Intellectual Life

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Osgoode provides an innovative approach to graduate study with a variety of perspectives on legal scholarship and methodology. Graduate research students will engage in intellectually stimulating discussions and debates through GradForum workshops, Osgoode Scholarly Talks and Conferences, and through exciting academic partnerships such as ATLAS, which brings together some of the brightest law students from various parts of the world. Engagement with Osgoode’s research centres also provides graduate students with the ability to apply their learnings and fine tune their research skills through a variety of research opportunities.

Graduate research students at Osgoode always have space to focus on research and study. Access to a study carrel (small private offices) is provided to LLM and PhD students, while the grad classroom and grad lounge give graduate students dedicated spaces to learn and socialize together. Osgoode also houses Canada’s largest law library, with an impressive scholarly collection, which all law students have access to.

With many opportunities for graduate students to become involved in the law school including the Graduate Law Students Association, students will be part of an intellectual community that continues to push the boundaries of legal studies in Canada and across the globe.

GradForum Sessions

Each year, the graduate program offers a full slate of professional development workshops (GradForums) that are facilitated by experts in a given topic. These sessions aim to enhance a student’s academic knowledge and also support the overall graduate experience.

Past sessions have included:

  • How to Apply for SSHRC Awards
  • Using Zotero
  • How to Write a Book Review
  • Academic Job Search Workshops
  • Knowledge Mobilization
  • Peer-to-Peer Sessions for Doctoral Students.

Scholarly Talks & Conferences

Osgoode has a vibrant intellectual community that is reflected in the numerous research talks, seminars, workshops, colloquia, and conferences hosted or co-hosted each year by Osgoode and York University. Graduate students are encouraged to participate in these activities, to facilitate critical engagement in issues in the law field, but also to build professional connections and network with faculty, fellow students and experts in the field.

Some of the annual conferences at Osgoode include: the Graduate Law Students Association (GLSA) Conference, the International Comparative Research in Law and Political Economy (CLPE) Conference, and The Toronto Group for the Study of International, Transnational and Comparative Law Annual Conference.

Conference Funding

Each year, the Graduate Program in Law provides funding for graduate students to present and participate in scholarly conferences and events allowing students to showcase their research. Funds support a variety of opportunities for students including, but not limited to participation at the Association of Transnational Law Schools (ATLAS), Canadian Association of Law Teachers (CALT) and other legally focused conferences.


Osgoode is a founding member of the Association of Transnational Law Schools (ATLAS), an association of several university law schools from around the world. ATLAS provides leading doctoral students with an opportunity to meet at an ATLAS institution to attend sessions on substantive issues and research methodology. Osgoode graduate students work together with students from the other ATLAS institutions to develop and enhance their scholarship and make new and lasting research connections as a foundation for their careers.

Each year, ATLAS organizes a multi-week summer school event for graduate students, Atlas Agora. Students will think and rethink the present-day issues of international and transnational law, which will encourage legal scholarship and foster a community of doctoral candidates.

Other ATLAS members include:

  • Bar-Ilan University
  • Erasmus University Rotterdam
  • University of Antwerp
  • University College Dublin
  • Université de Montréal
  • University of Graz

Work-In-Progress Workshops

LLM and PhD students at Osgoode are provided with the opportunity to workshop a piece of work that is currently in progress in order to gain insightful feedback. This can include book proposals, partly-written articles, essay drafts, grant proposals, and book chapters. These workshops, coordinated by the GLSA, are designed specifically to help graduate students understand what readers get from reading words alone, and feedback is often provided from readers those in other fields of study. They also service as a safe space to practice presentations or job talks where graduate students can rehearse in advance of an actual speaking event.

Research Opportunities and Centres

Osgoode and York University are home to almost 30 research centres which bring together researchers from across the academy and across the world. Partaking in such opportunities allows students to become involved in interesting and advanced research, either on an informal basis or as associates (with those centres that confer such status on qualified graduate students). Osgoode graduate students are encouraged to become involved with these research centres and quite frequently students find associations with research centres to be invaluable for their programs.

Some of York’s research centres offer Graduate Diplomas in their area of specialization (for example, the Graduate Diploma in Refugee and Migration Studies, the Graduate Diploma in International and Security Studies, the Graduate Diploma in German and European Studies, and the Graduate Diploma in Latin American and Caribbean Studies). Diplomas are awarded in association with a graduate degree (i.e., for Osgoode students, the LLM or PhD). Students are typically required to attend a mandatory Diploma seminar, take an additional course beyond that required by their graduate degree program, and write their thesis or dissertation on a topic substantially involving the research field of the centre.

Research Centres within Osgoode:

Osgoode is also a partner in the Law Commission of Ontario, which is housed at Osgoode.

Funded Research Opportunities

Funded research opportunities provide students with valuable opportunities to continue developing their research knowledge and abilities in a specific area while also earning income at the same time. Typically, students involved in these projects will be hired as a Research Assistant. As such, the student’s research focus must be directly related to the project.

For a list of available opportunities, please email

Graduate Space

In addition to the scholarly events and opportunities, graduate students are fully integrated into the academic space at Osgoode.  All of the research stream graduate student space is located in the academic wing of the Osgoode building (located on the third and fourth floors). The graduate classroom located on the fourth floor houses the majority of the graduate classes. Graduate students can also make use of the Graduate Student Lounge, a place for intellectual engagement and socialization. A unique feature of the graduate program is the 50 shared study carrel offices that are available for our graduate students to apply to yearly.

Library Services

Law Library

Osgoode graduate students have access to the Law Library of Osgoode Hall Law School, which contains the largest collection of any law library in the Commonwealth. Beyond printed materials, graduate students also have access to an extensive collection of legal research databases, including LexisNexis, Westlaw Canada, and HeinOnline. Each graduate student is assigned a Liaison Librarian, who can work with them to help connect the student with the resources they need.

Visit the Law Library website for more information.

York University Libraries

In addition to the Law Library, Osgoode Hall graduate students also have full graduate student access to York University Libraries (YUL). YUL’s collection includes over 2,250,000 print volumes, 43,000 digital journal subscriptions, and 290,000 digital monographs.

Graduate Law Students Association (GLSA)

The Graduate Law Students Association (GLSA) is the student association for all research stream graduate students. The association hosts a number of events throughout the academic year including socials and the annual graduate student conference held each year in the winter term. Students are encouraged to be involved in the Association, including through an elected role or as a contributor to the governance of the Faculty as a member of one of the numerous committees that help shape the Law School.