A one-year civil law degree allows JD degree holders to tackle today’s polyjural challenges

I believe that someone who has a more common law background would be interested in this type of program because they will learn how to properly master legislation that is codified which is much more common in a civil law setting.  

So, I think that for any JD attorney or someone with a common law background who’s interested in working in jurisdictions in Quebec but also outside of Quebec that may rely more on codified legislations, this type of education will really help them. 

Over my years of experience, I’ve had multiple cases that had a component that touched another Province, especially in estates where you would have a particular person have assets either in British Columbia and Ontario, etc., and also assets in Quebec. Well it’s really interesting to learn about how we work because it’s completely different in Quebec from how common law works. 

The program focuses on the differences and the differences come from the common history which is refreshing. So obligations are basically contracts. How is a contract formed in Europe in the civilian system. It’s easier than in common law. You don’t need valuable consideration. Taking this to Europe you will understand how European German lawyers, French lawyers, Belgium lawyers think. 

The class is asynchronous so basically the student is expected to watch videos every week. There are course notes that accompany the videos to complete it and the student has also some reading material where he will have case law as well as the civil code of Quebec to go and consult. 

The formatting which is all online and allows you to follow along by video at your own speed I think is a great way to learn this type of material because you can stop the videos, re-watch them if you need to, read your code along with the videos and follow along as we do examples and go through some jurisprudence.  

The National Program in Civil Law at the University of Ottawa is an opportunity for JD degree holders to gain an edge in Canadian multijuralism. Few legal issues today can be classified as purely local or even domestic. Globalization, technology and the recent pandemic have revealed the extent of state interdependence and highlighted the need for jurists who are knowledgeable in multiple legal traditions. Not only is civil law an integral part of Canadian institutions, it also transcends Canada’s national borders. Civil law is practised in Latin America, most of Europe and Africa, and in much of Asia and the Middle East.

For lawyers trained in common law, earning a civil law degree opens new opportunities, enhancing professional versatility and mobility, and providing opportunities in the public sector, in Canadian law firms and in the legal departments of international companies.

Though the subject-matter of the courses is new to me as I’ve never studied civil law before, the professor’s instruction has been very clear and detailed so that I have felt little difficulty following the Civil Code. (…) Constant communication and extensive recordings, in video and audio format, uploaded onto the study material platform Brightspace, has been very helpful.

S.Rahman, Student in the National Civil Law Program in English

The Faculty of Law at the University of Ottawa is the only place in North America where JD holders can earn a one-year, fully online and asynchronous civil law (LL.L.) degree in English that will allow them to be eligible for the Quebec Bar and fluent in any civil law environment. This innovative program is delivered by leading experts and practitioners in an engaging on-line format. In this video, you will meet some of the professors and learn more about how this unique program can help all JD holders position themselves to solve the evolving, complex polyjural questions that characterize the Digital Age.

I think the structure of the courses is perfect and interactive. The length of each video is just right, and the level of depth is suitable for those that have a common law background.

S. Lin, Student in the National Civil Law Program in English
References and useful links
About the program

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