Advising & FAQs

Kaila Mikkelsen, the Assistant Dean, Students, provides academic advising to current JD students. She can discuss course selection and academic requirements in person (Allard 152), by email or by phone (604-822-6350). She is also responsible for advising about joint legal education and exchange programs.

Frequently Asked Questions

Registration

What is the significance of a course number?

Law’s 200-level courses are for first-year students. The 300- and 400- level courses designate upper year JD courses. There is no distinction in difficulty between a 300- and a 400- level course and both second and third year studies should freely select from both. 500-level courses designate graduate courses.

Can I take or register for a course if I don’t have the prerequisite?

The online course description document produced by the Allard School of Law each year has the most current information on course prerequisites, and supersedes information contained in the Calendar or the SSC.  Instructors indicate pre-requisite courses to be completed prior to taking a course to ensure that students are properly prepared to succeed in that course.  Instructors may waive prerequisites, and the SSC will not prevent a student who has not taken a prerequisite from enrolling in a course.

I want to register in two classes that have the same course number and I am unable to do so on the SSC. What do I do?

If you attempt to register in two courses that have the same numeric code (but different course contents), or if you attempt to register in a course that has the same numeric code as a course in which you previously registered, such as 343C.001 and 343B.001, you will be unable to do so. Rather, you will need to be registered into a Directed Research course number for one of these courses. For technical reasons, we cannot register you in the same course number more than once. In this case, please contact Gloria Cheng and she will attempt to save a seat for you in the course during your registration date and time, and will later register you in a Directed Research if she is able to save a seat for you.

What courses should I prioritize in First Pass of registration?

Allard School of Law course registration gives priority to third-year students to register for 18 credits of courses (third year First Pass), and then provides an opportunity to second-year students to register for 18 credits of courses (second-year First Pass). In First Pass of registration, students should prioritize courses that they must take that academic year or that are crucial for their timetable to function.  Third-year students must ensure that they register for any outstanding mandatory courses in First Pass that they require for graduation; failure to do so may affect the ability to graduate. Additionally, second years, who register after third year students, should check the number of seats available in a class, and prioritize courses which have limited seats available.  Students should enroll in term 1 and term 2 courses in First Pass.  Second Pass registration allows both second and third-year students to enroll in their remaining courses.

The class I want to take is full. How do I get into it?

Students wishing to register in a full course should regularly monitor the SSC to see if a seat opens up in a course. As students juggle their schedule in the first two weeks of classes, seats frequently will open up.

Due to concerns about fair access to classes, as of February 2017 Academic Services will no longer utilize force forms or force emails to force a student into a full course.  If an instructor wishes to permit more students to enroll in a course, and the classroom size permits this increase, instructors may ask Academic Services to increase the class size, thereby allowing all students equal opportunity to self-enroll on the SSC when the seats become available.

The UBC registration system does not allow for the keeping of automatic waitlists and instructors will not keep waitlists for their courses.

I have been accepted into a moot/clinic which has mandatory prerequisites. How do I enroll in these prerequisites?

The moot or clinic instructor will provide Academic Services staff with a list of accepted moot/clinic students. Academic Services staff will contact the accepted students in advance of registration and will save seats in the prerequisite courses for the accepted students.  These courses DO NOT count towards the 18 credits of first pass credits and the clinic/moot students should not attempt to self-register in courses for which seats have been saved for them.

I am enrolled in a full-time clinic (15 credits). Can I take additional courses that term?

Students who are enrolled in full-time clinics or experiential experiences are not permitted to enroll in additional credits/courses other than those required by the clinic.  The clinic should be your sole focus during the term.

I am a transfer student to UBC, what courses do I have to take?

You are required to comply with UBC’s degree requirements including our mandatory upper year courses. Please contact the Assistant Dean, Students prior to registering for upper year courses to confirm whether or not you need to complete any additional first year courses.

Course Load Requirements

What is the average course load for an upper year student?

A full-time course load for a Law student is ~15 credits per term, or 30 credits per year.  Some students take a few credits less and some take a few more, however, students must complete 60 upper year credits over the final two years of their JD degree. There is no requirement that students enroll in exactly 30 credits per winter session.

How many credits should I enroll in to ensure I am award eligible in the Winter Session?

27 percentage-graded credits, and an average of 75% or higher, are required to be eligible to be considered for continuing student scholarships and prizes.  Exceptions can be made for students who are taking a reduced course load on recommendation of Access & Diversity or for students who are in their last term of study and require less credits to graduate.

How many credits do I have to take to be loan-eligible?

To maintain eligibility for student loans and bursaries in the Winter Session, students must enroll in 60% of a full-time course load (9 credits per term for 2L/3L or 10 credits per term for 1L). Further information about loan eligibility is available online on the Enrolment Services website.

Directed Research, Audits, Non-Law Credits

How many credits of Directed Research can I apply towards my degree?

Eight (8). Students can enroll in a directed research with a full-time faculty member for between 2-4 credits. Directed Research courses offer JD students with an opportunity to do extensive research and writing on a topic of their choice. A final paper will be approximately 2500 words/credit (excluding bibliography).  Students may enroll in Directed Research in the Summer or Winter Session.  Students intending to enroll in a Directed Research should complete the registration form (available on the Forms page) and return it by the appropriate deadline. Directed Research for 4 credits will only be approved in exceptional circumstances.

How do I audit a class?

Students interested in auditing a class should complete the Permission to Audit a Law Class form (available here), receive the instructor’s permission, and return the form to the Assistant Dean, Students for review and consideration.  Requests for audit will not be approved if the class requested is full, and may not be approved if the number of credits for the audit course would exceed the maximum term (18 credits) or yearly (34 credits) allowable credits for the student.  Students successfully registered in an Audit will be charged full tuition for the class.

Only students who are registered in a course for Audit or Credit are permitted to attend and sit in on a course.

I would like to take a course in another Faculty at UBC. How do I go about doing that and can it count for Law credit?

Students may, with advance permission, take courses in other Departments and Schools of the University for credit towards their JD degree. Such courses may be credited to a maximum of 6 credits towards their JD degree and the courses must be related to their legal studies.  The guidelines for non-Law courses are:

  1. The Associate Dean, Academic Affairs, must be satisfied that the proposed course, taken in combination with the student's course of study within the Faculty, will contribute substantially to the student's understanding of the law and legal problems.
  2. Courses that relate to the study of law only by providing general perspectives on individual, social or commercial problems, or by providing knowledge that is not law-related but may prove useful in the practice of law, are not within the scope of the non-law option.

Further information about how to request such credit and the guidelines for the outside courses can be found in the Student Registration Guide.  Students with additional questions should contact the Assistant Dean, Students.

Academic Concessions, Accommodations, Course Withdrawals and Leaves of Absence

How do I request exam deferral or assignment extension?

Please review the information online, and contact the Assistant Dean, Students.  Instructors are not able to grant extensions or deferrals.

I have a medical condition that requires accommodations, who do I speak to?

Please contact the Assistant Dean, Students in the Allard School of Law. Additionally, you should ensure that you have contacted and registered with UBC’s Access & Diversity office.

When can I withdraw from a course and can I receive a tuition refund?

UBC sets deadlines for the last date to drop a course without a withdrawal (W) status and with a withdrawal (W) status noted on your transcript.  Withdrawal dates for each term are set out in the UBC Calendar and reminders are sent to students via the Weekly Bulletin.

If you drop a course without a W, you will receive a refund of any tuition fees paid.  Dropping a course with a W will result in some tuition assessment depending on the timing of the drop.

Withdrawal from a course after the last date to drop with a W is available as an academic concession and only in exceptional circumstances (for example, inability to complete the course due to a sudden health condition or tragedy, or you are experiencing unforeseen circumstances which are impacting your studies).  Late withdrawals can only be granted with approval from the Assistant Dean, Students. Students requesting a late withdrawal should do so promptly and are expected to provide supporting documentation. Late withdrawals are not available if you have written the final exam or completed the final assessments in the course.

If you remained registered in the course past the withdrawal deadline, and do not qualify for academic concession, you have committed to completing the course.

Can I take a leave of absence from law school?

The law school generally grants a leave from law studies for one semester or one year. Students considering this option should contact the Assistant Dean, Students.

Other

Is it possible to study at another law school for one or two semesters?

Yes, Law students may study for one semester or one year at another law school and have the credit earned count towards their UBC law degree. There are two ways in which to do so:

(1) Exchange

Law students have the opportunity to attend another law school on an approved exchange program for one semester or one year in second or third year. More information here

(2) Letter of Permission/Visiting Student

Students may attend another Canadian law school for one semester or one year on a letter of permission as a visiting student. Students must apply directly to the other law school for admission as a visiting student. Please contact the Assistant Dean, Students to request a letter of permission to attend another institution. The letter will be issued if you are in good standing, and are able to complete your UBC required courses at UBC (note exceptions can be made if you can prove that you can complete the course requirement at the visiting school). 

The law school will not transfer credit from study abroad programs (summer or otherwise) unless the program is an approved Allard School of Law exchange program.

What is my class rank? I am applying for a scholarship that requires my class rank and/or for the law school to affirm I am in the top 10% of the class.

The Allard School of Law does not rank students and will not release ranking information under any circumstances.  The School does, however, provide grade ranges. Each year, the School produces a grade distribution letter which provides our range of grades, the descriptor for each, and the percentage spread for each year of students in that Winter Session.  Grade Distribution Letters can be found here.

My bank requires a letter indicating that I am completing full time studies. How do I obtain such a letter?

The SSC allows students to print out a Confirmation of Enrolment letter that may meet the needs of your financial institution.  Should you require a more detailed letter, please complete this form, and provide it to Gloria Cheng, Coordinator, Academic Services, and she would be happy to assist you. 

How do I order a transcript?

The Allard School of Law cannot produce student transcripts. To order a UBC transcript, please contact Enrolment Services

How do I change my name on the SSC or ensure my professors know my preferred name?
UBC recognizes that many members of its community use first names other than their legal names originally provided to the University to identify themselves. A preferred first name is a name that you commonly use that is different from your legal first name.  Students can update the SSC with their preferred name as well as use their preferred name on their student card.  Check out how to update your preferred name on the SSC or your student card. Allard Law Career Services Symplicity program also allows students to update their preferred name in the  Personal section on their Symplicity account.