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Program Information

A group of students at conference table reviewing documents 

Curriculum

Ryerson Law's Juris Doctor program offers a variety of courses and fulfills the LSO’s requirements for the Integrated Practice Curriculum (IPC).  As part of our commitment to experiential learning, students will receive hands-on mentorship throughout their degree and work with the latest technological innovations redefining legal practice today. Courses in the first two years of the program are mandatory. By the third year, there will be a range of electives available to students. We look forward to hearing input on such additional selections by our inaugural classes as we build the program and its offerings.

Co-teaching model that includes working lawyers to meld theory and practice in each subject area. Special focus on current and future technologies that are relevant to legal service.

First semester

Semester 1 total weekly contact hours: 19

Required:

JUR 400 Ryerson Law School Intensive
JUR 100 Legal Research and Writing
JUR 101 Contract Law
JUR 102 Tort Law
JUR 103 Property Law
JUR 104 Ethics and Professionalism

Second semester

Semester 2 total weekly contact hours: 19

Required:

JUR 401 Technology Innovation Intensive
JUR 105 Foundations of Law and Legal Methods
JUR 106 Criminal Law
JUR 107 Constitutional Law
JUR 108 Administrative and Regulatory Law
JUR 109 Indigenous Law in Canada

Two-week modules with lectures in the morning and hands-on mentorship in small student "firms" in the afternoon.

Third semester

Semester 3 total weekly contact hours: 18

Required:

JUR 402 Financial Intensive
JUR 200 The Business of Lawyering
JUR 201 Business Law
JUR 202 Family Law
JUR 203 Civil Procedure
JUR 204 Social Innovation and the Law

Fourth semester

Semester 4 total weekly contact hours: 18

Required:

JUR 403 Coding Intensive
JUR 205 Advocacy and Alternative Dispute Resolution
JUR 206 Wills and Estates
JUR 207 Legal Innovation
JUR 208 Intellectual Property and Privacy
JUR 209 Access to Justice Solutions

Use of one semester (either fifth or sixth) for a valuable professional placement. Coursework in the other semester that allows for focus on key interest areas.

Fifth and sixth semesters

Total weekly contact hours: 18

Professional placement semester total term hours: 18

Required:

JUR 404 Emotional and Cultural Quotient Intensive

One semester of:

JUR 300 Professional Placement

 

Electives:

Five electives from the following: 

JUR 301 Global Civil Society and the Law
JUR 302 Real Estate Law
JUR 303 Labour and Employment Law
JUR 304 Advanced Corporate/Commercial Law
JUR 305 Interdisciplinary Lawyering
JUR 306 Environmental Law
JUR 307 Children and the Law
JUR 308 Immigration Law
JUR 309 Criminal Procedure
JUR 310 Law and Practice
JUR 311 Evidence
JUR 312 Law and Injustice
JUR 313 Advanced Legal Solutions
JUR 314 Private International Law
JUR 315 Public International Law

Intensive Courses

The intensive courses will take place in the first week of the 12-week term, and will run for a total of 30 hours – six hours per day for five school days. These are fully graded courses with a range of assessments in each. 

These intensive courses reflect the practice-based focus of the Ryerson Law program as formalized in the program’s designation by the LSO as an Integrated Practice Curriculum. The skills and knowledge imparted in these courses are not typically part of traditional legal education. However, members of the legal profession, educators from across the university and beyond, and representatives from the tech industry with whom we consulted and collaborated while building the program were in universal agreement that these are essential aspects of contemporary legal education and practice.

We believe that these courses will ensure that upon graduation Ryerson Law students will be very well equipped to serve the interests of a diverse client base.

JUR 400 Ryerson Law School Intensive

Course Description: This five-day intensive course gives incoming Juris Doctor students the opportunity to learn about Ryerson University and the Ryerson Law School, as well as the legal profession. Students begin to lay the foundation for professional development and success by engaging in career planning, networking and mentoring. They are also introduced to leadership strategies and tools, culminating with a personal development project.

  • Grading Basis: Graded
  • GPA Weight, Course Count: 1.00

 JUR 100 Legal Research and Writing

Course Description: This course introduces students to the sources of law, fundamental principles and basic architecture of the Canadian legal system, legal research methods, relevant social science research methods and the impact of theoretical principles on substantive principles of Canadian law. The course provides a comparative look at legal research resources from the perspective of their potential strengths and weaknesses for practitioners.

  • Grading Basis: Graded
  • GPA Weight, Course Count: 1.00
  • Weekly Contact Hours: 3

 JUR 101 Contract Law

Course Description: Contract law provides a creative opportunity to clarify expectations and interests in a legally enforceable way. Working with real contracts from diverse sources, students are trained in contract fundamentals (formation, performance, breach, and remedies) and are introduced to the use of contracts in a variety of legal areas. Students apply these principles both in reviewing and drafting contract clauses and to critically assess emerging topics such as electronic, “smart” and self-executing contracts.

  • Grading Basis: Graded
  • GPA Weight, Course Count: 1.00
  • Weekly Contact Hours: 4

 JUR 102 Tort Law

Course Description: Tort law deals with the apportionment of responsibility for harms caused by individuals, companies and government. This course examines intentional and unintentional wrongs, and the central role that recovery and damages play in redress. Students learn to recognize wrongs and how to anticipate, avoid or address legal risk. They apply these principles in reviewing and drafting pleadings, and explore how principles of responsibility are challenged by non-human actors (e.g. AI, autonomous vehicles).

  • Grading Basis: Graded
  • GPA Weight, Course Count: 1.00
  • Weekly Contact Hours: 4

JUR 103 Property Law

Course Description: Property law deals with ownership, possession, and control of tangible and intangible interests that offer value to individuals, companies and the state. Students analyze competing claims to various types of assets, and are introduced to the economic, moral and other arguments used to support those claims. They are given the opportunity to apply these principles in cases involving the infringement of property rights and explore comparative views of concepts of property in Indigenous law.

  • Grading Basis: Graded
  • GPA Weight, Course Count: 1.00
  • Weekly Contact Hours: 4

JUR 104 Ethics and Professionalism

Course Description: Legal ethics and professionalism explores the tensions that arise domestically and internationally from balancing professional role-based obligations, organizational expectations and the public interest. Students consider behaviour and responsibilities generated by rules of professional conduct and situate legal professionals in a broader societal context. They learn to recognize and address ethical dilemmas they encounter in various practice settings, including novel challenges arising in technologically-mediated environments.

  • Grading Basis: Graded
  • GPA Weight, Course Count: 1.00
  • Weekly Contact Hours: 3

JUR 401 Technology Innovation Intensive 

Course Description: This five-day intensive course is an opportunity to explore and experience through workshops and seminars some of the technologies and innovative business practices that can help a lawyer succeed in the age of the consumer. It initiates the process whereby students gain the necessary skills and understanding of the innovative processes to successfully compete and thrive in  a marketplace being rapidly disrupted by technology, consumer expectations, and globalization.

  • Grading Basis: Graded
  • GPA Weight, Course Count: 1.00

JUR 105 Foundations of Law and Legal Methods

Course Description: This course introduces students to foundational and influential theories of law (e.g. positivism, natural law, legal realism, law and economics, and critical perspectives: feminist theory, critical race theory and critical legal studies) as well as to effective communication and application of research results through a variety of written and oral communication and dispute resolution tools.

  • Grading Basis: Graded
  • GPA Weight, Course Count: 1.00
  • Weekly Contact Hours: 3

JUR 106 Criminal Law

Course Description: Criminal law attempts to balance societal protection and the rights of the accused in both national and international settings. This course deals with the principles and processes of criminal defence and prosecution. Students learn and/or experience bail hearing, preliminary inquiries, judicial conferences, disclosure and jury selection. There is a focus on issues related to equity, diversity and inclusion in the criminal justice system,  particularly the intersection of criminal law with Indigenous culture.

  • Grading Basis: Graded
  • GPA Weight, Course Count: 1.00
  • Weekly Contact Hours: 4

JUR 107 Constitutional Law

Course Description: Constitutional law is the supreme law of the nation state and the authority with which other laws and government actors must comply. Students learn about the powers and responsibilities of different levels and types of government as well as protecting and guaranteeing the rights of legal persons. Students have opportunities to work with ministerial briefs, governmental memoranda, factums and pleadings for landmark constitutional litigation cases, including Indigenous land claims, historical wrongs and competing rights.

  • Grading Basis: Graded
  • GPA Weight, Course Count: 1.00
  • Weekly Contact Hours: 4

JUR 108 Administrative and Regulatory Law

Course Description: Issues in administrative law and regulatory law are commonly encountered, due to their influence on everyday interactions between individuals and government entities. Regulatory law covers delegated rule-making, policy development and adjudication. Students learn about regulatory practice and principles of judicial review, as well as how to provide advice to individuals and corporations on complex rules, regulations, procedures, permitting, applications and enforcement. The role of the compliance function and rise of “RegTech” are also explored.

  • Grading Basis: Graded
  • GPA Weight, Course Count: 1.00
  • Weekly Contact Hours: 4

JUR 109 Indigenous Law in Canada

Course Description: This course highlights the impact of Canadian laws on Indigenous peoples, including their complex relationship with Canada’s constitution. Traditional Indigenous legal systems and customs, and how these are practised in a modern context, are studied, along with the legal struggles of First Nations, Inuit and Metis within federal, provincial and territorial contexts. Students examine relevant legislation, regulations and case law and gain experience with by-law making, impact benefit agreements, revenue sharing agreements, and ownership structures.

  • Grading Basis: Graded
  • GPA Weight, Course Count: 1.00
  • Weekly Contact Hours: 3 

JUR 402 Financial Intensive 

Course Description: The purpose of this five-day intensive course is twofold. First, it covers topics related to taxation and finance statements. Second, it provides extensive practice in using Excel as a financial tool. Students gain a sufficient understanding of these subjects to give them confidence in continuing to use them and learn with them as they proceed through their law school experience. The course provides the basic financial acumen to start their own business or legal practice.

  • Grading Basis: Graded
  • GPA Weight, Course Count: 1.00



JUR 200 The Business of Lawyering

Course Description: Exposure to the realities of professional practice is a foundational requirement of legal education. This module concentrates on preparing students for multiple professional contexts and developing associated skills, such as collaboration, networking, billing, accounting methods, client relationships and file management, as well as furthering their understanding of the application of ethical standards to the changing practice of law.

  • Grading Basis: Graded
  • GPA Weight, Course Count: 1.00
  • Weekly Contact Hours: 3

JUR 201 Business Law

Course Description: Using a transactional approach to business structures, students work  with a simulated client file from idea through execution to potential problem areas. The module focuses on documents, processes and issues related to financing, liability, governance and operations, both in bricks-and-mortar and e-commerce businesses. Students draft and review  documents (e.g. articles of incorporation, bylaws, shareholder/partnership agreements, confidentiality clauses and purchase and sale agreements). Challenges of applying traditional legal concepts to digital businesses are also explored.

  • Grading Basis: Graded
  • GPA Weight, Course Count: 1.00
  • Weekly Contact Hours: 3

JUR 202 Family Law

Course Description: This module deals with major issues in family law including divorce and separation, child custody and access, division of property, continuing support, and the intergenerational ramifications of family law. It addresses techniques for conducting intake interviews, issue spotting and developing a theory of the case. Various processes for disputes, such as negotiation, use of collaborative law, mediation, arbitration and litigation are addressed, including the impact of these processes on all parties to the case.  

  • Grading Basis: Graded
  • GPA Weight, Course Count: 1.00
  • Weekly Contact Hours: 3

JUR 203 Civil Procedure

Course Description: This module provides hands-on practice-based exposure to the Rules of Civil Procedure through interactive exercises, which include drafting and preparing pleadings and motion materials. These activities are designed to ensure students properly understand the difference between pleadings and evidence, and how to properly construct a claim with consideration efficiency and effectiveness. The module also includes practical applications of eDiscovery using the Sedona principles and the Electronic Discovery Reference Model (EDRM) framework.

  • Grading Basis: Graded
  • GPA Weight, Course Count: 1.00
  • Weekly Contact Hours: 3

JUR 204 Social Innovation and the Law

Course Description: Societal change is demanding innovation in the delivery of legal services, interaction with clients and the development of new technological tools. In this module the emphasis is on recognizing who is the client, identifying problems and generating multi-faceted solutions. Students gain reinforcement in basic concepts in file management, communication and interviewing, problem recognition, data analytics, and knowledge generation software. They have opportunities to apply the fundamentals of design thinking.

  • Grading Basis: Graded
  • GPA Weight, Course Count: 1.00
  • Weekly Contact Hours: 3

JUR 403 Coding Intensive 

Course Description: This five-day intensive course focuses on several coding languages. Students gain a quick overview of HTML and CSS, the backbones of all websites, and spend time learning the fundamentals of Python, now widely used for applications in data analytics. After gaining basic proficiency in this program, students use it to complete a group project. They are also introduced to tests that help them assess their own proficiency in the fundamentals of legal technology.

  • Grading Basis: Graded
  • GPA Weight, Course Count: 1.00

JUR 205 Advocacy and Alternative Dispute Resolution

Course Description: This module introduces students to a diversity of processes for advocacy and alternative dispute resolution, including negotiation, mediation, third-party neutral evaluation, mini-trials, and judicial settlement conferences. Students explore questions of fit between the type of a dispute and choice of resolution process, critically assessing potential reforms designed to ensure access to affordable legal services. The potential for new technologies to contribute to online dispute resolution strategies is also addressed.

  • Grading Basis: Graded
  • GPA Weight, Course Count: 1.00
  • Weekly Contact Hours: 3

JUR 206 Wills and Estates

Course Description: This module covers the basic legal principles and rules of succession and estate planning. Students come to appreciate the intersections between this field and the areas of trust, insurance, and tax as well as health law issues such as capacity and decision-making. They examine wills and estate documents and, through simulated client interactions, gain experience in engaging in conversations around estate planning including asset identification, designating powers of attorney and related matters such as digital rights upon death.

  • Grading Basis: Graded
  • GPA Weight, Course Count: 1.00
  • Weekly Contact Hours: 3

JUR 207 Legal Innovation

Course Description: Innovation in today’s legal environment encompasses technological, business and social innovation. This module focuses on developing skills in legal project management, analytics, process engineering and technology while allowing students to apply these skills in an innovation project that stresses one or more of these types of innovation mentioned above while gaining their Six Sigma yellow belt. The goal is to enhance students’ capacity and ability to evoke change in the delivery of legal services.

  • Grading Basis: Graded
  • GPA Weight, Course Count: 1.00
  • Weekly Contact Hours: 3

JUR 208 Intellectual Property and Privacy

Course Description: This module discusses the private and public legal frameworks governing copyright, trademarks, and patents,  as well as privacy and cyber-security in Canada and other jurisdictions. Current issues and problems related to ownership and protection of intellectual property are analyzed. Also current issues and problems related to privacy of personal information, access to information, and security of data are analyzed to understand the risks of an increasingly data-driven world.

  • Grading Basis: Graded
  • GPA Weight, Course Count: 1.00
  • Weekly Contact Hours: 3

JUR 209 Access to Justice Solutions

Course Description: In this module, students learn to identify barriers to justice and critically evaluate solutions. Using a comparative approach, international solutions (including in other sectors e.g. access to health, access to banking) are explored and global similarities identified. Students distill this learning into a toolbox of approaches which, using an emphasis on accessible technology, they then use to develop local solutions to make legal services more affordable for individuals and organizations of limited means.

  • Grading Basis: Graded
  • GPA Weight, Course Count: 1.00
  • Weekly Contact Hours: 3 

JUR 404 Emotional and Cultural Quotient Intensive 

Course Description: Living and working in a global, multicultural and diverse context demands an awareness of the impact of emotions and cultural outlook on our work. In particular, being able to recognize and understand the impact of one’s own emotions and identifying and addressing cultural biases is critical to the success of all projects. In this  five-day intensive course, Juris Doctor students explore and experience vital emotional and cultural competencies for optimal personal and group success.

  • Grading Basis: Graded
  • GPA Weight, Course Count: 1.00

JUR 300 Professional Placement

Course Description: Students participate in a 16-week placement to further develop and apply practice-ready skills essential for success. There will be a variety of settings: private practice, in-house legal department, government or legal clinic. During the placement, students participate in regular professional development sessions connected with the program, submit reflective assignments and engage in facilitated discussions highlighting the skills and training they have gained.

  • Grading Basis: Graded
  • GPA Weight, Course Count: 1.00
  • Weekly Contact Hours: 18

JUR 301 Global Civil Society and the Law

Course Description: This course will look at alternative sources of law in a global context including beyond the state. Students will be challenged to examine how legally-trained professionals navigate the space between formal and informal processes for rule generation and application. The course will examine grievance mechanisms and the processes of conflict resolution. Skills acquired include project management, campaigning and advocacy, networking and communication through social media and writing policy briefs and media releases.

  • Grading Basis: Graded
  • GPA Weight, Course Count: 1.00
  • Weekly Contact Hours: 3

JUR 302 Real Estate Law

Course Description: This course analyzes the legal requirements imposed by the Registry Act, the Land Titles Act, land and title insurance, and how these requirements shape the lawyer’s role in helping clients navigate the issues surrounding title to land. Also examined are the major changes in real estate practice due to technology and the fact that it is essential to understand the process that technology has replaced so that practitioners can ensure successful outcomes for their clients.

  • Grading Basis: Graded
  • GPA Weight, Course Count: 1.00
  • Weekly Contact Hours: 3

JUR 303 Labour and Employment Law

Course Description: The forces of globalization, technological change, organizational restructuring, and the expansion of capital markets continue to transform the nature of work and the role and power of labour market actors. The course reviews common law and statutory rules pertaining to employment in both unionized and non-unionized settings. It explores the scope of the law, and how the rights, and responsibilities of employees, employers and unions are construed, and are evolving, in the “new economy”.

  • Grading Basis: Graded
  • GPA Weight, Course Count: 1.00
  • Weekly Contact Hours: 3

JUR 304 Advanced Corporate/Commercial Law

Course Description: This course tracks the life cycle of a Canadian corporation from incorporation, organization, structure, governance, mergers and dissolution.  Students acquire the understanding and background to ensure that they have the ability to incorporate a Canadian company, address critical issues around structure, governance requirements and the ultimate merger and dissolution of companies, and are able to review due diligence issues that arise in this process.

  • Grading Basis: Graded
  • GPA Weight, Course Count: 1.00
  • Weekly Contact Hours: 3

JUR 305 Interdisciplinary Lawyering

Course Description: Professionals are increasingly being asked to collaborate across conventional disciplinary borders. This course analyzes the practical challenges facing these collaborative groups as they work through multi-faceted issues that involve expertise in areas within and beyond the law, such as business, technology, science, medicine, social work and psychology. Students will learn how to identify and integrate relevant expertise from such areas to solve complex legal problems using skills of communication, networking and teamwork.

  • Grading Basis: Graded
  • GPA Weight, Course Count: 1.00
  • Weekly Contact Hours: 3

JUR 306 Environmental Law

Course Description: Students reconcile the objectives of environmental protection with local advocacy. Through various (including Indigenous) approaches to environmental education, they learn to be advocates by coming to understand how to support policies and legislation that require making difficult policy choices about protection. Students work with national and provincial legislation, the common law and regulatory prosecution related to air, land, and water, conservation, biotechnology and extractive industries to study the legal effect of these policy choices.

  • Grading Basis: Graded
  • GPA Weight, Course Count: 1.00
  • Weekly Contact Hours: 3

JUR 307 Children and the Law

Course Description: This course deals with how childhood is conceptualized, constructed and regulated through statutory, common law and social science frameworks. It addresses issues surrounding conception, such as multiple parenthood, biological vs. non-biological parents, the role of Assisted Reproductive Technologies and their impact on parentage. It also deals with domestic and international adoptions, child protection, criminal justice, child labour, childhood and diversity, education, participation and empowerment, and the legacy of residential schools as revealed by the TRC.

  • Grading Basis: Graded
  • GPA Weight, Course Count: 1.00
  • Weekly Contact Hours: 3

JUR 308 Immigration Law

Course Description: This course explores historical, economic, policy, and human rights factors framing the theory and practice of immigration law in Canada and the role that lawyers play in the administration of both domestic and international immigration regimes. Topics examined include inland processing, refugee determination hearings, inadmissibility determinations, detention reviews, removals, and humanitarian and compassionate considerations. Students will also examine jurisprudence produced through the Charter of Rights and Freedoms, judicial review, and significant international and comparative decisions.

  • Grading Basis: Graded
  • GPA Weight, Course Count: 1.00
  • Weekly Contact Hours: 3

JUR 309 Criminal Procedure

Course Description: This course begins with a survey of the source and limits of police investigative powers, focusing on the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms and motions for the exclusion of illegally obtained evidence. The course examines pre-trial processes, including bail, (non-) disclosure, crown and judicial conferences, and election and plea (bargaining) before moving on to jury selection, trial procedure, examination/cross-examination of witnesses, and sentencing. Attention is also paid to appeals and select specialized court proceedings.

  • Grading Basis: Graded
  • GPA Weight, Course Count: 1.00
  • Weekly Contact Hours: 3

JUR 310 Tax Law and Practice

Course Description: This course introduces tax principles in the Income Tax Act, as they pertain to four major types of taxpayers/entities: individuals, corporations, trusts, and partnerships. Topics covered include residency, employment and business income/deductions, capital transactions, dividends, the theory of integration, corporation-specific transactions (rollovers and reorganizations), and civil & criminal penalties.  Also included is an overview of international tax principles (tax jurisdiction, tax treaties, transfer pricing, and e-commerce). In addition, application of AI in tax is addressed.

  • Grading Basis: Graded
  • GPA Weight, Course Count: 1.00
  • Weekly Contact Hours: 3

JUR 311 Evidence

Course Description: This course imparts the basic principles of evidence law in the civil and criminal context, including hearsay and its exceptions, as well as relevant implications of opinion, character, and expert evidence. Students learn about the distinctive ways that legal processes treat matters of evidence and the connections between rules of evidence and rules of civil and criminal procedure. They also look at the growing role of electronic evidence and the use of social media as evidence.

  • Grading Basis: Graded
  • GPA Weight, Course Count: 1.00
  • Weekly Contact Hours: 3

JUR 312 Law and Injustice

Course Description: Law is often implicated in injustice, rationalizing inequalities, domination, cruelty, and neglect. And yet, marginalized groups continue to turn to law as an instrument of social change, sometimes successfully. This course explores the nature and experience of injustice through its tense relationship to law. Relying on a mixture of theoretical perspectives on law as well as experiential learning modules, it equips students to think about law and justice in creative ways.

  • Grading Basis: Graded
  • GPA Weight, Course Count: 1.00
  • Weekly Contact Hours: 3

JUR 313 Advanced Legal Solutions

Course Description: This project-based course builds on the thinking and skills developed in Access to Justice Solutions during fourth semester. Students break into teams to develop and refine a solution to a challenge set by outside organizations and subject-matter experts. After building a prototype of their solution, the student teams participate in a pitch session in front of external experts, law firms, government and community representatives who assess the feasibility of their work.

  • Grading Basis: Graded
  • GPA Weight, Course Count: 1.00
  • Weekly Contact Hours: 3

JUR 314 Private International Law

Course Description: Students explore the international context for relationships between private parties across jurisdictions. In doing so they gain an introductory understanding of the origin of and responses to conflicts of law and the role of international dispute resolution processes, while engaging in analysis of issues relating to topics such as merchant law, jurisdiction, and human rights. They also have opportunities to apply their learning through preparation of an international dispute resolution file, and related activities.

  • Grading Basis: Graded
  • GPA Weight, Course Count: 1.00
  • Weekly Contact Hours: 3

JUR 315 Public International Law 

Course Description: This course sheds light on the international legal system governing the rights and obligations of sovereign states in their interactions with one another and with non-state entities, such as international organizations and non-state actors. Students learn how international law is generated, the distinctive elements of international legal reasoning, and the manner in which international law interacts with domestic (particularly Canadian) law through legal reasoning, treaty negotiation, custom as well as “soft law.”

  • Grading Basis: Graded
  • GPA Weight, Course Count: 1.00
  • Weekly Contact Hours: 3

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