By most measures, such as the number of professors, number of students, and number of programs, our Faculty of Law ranks as the largest in the province and the country. The Faculty has some 60 career professors who, along with various legal practitioners, teach about 1,400 students enrolled at the three levels – nearly one-third of them graduate students registered in our broad range of programs. Most are full-time students.
The Faculty offers a complete and comprehensive legal education that prepares students to practice law and enter other careers in which knowledge of the law is a distinct advantage.
The Faculty has provided a fertile environment for teaching and research for more than a century. Over the years, it has made a significant contribution to the evolution of the law and to the recognition of law as an academic discipline. Occupying a separate building complete with a fully stocked library and computer lab, the Faculty focuses on the challenges that face the jurists of the future.
The undergraduate program provides a basic grounding in the law and prepares students for graduate studies, specialized courses, and professional practice in various spheres. Specifically, the program is designed to train jurists who: 1) understand the basic elements of different areas of the law; 2) have developed an integrated approach to legal problems and solutions; 3) have mastered the skills needed for the practice of law, i.e. qualifying concrete situations in legal terms; finding, consulting, and updating documentation; mastering oral and written legal discourse; 4) are independent and capable of adapting to change and becoming the agents of their own continuing legal education; 5) are capable of identifying the relationships between law and society and making those relationships an integral part of the legal conflict resolution process; 6) take a critical approach that reflects the plurality of conceptual approaches in and to the law; 7) are aware of their social responsibilities, as intellectuals and professionals, to follow a code of ethics that is compatible with their responsibilities, and are aware of extra-judicial ways to solve conflicts.
The Faculty also offers many Master’s and Ph.D. programs that are open to students who hold an undergraduate law degree from a university in Quebec, another province, or another country, as well as certain other undergraduate degrees. A number of courses in this program are given in English. Although a passive understanding of French is of course indispensable to students who hope to succeed, permission may be granted to write a Master’s or Ph.D. thesis in English.
The Ph.D. program is essentially devoted to in-depth research. A student may choose to take the entire program within the Faculty or to write a thesis under a joint-supervision arrangement, benefiting from courses and supervision at both the Université de Montréal and another university with which the UdeM has signed an agreement.
In addition to offering programs and research activities that provide international perspectives, the Faculty runs many student exchange programs at the undergraduate and graduate levels, and organizes summer programs with law faculties in other countries. Many foreign professors visit the Faculty each year to pursue research and give classes or lectures.
Professors in the Faculty of Law are exceptionally productive when it comes to research, in terms of both publications and funding received. Our professors have written many books in the areas of public law, private law, and international law. They continue to expand the boundaries of knowledge in advanced areas, notably legal theory, new technologies (information technologies and biotechnologies), business law and international trade. The Faculty has set up research centres, groups, and chairs in which professors, professionals, and student research assistants or graduate students work together. Many lectures and presentations are also organized at the Faculty, which provides an extraordinarily stimulating environment for researchers.
Professors from our Faculty are much sought-after for their expertise, spreading the international reputation of our university near and far.