Leaves of Absence, Transfers, Letters of Permission & Withdrawal

JD students who are considering transferring to another law program, taking a leave of absence, or studying at another law school for a term or for an academic year for credit towards their J.D. degree, are encouraged to discuss their plans with the Assistant Dean, J.D. Program. Students will be expected to pay tuition in effect at the time of their studies. Graduate students should contact the Assistant Dean, Graduate Program.

Leaves of Absence or Transfers

Students may apply to the Admissions Committee for a leave of absence, or a transfer (after first year) to another law school by giving notice to the Assistant Dean, J.D. Program by June 30 (although some schools may have earlier deadlines for receipt of applications). Except in extenuating circumstances, requests will not be considered after this date. First year students who leave the program early in the first term may be granted permission to commence their studies the following September.  A leave of absence may be granted for one year and may be extended for one additional year. Additional leave requires the permission of the Dean.

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Half Year Leaves of Absence

Students are permitted, subject to the approval of the Admissions Committee, to take a leave of absence for one-half year subject to the following conditions:

  1. Two of the three J.D. years be taken on a full academic year basis at the University of Toronto;
  2. The student carry a minimum of 13 credits of one term courses during the half year attended; 
  3. First year students who complete the first term but do not complete the second term may be granted a half year leave of absence, and return to the faculty on a half-time basis the following September, completing their first year studies over the next two terms.
  4. The student meets all of the other curricular and course load requirements for graduation.

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Letters of Permission

Students may apply to complete their law degree (i.e. third year of law school) at another law school by giving notice to the Assistant Dean, J.D. Program by June 30 (although some schools may have earlier deadlines for receipt of applications). Letters of Permission are granted only as a result of extenuating compassionate or personal circumstances and the Admissions Committee will consider carefully the destination law school.

The policy of the Law School concerning the granting of permission to study at other Canadian law schools is as follows:

"That the university grant a J.D. degree to a student who has successfully completed any two years of law school at the University of Toronto and who successfully passes the remaining year at another Canadian university, common law school or such other university, as may be approved by Council of the Faculty of Law, provided that the transfer of the individual student concerned is approved by the Admissions Committee, subject to such terms and conditions as it may impose, including approval of the student's program by the Assistant Dean, J.D. Program."

Letters of Permission are not meant to be used to prolong an exchange or to seek permission to study at an institution for which the law school does not have an exchange agreement. If there is an available exchange program in the vicinity in which the student wishes to study, the student will be directed to apply for an exchange program. Please note that exchange students pay the fees of the University of Toronto and Letter of Permission students pay the tuition of the host institution.

Students going away on a Letter of Permission must have completed all the requirements of their degree (moot, perspective and International/Comparative/Transnational perspective course) at the Faculty of Law prior to departure. Students are required to complete the minimum and maximum number of credits as required by the U of T Faculty of Law.

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Half Year Letters of Permission

Letters of Permission for a half year are permitted in accordance with the same procedures and conditions applicable to full year Letters of Permission as outlined above.

Students studying for one term on a letter of permission in another law program must complete a minimum of 14 graded credits during the term which is spent at the University of Toronto Faculty of Law.

(The above resolutions concerning leaves of absence and letters of permission were approved at the February 6, 1985, Faculty Council meeting.)

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Withdrawals (temporary/permanent)

A student may withdraw from the program without academic penalty up until the day before examinations begin in the second term. A student who withdraws from the first year and who wishes to enroll again must re-apply for admission and be considered along with all other applicants for the first year.

A second or third year student who withdraws is ordinarily allowed to enroll again in a subsequent session provided he or she does so within a reasonable time. Except in extraordinary circumstances, repeated withdrawal may result in refusal of permission to enroll again.

Students who are considering withdrawing from the program on either a temporary or permanent basis are strongly advised to make an appointment to meet with the Assistant Dean, J.D. Program to discuss their circumstances. Students must bear in mind that a withdrawal will affect the financial assistance they are receiving. All students are subject to the University's Tuition Refund Policy at:  http://www.fees.utoronto.ca/Page13.aspx

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