“Osgoode will give you the understanding and the tools to be leaders and changemakers in the legal profession, so that you can help shape what 21st century lawyering looks like.”
That was the message from Associate Dean (Academic) Craig Scott in his opening remarks to a group of more than 200 newly admitted students and their families at the law school’s annual Welcome Day event on Feb. 23, 2023.
In response to a student’s question about which law school to attend, Scott stated that all Canadian law schools offer a solid legal education, and the best law school is the one that “is best for you.” But he went on to say, “You won’t be surprised that I think that Osgoode is indeed the best. Why do I think that? Let me give you just some reasons.”
First, he noted, Osgoode offers both a broad and a deep legal education that gives students significant control over their curriculum choices. This, in turn, he argued, allows Osgoode graduates to build the kind of career they want in the legal profession – from representing clients who are survivors of domestic violence to solving complicated multi-party contractual disputes. “Our graduates are legal policy makers, peace negotiators, counsel academics or judges at provincial, national or international levels,” he said.
Second, he added, a recent survey of upper year students identified what they value most about their Osgoode experience: the wide variety of opportunities for hands-on learning in legal settings and the quality of its law professors. Osgoode offers the most extensive and innovative clinal programs in Canada, he noted.
Third, said Scott, Osgoode is a school that values community and a diversity of perspectives that comes from different sources of knowledge – from lived experience to a variety of intellectual philosophies.
Guests then moved to breakout sessions to get more information on Osgoode’s curriculum, student financial aid and career development. The evening ended with a mock first-year classroom session by Professors Trevor Farrow and Allan Hutchinson.
Osgoode typically admits about 280 students into the first year of its JD program. The law school has a holistic admissions policy that considers post-secondary achievement, LSAT scores, life experiences and achievements, written and oral communication skills and an individual’s record of overcoming challenges. In its admissions policy, Osgoode puts a priority on opening doors to communities that are traditionally under-represented in the legal profession.