Discretionary Prizes

Deadline: Monday, May 3, 2021 at 4:30 pm

Osgoode offers many discretionary prizes for students demonstrating excellence beyond the classroom. You can nominate yourself or a fellow JD student. There is no limit on the number of prizes for which you may apply or be nominated, however we encourage you to apply only for the prizes for which you or your nominee are best suited. Selections will be made by the Student Awards Committee in June. Only successful applicants will be notified.  Click here to apply

All Years of Study

Torkin Manes LLP Prize

The Torkin, Manes, LLP Prize is to be given annually to the student who best combines academic excellence with service to the community (approximate value: $1,000).

vs. All-Odds Bursary

This award was created by Jordana H. Goldlist, class of 2007. Jordana made it to law school against all odds: she was placed in a group home at 14 years old, expelled from high school at 16, left home for the second time at 17, then spent two years on the streets of Toronto. When she created this award in 2019, she was 40 years old and running her own criminal defence firm, JHG Criminal Law, while mentoring university students and street kids in transition. In 2018, Jordana documented her own transition in a Tedx Talk she gave called “Who Judges The Judge?” This award was created by her as a way to help others who have been accepted into Osgoode “against all odds”. The award will be given to a JD student who has experienced extreme personal adversity in life: for example, homelessness, the foster care system, group homes, addiction, street life, sex trafficking, or involvement in the criminal justice system (either personally or their immediate family). To be eligible, applicants must submit a one-page statement which speaks to how they meet the criteria as listed above (approximate value: $1,000).

First-Year Student Prizes

Borden Ladner Gervais Professional Excellence Award

The BLG Professional Excellence Award is awarded to a student who has completed first year and who demonstrates academic excellence together with a commitment to professional and service excellence by consistently expanding his/her knowledge of the law, demonstrating the highest standards of integrity, offering innovative ideas, taking a collaborative approach, and contributing to the community (approximate value: three awards at $1,500 each).

The Cassels Brock and Blackwell Prize for Professionalism

This prize is awarded to a student in each section of the first-year class who has, through their conduct and relationships with classmates and faculty, demonstrated collegiality, inclusiveness and respect. The recipient serves as an example of positive leadership and citizenship (approximate value: $500 per student).

Second-Year Student Prizes

Dentons LLP Canada Prize

This award, a gift of the firm of Dentons LLP Canada, is to be given each year to the student in second year, who in first and second year achieves excellence in academic studies and makes a significant contribution to the Law Journal, the Moot Court Program, the Legal and Literary Society or Faculty Council (approximate value: $500).

W. Struan Robertson, Q.C. Memorial Prize

Awarded annually to a student who, during his or her first and second year at Osgoode Hall Law School, best combines academic excellence with involvement in extra-curricular activities, including athletics (approximate value: $1,000).

Second-Year and Third-Year Student Prizes

James C. MacDonald Memorial Award

Renowned for his leadership role in Family Law teaching, writing and reform, Jim was widely known for his compassion and intellect. After graduating from law school in British Columbia and practising for five years, he moved to Toronto and established MacDonald and Ferrier, Toronto’s first law firm specializing in family law. He later became the founding partner of MacDonald & Partners LLP which continues to practice exclusively family law today. Jim was a leading proponent of collaborative law and believed that litigation was a forum of last resort for family law matters.

This award will be given to a JD student in 2nd or 3rd year who has demonstrated strong academic standing in family law; an interest in pursuing the practice of family law; an interest in alternative dispute resolution and collaborative family law; and has contributed to the community and/or student life at Osgoode. Preference will be given to a student who demonstrates financial need (approximate value: $5,000).

University Women’s Club of North York – Lee Robertson Memorial Award

The University Women’s Club of North York, with the support of her family, established this Award in the memory of their dear friend, Lee Robertson. Lee graduated from the University Law School in 1948. Although she did not practice law, she often helped the Club with her skills and knowledge. The University Women’s Club North York Lee Robertson Memorial Award recognizes one student for their commitment to volunteering with women’s focused legal aid organizations, women’s social justice issues or other areas of activism related to women.

Applicants must have completed at least one year of study, maintained a minimum GPA of 6.0, demonstrate financial need, and submit a one-page statement summarizing their participation in extra-curricular activities and/ or the community at large and outlining how they hope to continue to contribute to legal aid organizations, women’s social justice issues or other areas of activism related to women in Canada after graduation (approximate value: $1,000).

Third-Year Student Prizes

Antonio Di Domenico ’05 Prize

This prize is given annually to the graduating student who, throughout their JD degree, has demonstrated academic excellence and leadership in student life at Osgoode. Antonio Di Domenico was very active at both Osgoode and York. He was Chair of Student Caucus of Faculty Council from 2004 to 2005, and served as a Governor and a Senator on York’s Board of Governors and Senate. He went on to an accomplished career in law, which he credits in great part to his studies at Osgoode (approximate value: $400).

George M. Miller Prize for Northern Ontario

Established by George M. Miller, Q.C. of Sudbury, this prize may be awarded each year to a student in their final year who was born in, or who has resided or whose parents have resided in Northern Ontario during the three years immediately preceding the final examination, and who among those eligible obtains the highest standing in their final year examinations. Northern Ontario is defined for the purposes of this prize as that part of Ontario lying north and west of a line drawn from the town of Mattawa to the town of Parry Sound, including those towns (approximate value: $650).

F. W. Minkler Prize

A Trust Fund was created by the will of Rachel S. Minkler in memory of her husband Frederick W. Minkler, a noted Ontario educator. The prize is to be awarded each year out of the income earned on the trust fund to a third year student whose integrity, scholarship and contribution to Osgoode Hall Law School are outstanding (approximate value: $850).

Jack Walker QC Award for Excellence in Legal Ethics and Professionalism

The Jack Walker QC Award for Excellence in Legal Ethics and Professionalism will be given annually to up to two graduating students who have achieved academic excellence and who, throughout their time at Osgoode, have demonstrated Jack Walker’s dedication to professionalism through their courtesy, honesty and integrity both in and outside the classroom. The award was established in honour of Jack Walker on the occasion of his 50th anniversary of his call to the Bar.  Jack graduated from Osgoode Hall Law School in 1965 and, after teaching at the law school for a number of years, went on to become the most renowned and highly respected property tax lawyers in Canada and has acted on many high profile cases.  He co-founded the International Property Tax Institute, was the founder of the Ontario Property Tax Lawyers Association and has written extensively on the topics of assessment and property taxation (approximate value: $1,500).