Intellectual Life

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Osgoode provides an innovative approach to graduate study with a variety of perspectives on legal scholarship and methodology. There are multiple opportunities for engagement for graduate students through the GradForum  workshops, Osgoode Scholarly Talks and Conferences,  opportunities to take advantage of exciting partnership programs like ATLAS, and opportunities to engage in a variety of Research Opportunities and Centres. Osgoode also houses Canada’s largest law library, with an impressive scholarly collection.

Osgoode also has dedicated space for graduate students in our classroom, lounge and study carrel offices . There are many opportunities for graduate students to become involved in the law school including the Graduate Law Students Association.

GradForum Sessions

Each year, the graduate program offers a full slate of professional development workshops (GradForum) for our graduate students. These sessions aim to enhance both their academic knowledge but also support their graduate experience. Past sessions have included: How to Apply for SSHRC awards, Using Zotero, How to Write a Book Review, Academic Job Search Workshop, Knowledge Mobilization and a Peer to Peer Session 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: Conférence annuelle Jean-Gabriel Castel, Graduate Law Students Association (GLSA) Conference, International CLPE Conference, The Toronto Group for the Study of International, Transnational and Comparative Law, Annual Graduate Student Conferences offered at programs across campus.

Conference Funding

The graduate program provides funding for graduate students to present and participate in scholarly conferences and events. 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 focussed conferences that our graduate students present and attend at.

Academic Partnerships

Osgoode belongs to a number of innovative research related partnerships that provide graduate students and faculty to collaborate and build research connections internationally. One such partnership is the ATLAS program.


Osgoode is a founding member of the Association of Transnational Law Schools (ATLAS), an association of 10 university law schools from around the world. Every year, 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. The content of the Atlas initiative involves students’ extended communication with their student counterparts at the other schools, and a summer “Agora” where these same students meet for an intensive three-week exchange of ideas and perspectives.

ATLAS members include: the London School of Economics and Political Science, New York University, University of Cape Town, the Universidad de Deusto (Bilbao), the University of Melbourne, the Université de Montréal, the Bucerius Law School (Hamburg), Bar-Ilan University (Tel Aviv), and the National University of Singapore.

Research Opportunities and Centres

As a researcher, you want to connect with other researchers in your area. 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 Strategic 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.

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. The Law Library has over 500,000 volumes. It has the largest collection of historic Canadian legal texts and primary sources anywhere, and an extensive collection of English and American legal materials. The Library is staffed by a team of librarians with training both in law and in librarianship. Each graduate student is assigned a Liaison Librarian, who can work with them to help connect the student with the resources they need.

Beyond printed materials, graduate students also have access to an extensive collection of legal research databases, including LexisNexis, Westlaw Canada, and HeinOnline.

York University Libraries

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 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.

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. There are a variety of opportunities 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 shape the Law School.