Program Overview

Program Schedule

The following table shows a typical course schedule for the duration of the degree.

ALS Courses Fall Term
(Sept-Dec)
Spring Term
(Jan-Apr)
Summer Intersession
(May-Jun)
Fall Term
(Sept-Dec)
ALS 601-3 X      
ALS 602-3 X      
ALS 610-3 X      
ALS 603-3   X    
ALS 611-3   X    
ALS 620-3   X    
ALS 612-3     X  
ALS 615-3     X  
ALS 630-6       X
ALS 631-3       X

Course Descriptions

ALS 601-3 Advanced Topics in Canadian Law and the Canadian Legal System

This course is designed to give students a systematic knowledge of the workings of Canadian law and the Canadian legal system. It will provide a comprehensive discussion of the various principles and schools of jurisprudence, and will canvas the basic legal institutions in Canada. This course will consider the history of Canadian law, the development of the framework of the Canadian constitution, the constitution itself, the roles and responsibilities of Canadian courts and the roles and responsibilities of members of the legal profession. The course will also ensure that students gain a comprehensive understanding of the nature of legal reasoning, the doctrines of precedent and stare decisis, and the key rules and principles of statutory interpretation. Students will also be given a systematic introduction to four substantive areas of law: criminal law, administrative law, family law, and tort law.

ALS 602-3 Legal Research and Communication

This course is designed to give students a solid foundation in legal research and writing skills. This involves providing students with an overview of how both legislation and case law are created, including consideration of the basic principles of legal analysis. Proper legal research techniques and strategies will be considered for both primary and secondary legal sources. Consideration will also be given to the many online legal research resources. Finally, students will receive instruction in the general principles of legal writing and apply these principles to different types of legal writing including analytical writing and the drafting of legal documents.

ALS 603-3 Legal Philosophy

This course is designed to give students a solid grounding in the central themes of legal philosophy. This involves examining the major schools of jurisprudence. It affords an opportunity to reflect in a disciplined and critical way on the structure and functions of law, legal institutions and systems. It involves an analysis of the nature of legal reasoning and discourse, and looks to the connections between law and morality.

ALS 610-3 Contracts

This course is designed to introduce students to the fundamental principles underlying Contract Law in Canada, and the practical application of such principals in the commercial environment. Students will learn the essential elements of what makes an enforceable contract such as offer and acceptance, certainty of terms, form and consideration as well as those things that may well make a contract unenforceable, such as misrepresentation, frustration, duress and privity issues. Warranties, representations, conditions and remedies for breach of contract will also be covered, as will contractual interpretation.

ALS 611-3 Real Property I

This course involves the study of basic principles and statutory regimes which govern the institution of Real Property. Topics addressed will include: the legal concept of land, the nature of and rationale for property, transfer of interests in land, registration of title and the nature of the land title system, the acquisition of estates in land, co-ownership of land, and future interests.

ALS 612-3 Real Property II

This course deals with the law relating to vendors and purchasers of real estate, particularly as affected by the substantive law of mortgages, and considers the remedies available to vendors, purchasers, mortgagors and mortgagees, as well as the role and duties of real estate agents. It also deals with residential and commercial tenancies.

ALS 615-3 Personal Planning

This course is designed to provide an overview of the law of succession, and the laws affecting incapacity planning. The course will familiarize students with the principles necessary to competently advise clients about the transfer of property on death and to draft a will that meets the client’s objectives. Powers of Attorney, Representation Agreements, and Advance Directives as planning tools will be examined in detail.

ALS 620-3 Selected Topics in Applied Legal Studies

This course is designed to give students a detailed understanding of key topics in applied legal studies, with a particular emphasis upon areas of law and practice that are of special interest to Notaries Public. The topics may change from year to year and may vary by instructor but it is anticipated that topics will include the law of agency; current issues in tax law; the law affecting business/not for profit incorporation, and business associations.

ALS 630-6 Topics in Legal Practice

This course explores how the legal practitioner assists clients in effectively dealing with their issues. Topics normally include the purpose of legal professionals, professional liability, professional ethics, professional negligence, and the development of sustainable strategies for the operation of a legal practice.

ALS 631-3 MA Examination

A final examination on core subjects, which will normally occur towards the end of the student’s fourth term in the program.

Degree Requirements

Required Courses

The following ten graduate courses are required. Courses are normally offered in the listed sequence.

Fall Term

  • ALS 601-3 Canadian Law and Legal System
  • ALS 602-3 Legal Research and Communication
  • ALS 610-3 Contract Law

Spring Term

  • ALS 603-3 Legal Philosophy
  • ALS 611-3 Real Property I
  • ALS 620-3 Selected Topics in Applied Legal Studies

Summer Intersession

  • ALS 612-3 Real Property II
  • ALS 615-3 Personal Planning

Fall Term

  • ALS 630-6 Topics in Legal Practice
  • ALS 631-3 MA Final Examination

Type of Course Delivery

The courses usually employ a mixed model of delivery. In the first (Fall) term students attend campus for up to two weeks at the start of the term. Weeks 3 through 12 are delivered online with weekly virtual meetings. Spring Term and Summer Intersession courses are usually delivered in the same way beginning with one week of on-campus classes. The Summer Intersession is usually from early May to late June. The final course in the last Fall term may follow the same mixed delivery model. Students also complete a final examination (normally at the end of the last term) that shows mastery of the main elements of the program.

Part-Time Option

While students are encouraged to complete the degree program within 16 months it is possible to take courses and complete the program on a part-time basis over a longer period. It should be noted, however, that some courses must be taken sequentially, and that all the requirements for the degree must be completed within 5 years. Students wishing to take the program on a part-time basis should contact the Director of the Applied Legal Studies Program for further information.

Practicing Notaries

Those who are practicing as Notaries may be permitted to substitute up to 9 credit hours of courses, with the approval of the Director of the Applied Legal Studies Program. Only one of these courses may be a directed readings course.