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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 150 adjunct 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, through the Aboriginal category of admission, Osgoode hopes to encourage applications from students of Aboriginal descent. The law school's admissions decisions are based on a holistic set of criteria including undergraduate grade point average (GPA), the Law School Admission Test (LSAT), a personal statement, 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 more than 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. New clinical programs in Intellectual Property Law and Anti-Discrimination Law will be introduced in 2011-2012. 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, the JD/MES with the Faculty of Environmental Studies and the new JD/MA (Philosophy) with York’s Graduate Program in Philosophy. In addition, an exchange program with the Faculté de droit, Université de Montréal enables Osgoode students to study at Montreal 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, Denmark 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 Hennick Centre for Business and Law; IP Osgoode; 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.

Facilities and Technology

Through a record $78 million in private funding, alumni giving and government support, Osgoode is transforming its learning environment, its programs and its student financial support. In the fall of 2011, the Law School will open the doors to its newly renovated and expanded building – a building that will complement the highest quality in legal education and student experience. A central part of the building project is the complete renovation and re-design of Osgoode’s Law Library. As one of the largest law libraries in Canada, Osgoode's Law Library is a superior resource for students and faculty alike. Osgoode is committed to being the leading Canadian law school in the use of computer technology, with six electronic classrooms and wireless Internet connectivity throughout the Law School. Osgoode has a comprehensive E-Exam program, permitting students to either handwrite or type exams using laptop or school desktop computers. Each first-year course has its own Web site and first-year students have their own e-mail accounts, thus allowing communication among students and between students and faculty.

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, many in Osgoode Chambers, the law school’s dedicated student residence, providing a strong base for participation in a broad range of extracurricular programs. More than 300 students contribute as volunteers at 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, Mock Trial. Through competition, students are selected to represent the law school in interschool mooting competitions in which Osgoode students excel. There is a full range of athletic teams and activities including the Osgoode Touch Football League which attracts broad participation. As well, there are a variety of student-led clubs such as the Black Law Students Association, the Business Law Society, the Health Law Society, the Environmental Law Society, the Indigenous Law Students Association, the Law Union, the International Law Society, Women's Caucus and a variety of political, special interest and other clubs and organizations. 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 academia.

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