Canadian Official Guide
Osgoode Hall Law School, York University
4700 Keele Street, Toronto, Ontario, M3J 1P3
Phone: 416.736.5712 | Fax: 416.736.5618
Internet: www.osgoode.yorku.ca | E-mail:
Osgoode Hall Law School has a rigorous, diverse, and forward-looking curriculum that prepares students for the widest range of careers in law. We encourage critical thinking and attempt to provide a combination of theoretical perspectives along with practical, hands-on knowledge through our intensive and clinical programs. A degree from Osgoode Hall Law School is an internationally recognized credential that opens doors not only in the legal profession, but in government, public service, business, and nongovernmental organizations.
Osgoode is the oldest law school in Ontario and among the largest common-law law schools in Canada. The Law School's size allows for an exceptionally diverse curriculum, which enables students to choose an academic program substantially tailored to their own academic interests and career aspirations. Osgoode has an internationally renowned faculty and a wonderful array of talented adjunct faculty members from the Toronto bench and bar. Few law schools in the Commonwealth can compare to Osgoode's faculty in terms of the quality of their research and the influence that research has had, and continues to have, on the directions taken by the law, by public policy, and by legal scholarship. Thoughtful, articulate, and scholarly in their approach to teaching, our full-time and adjunct faculty make the study of law a meaningful engagement with relevant and challenging issues, and they make the learning experience one of the great pleasures of attending Osgoode.
Osgoode Hall Law School is part of the 600-acre York University campus, located in the northwest area of metropolitan Toronto. 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 redesign 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 also houses a number of nationally and internationally recognized research centres: York University Centre for Public Law and Public Policy, the Institute for Feminist Legal Studies, the Jack and Mae Nathanson Centre for the Study of Organized Crime and Corruption, the Hennick Centre for Business and Law, the Critical Research Laboratory in Law and Society, and IP Osgoode.
School tours are available by contacting .
- 3,086 applicants
- 583 first-year offers for 2010
- 310 enrolled first-year class 2010
- 50 percent women
- 159 total
- 53 full time
- 104 part time or adjunct
- 2 visiting
- 45 percent full-time are women
- 37 percent adjunct faculty are women
- Degrees available—JD, JD/MBA (Schulich School of Business), JD/MES (Faculty of Environmental Studies), JD/ MA in Philosophy (Faculty of Liberal Arts and Professional Studies), JD/LLM (New York University School of Law), Common Law/Droit Civil Bachelor of Laws (with the Université de Montréal), LLM, PhD
- Numerous international summer and academic exchange opportunities
- The most extensive clinical education offerings in Canada (see "Special Programs" below)
Osgoode offers a rich academic curriculum taught by dynamic and renowned professors. There are numerous special programs and activities in which students can participate over and above the regular academic program.
The basic teaching unit for the first year is a group of 75 students. Students take five courses during each of two semesters. A number of first-year classes are offered in a combination of large lectures and smaller groups of about 25 students, which allows students to get to know classmates and faculty better. The second and third years of the program offer students an opportunity to design a course of study especially suited to their particular interests and career aspirations, including participation in an intensive program, an international exchange, or one of four optional curricular streams (international law, litigation, labour and employment law, and tax law). (Please visit the streams website at www.osgoode.yorku.ca/streams/.) There are no required courses in the second or third year, except for an upper-year research and writing requirement and the completion of 40 hours of unpaid public interest legal work as part of Osgoode's innovative Public Interest Requirement.
Osgoode Hall Law School has continued to expand its innovative, intensive, and clinical teaching programs. Students are able to pursue intensive programs in Business Law; Intellectual Property Law; Human Rights Law; Criminal Law; Immigration and Refugee Law; and Land, Resources, and First Nations Government. They may also study Poverty Law at Parkdale Community Legal Services and participate in the Community and Legal Aid Services Program (CLASP), an on-site, student-run legal clinic, or the Innocence Project, which involves working on cases of suspected wrongful conviction. Students interested in public interest work can also participate in four programs available at Osgoode: the Ian Scott Public Internship Program, the Summer Public Interest Advocacy Program, the Pro Bono Students Canada Program, and the Centre for Innovation Law and Policy.
Osgoode Hall Law School offers four-year programs leading to the JD/MBA degree with York University's Schulich School of Business, a JD/MES degree with the York’s Faculty of Environmental Studies, and a JD/MA (Philosophy) degree with York’s Faculty of Liberal Arts and Professional Studies.
Osgoode also has a special relationship with New York University and its Hauser Global Law School Program, whereby students can obtain both a JD degree from Osgoode Hall Law School and an LLM degree from NYU in a total of three-and-a-half years of study (as opposed to the four years that would be required to obtain both degrees separately). Students are provided with an enriched global perspective and advanced career opportunities at law schools with excellent academic standards and a commitment to social justice. Students will complete three-and-a-half years of full-time study (five semesters at Osgoode and two semesters at NYU), and graduate with a Bachelor of Laws Degree (JD) from Osgoode and a Master of Laws Degree (LLM) from NYU.
Osgoode and the Université de Montréal, Faculté de Droit, have established a program for the granting of the Osgoode degree in common law and the Montréal degree in civil law for law graduates from either institution. An Osgoode JD graduate is given two years advanced standing toward the Montréal civil law degree and, on successful completion of one year of study in civil law at l'Université de Montréal, will be awarded the Montréal BCL degree.
International experience has become increasingly valuable for law students pursuing diverse career paths. Osgoode students have had the benefit of participating in any number of Osgoode and York International-sponsored exchange programs during the academic year. Some places that our students are studying this year are Australia, India, Singapore, France, Université de Montréal, Ireland, Italy, England, Holland, Finland, Germany, Scotland, and Japan.
The Osgoode Hall Law School Library is the largest law library in Canada, with extensive holdings. Instruction is provided by library staff for both general legal and computer research.
- 315,802 bound volumes, 133,942 microfiche, and 4,794 microfilm
- 2 computer labs with 60 stations total
- Networked CD-ROMs
- Westlaw Canada
- Access to numerous other web-based databases such as LegalTrac
- 4 full-time librarians
- 1 library manager
- 14 full-time equivalent staff
- 517 library seats
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 website and first-year students have their own e-mail accounts, thus allowing communication among students and between students and faculty.
Osgoode Chambers—Student Residence
The Osgoode Chambers offers law students the opportunity to live with other law students, both first-years and upper-years, as well as graduate students. Located across the street from the Law School in the award-winning Passy Gardens housing complex, Osgoode Chambers offers furnished bachelor and one-bedroom townhouse suites in a courtyard setting. Every suite is self-contained with a kitchen and bathroom, and wireless Internet access is provided. Laundry facilities are centrally located. The York University campus has 24-hour security as well as the "Go Safe" escort program and public transit direct to the subway.
Incoming first-year Osgoode students who firmly accept Osgoode's offer of admission are guaranteed accommodation at Osgoode Chambers for the full three years of study as long as they hold a continuous 12-month lease. Suites are allocated on a first-come, first-served basis.
Osgoode Hall Law School provides students with a wide variety of extracurricular activities. Osgoode is particularly proud of its students' many international and national successes in mooting. Osgoode Hall Law School enters nine competitive appellate moots and two trial advocacy mooting competitions every year for upper-year students. They involve issues of civil and criminal constitutional litigation, international law, federal administrative law, and corporate-securities law. Participation in the mooting program gives students the opportunity to gain research and advocacy skills.
The Osgoode Hall Law Journal, guided by the student and faculty Board of Directors, is published four times a year. The Obiter Dicta is a weekly student newspaper published throughout the year.
The Legal and Literary Society (founded in 1876) is the official student government of Osgoode Hall Law School and is responsible for coordinating and funding the numerous professional, athletic, social, and extracurricular activities at Osgoode. Student Caucus members represent and promote student welfare and interests on Osgoode's Faculty Council. Students can also share common interests in any number of social, cultural, political, and athletic clubs.
Expenses and Financial Aid
- Approximate tuition and fees—full-time tuition $17,631 (2010–2011 incoming students) plus approximately $850 ancillary fees
- Estimated cost for books, $1,100
- Scholarships available—entrance and in-course, performance, and need based
- Financial aid available
- Fees for 2011–2012 will be confirmed in the Spring of 2011.
For additional information, go to www.osgoode.yorku.ca/financial_services.
Osgoode attracts the best and brightest students and strives to ensure that people from diverse backgrounds have access to our programs throughout their years of study. In 2011–2012, Osgoode anticipates awarding upwards of $3 million in bursaries alone to students who apply and demonstrate documented financial need. In addition, Osgoode has a wealth of scholarships and awards available to first-year and upper-year students on the basis of academic excellence and financial need. The Law School's financial assistance program also includes on-site financial support, advice, programming, and an innovative student loan arrangement with the Royal Bank. Osgoode students also have the advantage and the convenience of numerous on-campus housing units, particularly the Osgoode Chambers, located adjacent to the Law School and reserved specifically for law and graduate students.
Osgoode Hall Law School graduates are practising across Canada and the United States, as well as following in a variety of nontraditional career paths. The Career Development Office is staffed by four full-time professionals, as well as part-time student coordinators. The office provides individual career coaching, résumé review, mock interviews, job postings, programs and workshops, and extensive resources and reference materials, in addition to hosting events to bring together students and prospective employers. The office provides assistance to students in their search for both summer and articling positions, annually hosting Summer and Articling Job Fairs, Public Interest Law Information Fairs, and on-campus interview programs for Toronto, US, and Eastern/Western Canadian law firms.
- Three years (15 full-course credits; 90 credit hours) of a bachelor's degree program at a recognized university
- Application deadline—November 1
- Applications available in August
- LSAT required
- Treatment of multiple LSAT scores—highest score used
- Oldest LSAT score accepted—June 2007
- Median GPA— 4.03 (4.33 scale)
- Median LSAT score—162
- Application fee—$90
Osgoode Hall Law School's admissions policy and procedures stress excellence and equity. We admit an outstanding class of students whose academic abilities, varied experiences, and sustained engagement make a continuing social and intellectual contribution to the law school, the legal profession, and the community.
Our admissions policy identifies a diverse and exceptional group of students with a commitment to excellence, demonstrated through academic and other contributions to society. Together with our renowned faculty and dedicated staff, these students form a vibrant intellectual community that contributes to Osgoode's international reputation for leadership in legal education, thoughtful and creative scholarship, the promotion of social justice, and leadership in all aspects of the legal profession. We encourage our students, as part of their education, to be critically aware of and intimately involved in access to justice and the advancement of the public interest. Through diverse career paths, our students develop into leaders in all areas of professional and public life.
Osgoode's historical and contemporary leadership role in diversifying and reshaping the legal profession is second to none. Our admissions policy recognizes, fosters, and celebrates excellence and equity. We consider academic and LSAT results, significant achievements, and the ways in which barriers created by social inequality can stand between students, with a demonstrated capacity, and a legal education. Our admissions policy encourages students to identify any barriers that they face in seeking to enter the legal profession. In creating each class, we look for those who can demonstrate not only intellectual achievement, but also a passion for learning and service. We welcome applications from individuals who have demonstrated, through the length and quality of their nonacademic experience, an ability to successfully complete the JD program.
Osgoode is concerned that members of First Nations, Inuit, and Métis do not have substantial representation in the legal profession and, accordingly, strongly encourages applications from these groups. The committee's decision to admit a candidate ultimately depends on its judgment of the candidate's ability to successfully complete law school. The Admissions Committee strongly recommends the Program of Legal Studies for Native People at the University of Saskatchewan prior to entering the Law School.
Admission 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.