Osgoode Hall Law School - Keele Campus
The law school provides an excellent University education in law, for students intending to pursue careers in the legal profession and for those who seek to study law in an interdisciplinary context. The curriculum offers opportunities to develop technical and professional competence, but is broadly based and pluralistic. Students are encouraged to explore the complex relationship between law and society and to consider the role of the legal system in, and responsibility of the legal profession for, achieving social justice. The law school seeks to provide both generalist and specialist education in law, to play a creative and leading role in research and in the development of the law and legal institutions and to foster public service and social justice.
Osgoode students have the opportunity to work with some of Canada's brightest and most distinguished legal minds. Many of Osgoode's full-time faculty members have achieved national and international distinction. Renowned as productive and innovative scholars, they are also frequently called upon for public service, as members of public commissions and tribunals, and as advisers on vital and challenging issues. Members of faculty are committed teachers and have developed innovative teaching programs, providing students with a wide range of challenging learning experiences. The teaching program is enriched by the participation of more than 40 part-time faculty, drawn from other disciplines and from the Bench and Bar, who contribute their specialized expertise and applied lawyering skills.
The Student Body
The law school attracts a large, diverse and exceptionally talented student body, not only from Ontario, but from all regions of Canada and beyond. Through its regular admissions program, the law school accepts students with excellent academic records, many of whom have graduate degrees in other disciplines. In recent years, this group of students has become increasingly diverse, reflecting the changing demographic makeup of Canadian society. In addition, the law school offers special admission programs, providing a more comprehensive assessment of an applicant's capability to benefit from a legal education. The law school's admissions programs, supported by substantial entrance scholarships and bursaries, ensure excellence and rich diversity among our student body and among our graduates, who bring their varied backgrounds and experience to diverse careers in the legal profession, government, business and academe.
The law school's size enables it to offer an exceptionally rich and varied curriculum with opportunities to explore theoretical and policy perspectives integrated with substantive law, legal analysis and lawyering skills in a wide range of subject areas. With more than a hundred courses, seminars and special programs available, students can select an academic program substantially tailored to their own academic interests and career aspirations. The law school offers a number of special academic programs. The Intensive Program in Poverty Law at Parkdale Community Legal Services enables students to spend a term studying and working under the supervision of a team of academics, practising lawyers and community workers within a community clinic oriented to law reform. The law school also offers advanced intensive programs with clinical placements in criminal law, in immigration and refugee law, and in lands, resources and First Nations governments. As well, the school offers the Advanced Business Law Workshop and clinical programs in Trial Advocacy, Appellate Mooting, Legal Drafting, and Negotiation. Other clinical opportunities include the Small Business Law Clinic (providing advice and assistance to referred individuals who are establishing small businesses), the Innocence Project (providing assistance to the wrongfully convicted) and the Mediation Project (training students who provide mediation services at the Small Claims Court). Students who seek to study the law in action, to develop lawyering skills, to engage in law reform and to understand the law from a theoretical and policy perspective, will find unique learning opportunities at Osgoode Hall Law School.
Joint Programs and Exchanges
Osgoode offers three joint degree programs with other Faculties at York University: the LLB/MBA and the LLB/MPA (public administration) with the Schulich School of Business and the LLB/MES with the Faculty of Environmental Studies. We also expect to have LLB/MA and LLB/PhD programs in place soon. In addition, an exchange program with the Faculté de droit, Université de Montréal enables Osgoode students to study at Montréal for one semester, which is credited to the student's program at Osgoode, or for one year, following graduation, to qualify for a civil law degree. Various international exchange programs, including with law schools in Australia, China, France, Japan, England, Ireland, Germany, Copenhagen and Italy, enable Osgoode faculty and students to study or visit abroad.
Members of the Osgoode faculty are among the most productive and distinguished legal scholars in Canada, pursuing ambitious and diverse research programs. Students are instructed in the special techniques of legal research and writing which are essential to the educated lawyer. There are opportunities to undertake research in satisfaction of some course requirements as well as opportunities for qualified students to engage in intensive supervised research programs. Students also participate in the editing of the Osgoode Hall Law Journal and act as research assistants to members of faculty. The research enterprise of faculty and students is supported by the largest law library in the Commonwealth, equipped with a computer laboratory and drawing increasingly on new technology. Four research centres at the law school provide a focus for collaborative research: the York University Centre for Public Law and Public Policy, the Institute for Feminist Legal Studies, the Refugee Law Unit of the Centre for Refugee Studies and the newly-endowed Nathanson Centre for the Study of Organized Crime and Corruption.
Much of the life of the law school is focused on extra-curricular programs. Osgoode is fortunate each year to attract visitors distinguished in public, professional and academic life who address the law school community in endowed lectureships and in programs organized by student groups. There is substantial representation of students in the decision making processes of the law school through the Student Caucus, and an active student government known as the Legal and Literary Society. One third of the student body lives on campus, providing a strong base for participation in a broad range of extracurricular programs. More than 300 students contribute as volunteers in CLASP, the student-run legal aid clinic, operating at the school. Others speak to community groups and high school students on legal issues. The student newspaper, Obiter Dicta, is published weekly. Talented students write, perform and produce an annual musical review, the Mock Trial. Students assist in editing the Osgoode Hall Law Journal, a distinguished academic journal. Through competition, students are selected to represent Osgoode in interschool mooting competitions in which Osgoode students excel. There is a full range of athletic teams and activities including the Touch Football League which attracts broad participation. As well, there is a variety of organizations such as the Black Law Students Association, the Business Law Society, the Health Law Society, the Environmental Law Society, the First Nations Law Students Association, the Law Union, the International Law Society, Women's Caucus and a variety of political and other clubs. These varied activities enrich students' experience by providing opportunities for personal growth, community outreach and collegial activity. Osgoode Hall Law School thus provides a multi-faceted educational environment in which students with an aptitude for the study of law may test and develop their intellectual powers, their understanding and their skills to prepare for a broad range of stimulating careers, whether in private practice, policy development, public administration, business, government, politics, social activism, the judiciary or the university.
Please visit our Web site at http://www.osgoode.yorku.ca for further information.
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