Priority Letters

Overview and rules

The priority letter system allows students to prioritize those courses which have special importance to them and their proposed program of study.

Available letters

Note: Students may only use each assigned letter once for the entire year.

2nd year J.D. ProgramOne "B" and one "C" for the entire year.
3rd year J.D. ProgramOne "A", one "B", and one "C" for the entire year.
Half-Time ProgramSecond year students in the half-time program have the letters "B" and "C" which may be used in either part of second year. For example, if both letters are used in the first part of second year, no priority letter may be used in the second part. Third year students may use the letters "A", "B", and "C" in either part of third year. As with second year, the letters may only be used once.
Combined ProgramsStudents in joint programs have one "A", two "B"s, and one "C" over the course of their entire program, and not per year of the program. These letters may be used at the student's option in either the second or third year of a three year program and third or fourth year of a four year program.
Exchange StudentsIncoming exchange students receive one "C".  Please note that Exchange students are not permitted to Moot or do Clinic Work.University of Toronto students going on exchange to other programs receive the letters appropriate for their year of study.
Transfer StudentsProvided the student's course selection is in before the lottery is run, transfer students receive the same letters as other students in their year of study. If the student is admitted after the lottery, the student is allowed to be placed in one course of their choice that has a waiting list (with the exception of specific maximum enrolment courses e.g. ADR, Trial Advocacy etc.)
Letter of Permission StudentsProvided the student's course selection is in before the lottery is run, Letter of Permission students receive one "A".  Please note that Letter of Permission students are not permitted to Moot or do Clinic Work. If your course selection is in after the lottery, you are allowed to choose one course that has a waiting list and be placed in that course (with the exception of specific maximum enrolment courses e.g. ADR, Trial Advocacy etc).

Students are enrolled in each course up to the maximum enrollment indicated as follows:

A

Those who have assigned a letter "A" to the course are enrolled first

B

Those who have assigned a letter "B" to the course are enrolled second

C

Those who have assigned a letter "C" to the course are enrolled third

No letter

Those who have assigned no letter to the course are enrolled last.

Within each category, the computer will place students in random order during the lottery process.

Deciding how to use your letters

Deciding which courses to 'letter' is an art and not a science. While a small number of courses are consistently over-subscribed, the enrollments in courses fluctuate from year to year. These changes are usually influenced by course scheduling, classroom capacity, and variations in maximum course enrollments. Also, student preferences change. There is no magic formula for determining whether a course will require a letter, or which letter is required.

Before deciding where to place priority letters, students should carefully examine the maximum enrollments in courses offered this year and compare them with maximum and actual enrollments from the previous year shown under Course Enrolments.

Be realistic in making choices. Don't waste a "B" or "C" letter on a course which you reasonably expect will require an "A". And don't risk an "A" on a course unless prepared to live with the results of the lottery. While every effort is made to enroll students in the courses they have prioritised, a letter does not guarantee admission to a course. If it becomes necessary to cancel or reschedule a course, or to substitute an instructor, or to make other changes to the curriculum, reasonable efforts will be made to accommodate students' choices. However, after the lottery is run, letters have no utility, and all students are subject to the mechanics of the waitlist. 

Do not letter courses that require applications or permission to enrol.

A useful source of information is the Student Course Evaluations. A summary for each of the courses is kept on reserve in the Records Office.

Finally, students should not be discouraged when they find themselves on a waiting list for a course.  There are relatively few courses which close with waiting lists at the end of each course change period. Be patient. Places often open up as students make changes to their programs during the course change periods in September and January.