Welcome to the Department of
Law and Legal Studies at Carleton University
The Department of Law and Legal Studies offers Canada’s premier programs for the interdisciplinary study of the law and beyond. These innovative programs explore the dynamic interaction between law and society nationally, transnationally and internationally.
Located in the national capital, on unceded Algonquin territory, we are Canada’s oldest and largest undergraduate program in Legal Studies, and the first University in Canada to offer a MA in Legal Studies and the second to offer a PhD. Learn more about our history.
In keeping with the gradual and safe return to campus we will be updating our website with details of our return to campus plan. In the meantime please visit our contacts page (hyperlink) for email contacts or email email@example.com for general inquiries. General inquiries may be addressed to firstname.lastname@example.org.
For the most up-to-date campus information, please visit Carleton’s COVID-19 information website.
Why Legal Studies?
Law is not just for lawyers. Laws and legal actors shape and impact our lives everyday! Laws can protect our freedoms, but may also impose limits on our actions and opportunities. Laws can protect us, or confine and oppress us. Laws can help us address fundamental challenges we face as a society, or impose obstacles in our attempts to deal with these challenges. How will you address today’s legal and social challenges?
Legal Studies strives to understand the nature and impact of law, legal actors and institutions integrating questions and methods drawn from a number of different disciplinary fields including communications, criminology, cultural studies, history, law, legal anthropology, political economy, political theory, and sociology. Legal Studies focuses on the complex nature of the interaction between law and other social fields to foster inquiry into and understanding of the dynamics of law, including its rules, agents, institutions and power structures.
Why Legal Studies at Carleton University?
Come be a part of the biggest and most vibrant centre for interdisciplinary Legal Studies research and teaching in North America! No other university in North America has as many full-time professors engaged in researching and teaching in the field of Legal Studies. Our department has more than 35 full-time professors, including award-winning researchers and teachers, who engage in interdisciplinary and multidisciplinary research in a number of fields. Many courses in our department are taught by practitioners, including lawyers working in private practice, government departments and non-governmental organizations. We also have an Activist in Residence program that provides our students access to an expert in human rights activism.
We offer a variety of activities outside the classroom. Our department hosts a wide range of academic and networking events that include speakers from around the world. Our student association also organizes a number of activities, including social events and the annual Capital Cup Mooting competition. And don’t forget the benefits of our capital advantage!
Learn more about our award-winning students.
Strengths of our Programs — During Covid and Beyond
See Department Chair, Betina Appel Kuzmarov speak about the strengths of our Department’s programs during Covid and beyond.
Our Undergraduate Programs Advantage
The Department of Law and Legal Studies at Carleton offers the most programs and the most courses of any legal studies program in North America.
We offer a choice of four undergraduate degree programs, over 75 courses in law, co-op options, internship courses and access to research and study opportunities unique to Carleton University and Canada’s capital city.
Find our more about what makes our undergraduate programs unique from our Quick Facts.
Where can a BA degree in Law take you?
Questions? Contact our Undergraduate Administrator Sarah Cleary.
Our Groundbreaking Graduate Programs
MA Program in Legal Studies
The MA program is organized around the theme of law and social transformation, fostering a rigorous and critical understanding of law and relations of governance. Students can choose from a thesis, a research essay, and a coursework-only option. MA students may also participate in an internship with the UNHCR.
PhD Program in Legal Studies
The PhD program in Legal Studies is designed for students with advanced research interests in the interdisciplinary study of law and is suitable for those seeking both academic jobs or careers requiring advanced research and analysis skills, including policy work. See what our current PhD students are working on.
Questions? Contact our Graduate Administrator Andrew Squires.
Why choose a BA in Law? Hear what our students and graduates have to say.
Carly, BA/15 Law (Honours)
Hear Carly speak about opportunities in and beyond the classroom, including student led initiatives, research positions, work placements, and more.
Mustafa, BA/09 in Law (Honours)
Hear Mustafa speak about the support he received from professors and how the interdisciplinary courses offered in the BA Law program allow students to pursue a wide variety of career options.
Sangmi, Year 4 BA Law Student
Hear Sangmi speak about how her co-op placements complemented both her legal studies education and future career goals.
Friday, November 19, 2021
Celebrating our Medal Winning Fall 2021 Graduates
Each year the Department of Law and Legal Studies has the pleasure of celebrating the successes of their graduating students. This November we are highlighting three recent graduates of our undergraduate programs who have been awarded...
Each year the Department of Law and Legal Studies has the pleasure of celebrating the successes of their graduating students. This November we are highlighting three recent graduates of our undergraduate programs who have been awarded medals in recognition of the academic performance. We wish them all the best in their future endeavours! Congratulations...
Friday, November 19, 2021
Graduate Student Research Spotlight
The Department of Law and Legal Studies is proud to celebrate the journeys and successes of this years’ cohort of students graduating with a MA in Legal Studies or PhD in Legal Studies. Please find research highlights for some of our recent graduates below....
The Department of Law and Legal Studies is proud to celebrate the journeys and successes of this years’ cohort of students graduating with a MA in Legal Studies or PhD in Legal Studies. Please find research highlights for some of our recent graduates below. We wish them all the best in their future endeavors. Congratulations...
Wednesday, November 17, 2021
Dr. William Hébert and Dr. Michael Christensen Awarded SSHRC Insight Development Grants
Dr. William Hébert and Dr. Michael Christensen are two recipients of this year's SSHRC Insight Development Grants. These grants support research in...
Dr. William Hébert and Dr. Michael Christensen are two recipients of this year's SSHRC Insight Development Grants. These grants support research in its early stages, enabling “the development of new research questions, as well as experimentation with new methods, theoretical approaches and/or ideas.” Learn more about their research below. William...
Friday, October 29, 2021
Dr. Melanie Adrian Receives Prestigious OCUFA Teaching Award
Department of Law and Legal Studies faculty member, Dr. Melanie Adrian, has received Ontario's highest teaching honour, the OCUFA Teaching Award! Dr. Adrian's commitment to teaching...
Department of Law and Legal Studies faculty member, Dr. Melanie Adrian, has received Ontario's highest teaching honour, the OCUFA Teaching Award! Dr. Adrian's commitment to teaching excellence is evident in her commitment to incorporating innovative pedagogy and approaches to facilitating student discussion and participation. In addition to being the...
Friday, August 20, 2021
Prof. Dale Spencer named FPA Research Excellence Chair
Professor Dale Spencer has been named the 2021 Faculty of Public Affairs Research Excellence Chair. Prof. Spencer’s research on violence, victimization, the Sixties Scoop, and settler-colonial...
Professor Dale Spencer has been named the 2021 Faculty of Public Affairs Research Excellence Chair. Prof. Spencer’s research on violence, victimization, the Sixties Scoop, and settler-colonial projects, and digital worlds and the young people who engage with them, is both innovative and responsive to the important and often under-examined aspects of our...