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Osgoode Hall Law School of York Universitymarker is a Canadian law school, located in Torontomarker, Ontariomarker, Canadamarker. Named after the first Chief Justice of Ontario, William Osgoode, the law school was established by The Law Society of Upper Canada in 1889 and was the only accredited law school in Ontariomarker until 1957. The school was at the centre of the debates over the principles of modern legal education in the 1950s. Osgoode Hall Law School provided many of the founding members of the bar in the prairie provinces. Today, the law school offers a professional degree in law that is accepted for bar admission in every province with the exception of Quebec, as well as Massachusettsmarker and New Yorkmarker, three joint degree programs, as well as Canada's largest graduate program in law. It also offers a United States JD degree in conjunction with New York University School of Lawmarker. Osgoode Hall Law School has adopted the Juris Doctor degree designation which has replaced their previous Bachelor of Laws designation.
The law school is home to the Law Reform Commission of Ontario, the Osgoode Hall Law Journal, and the largest law library in the Commonwealth. The law school houses a student clinic (the Community and Legal Aid Services Programme), the Innocence Project, and according to the Official Guide to Canadian Law Schools, the most extensive range of clinical programs in Canada. The primary student government at Osgoode is the Legal and Literary Society.

Osgoode Hall Law School is particularly known for its leading role in the areas of constitutional law, the Charter and human rights, and international law. (Peter Hogg, Brian Slattery, Patrick J. Monahan, Jean-Gabriel Castel)

Some of the world's most important legal scholars teach at Osgoode, including Leslie Green who holds the University of Oxfordmarker's statutory Chair in Philosophy of Law. Former UN High Commissioner for Human Rights and former judge at the Supreme Court of Canadamarker, Louise Arbour taught at, and later became the associate dean of, Osgoode Hall Law School.

Other world-class leading scholars at Osgoode include Sharon Williams (Public International Law, International Criminal Law, Private International Law), Alan Hutchinson (Torts, Public law, Legal Theory), Robert S Wai (International Trade Regulation), Benjamin Geva (Commercial and Banking Law), Ian MacDougal (Corporate Governance, Mergers & Acquisitions), Jinyan Li (International Taxation Law), Kent McNeil (Native Law), Eric Tucker (Labour Law), Mary Jane Mossman (Feminist Legal Theory, Family Law, Law Reform), Gary D Watson (Civil Litigation), Stepan Wood and Benjamin Richardson (Environmental Law), Brian Slattery (Constitutional Law).

The current dean of the law school is Jinyan Li. She succeeds Patrick J. Monahan. Monahan, in turn, succeeded Peter Hogg who is a leading Canadian constitutional expert and the author of Constitutional Law of Canada, the single most-cited book in decisions of the Supreme Court of Canadamarker.


The current building which houses the law school, occasionally called "New Osgoode Hall".
For its first seven decades, Osgoode Hall Law School was located at Osgoode Hallmarker at the corner of Queen Street and University Avenue near the University of Torontomarker. The law school was not affiliated with the University of Toronto since law schools at that time traditionally were not connected with a university. The Law Society of Upper Canada maintained control of professional legal education in Ontariomarker until 1957. In 1969, after a decision by the Ontario Ministry of Education requiring law schools to be affiliated with a university, the Osgoode Hall Law School relocated to New Osgoode Hall, on the campus of York Universitymarker.

The structures at Queen and University (the earliest dating from 1832)are still known as Osgoode Hallmarker, but are commonly referred to as "Old Osgoode Hall". They remain the headquarters of the Law Society of Upper Canada and house the Court of Appeal for Ontario.

The law school is responsible for numerous firsts in legal education in Canada. Osgoode was the first law school to introduce curricular streams in 2001, giving a student the opportunity to graduate with a concentration in a particular area of law, namely International, Litigation or Tax. Osgoode was the first law school to establish a combined law and business degree. Osgoode was the first law school to establish a combined law and environmental studies degree. Osgoode was the first law school to establish a student-staffed community legal services clinic (Parkdale Community Legal Services, in 1972). Osgoode was the first law school to develop innovative intensive programs and clinical teaching programs. In 2007 Osgoode's Intensive Program in Aboriginal Lands, Resources and Governance won the Canadian Bureau for International Education (CBIE) Award for "Outstanding Program" in recognition of "high quality" of education. (

The New "New Osgoode Hall"

In May 2007, Dean Monahan announced plans for an extensive renovation and extension of Osgoode Hall Law School's current premises. While it is described as a "new building" in reality it a rennovation of the existing building, and addition of an additional wing.

Construction of the renovated building began in the summer of 2009. When completed the new building, designed by architect Jack Diamond, will introduce natural light to classrooms, lecture theatres, and social spaces. It will showcase classroom windows and a multi-story atrium that will serve as the living room or common area for the law school, uniting student space, faculty offices and the library. The library will be revamped to emphasize comfortable work-spaces, while maintaining its extensive holdings. Staircases will be removed to provide more "universal" accessibility, and student spaces, such as the cafeteria and student-run "Junior Common Room" will be thoroughly upgraded and relocated to prominent areas within the facility.

The new wing of New Osgoode Hall be named the "Ignat Kaneff Building", in recognition of a $2.5 million dollar contribution to the Building Osgoode Campaign by businessman and developer Ignat Kanneff.

The Building Osgoode Campaign

In May 2007, Osgoode Hall Law School officially launched the Building Osgoode Campaign – the largest fundraising campaign in the history of legal education in Ontario - which aims to raise $25 million dollars to finance the renovation of the school's building, and the expansion of its academic and financial aid programs.

Almost $6 million in early commitments have already been pledged toward the cost of the building renovation, including the above-mentioned $2.5-million gift from businessman and philanthropist Ignat Kaneff. Other important campaign gifts to date include a $1-million contribution from publisher Canada Law Book toward the creation of a rare book room in the law school's library; $750,000 from Toronto-based firm Goodmans LLP for a new student cafeteria and lounge; and $500,000 from Markham developer Rudy Bratty (LLB '57). Osgoode students, faculty and staff have also demonstrated their support for the campaign with donations of $70,000 from the Legal & Literary Society student government and approximately $250,000 from faculty and staff. In addition, York University has pledged substantial support.

The Building Osgoode Campaign is the latest in a series of initiatives undertaken by the law school. Other recent initiatives include creating two endowed Chairs, revamping the school's admissions policy and first-year curriculum, developing a joint degree with New York University School of Law, and becoming home to the new Law Reform Commission of Ontario.


In 2007, teams from Osgoode Hall Law School won several major mooting competitions in Canada. During this same year they went on to win the Sopinka Cup, to be honored by the American Trial Lawyer's Association for their excellence, and to win all three of the 1st prizes at the US Mediation Tournament.


Osgoode Hall has recently altered its admissions process to a more holistic system, similar to that employed at McGill University Faculty of Law. Holistic admissions processes take into account both Undergraduate GPA and LSAT scores, as well as "other relevant criteria" such as graduate degrees, work experience, and difficulty of prior academic studies. The median undergraduate GPA of accepted students is 3.67 (about 80%), and the median LSAT score is 162 (85th percentile). While it is possible to be admitted with only three years of undergraduate university study, in practice the majority of successful candidates arrive to first year law at Osgoode already possessing one or more degrees.

Joint degrees

Osgoode Hall Law School offers a joint M.B.A./J.D...program with the Schulich School of Businessmarker at York Universitymarker, and a combined J.D. and Master of Environmental Studies degree.

Osgoode Hall Law School also offers the Osgoode/NYU Juris Doctor program with New York University School of Lawmarker. Both schools offer joint-degree programs where students can earn an American J.D. (ABA-Approved) and Canadian LL.B. in four years, spending two years at each institution. Osgoode and NYU have also recently introduced an Osgoode J.D./NYU LL.M. program, whereby a student can obtain both degrees in just three and a half years instead of the four years it would normally take.

Osgoode is also one of the few law schools to offer the possibility of graduating with both an English Canadian LL.B. and a Quebec LL.L. degree, enabling graduates to practice in the province of Quebec and providing graduates of this program with training in the Civil Law System in addition to common law. This program is offered in conjunction with the law school at the Université de Montréalmarker.

Academic Graduate programs

Osgoode is home to the largest academic Graduate Program in Law in Canada. Osgoode also hosts the only Professional Development Program in Canada, whose courses are taught at the satellite campus located at the Osgoode Professional Development Centre at 1 Dundas Street West in downtown Toronto. A variety of LL.M. and academic Ph.D. degrees in law are available.


Notable alumni of Osgoode Hall Law School include:

Supreme Court Justices

Other judges



See also

External links

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