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Program information

Should hate speech be protected as a right to freedom of expression?
Do prostitution laws endanger sex workers?
What are the social impacts of Medical Assistance in Dying legislation?
Is meaningful access to justice possible?
Is law an effective tool for creating social change?

Most of today's controversial issues—whether stemming from political conflict, technological developments, economic inequality, or other social changes—are expressed and mediated through law. Our program offers you the opportunity to critically explore the social roles of law and its connections with community, government and society. You will take an interdisciplinary approach to questioning and understanding law as you work to make a difference as citizens in your community and around the world.

Learning Outcomes

A degree in Legal Studies will enable you to gain:​

  • An understanding of legal systems and legal sources.
  • The skill set for making oral and written arguments.
  • A capacity for analysis.
  • Critical perspectives on what law is for.
  • Citizenship skills and an ability to advocate.

Career Opportunities

With a degree in Legal Studies, you will be prepared for the following career opportunities:

  • government administrator
  • human rights advocate
  • lawyer
  • legal analyst or researcher
  • mediator
  • social services worker


  • Alternative Dispute Resolution

    In the alternate dispute resolution (ADR) specialization, you learn to identify the nuances and appreciate the importance of the following questions: 

    • How does mediation compare and contrast with other forms of social ordering, such as adjudication, arbitration and negotiation?
    • Under what conditions is mediation legitimate?
    • Are there certain circumstances in which it is most effective?
    • Are there certain kinds of conflicts that do not lend themselves to mediation? Why or why not?
    • What kinds of formal and informal accountability shape how mediators perform their roles? 

    You will take courses in family law, labour and employment law, human rights law and criminal law. Completion of courses under our ADR specialization satisfies the educational requirement for the purpose of membership in the ADR Institute of Ontario.

  • Human Rights Law

    In this specialization, you will engage with questions such as:

    • How does the human rights discourse shape state policies and practices?
    • What is the nature of interaction between domestic and international systems in the context of human rights implementation?
    • What remedies are available to individuals whose human rights have been violated?

    You will gain familiarity with domestic and international human rights systems as well as related areas of law such as immigration and refugee law, labour and employment law, and international law. You will examine how human rights and their bearers are theorized, how entitlements and freedoms may be ordered when in conflict, and how processes for invocation work in cases of infringement or violation.

  • Information Law

    In this specialization, you will consider the following questions:

    • What is privacy?
    • What personal information should be protected?
    • Is government surveillance of individuals’ online activity a violation of privacy?
    • How do we draw a balance between freedom of expression, privacy and protection of the public?

    You will examine how rapid technological development poses new questions and challenges for law, including in relation to cybercrime, online privacy, and regulation of new technologies. You will examine a variety of socio-legal issues emerging in the context of information and privacy regimes, regulation of intellectual property, censorship and freedom of expression, and related topics. 

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