Peter A Allard School of Law

Partner Institutions & Timing

There are several factors to consider when contemplating an exchange, some of which are particular to the law student situation.

Choosing a Partner Institution

Available Partner Institutions

There are two types of exchange partners to which law students can apply – University-wide and Law-specific.  For university-wide exchanges, the university negotiates a certain number of spaces at a partner institution across all Faculties. Law students may apply for one of these spaces, but there is no guarantee that a Law student will successfully receive a place, or, if granted a place, that the student will be able to access the full range of law courses at the partner institution.  For Law-specific exchanges, spaces are negotiated at the partner university’s law school for Allard Law students, and only Allard Law students may apply for those spaces.

To find the list of available partner universities for Law exchange, visit the Go Global Exchange page. This page allows you to search by partner university/country/area of study.  To find Law-specific exchanges, choose Law under “Area of Study” and leave the other fields blank – you will now have a list of available partner universities offering law study pursuant to a Law-specific exchange. 

Review the individual partner pages for key information about each university. In particular, pay attention to the term dates, language of instruction, available courses and course equivalency.

The number of spaces available and the level of interest from law students in each partner university varies from year to year, and therefore, students should always ensure they list more than one prospective partner university on their Go Global application.

Questions to ask when considering a partner institution

You should ask yourself the following questions:

  • What areas of law are you interested in studying? Does a specific partner university offer you the opportunity to study areas of law which are not available to you at UBC?
  • Are there cultural opportunities available to you at a partner institution or country? (i.e. studying the influence of Maori culture and law on the development of New Zealand law or studying in the Netherlands close to The Hague)?
  • Do you want to go on exchange for one term or one year? In second or third year?
  • What are the term dates of the partner universities you are considering? Will the dates work with your summer/articling employment and/or your UBC studies?
  • For students participating in an exchange in Term 2 of third year:
    • Are you comfortable with graduating in November? (although you may be able to commence articles earlier)
    • How long does the partner university take to produce a transcript? Will there be a delay such that it may impact your articling or bar course (as students may not commence articling until UBC can indicate that they have completed all graduation requirements)? Students participating in a term 2 exchange outside of Canada will not be able to commence articles/PLTC in May.
  • Does the partner university offer sufficient Law courses (that are interesting to you) such that you can take a full term (15 UBC credits) worth of courses? Are there sufficient Law courses in English?
  • What is the average age of the partner university’s students? Are you comfortable attending class with students who may be significantly younger than you?
  • Are you allowed to take Masters level courses? (important for schools where Law is a first degree).

You are also encouraged to speak to your professors about their impressions of the research strengths and faculty at the individual institution.

Timing of Your Exchange: Term Dates, Graduation & Career Considerations

Term Dates

It is your responsibility to carefully consider the term dates of your potential partner university.  If you choose to attend in the Term 1, ensure that you will be back at UBC for the beginning of UBC’s January term. If you choose to attend in Term 2, consider the impact the partner university’s end date may have on your post-graduation or second-year summer employment plans.

Due to different term end dates at partner universities, students who complete their exchange abroad during their final term of law school will graduate in November. However, students may be able to commence articling prior to graduation.  Once the Academic Services office at the Allard School of Law receives an official transcript from your partner university, we can prepare a letter to the requisite law society indicating you have met the requirements to graduate. The law society will permit you to commence articles on receipt of this letter.

Career Considerations

Students may wish to consult with the Career Services Office prior to applying to ensure that they have considered the ramifications, if any, that an exchange may have on their summer and/or articling employment.  Some general information is set out below.

Exchanges in Second-Year

  • Depending on the jurisdiction, interviews for second-year summer positions typically occur throughout second year. Vancouver, Toronto and Calgary larger firm and government employers typically interview and hire students from September to November.
  • Clerking applications and interviews occur from November through March.
  • Articling interviews can begin as early as May of your second year.
  • Employers will generally require an in-person interview (particularly larger firms). Some government, public interest, and small firm employers are showing an increased willingness to conduct interviews by Zoom, videoconference, or phone.

Exchanges in Third-Year

  • If you have not secured an articling position prior to commencing an exchange, you may wish to meet with the Career Services Office to develop a strategy to find articles.
  • Articling interviews at the downtown employers in Vancouver, Toronto, and Calgary (larger firms and the Department of Justice) commence in the summer prior to third year and you will want to be available to attend interview weeks in the relevant city (May for Calgary; August for Vancouver and Toronto).
  • Historically half of the third year class begins third year without an articling position. If you do not secure an articling position in the summer prior to third year, the majority of articling opportunities at smaller firms will arise in the second semester of third year. You should ensure you are available to attend interviews during this time.
  • Many Allard School of Law students secure their articles at smaller firms through networking, informational interviewing, and cold calling. Since these positions are not posted, the job search may take up to a year or slightly longer, depending on when you start actively looking. Historically 96-99% of Allard School of Law students who intend to article report securing an articling position within 8-9 months of graduation.

You should consider whether the term dates of your exchange university will affect when you are able to commence your articles and bar course in your desired province. For students articling in BC, if you participate in a Term 2 exchange in 3L, you should plan on commencing your articles no earlier than mid-late summer (depending on your exchange school). You will not be able to commence articles in May or participate in May PLTC.  Barring exceptional circumstances, you should be able to commence articles/PLTC in September.

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