Senate votes to change Dalhousie’s law degree designation from an LLB to a JD
Dalhousie University Senate has approved a decision to change the designation of Dal’s law degree from a Bachelor of Laws (LLB) to a Juris Doctor (JD). The shift will have no effect on the program or curriculum itself. The change will come into effect next academic year.
The shift in designation is designed to better represent the program’s status as a second degree for students.
The JD designation is seen as having a more international credibility especially in countries offering LLB programs to students straight out of high school.
Eleven other Canadian common law programs have made the switch in designation from LLB to JD in the past decade.
The change in designation was a student-led initiative that began in 2009. Nearly 80 per cent of law students supported the change, with a turnout rate of 65 per cent in a plebiscite held to gauge opinion.
Alumni (including this years’ graduating class) will have the option of exchanging their LLB for a JD degree if they wish.
“The practice of law and the legal profession more broadly, has become increasingly international in its orientation. For many Canadian students, it means that their career path may take them through Canada, the US, Australia and the UK with some regularity and maybe some other countries with less regularity. And our graduates have reported that in their travels the JD is just a much more familiar degree designation internationally. It saves them a layer of explanations and documentation.” – Kim Brooks, Dean of the Schulich School of Law, Dalhousie University
“We have a lot of momentum right now because of the Schulich gift and our new dean. The change to a JD means that momentum can continue and we can continue to be recognized as one of the most desirable law schools in Canada.” – Jade Buchanan, president of the Law Students’ Society (LSS), Dalhousie University
“[Our goal is] to not have any of our students negatively affected by confusion over the degree. We don’t want them to be left behind and we don’t want students considering law to be confused either. We need to communicate to them that we’re one of the top law schools in Canada.” – Jade Buchanan, president of the Law Students’ Society (LSS), Dalhousie University
|Jade Buchanan |
President of the Law Students' Society Dalhousie University