Program Overview:

Established firms, large and small, report that many new Law graduates have the legal skills they need to succeed as lawyers, but these graduates often lack the business process and management skills necessary to thrive in today’s fast-changing legal markets.  This Graduate Diploma will provide graduates with the knowledge and skills necessary to make legal services more accessible and more sustainable to provide by:

  1. Examining the foundational areas of business and management education (such as strategy, operations, human capital, and marketing) and apply that foundational knowledge to the practice of law.
  2. Provide a deep understanding of the economic and technological forces impacting the legal profession, equipping students to improve existing models of legal services delivery or innovate new ventures to take advantage of the forces impacting the legal profession.

Admission Standards:

  • Applicant must hold a minimum of a Bachelor’s degree from a recognized University or
  • A current JD student (those without an undergraduate degree enrolled in a JD program will be considered for admission on a case by case basis), or
  • Professional who has graduated from a JD (or equivalent) program. 

Program Requirements Overview:

  • To receive the Graduate Diploma, students must complete two core courses plus two of three electives. 
  • All courses will be delivered fully online and offered up to three times per year based on demand.
  • Students may complete the program part-time.  The part-time nature of the GDLSM allows students to enroll in the diploma program from anywhere in the world, including while working full-time, as there is no classroom scheduling constraints.
  • Students must complete the Diploma within 16 months of enrollment in the program, for a normal pace of one course per term, three terms per year.
  • Evaluations in each course will be based on a mix of team and individual assignments, case studies, presentations, quizzes and exams. 
  • There are no final thesis or project required for the program.

A new kind of lawyer needs a new kind of classroom.

The intersection of business skills, law, and management isn’t currently taught at most Canadian law schools. Some firms bring in business trainers. Some lawyers pay for workshops and EMBA programs once they realize they’re falling behind. Some trade associations provide basic seminars. But until now, no law school has delivered a full range of future-proofing courses that lawyers need to thrive in practice.

We deliver our courses entirely online in a way that provides a highly personal and interactive experience while still fitting the busy schedules of legal professionals.

jordan-furlong.pngManaging partners and law firm leaders consistently tell me they're looking for new lawyers with practical legal knowledge and business skills -- not just because these assets help lawyers connect more effectively with their commercial clients, but also because firms increasingly expect lawyers to ’own their practices’ and be responsible for constantly improving their own productivity and value.

I fully expect the knowledge imparted by this program will be extremely helpful to lawyers making their way in law firms. But really, it's going to constitute a valuable cornerstone of their careers no matter which route into the legal market -- private practice, in-house lawyer, public-sector counsel, startup innovator, and more -- they eventually pursue. The profile of the 21st-century legal professional looks a great deal like the lawyers that Queen's Law's new program will produce.

Jordan Furlong
Legal analyst and author, speaker and consultant
Owner/operator, Law21

BELL_karen_bio_1306.jpgOver the last twenty some years, the legal profession has experienced a variety of pressures – globalization, technological innovation, competition from outsiders and most importantly, consumerism. These have left us with significant gaps in our education so we have had to adapt what we learn and how we learn very quickly. Although not all students of the law go on to practice (be it as a private practitioner, in-house, for profit or not, or in government), most do. And being aware of and prepared to deal with the issues of managing practice in any of these environments is vital but until recently has been out of the mainstream of education.

The Legal Services Management Program at Queen’s Law School is a big first step to filling the gap and it does so in terms of both content and format. It puts front and centre the drivers for success in legal practice - client centricity and service, productivity, teamwork, technology and innovation, and profitability. It ‘educates’ with context. It shares practical perspectives. Simply put, it equips the legal student to apply the other dimensions of their legal education. And it does so from an online platform, which makes for or a more nimble and accessible experience for students and faculty alike.

There are many dimensions to legal education. This program recognizes that there is a place in law school to address other dimensions that focus on the business of law. And that is very important for the future of our profession.

Karen KH Bell
Practice Management Advisor
Formerly Senior Director, Professional & Client Education at McCarthy Tetrault LLP