Are you planning to pursue law studies in British Columbia soon? Maybe you are aiming for the top law schools in British Columbia?
Well, you might want to consider only the top law schools listed in this article. In this blog, we’re going to talk about the critical factors that many people think about and check out when deciding which of the law schools in British Columbia they want to enroll in.
If you live in British Columbia, Canada, or if you are an international student, and you dream of studying in the best law schools in British Columbia, then this is the only article that you will need.
You will learn about the 12 top law schools in British Columbia, the programs they offer (if you are looking for specific specialty courses), their tuition information, and application method. So, with that baggage out in the open, let us navigate this list.
Becoming a Lawyer in British Columbia, Canada
You can become a lawyer in British Columbia by completing an undergraduate degree, a law degree, and then being called to the bar in British Columbia. The steps required to become a lawyer are as follows:
- Undergraduate degree: Complete an undergraduate degree at one of the many law schools in British Columbia.
These programs typically take four years to complete.
The most common undergraduate degrees studied at universities include social sciences, humanities, business administration, and science.
In addition to completing your undergraduate degree, you will also need to complete any prerequisites required by your chosen university or college program.
- Law degree: After completing your undergraduate degree, you will need to complete a law degree at one of the many law schools in British Columbia.
Some law schools in British Columbia offer part-time programs for those who are already working full-time jobs while studying for their law degrees; other programs may require full-time attendance.
However, most law schools offer three-year programs leading up to becoming licensed as an attorney; while some offer two-year programs that allow graduates to apply for articling positions sooner than those who attended longer programs.
What You Must Consider Before Applying to Any Law School
Applying to law school can be a confusing, time-consuming process. Here’s what you need to know before you start:
- If you’re applying to a law school, it means you’re interested in becoming an attorney or paralegal.
You’ll need to have a bachelor’s degree and pass the Law School Admission Test (LSAT) before you can apply.
- You must also have good grades and test scores. Most law schools require at least a 3.0 GPA, but some may ask for higher GPAs depending on your major or class rank.
If your GPA is low, consider taking some extra classes during the summer before applying.
- Do not apply for early decision unless it’s a top choice school or one where you’d like to get financial aid and scholarships.
Early decision means that if accepted, you must attend that school regardless of whether another school offers more money or prestige.
This is where some key elements come into your consideration. For some students, tuition cost is a big factor; some students prefer law schools in British Columbia with low costs, say $10k.
However, this shouldn’t be all. You must find out if a particular law school in British Columbia fits into what you are looking for in terms of quality, specialty courses like Criminal Law or Business Law being offered, internship opportunities, and the location of the school. These are all key components students look out for.
- Another thing to consider in law school is its diversity. Typically, law schools in British Columbia are diverse schools, as Canada itself is a racially diverse nation.
However, when you are looking out for a school (and this concerns international students), you may want to find out what opportunities are available for you, especially if you are a minority student.
These may be internship placement opportunities after graduation, or financial aid and scholarships.
- Class size and atmosphere: Law schools in British Columbia with low-class sizes mean that students get individualized attention.
And this further affords them a conducive learning environment to express themselves. This is another key factor students must find out before applying to any law school in British Columbia.
You can get this information when you talk to alumni and graduate students of the school that you are looking to study.
- Consider the rankings: The ranking of the best law schools in British Columbia (like this one) gives you a clear, unfiltered perspective of where you should be looking.
Data like this is usually gathered from authoritative resources like the Time Rankings, or the QS World Rankings, based on key ranking factors.
We are not saying that rankings should make your decision for you, but we are saying that school rankings should give you an idea of where to start looking.
List of the Top Law Schools in British Columbia
We have provided key information on the best law schools in British Columbia right now.
We have also included their tuition information, and basic LSAT and GPA requirements. Let’s dive in.
Peter A. Allard School of Law | The University of British Columbia
Location: Vancouver and Okanagan campuses, British Columbia.
Tuition: US$13,412.16 for domestic students (per year), and US$40,408.32 for international students (per year).
Popular Law Program(s): J.D, JSD, LLB, LLM, and Ph.D.
GPA and LSAT: 3.8 GPA (83 percent) with an average LSAT score of 166.
The Peter A. Allard School of Law is one of the best law schools in British Columbia; no, it is Canada’s leading law school. It was founded in 1945 and is named after the Canadian Supreme Court justice, Peter A. Allard.
The school’s reputation is unsurpassed in Canada and around the world. It offers a variety of degrees including Bachelor of Laws (LLB), Master of Laws (LLM), Doctorate of Laws (LLD), Juris Doctor (JD) and Joint JD/Master’s Degree Programs (JD/Masters).
It also features courses in business law, tax law, indigenous law, feminist legal theory, Pacific Rim issues, and many more legal specialties that prospective students will like.
The law program at UBC has been ranked as the best law school in British Columbia, and it is also ranked 42nd among the Top 300 law schools in the world curated by QS World Rankings.
Peter A. Allard School of Law is known for its innovative curriculum and commitment to social justice.
It has a strong reputation as an institution that teaches students to be both critical thinkers and problem solvers, with a focus on international law and human rights.
The school also has a very diverse student body, with many different backgrounds represented among both undergraduate and graduate students alike.
In terms of environment, the school is located at UBC’s Vancouver campus in beautiful British Columbia, Canada — a place where you’ll enjoy mild weather year-round with lots of sunshine.
UVic Faculty of Law | University of Victoria
Location: Victoria, British Columbia.
Tuition: CA$5,963 (or US$4,734.16) per term (per 4 months) for Canadian permanent residents. CA$20,338 (or US$16,146.78) per term (per 4 months) for international students.
Popular Law Program(s): J.D, JSD, LLB, LLM, and Ph.D.
GPA and LSAT: 6.0 GPA (or B+ on a 9.0 GPA scale) with an average LSAT score in the 160s.
The University of Victoria is a public university in Victoria, British Columbia. It is the second-largest university on Vancouver Island and the third-largest in the province of British Columbia.
The law program at UVic boasts a reputation for excellence, with students completing their studies at some of Canada’s top law firms and government agencies.
The law program’s diversity is also notable — students from all over the world come to study at UVic, and the school has been named one of the top 10 universities for international students by Maclean’s magazine in the past.
- UVic’s Law School has a reputation for excellence and is one of the top law schools in British Columbia.
- Conveniently situated in Victoria.
- It is quite expensive, especially for international students.
Simon Fraser University
Location: Burnaby, British Columbia.
Tuition: CA$6,950 (or US$5,517.76) for Canadian students per year, and CA$31,460 (or US$ 24,976.78) for international students per year.
Popular Law Program(s): Criminology Legal Studies.
GPA and LSAT: 2.5 GPA on a 4.33 scale.
Simon Fraser University’s School of Criminology is one of the top law schools in British Columbia. The school has three campuses: Burnaby, Surrey, and Vancouver.
The law program at Simon Fraser University is accredited by the Law Society of British Columbia and approved by the Bar Admission Course Committee of the Law Society of Upper Canada.
The reputation of the law program at SFU is outstanding. It is consistently ranked in the top 100 programs in Canada by Maclean’s Magazine and Canadian Lawyer Magazine.
SFU has a diverse student population that represents over 100 countries, including many international students from around the world.
There are over 20 clubs and societies for international students, including a South Asian Student Association, a Chinese Students Association, a Korean Students Association, and more.
- The faculty has strong teaching skills with extensive experience in the field.
- The curriculum is designed for practical training with legal professionals.
- The campus has state-of-the-art facilities for students to learn practical skills through simulations and practice sessions.
- SFU’s Legal Studies Department is a relatively new law school in British Columbia. As a result, its curriculum may not be up to what many prospective students will consider standard.
Do your own research and find out if this school works for you.
Thompson Rivers University
Location: Kamloops, British Columbia.
Tuition: US$21,734.32 per year. (As stated, tuition and fees tend to go up by 2 percent each year).
Popular Law Program(s): Police and Justice Studies Diploma.
GPA and LSAT: No minimum GPA requirement. LSAT information is not available.
Thompson Rivers University’s Faculty of Law is one of the most prestigious law schools in British Columbia.
The school has a reputation for being one of the most diverse and well-rounded programs in the country.
The pros are that it’s a great place to learn about Canadian laws, which may be different than what you’re used to.
It’s also a good way to meet people from all over Canada and the world, which can be really valuable if you want to work internationally.
The cons are that there isn’t much flexibility in terms of coursework choices — you have to take classes in order to graduate. This can make it hard to pursue other interests or get part-time jobs while studying full-time.
Location: Vancouver, British Columbia.
Tuition: US$3,375 – US$4,500 per semester.
Popular Law Program(s): Diploma in Criminal Justice.
GPA and LSAT: 2.33 GPA with no information on LSAT.
Langara College is a public institution of post-secondary education located in Vancouver, British Columbia.
The college offers degrees and diplomas through nine faculties and over 100 programs.
The Law Program at Langara College is designed for students who are interested in becoming lawyers.
It provides students with the necessary skills to enter law school or to begin their legal career immediately after graduation. The program is offered by distance learning, with courses delivered online.
Students have access to the same resources as on-campus students, including career services, the library, and writing centers.
The Law Program at Langara College has a reputation for being diverse and inclusive, with many students from marginalized groups such as First Nations and LGBTQ+ identifying themselves as alumni.
Consequently, this reputation is echoed by feedback from current students who say that faculty members are approachable and knowledgeable about diversity issues.
In addition, the main pros of this program include its affordability and flexibility — students can complete their degree while working full time or raising a family — and its emphasis on experiential learning through internships and field placements.
Furthermore, students also report having had great relationships with professors who are willing to help them succeed both inside and outside of class.
Location: North Vancouver, British Columbia.
Tuition: (a) For domestic students: US$4,432.20 per year + US$1,637.87 in fees. First-year estimate only.
(b) For international students: US$18,555.30 per year + US$1,637.87 in fees. First-year estimate only.
Popular Law Program(s): Bachelor of Legal Studies (Paralegal).
GPA and LSAT: 2.0 GPA with no information on LSAT.
The law program at Capilano University is a well-known and respected program among other law schools in British Columbia.
It provides a wide range of courses for all students, with options to specialize in areas such as environmental law or aboriginal rights.
Capilano is one of the most diverse universities in the country, and many students have commented on how welcoming it is to people of all backgrounds.
The pros of attending this school are that it offers a wide range of courses that can be tailored to your needs, and it’s easy to get involved on campus.
The con is that you may feel overwhelmed if you’re looking for more structure than Capilano offers.
Location: New Westminster campus, British Columbia.
Tuition: CA$17,400 (or US$13,814.24) per year.
Popular Law Program(s): Criminal Justice Studies.
GPA and LSAT: No information.
Douglas College is a 2-year community college located in New Westminster, British Columbia.
The law program is offered through Douglas College’s School of Business, and it is one of only two programs of its kind in Canada that is accredited by the Law Society of British Columbia.
This law school in British Columbia has a reputation for being diverse and inclusive, which can be attributed to the fact that it was founded in 1970 by members of the Black community who were looking for an alternative educational opportunity.
In addition to its reputation for diversity and inclusion, Douglas College also has a number of pros to offer students interested in pursuing a career as a lawyer:
- The program has been recognized as one of the best in Canada by Maclean’s magazine.
- The faculty consists entirely of practicing lawyers who have experience working with clients from all backgrounds.
- Students have access to specialized legal resources such as law libraries and law journals as part of their coursework.
- Lack of specialty courses.
University of the Fraser Valley
Location: Abbotsford, British Columbia.
Tuition: CA$16,718 (or US$13,272.78) per year.
Popular Law Program(s): Criminal Justice.
GPA and LSAT: 2.0 GPA (C average). No information on LSAT.
The University of the Fraser Valley is a school that is highly regarded as one of the top law schools in British Columbia.
The university is well-known for its excellent programs in law, business administration, and education.
The law program at UFV is built on an interdisciplinary approach to learning; students are encouraged to take courses in other disciplines so they can better understand how their legal studies fit into the bigger picture of human life and society.
This approach means that students get a broad understanding of how law impacts society, which helps them become better attorneys when they graduate.
UFV also has a reputation for being very diverse—the campus is home to over 1,200 international students from around 100 different countries.
This diversity makes UFV an excellent choice for anyone who wants to study law in a multicultural environment where they can connect with people from all over the world.
While UFV’s law program has some pros (like its reputation and diversity), it also has some cons (like its distance from major cities).
Kwantlen Polytechnic University
Location: Richmond campus, British Columbia.
Tuition: US$684.61 per credit.
Popular Law Program(s): Legal Studies Administration.
GPA and LSAT: 2.0 GPA minimum. No information on LSAT.
Kwantlen Polytechnic University is a public university located in Surrey, British Columbia. The school offers more than 100 undergraduate programs, as well as graduate programs in business administration and health sciences.
Kwantlen Polytechnic University’s law program is largely opined to be one of the decent law schools in British Columbia.
The school has a reputation for being one of the most diverse universities in Canada, with over 40% of its student body coming from either a visible minority or ethnic minority background.
The school also has an active campus community of over 300 student organizations and clubs to join, including student government groups, sports teams, cultural organizations, religious groups, and more.
- Reputation for being one of the top law schools in British Columbia.
Location: Castlegar, British Columbia.
Tuition: CA$4,900 (or US$3,890.22) for domestic students per semester, and CA$5,260 (or US$4,176) for international students per semester.
Popular Law Program(s): Peace and Justice Liberal Arts program.
GPA and LSAT: No information.
Selkirk College is known for its law program, which has a reputation for being the best in the province.
The faculty is made up of experienced professors who are passionate about their work, and the campus is filled with students from all over the globe.
The school’s diversity means that you’ll be able to learn from people from different backgrounds, cultures, and perspectives.
You’ll also get to take advantage of the many opportunities offered by Selkirk College’s location in Nelson, BC—one of Canada’s most beautiful cities.
- The faculty is made up of experienced professors who are passionate about their work.
- Its law program is a decent choice for students considering cost, without sacrificing quality.
- The campus is small and doesn’t have many amenities.
Royal Roads University
Location: Vancouver, British Columbia.
Tuition: CA$17,234 (or US$13,682.45) for domestic students per year, CA$44,125 (or US$35,031.80) for international students per year.
Popular Law Program(s): Bachelor of Arts in Justice Studies (offered on-campus and online).
GPA and LSAT: No information.
Royal Roads University offers a law program that is designed to allow students to pursue careers in all areas of law.
The school’s reputation for quality and professionalism has led to a diverse student body, made up of both Canadian citizens and international students from all over the world.
College of the Rockies
Location: Cranbrook, British Columbia.
Tuition: CA$6,877.23 (or US$5,459.98) per semester.
Popular Law Program(s): Criminal and Social Justice (offered on-campus and online).
GPA and LSAT: No information.
College of the Rockies is a small and diverse school located in the beautiful Cranbrook.
With a law program that is well-respected in the field, this school is a great option for those looking to get a leg up on their legal education.
The law program at College of the Rockies has been around for some time now.
In fact, it’s recognized as one of only four schools offering a Master’s degree in law—the other three being the University of Victoria, Simon Fraser University, and the University of British Columbia (UBC).
The faculty at the College of the Rockies is an important part of what makes this program so successful.
All professors have years or decades of experience in their respective fields—and they’re all experts in their fields.
There are also opportunities for students to work with visiting professors from other universities around North America.
How Much do Lawyers Make in BC?
Lawyers in British Columbia earn up to $99,974 per year; which makes them one of the highly-paid professionals in Canada.
Wrapping It Up
Overall, the bad news is that there are less than a handful of law schools in British Columbia. If you want to explore more options in Canada, see how law schools in Ontario compare.
Albeit, the good news is that they do offer a great education at an affordable cost.
There aren’t any specific programs or courses most common in law schools in British Columbia over other provinces, as long as you can prove you have what it takes academically.
Most students who attend these institutions do very well at transferring to other more competitive universities, and they usually don’t find it difficult to find an employer willing to foot the bill.