In 2014, Osgoode celebrated its 125th anniversary. For 76 of those years we were a stand-alone law school, which was highly unusual for a professional school. Then on October 15, 1965, Osgoode Hall Law School signed an “affiliation agreement” with York University to become the new university’s law faculty.
While there are those who lamented the move from the graceful Law Society headquarters on Queen Street to the then barren fields of Downsview, Osgoode would not be the law school it is today without York.
Top 10 Reasons York Helped Make Osgoode Great
1. Our Teachers are also Researchers
As York’s law school, Osgoode attracts full-time tenured faculty, who are expected to not just teach, but also research. Our heightened focus on research has made Osgoode one of the world’s top faculties for excellence in research and our graduate program is the largest in Canada. Our studies in fields from Aboriginal law to legal theory are the foundation for many of our courses, a catalyst for student inquiry and debate, and the source of countless public policy changes and community benefits.
2. We have a Place to call Home
In 1968, York unveiled Osgoode’s new home on the Keele Campus. It boasted the most extensive library collection in the Commonwealth and space for lectures, seminars, law journals and legal clinics. In 2011, York invested again in our physical infrastructure with a $50 million renovation and expansion funded by the university, the federal and provincial governments, and Osgoode’s alumni and friends.
3. Students Double their Potential
Being a part of Canada’s third largest university opens the door to novel collaborations with other York faculties. We offer joint degree programs with Schulich School of Business (JD/MBA), the Faculty of Environmental Studies (JD/MES) and the Department of Philosophy (JD/MA), and plans are now underway for a joint degree program with York’s Lassonde School of Engineering.
4. Multifaceted Faculty
Cross-campus collaborations have also led to the development of a growing number of research centres and institutes that combine the expertise of scholars from a variety of disciplines. Osgoode is also proud of our many cross-appointed faculty members who enrich our courses and classrooms with their wide-ranging perspectives and experiences.
5. Social Justice is our Mantra
York’s strong sense of social responsibility has always set it apart and Osgoode has grown to also reflect this commitment. Our students are actively involved in the community through clinics such as Parkdale Community Legal Services; Osgoode researchers are deeply committed to addressing issues of inequality, oppression and unfair treatment; and we partner with leading organizations, including the Law Commission of Ontario and Pro Bono Students Canada to make our communities better.
6. We Dare to Innovate
Osgoode embodies the spirit of York’s mission, Tentanda Via: The way must be tried. With York’s pioneering approach to pedagogy as our inspiration, we have dared to approach legal education in never-before-seen ways. For example, Osgoode was the first Canadian law school to introduce both a public interest graduation requirement and an experiential education requirement into the JD program.
7. Our Students have a Life
Osgoode’s students understand how time away from the law can make them even better lawyers. They access the growing number of clubs, groups, sports and recreation offered at York; meet up with campus friends in the York Student Centre, the Fitness Centre and the Underground; and take on leadership roles in all aspects of campus student life.
8. Diversity is Contagious
As part of one of Canada’s largest and most multicultural universities with more than 60,000 students, faculty and staff who are learning in 20 languages and can trace their roots to 171 countries, Osgoode embraces diversity and inclusion. Up to 28 per cent of our 2014 entering class was born outside of Canada, approximately 43 per cent identifies as other than white, seven per cent are living with a disability and more than one-third are mature students aged 30 years or older.
9. Leadership Perspective
From Harry Arthurs (Dean, 1972-1977; York President, 1985-1992) to Patrick Monahan (Dean, 2003-2009; Vice-President & Provost, 2009-2012), Osgoode faculty have served in vital leadership positions at York. Their skills, experiences and campus-wide perspectives give the Law School unique insights into the university’s challenges, opportunities and future directions, and help to shape Osgoode’s own strategies and priorities.
10. Strength in Numbers
Osgoode’s 14,000 alumni are part of a global York alumni network of more than 275,000 people who are making an impact in leadership roles around the world. These powerful connections are benefitting Osgoode graduates in all aspects of their careers and lives, while adding combined strength to the university and the Law School’s global reputation.