Law students flock to 2022 Clinical Education Fair

From corporate and criminal law to environmental, Indigenous and poverty law, there was something for almost every student at Osgoode Hall Law School’s recent Clinical Education Fair.

The annual event, which showcases Osgoode’s unparalleled depth in experiential education, attracted about 150 students to Osgoode’s Gowlings Hall on Oct. 19. At tables spread throughout the hall, representatives for each of Osgoode’s 17 clinical education programs were on hand to provide students with information.

“Something that makes Osgoode stand out is the opportunity to apply the knowledge learned in the classroom in a hands-on environment,” said Lisa Del Col, Manager, Experiential Education & Career Development and Director, Osgoode Public Interest Requirement.

“Through clinical education,” she added, “students get the opportunity to work on actual client files and analyze or advocate on live issues, which helps translate theory into practice.”

Students are invited to apply to the clinical education programs of their choice in January of either their first year or second year to participate in the program the following academic year. The clinics have varying credit values and take place over either one term or a full academic year.

The wide range of clinical programs includes Advanced Business Law Workshop I: Corporate Finance, the Anti-Discrimination Intensive Program, the Community Legal Aid Services Program (CLASP), the Disability Law Intensive Program, and the Environmental Justice and Sustainability Clinical Program. Other options include Feminist Advocacy: Ending Violence Against Women Clinical Program, the Innocence Project, the Intellectual Property Law and Technology Intensive Program, and the Intensive Program in Indigenous Lands, Resources and Governments.

Information on all 17 clinical education programs can be found here.

“We’re proud of the breadth of clinical opportunities available for students to immerse themselves in an area of law that interests them,” said Del Col. “It’s not only an opportunity to develop skills for their future careers, but also an opportunity to think critically about the work they’ve done and reflect on how it links to ethical practice and the larger roles of lawyers in society.”

Osgoode’s clinical education programs represent only one aspect of its rich experiential offerings. Students may build their oral advocacy skills and gain course credits through one of the most comprehensive mooting and lawyering skills competition programs in Canada. Additionally, there are two graduation requirements that incorporate experiential education. The praxicum requirement is a course that integrates legal theory, practice and reflection, while the Osgoode Public Interest Requirement is a 40-hour volunteer commitment that enables participants to engage with community members and help promote better access to justice.

To broaden their experience even more, Osgoode Hall Law School students can undertake summer internships, participate in the Osgoode chapter of Pro Bono Students Canada or attend the Anishinaabe Law Camp run by Osgoode’s Office of Indigenous Initiatives and Reconciliation. The camp introduces students to Anishinaabe legal concepts, principles, pedagogies and modes of reasoning.