Many Waterloo graduates become lawyers and we can help you with your first step to becoming a lawyer: earning an undergraduate degree.
An undergraduate degree is what you would apply to from high school. Most law schools require at least three years of university studies before applying. Waterloo's 100+ undergraduate programs are excellent preparation for law school and graduates practise in many different areas of law.
Legal Studies degree
While many programs are excellent preparation for law school, Waterloo's Legal Studies degree provides an interdisciplinary understanding of law and the legal system. The program can be a great pathway to law school – and you'll gain important skills for careers in law, policy development, and research by taking classes in a variety of related areas.
How do you become a lawyer?
- Do well academically in least three years of a pre-law program at university. Completing your four-year degree will strengthen your application for law school.
- Study for and write the LSAT (Law School Admission Test).
- Apply to law school. There are 20 law schools in Canada. The Law School Admission Council offers tips on choosing the law school that's right for you.
- Successfully earn your law degree (usually three years).
- Complete the licensing process (which can vary by province or country). In Ontario, you need to
- pass two licensing examinations,
- gain hands-on experiential training,
- be of good character, and
- submit the necessary fees and forms.
- You would then be called to the bar (attend a ceremony where you receive your degree and swear or affirm an oath to practise law).
How do you choose a pre-law degree?
Selecting a pre-law program or degree often comes down to choosing an undergraduate program you'll most enjoy. Studying something that excites you will help you do well academically. You can pick nearly any major and will need to complete at least three years of undergraduate studies, although many law schools prefer that you apply once you've completed your undergraduate degree (four years).
Reviewing the admission requirements for Ontario's law schools will ensure that you properly prepare for applying to law school.
Waterloo can help you get there
LSAT prep and interview advice
Advisors in our Centre for Career Action can help you research law schools and the application process. Get one-on-one advice and tips for the LSAT along with how to do well in law school admissions interviews.
Meet law school representatives
Meet with representatives from professional and graduate programs at 90 universities in North America, Europe, and Australia when they visit Waterloo's campus for our annual further education information fair.
Meet other future lawyers
The Legal Studies Society is a student-run group that organizes law school information sessions, holds mock LSAT tests, and brings in guest speakers such as judges and lawyers to offer career insights.
Law School Admission Council
Learn about law schools in Canada, including an overview of the admissions process.
How long is law school in Canada?
It usually takes three years to complete law school. After graduating from high school, you'll complete at least three years of undergraduate studies before applying to law school. (Undergraduate studies are the first level of university studies out of high school and lead to a bachelor's degree, which normally takes three or four years).