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Osgoode Hall Law School


About Osgoode

Internationally renowned as one of Canada’s largest and most distinguished law schools, Osgoode Hall Law School of York University offers students an extraordinary legal education. We are a vibrant community and take pride in our highly intelligent, thoughtful, passionate and engaged 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 opens students’ minds to the many different ways in which they themselves can make a difference.

Per jus ad justitiam: Through law to justice.

The Faculty

Osgoode students have the opportunity to work with Canada’s brightest and most distinguished legal minds. We have drawn together the country’s top legal thinkers – from our full-time professors to our part-time faculty of practising lawyers and judges from the Greater Toronto Area – who contribute to the diversity and pluralism of the learning experience at Osgoode, and foster excellence in every facet of what they do. 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. Although they bring with them a wide array of experience, perspectives, teaching approaches and evaluation methods, our faculty members are united in their supportive, open-door approach. They are the first in their fields, and they put our students first.

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 our general admissions category, we accept students with excellent academic records, many of whom have graduate degrees in other disciplines. Through the Aboriginal category of admission, we encourage applications from students of Aboriginal descent. Our admissions decisions are based on a holistic set of criteria including undergraduate grade point average (GPA), the Law School Admission Test (LSAT), non-academic achievements, 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, 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 allows for 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. Our first-year program is distinguished by its emphasis on several themes central to trends in legal practice and invites students to reflect on questions of professionalism and ethics. The first-year curriculum combines strengths in traditional subjects with innovative offerings. With approximately 160 courses, seminars and special programs available in the upper years, students can select an academic program substantially tailored to their own academic interests and career aspirations. Students may also participate in one of four optional curricular streams: International, Comparative and Transnational Law; Litigation, Dispute Resolution, and the Administration of Justice; Tax Law; and Labour and Employment Law.

Experiential Education

With the creation of the Office of Experiential Education, the first of its kind at a Canadian law school, Osgoode has institutionalized its position as a leader in experiential education. Osgoode is committed to providing students with a solid foundation of professional skills required to practise law and a keen appreciation of how the theory of law applies in practice. Students can complete a variety of experiential opportunities during their time at Osgoode. At a minimum, all students will complete one experiential course for academic credit and a law-related public interest placement. Beyond these minimum requirements, students may explore many more of the diverse experiential education programs available. The Criminal Law Intensive and the Intensive Program in Poverty Law at Parkdale Community Legal Services began more than 40 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, for example, Business Law, Immigration and Refugee Law, Intellectual Property and Technology Law, and Aboriginal Law. These programs, as well as lawyering and mooting competitions, allow students to acquire a diverse set of skills including counselling, negotiation, mediation, advocacy and legal writing."

Students may also put their legal knowledge into practice while participating in one of a number of paid summer internships offered through the Office of Experiential Education, including the Ian Scott Public Interest Internship, the Victor Internship in Environmental Law, the John Plater and the Kreppner Internships in health law, and the McCarthy Tetrault Business Law Internship.

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 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 in 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, with law schools in such countries as Australia, China, France, Japan, England, Ireland, Germany, Denmark and Italy, enable Osgoode faculty and students to study or visit abroad. Osgoode students also have the opportunity to participate in summer study- abroad programs in Germany, Israel or Italy.


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. 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); the Winkler Institute for Dispute Resolution; and the York Centre for Public Policy and Law. Other key partnerships include the Law Commission of Ontario, the Canadian Forum on Civil Justice, the Ontario Legal Philosophy Partnership and the National Network on Environments and Women’s Health.

Facilities and Technology

In the fall of 2011, the Law School opened the doors to its newly renovated and expanded building – a building that complements the highest quality in legal education and student experience. A central part of the building project was the complete renovation and re-design of Osgoode’s Law Library. As one of the largest in Canada, Osgoode's Law Library is a superb resource for students and faculty alike. Osgoode is committed to being the leading Canadian law school in the use of computer technology, with fully electronic classrooms and wireless Internet connectivity throughout the Law School. Osgoode has a comprehensive E-Exam program, enabling students to either handwrite or type exams using laptop or school desktop computers. Each course has its own website and all students have their own Osgoode e-mail accounts, thus allowing communication among students and between students and faculty.

Student Services and Supports

Osgoode is committed to creating an atmosphere that nurtures and supports academic, professional and personal success. Osgoode, in conjunction with York University, provides a full range of services and accommodations for students who face challenges because of physical, medical, sensory, mental health or learning disabilities. Osgoode is the first Canadian law school to have a Student Success and Wellness Counsellor – a professional lawyer and counsellor dedicated exclusively to supporting the well-being of Osgoode students. The Student Success and Wellness Counsellor offers individual counselling, referrals and crisis intervention services, and coordinates weekly yoga, mindfulness sessions and mental health awareness events. The Academic Success Program, offered through the Office of the Associate Dean, First Year, promotes academic success for first-year students through skills sessions and a Dean’s Fellows program that attaches an upper-year student mentor to each first-year course.

The Office of Student Financial Services (FSO) at Osgoode is committed to providing students with information, resources and individual support to assist with financial concerns. Last year, the Office awarded more than $3.5 million in total funding to students through entrance and upper-year scholarships and awards, bursaries, course prizes and medals, internship funding and post-graduation awards. The FSO also offers an online database of external funding opportunities, budgeting assistance and financial seminars.

Osgoode’s dedicated Career Development Office (CDO) assists students with defining and achieving their career goals, through individual career coaching, résumé review, mock interviews, job postings, programming and workshops, events to connect students with prospective employers and reference materials. The CDO also runs a popular Peer Counselling program in which students in their final year act as mentors to first or second-year students to provide employment related advice.

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 leadership body known as the Legal and Literary Society. Many of our students live 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 the Community and Legal Aid Services Programme (CLASP), the student-run legal aid clinic, operating at the school. Others volunteer as mentors with local area high school students through the Law in Action Within Schools (LAWS) Program. The student newspaper, Obiter Dicta, is published bi-weekly. Talented students write, perform and produce an annual musical revue, Mock Trial. Students are selected to represent the Law School in national and international interschool mooting competitions.

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 Osgoode Indigenous Students’ Association, the Law Union, the International Law Society, Women's Caucus and a variety of political, special interest and other groups and organizations. These varied activities enrich the student experience by providing opportunities for personal growth, community outreach and collegial activity.

Osgoode Hall Law School 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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