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.
The Department of Law and Legal Studies main office in C473 Loeb is now open Monday to Friday 8:30-4:30 (closed for lunch 12-1). Most staff are still working remotely for at least half the week so email is the best way to get a hold of anyone. Please refer to the staff, faculty and contract instructor pages for email contacts. 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.
Welcome New and Returning Students
See the video message from the Department Chair, Zeina Bou-Zeid.
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?
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.
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.
Spotlight on Law and Legal Studies
Monday, March 27, 2023
Opportunity: Towards Anti-Oppression Essay Prize
The Towards Anti-Oppression Subcommittee welcomes submissions for a one-time “essay” prize for work on law and anti-oppression (broadly construed) by students who identify as 2SLGBTQ+, racialized, Indigenous, poor or working... More
The Towards Anti-Oppression Subcommittee welcomes submissions for a one-time “essay” prize for work on law and anti-oppression (broadly construed) by students who identify as 2SLGBTQ+, racialized, Indigenous, poor or working class, neurodiverse and/or disabled. We welcome traditional essays, photo essays, recorded oral submissions, and other creative... More
Wednesday, March 22, 2023
March 2023 Chet Mitchell Memorial Lecture
On Monday March 20th, our first Chet Mitchell Memorial Lecture of 2023 took place, our first in-person lecture in over three years. We were fortunate to be joined by Michael Gottheil, Canada's First Accessibility Commissioner, along... More
On Monday March 20th, our first Chet Mitchell Memorial Lecture of 2023 took place, our first in-person lecture in over three years. We were fortunate to be joined by Michael Gottheil, Canada's First Accessibility Commissioner, along with Sociology PhD Candidate, Keely Grossman and Associate Professor Vincent Kazmierski, for a fireside chat on legal... More
Friday, March 17, 2023
Christiane Wilke’s research team wins SSHRC Partnership Engagement Grant!
The Department of Law and Legal Studies is pleased to share that Associate Professor Christiane Wilke is part of a research team that has won a SSHRC Partnership Engagement Grant (PEG)! The... More
The Department of Law and Legal Studies is pleased to share that Associate Professor Christiane Wilke is part of a research team that has won a SSHRC Partnership Engagement Grant (PEG)! The title of the project is "Discordance and Discrepancies: The Politics of Counting Civilian Casualties." The grant supports a one year collaboration with... More
Wednesday, March 15, 2023
Congratulations Kelly Lauzon! 2022-2023 CUSA Award Recipient
The Department of Law and Legal Studies is pleased to share that Kelly Lauzon has been awarded a CUSA Open Excellence Award! This is an award that gives students the opportunity to nominate... More
The Department of Law and Legal Studies is pleased to share that Kelly Lauzon has been awarded a CUSA Open Excellence Award! This is an award that gives students the opportunity to nominate professors who do not require a textbook purchase for a course or have shown a commitment to adopt open source textbooks... More
Thursday, December 22, 2022
Office Closure: Department of Law and Legal Studies
Please note that the Department of Law and Legal Studies main office at C473 Loeb will be closed on Friday December 23, 2022 due to the impending storm. Office staff will be working remotely on... More
Please note that the Department of Law and Legal Studies main office at C473 Loeb will be closed on Friday December 23, 2022 due to the impending storm. Office staff will be working remotely on Friday between 8:30 am and 4:30 pm. Please email email@example.com if you require assistance. The university will be closed... More