Canada-USA joint puzzle pieces

Canadian-American Dual JD Program

The University of Ottawa offers a unique four-year dual credential program that allows participants to obtain both the Canadian and the American law degrees.  This program is offered jointly by the University of Ottawa and our partner schools in the U.S. 

Participants spend two years at Ottawa and two years at American University (Washington College of Law) in Washington D.C. 

This is the only program in Canada that allows the students to obtain a U.S. law degree while paying Canadian tuition during the entire program. Upon completion, students obtain a law degree from each law school, which opens the door to the full practice of law in the U.S. and Canada. 

This program option is available to students who are already enrolled in the Faculty of Common Law, and will not be listed as an OLSAS program selection.

The uOttawa JD part of the Dual JD program is also offered in French via the French Common Law Program.

Why get an American and a Canadian JD?

The practice of law in Canada and the United States increasingly reflects the economic and social effects of international integration and globalization. U.S.-Canada trade now exceeds $1 billion per day and is expected to continue to grow. As relations continue to develop across the U.S.-Canada border, law firms and law students are demanding greater knowledge of both legal systems. The University of Ottawa is committed to providing opportunities for its students to become trained in the representation of clients in this cross-border environment and students from both countries can benefit from the Canadian and American Dual JD Program offered by Ottawa and its partner universities.

Graduates from this program can demonstrate to Canadian and U.S. employers that they have an in-depth knowledge of both legal systems as well as practical experience and technical skills applicable to both countries. More importantly, with both degrees, graduates qualify to write the admission examinations in practically all U.S. states or Canadian provinces (except Quebec).

Other options for exposure to legal education in the U.S.

If you would like to get some exposure to legal education in the United States but do not wish to commit to an additional year of studies, the University of Ottawa has a number of student exchange agreements in place with law schools in the U.S. Through these agreements, you can study in an American school for a term or a year as part of the regular three-year JD program. Although this option will not allow you to write the Bar examinations in the same way an American J.D. would allow you to, an exchange will provide you with a unique perspective on U.S. law.

Applying to the Canadian and American Dual JD Program

The University of Ottawa shares a partnership with American University (Washington College of Law) in Washington D.C.

Students who are currently enroled in the JD program who develop an interest in the Canadian and American Dual JD Program while in law school may apply to the American school of their choosing at the end of either their first or second year at the University of Ottawa.

The number of spaces in the program is limited, with approximately 3 students being accepted to American University each year. Once admitted into the program, an application to American University must be made in the Winter of the year the student wishes to attend the U.S school. Participation in the program is conditional on maintaining the academic standing required by our partner schools. For AU, students must maintain a B+ (7.0) GPA.

Cost of the Canadian and American Dual JD Program

Students admitted into the program at the University of Ottawa are considered students of the University for the four years of the program. Therefore, for the entire duration of the Dual JD Program, students pay Canadian tuition to the University of Ottawa. Students admitted to the dual credential program with American University pay regular JD tuition and a supplemental fee while at Washington College of Law. Students continue to be eligible for government and university financial assistance on the same basis.

2024 Information Session

Canadian American Dual JD information session will be on Wednesday, February 7th at 11:00 a.m. Please join us on Zoom.

Application process

Applications must be submitted to the Common Law Student Centre by email to [email protected].  A complete application includes:

  • Completed application form for American University
  • Letter of Intent
  • Law school transcript and LSAT report (or signed consent form authorizing uOttawa to release this information to the partner institution.) 
  • Consent form - AU
  • Curriculum Vitae
  • The deadline to apply is on Friday, February 23rd 2024. 
Canada and USA flags in clouds
Student testimonial

“My Dual JD experience with the University of Ottawa and Michigan State University College of Law was very much a positive one.”

Taylor Cawley

— Canadian-American Dual JD Program, 2018

Incoming students

Outgoing students