Campus Life

New pathway to law degree at heart of partnership between University of Lethbridge and Bond University

A new partnership between the University of Lethbridge and Australia’s Bond University will allow students in Bachelor of Arts and Bachelor of Management programs to pursue a Canadian law degree in just five years. The dual Bachelor of Arts/Bachelor of Laws (BA/LLB) and Bachelor of Management/Bachelor of Laws (BMgt/LLB) allows students to gain two degrees, making them eligible to practice law in Canada more quickly.

Alumnus Jay Merchant (BA ’05), who initiated discussions with the University about a dual degree program, earned his law degree from Bond University in 2012, and currently teaches there while practicing law. He says he wishes the program had been available to him at the time and is thrilled that students will now have this option.

“I would have gone that route in a heartbeat, and I would have been employed a lot sooner than I was,” says Merchant. “The degree being offered is a game changer for University of Lethbridge students and prospective students looking for a program like this. There’s just nothing like it.”

How does it work?

Students begin with two years at ULethbridge in their chosen BA or general business management course requirements, completing 20 courses or 60 credit hours. They are then eligible to apply to Bond University for years three and four (the LLB portion of their dual degree) where they will complete 24 courses or 72 credit hours. Year five is back at ULethbridge for an additional 10 courses or 30 credit hours. Upon completion of all requirements from both universities, students will be awarded both degrees, the ULethbridge Bachelor of Arts or Bachelor of Management and the Bond University Bachelor of Laws.

Students will pay domestic fees while studying at ULethbridge and international student fees while in Australia. As well, students can apply for law school without having to write the Law School Admission Test (LSAT).

Bond University is Australia’s largest Law School for Canadian Bachelor of Laws and Juris Doctor students. With a 20-year history of training Canadian lawyers and more than 150 Canadian students currently studying law at Bond, the university is home to an active Canadian Law Students’ Association.

For ULethbridge, the partnership aligns with its liberal education philosophy, encouraging study abroad opportunities, critical thinking and a well-rounded, worldly view.

“Part of becoming a global citizen is to learn about the people and lands beyond one's own borders,” says Dr. Janay Nugent, associate dean in the Faculty of Arts & Science. "Travelling provides so many opportunities for personal growth and development, as well as the ability to hone one's sense of curiosity through exploration, resulting in a whole new perspective about the world in which you live.”

For business students, Dean of the Dhillon School of Business, Dr. Kerry Godfrey, says the business and law combination is ideally suited to students particularly interested in corporate Canada or public service.

“The critical thinking skills honed at law school, alongside the problem-solving and management skills developed in business school, provide an outstanding foundation to launch a career in Canada’s business sector, public sector or the non-profit sector,” says Godfrey. “Graduates of this dual degree program will be very well positioned to make a positive impact on Canadian civic, civil and corporate society.”

For more information on this new partnership, check out the BA/LLB and the BMgt/LLB.