Studies is designed to provide you with the foundation you need for successful graduate legal study. Students in this program:

  • Study the foundations of Canadian public and private law in an interactive class setting
  • Learn and practice common law legal, analytical and writing skills by building from simple to more complex problems and documents, with an opportunity for small group and individual feedback and tutoring.
  • Lay the foundation for successful performance in LLM courses and in your future legal career.

We are seeking participants who have a strong interest in the program and demonstrated academic potential.

COVID-19 Update

Please note: Due to COVID-19, and difficulties scheduling test dates we would like to inform you that:

  • TOEFL is offering testing online


  • York University English Language Institute is offering their AP program online.
  • Duolingo Language testing

*We are also investigating other options and will update our website as those become available.

**Those admitted to the LLM who require language test results will be conditionally admitted based on satisfying the language test requirement with results received by end of December 16, 2020.

If your first language is not English, you must have an English language proficiency test score of at least 7.0 IELTS or its equivalent to be considered for this program. For details on equivalence on language proficiency scores please see the table below:

Test Type Test Score Website Email
Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) – Paper Based 577

TOEFL Website

University Code 0894

TOEFL – Computer Based 233

TOEFL Website

University Code 0894

TOEFL – iBT (Internet Based) 88

TOEFL Website

University Code 0894

IELTS – Academic Type 7.0 overall IELTS website ed@britcoun.org
YUELI – York University English Language Institute

IALE – With Honours 

GSPP – With Honours

AP – Level 9 with Honours

YUELI website yueli@yorku.ca
CAEL – Canadian Academic English Language Assessment Overall score of 70 with no component score less than 60 CAEL Website info@cael.ca
Duolingo (For Fall 2020 & Winter 2021) 115 Duolingo website englishtest-support@duolingo.com


Program Details

The program is full-time and comprises of four courses that run between January and July each year. Students attend classes in person at both of OsgoodePD and Osgoode Hall Law School campuses. After the intensive two-week orientation course, students can expect to attend class four times per week, for a total of 12 hours’ class time weekly. Classes are interactive and are taught by law professors and adjuncts who are practicing lawyers from a variety of fields.

GNRL 6514 – Introduction to Canadian LLM Studies (0 Credits)

This is an intensive introductory course for internationally trained law graduates who have been trained at a law school where the teaching methods, academic standards, and expectations may differ from those at Canadian law schools. The course will provide students with an overview of the Canadian legal system and training in fundamental law school study skills, including note-taking, common law legal reasoning, legal memo writing, exam writing and legal essay writing skills. The purpose of the course is to familiarize students with the standards and expectations in their LLM studies.

GNRL 6201 – Canadian Legal Research and Analysis (3 Credits)

This course is designed to familiarize students with core Canadian legal research and analytical skills. You will work extensively with the legal problem-solving skills required within a common law regime, becoming familiar with the research and reasoning skills that are required to conduct legislative, case law, and theoretical legal research and analysis. The primarily assignment-based nature of this part of the course requires a significant and “steady” time commitment.

GNRL 6202 – Introduction to Graduate Legal Writing (3 Credits)

This course is designed to familiarize students with core graduate-level legal academic writing skills. Students will learn the preferred style and organization of legal academic work products, as well as how to communicate legal analysis and critique in written form.

BLIS 6513 – Introduction to Canadian Law (3 Credits)

This course serves as an introduction to the Canadian legal system. It is intended to provide students a broad understanding of how the law operates in a Canadian context and the conceptual foundation to pursue more detailed studies in Canadian law. The focus of this course is primarily on Canada’s legal structure and Constitution. Among other topics, the course covers legal tradition, legal theory, sources of law, relationship of various categories of law and the branches of government, court hierarchy, case and statute interpretation and administrative decision making.

BLIS 6517 – Introduction to Private Law in Canada (3 Credits)

This course provides students with an introduction to private law in Canada. Through the course, students will learn the fundamentals of Canadian tort, contract and property law in common law provinces. This course also provides students with a foundation in Canadian corporate and commercial law.  

Options After Program Completion

Students who successfully complete the program will be issued an Osgoode certificate indicating either a grade of “Pass” or “Pass with Honours”.

A grade of “Pass with Honours” will be awarded to students who:

  • Have a sophisticated legal English vocabulary
  • Can engage in well-reasoned common law legal analysis
  • Can produce the following to at least a B level: graduate-level legal essay, legal memo, case or legislative comment, and response to a lengthy legal fact pattern in an exam environment
  • Have minimal grammatical and sentence structure errors in their work
  • Are able to make in-class presentations and engage in sophisticated oral legal argument and debate

If you proceed to an OsgoodePD Professional LLM after completion of the program, you may be eligible for advanced standing in the LLM or exemptions from introductory courses, depending on the requirements of the LLM specialization you are entering.

Tuition Fees

Please check the Tuition, Fees, and Awards page for the most up-to-date fee information. Fees may change without notice.

Application Instructions

To apply you will need to complete the form using the Apply Now button at the bottom of this webpage.

As part of your application, we will ask you to provide the following:

  1. copy of law degree transcripts and any post law degree transcripts; or, if you do not have a law degree, a copy of all university and/or college transcripts
  2. current resume
  3. personal statement explaining why you wish to join our program, how your previous education and experience relates to the Certificate Program and how it will benefit you (500 words maximum)
  4. copy of language proficiency test results. You may be exempted from this requirement if you have completed at least one year of full-time study at an accredited university where English is the only official language of instruction.

If you need an advanced academic English course before taking this program, consider applying for York University’s Advanced Legal English (YUELI) Program


Apply Now