LL.M. Student Handbook

The Master of Laws (LL.M.) Program at Robson Hall is a thesis-based program that permits students to develop an in-depth, critical understanding of a particular area of law. Students may pursue legal research on any topic and from any perspective that interests them. Please see our Faculty Supervisors for an indication of the areas of law in which we have supervisory expertise.

Contact Information

Once you are admitted, you will be registered as a student in the Faculty of Graduate Studies at the University of Manitoba. You will need to familiarize yourself with the Academic Guide: Faculty of Graduate Studies, Regulations, Policies and Procedure found at www.umanitoba.ca/faculties/graduate_studies The Faculty of Graduate Studies is your source of information on accommodations, deadlines, funding, and graduate student services.

International students are encouraged to contact the International Centre for Students. Their website is www.umanitoba.ca/student/ics/

The Graduate Students Association represents the rights and interests of all graduate students. They also offer some financial support, including funding to participate in conferences, to graduate students. Their website is www.umgsa.org

For questions specific to the Faculty of Law, please contact:

Ms. Marie Jivan – questions related to admissions, fellowships, and financial aid 204.480.1485 or marie.jivan@umanitoba.ca

Ms. Maria Tepper, Administrative Assistant (Graduate Studies) – any other questions  204.474.9775 or  maria.tepper@umanitoba.ca

You must keep the law faculty and the Faculty of Graduate Studies informed and up to date on all your contact information, including your home address, your address during your studies here, your email address, and your telephone number.

Residency

Your attendance at the University of Manitoba on a full-time basis for one academic year, September to May, in the year of your admission is required. All course work must be completed during this period. In rare cases, with your Supervisor’s approval and with the approval of the Associate Dean (Research & Graduate Studies), you may receive an extension to complete your thesis.

Course Work

Your LL.M. program consists of three courses and a written thesis. The program is designed for completion in one calendar year.

The Graduate Legal Research and Theory course offered in the fall term is a mandatory course. You must also successfully complete two additional courses relevant to your research area. One of these course may be taken outside the Faculty of Law. Course selection must be approved by your Supervisor. A grade of ‘B’ or better is required in all three courses. Law course descriptions are available at:

Robson Hall Course Descriptions.

Course descriptions for other faculties can be found on the University of Manitoba’s website.

Ideally, two of the three courses should be completed in the fall term, leaving more time in the winter term for thesis work. In any event, all coursework final grades must be B or higher, all course requirements must be complete by the end of April, and the thesis must be complete by July 1st to enable timely review before the Faculty of Graduate Studies’ deadline at the end of August.

Thesis

In addition to your course work, you must complete a thesis of 90-120 pages, double-spaced, in 12 point font. Your citations must comply with the McGill Guide for Uniform Legal Citation unless your Supervisor approves a social sciences citation style. Your Supervisor is responsible for approving all aspects of your thesis including research, scope, direction, and content.

The deadline for completion of your thesis is the end of August. In order to complete your thesis on time, it is essential that you make steady progress on it throughout the year. You should arrange regular meetings with your Supervisor to finalize your topic, discuss your progress, and write your outline or thesis proposal. Please note that if your research involves interviews, strict rules govern research methodologies which implicate human subjects.  It is your responsibility, in conjunction with your Supervisor, to ensure that these ethical rules are adhered to.

By early December your research should be well advanced and your proposal should be submitted to your Supervisor. At that point, you and Supervisor can set a schedule for chapter completion in the new year. Thus, in January, you should begin to complete draft chapters of your thesis and submit them to your Supervisor for comments. Your entire thesis should be complete by July 1st. This deadline is important because your Supervisor, an internal reader, and an external reviewer (see below) both need time to review your thesis and make suggestions for change, and then you will need time to implement those changes. The process of review and revision takes more time than you might expect. It also takes place during the summer when professors and reviewers typically take their holidays. Therefore, in order to ensure completion of the review and revision process by August 31st, your thesis must be ready by July 1st. Students who hand their completed draft in after July 1st are advised that we cannot ensure that the review and revision process will be complete before August 31st, in which case graduation in October also cannot be guaranteed.

The Faculty of Graduate Studies sets the requirements for format, binding, and the number of copies of your thesis that must be submitted (two). You must also submit three copies of your thesis to the Associate Dean (Research and Graduate Studies), one of which will be given to your Supervisor.

Students are responsible for meeting all deadlines and for fulfilling all requirements of the Faculty of Graduate Studies and the Faculty of Law LL.M. Program.

Supervisor

As a graduate student, your Supervisor is the central person in your life. Your Supervisor is responsible for directing and approving all aspects of your LL.M. program, courses, and thesis. You should be in close and regular touch with your Supervisor from the start to the end of your program.

You have been assigned a faculty Supervisor with expertise in your chosen area of study. Your Supervisor is responsible for directing all aspects of your thesis work.  This includes regular consultation on thesis design, research and content, advice on course selection, and approval of the thesis. Supervisors must be tenured or tenure-track members of the Faculty of Law.  A lawyer not on the Faculty of Law who has strong academic qualifications, national reputation, and publications or other established credentials in a particular field of study, may be appointed Supervisor, consequent on appointment as an adjunct to the Faculty of Graduate Studies.

You should look to your Supervisor for academic guidance throughout the year. It is each student’s obligation to maintain close and regular contact with his or her Supervisor. You should discuss your Supervisor’s expectations in this regard at the beginning of the year. You should report on your progress throughout the year. By doing so, your Supervisor will be aware of when he or she will need to allocate time to review your work and as a result you will not generally experience undue delays in getting comments and feedback.

Please see Guidelines for Students & Supervisors.

Internal Reader

Your Supervisor is responsible for directing and approving all aspects of your LL.M.. program, which means your Supervisor will also chose an internal reader to assess your thesis.  The internal reader, like your Supervisor, will be a tenured or tenure-track member of Robson Hall Faculty of Law.  The internal reader will also read and assess your thesis to determine, in conjunction with your supervisor, if your thesis is ready to be sent to an external reader.

External Reviewer

When your thesis is complete to the satisfaction of your Supervisor and the internal reader, it will be sent for external review.  This means it will be sent to a professor outside the Faculty of Law who has scholarly expertise in your research area. This external reviewer will be selected by your Supervisor, in consultation with you, and will be approved by the Associate Dean (Research and Graduate Studies). After evaluating your thesis, the external reader will submit a written report. The external reviewer may approve the thesis as is, recommend revisions, or reject the thesis. When the report is received, you will discuss it with your Supervisor before proceeding with revisions.

Important Dates

October 15 Finalize topic and research plan
Early December Submit research proposal to Supervisor
Mid December Set writing schedule for chapter completion
January Submit first chapter for Supervisor’s review
June 1 Annual Progress Report due at FGS
July 1 Thesis finished and submitted to Supervisor and internal reader
July 15 Thesis sent to external reviewer
August Thesis completely revised, finished, and submitted to FGS
October Convocation/Graduation

Fellowships & Funding

Robson Hall Fellowships

Many of our LL.M. students receive fellowships. There is no separate application process for fellowships or funding. All applicants to the LL.M. program are automatically considered for fellowships upon receipt of completed applications, including supporting materials.

Robson Hall offers the following LL.M. fellowships:

There are no Teaching Assistantships available within the Faculty of Law since the Faculty does not use teaching assistants in its undergraduate program.

University of Manitoba Fellowships

The University of Manitoba offers the University of Manitoba Graduate Fellowship (UMGF) for which there is no separate application process either.  All applicants to the LL.M. program are automatically considered for the UMGF. Click here for information regarding other university-wide financial support.

Travel Grants

The Faculty has limited funds available to sponsor graduate student travel when the student has been invited to present her or his work at a conference. Applications are available from Ms. Maria Tepper.


Library and Photocopying

When you are registered you will obtain a University of Manitoba ID card that also functions as your library card. You have full, university-wide library access, in addition to full access to our fully networked Law Library. The Law School will also issue you a code to permit you access to the graduate student photocopier

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