The Department of Law and Legal Studies takes pride in its accomplishments and its members’ achievements. Here are 10 of our many accomplishments.
1. We are the oldest and largest legal studies department in Canada — and celebrated our 50th anniversary in 2017.
Founded in 1967, our department now includes 35 full time faculty members. Most other legal studies programs have less than 10 full-time faculty members or rely on professors from other departments.
2. Our Department is interdisciplinary.
It includes professors from a wide variety of disciplines, including anthropology, communications, criminology, history, law, political science, political economy . Legal Studies as a project integrates questions and methods drawn from a number of different disciplinary fields including feminist studies, history, philosophy, political theory and sociology. At the same time, our students also have access to courses taught by practicing lawyers who work in a variety of environments, including private practice, government, and non-governmental organizations.
3. We offer more undergraduate courses by far than any other legal studies program in Canada.
You have a lot of course options to choose from. Our course calendar includes more than 75 courses that are offered by our department. We teach more than 60 different undergraduate courses every year.
4. In 1991, we became the first department in the country to offer an M.A. in Legal Studies. And now we offer a Ph.D., too!
Students interested in pursuing the MA in Legal Studies are able to choose from a thesis, a research essay, and a coursework-only option. As of Fall 2011, we launched one of the only PhD in Legal Studies in Canada, designed for students with advanced research interests in the interdisciplinary study of law.
5. Our faculty members have received national and international research grants.
Peruse details about our faculty recipients of research grants and their impressive and important projects, or learn more about individual faculty members’ research areas by visiting our Faculty profiles pages. You can also see a listing of their recent publications of texts and other books on our Publications page.
6. We have an award-winning teaching staff.
Our department emphasizes the importance of teaching excellence and innovation, which is reflected in the more than 20 awards our faculty and contract instructors have won in the past 10 years. Read more about our award winning department.
7. We foster and celebrate student research.
Undergraduate students have opportunities to be published in the Carleton University Legal Studies Journal , and participate in the FPA’s 180 HRE Competition. Each student has three minutes to encapsulate the main points in their Honours Research Essay in front of a panel of Carleton University judges; plus, prizes are awarded!
Graduate students are encouraged to present at or participate in the annual Graduate Legal Studies Association conference (March). Each year, there is also the Carleton-wide 3MT Competition, which challenges graduate students to communicate the key concepts of their research in a compelling presentation of three minutes or less. The panel consists of judges from Carleton, the Ottawa community and from the Graduate Students’ Association; winners receive cash prizes and the opportunity to represent Carleton at the provincial competition. PhD candidates are also encouraged to share details of their research areas, via the PhD Student Profiles.
8. Our Department is currently the host department for the Canadian Journal of Law and Society.
This bilingual periodical publishes cutting-edge research in the broad field of law and society scholarship. Rooted in the innovative Canadian Law and Society movement, Canadian Journal of Law and Society (CJLS) features international scholarship concerning the intersection of law and sociology, cultural studies, literature, political science, criminology, history, human rights, gender studies and political economy.
9. We have a very active student-run Carleton Law and Legal Studies Society.
It hosts a multitude of social events, fundraisers, and competitions, including the Capital Cup Mooting Tournament and the Contemporary Legal Issues and Career Development Conference. The tournament is open to all universities and colleges across Canada and provides an opportunity for undergraduate and graduate students who have an interest in pursuing a legal education to gain advocacy experience and enhance their legal research and writing skills. The conference offers students a chance to hear from and talk to a variety of legal professionals and learn about career options moving forward. Plus – this society also offers LSAT prep support for those who plan to attend law school in the future.
Additionally, the student run Graduate Legal Studies Association provides a platform for students in the MA and PhD programs to network, share research, and develop professionally and academically.
10. We encourage students to take advantage of support services.
We provide students with a direct link to support (academic or otherwise) through our Undergraduate and Graduate Administrators and Supervisors. If you have questions about the program, your course load, your career path, or any other student concern, don’t hesitate to ask!
Connection and community are important. Our campus offers many non-academic services that support students, including the Student Experience Office, which helps new students make a successful transition to university life by preparing you to achieve your personal and academic goals; and the Student Academic and Career Development Services, for when you need peer help in a course, are curious about workshops/tutorials to improve writing, time management, exam prep, and other study habits, or are just looking for advice. Be sure to explore all the student support services offered on our campus though!