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Osgoode Hall Law School Print

About Osgoode

Osgoode Hall Law School of York University is committed to setting the standard for excellence in legal education and legal scholarship. We take pride in our internationally renowned faculty, outstanding students, dedicated staff and dynamic alumni. Our innovative teaching program fosters a strong foundation in legal reasoning, diverse perspectives on law, and an understanding of law’s transformative role in promoting a just society. Osgoode produces original and significant legal scholarship, and prepares its graduates for leadership and service within the profession and beyond.

Per jus ad justitiam: Through law to justice.

The Faculty

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 general admissions category, 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, there is an Aboriginal category of admission into the law school. The law school's admissions decisions are based on a holistic set of criteria including undergraduate grade point average (GPA) and the Law School Admission Test (LSAT), as well as other relevant factors. The admissions policy and procedure, 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 academia.

The Curriculum

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 approximately 160 courses, seminars and special programs available, students can select an academic program substantially tailored to their own academic interests and career aspirations. The clinical education offerings at Osgoode Hall Law School are the most extensive in Canada and among the most innovative in the world. The Criminal Law Intensive and the Intensive Program in Poverty Law at Parkdale Community Legal Services began about 30 years ago. They were the first programs in North America to provide intensive full-term, 15-credit clinical experiences in real workplaces. Building on the success of these two programs, Osgoode has created a wide array of clinical programs that offer students the opportunity to experience first hand the practice of law in many different areas – Business Law, Immigration and Refugee Law, Poverty Law, and Aboriginal Law, for example – and to acquire a diverse set of skills including counselling, negotiation, mediation, advocacy and legal writing. A Mediation Clinic was added to the program in 2009-2010 and plans are underway for a new Intellectual Property Clinic. 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 joint degree programs with other Faculties at York University: the JD/MBA with the Schulich School of Business and the JD/MES with the Faculty of Environmental Studies. The law school is in the process of developing a new JD/MA (philosophy) with York’s Graduate Program in Philosophy. As of September 2006, Osgoode also offers a four year joint degree program with New York University School of Law, leading to the Canadian Osgoode JD and American NYU JD. In 2007, the law school introduced a further program with NYU, allowing students to obtain the degrees of JD (at Osgoode) and LLM (at NYU). 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 two computer laboratories and drawing increasingly on new technology. A number of research centres and research initiatives at the law school provide a focus for collaborative research: the Institute for Feminist Legal Studies; the Jack and Mae Nathanson Centre on Transnational Human Rights, Crime and Security; (an online resource for debate and data about the Supreme Court of Canada); the Critical Research Laboratory in Law & Society with its two research programs – the Comparative Research in Law & Political Economy (CLPE) and the Collaborative Urban Research Laboratory (CURL); NIHERNET (York-Nigerian Human Rights Education and Research Network) and the Law Commission of Ontario.


Osgoode Hall Law School is at the leading edge in the development and use of technology in teaching, learning and researching the law. Osgoode has seven state-of-the-art electronic classrooms, as well as video and audio conferencing. All students receive a personalized Osgoode e-mail address, which remains with them even after graduation. As well, students have access to the My Osgoode portal,, which connects them to course Web sites, and makes course outlines, schedules and materials available electronically together with chat rooms and workspace. A number of the law school’s administrative services, including Career Services, are available via the Web through the portal. The entire law school features wireless Internet connectivity for students with laptop computers. In addition, students have access to a number of wireless laptop computers on a sign-out basis from the law library.  First-year students will also have legal research and writing classes in the 30 workstation teaching lab in the Technology and Enhanced Learning (TEL) Building, also available as a drop-in computer lab when not reserved for class. Osgoode also offers a comprehensive e-Exam program, in which students can elect to either handwrite or type their exams on their personal laptop computers or use one of the computers in Osgoode’s computer labs. Technology is changing the way lawyers work. An Osgoode legal education prepares students to learn and work effectively in the information age.

Extracurricular Programs

Much of the life of the law school is focused on extracurricular 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. Osgoode also offers undergraduate students the opportunity to participate in a mooting competition every March, through its Osgoode Cup National Undergraduate Mooting Competition. York students have done very well over the five years of the competition, earning first place in 2005 and 2007 and second place in 2009!

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 multifaceted 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.

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