Osgoode Hall Law School, York University
The information on this page was provided by the law school.
Official Guide to Canadian JD Programs
Osgoode Hall Law School, founded in 1889, is among the oldest, largest and most distinguished law schools in Canada. Our commitment to excellence, professionalism, ethics and experiential education, along with our tradition of leadership in legal education and research, make us a truly outstanding law school.
Our internationally recognized, full-time faculty members are the strongest in the country. They are joined by a large group of adjunct professors, primarily practitioners drawn from the Toronto Bar, who offer a relevant, practical perspective for students. Together, they promote a positive, inclusive and supportive learning environment through interaction inside and outside the classroom.
Our JD program is unparalleled in Canada in terms of range, coverage and diversity of perspectives. We lead the way in creating innovative learning opportunities and offering students the flexibility to chart their own path based on their unique interests and goals. Osgoode students can participate in extensive clinical programs, skills-based praxicum courses, paid internships, international exchange programs, research opportunities and community engagement.
Our diverse and talented students embody a variety of academic, social, cultural and work experiences that add to the richness of our JD program and the engaged, vibrant community for which Osgoode is known.
We are particularly committed to improving access to legal education. For those who find a traditional full-time program of study to be a barrier to attending law school, our Extended-Time Program offers students the opportunity to design a more flexible schedule that meets their unique needs and challenges. Our Income Contingent Loan Program enables selected students to pay no tuition while in law school. Instead, their tuition is covered by a combination of bursary and loan funding, with the loan portion being repayable after graduation, over a 10-year period, on an income-contingent basis. We also offer a range of services and accommodations to students who face challenges because of physical, medical, sensory, mental health or learning disabilities.
We encourage our students, as part of their education, to be critically aware of, and intimately involved in, access to justice and the advancement of the public interest. Through diverse career paths, our students develop into leaders in all areas of professional and public life.
We take enormous pride in the accomplishments of our 15,000 alumni, who include chief justices, judges, cabinet members, legal professionals and academics, as well as business and community leaders. Our graduates personify the spirit of service to society articulated in our motto, “Through Law to Justice”.
The JD Program
At Osgoode, we encourage you to think differently. To reflect on what has value. To welcome diverse views. And once grounded in the fundamentals, to choose your own path, gaining practical experiences as you find solutions to important legal challenges.
In the first year of the JD program, students are placed in one of four sections of about 75 students each. Many first-year classes are offered in a combination of large lectures and smaller groups of about 25 students, which allows students to engage in discussion and get to know their classmates and faculty better.
The second and third years of the program offer students an opportunity to design a unique program of study that spans diverse course offerings. In addition to choosing from an extensive array of lectures and seminars spanning traditional to cutting-edge law, students may earn credit for participation in clinical programs, competitive mooting or skills competitions, international exchange or summer abroad programs, individual supervised research or taking an approved graduate level courses in another faculty. Students may also pursue one of four optional curricular streams (International, Comparative and Transnational Law; Litigation, Dispute Resolution, and the Administration of Justice; Labour and Employment Law; and Tax Law).
Osgoode offers a wealth of opportunities to complement your academic work - from our summer internship programs to research collaborations, work in student government and editorial roles with Osgoode--based law journals. Whether your goal is to connect and collaborate with fellow students or dive into a research project with faculty support, we work with you to find the right fit.
You can expand your scope by pursuing one of four combined degree programs:
Juris Doctor/Master of Business Administration (JD/MBA) with the Schulich School of Business
Juris Doctor/Master of Environmental Studies (JD/MES) with the Faculty of Environmental Studies
Juris Doctor/Master of Arts in Philosophy (JD/MA) with the Department of Philosophy
Juris Doctor/Bachelor of Law (Civil) (JD/LLB (Civil)) with l’Université de Montréal, Faculté de Droit
A spirit of inclusion defines Osgoode, where we welcome students of diverse backgrounds, experiences and perspectives. Your experience will be enriched by the close connections you make with your classmates.
There are numerous student-led opportunities which foster meaningful interaction and engagement. You can participate in student government, join one of more than 50 student clubs and organizations, write for an Osgoode-based journal or publication and showcase your talent at Mock Trial, our famous annual musical review.
Life on Campus
Connected to downtown Toronto by subway, the Osgoode campus offers modern spaces for learning and research, as well as welcoming places to interact and unwind. The Ignat Kaneff Building is the heart of student life at Osgoode – a bright, modern facility that includes amenities such as a
student lounge, a reflection room and a family room for students with young children.
The Osgoode Hall Law Library, the largest in Canada, has an outstanding collection of print and digital resources, as well as a staff of professional law librarians to support and guide you.
Osgoode Chambers offers convenient affordable residence suites just steps away from the Law School and is dedicated specifically to Osgoode students.
During your time at Osgoode, you’ll be well situated to explore Canada’s largest city, a bustling metropolitan hub and one of the most multicultural
communities on earth. In addition to being consistently ranked among the world’s best places to live, Toronto is Canada’s largest legal market,
affording opportunities to connect with top experts, dynamic firms and specialized networks.
Career Placement and Bar Passage
The Career Development Office helps you define and achieve your immediate and long-term goals. It offers a full suite of services, including individual counselling and career coaching, résumé review, mock interviews, networking events, job postings, workshops and formal recruitment processes. Students also have a wide range of opportunities to network with our accomplished alumni and a diverse array of legal employers. You can connect through events and career panels as well as through more formal channels such as our Alumni Mentor Program; this program pairs you with upper-year students and graduates who can offer valuable advice and personal perspectives on different career paths, as well as networking links.
Osgoode graduates are successful in securing a wide range of articling placements. In the class of 2020, approximately 92% of respondents secured articling positions – with 69% of these in private practice, 12% in government, 3% in public interest organizations, 2% in business/industry and 4% serving clerkships across all levels of court. Others pursued alternative opportunities following graduation.
Admission Decisions: Beyond the Numbers
Osgoode's admission policy and procedure stress excellence and equity. We admit an outstanding class of students whose academic abilities, varied experiences and sustained engagement make a continuing social and intellectual contribution to the Law School, the legal profession and the community.
Our admission policy identifies a diverse and exceptional group of students with a commitment to excellence, demonstrated through academic and other contributions to society. Together with our renowned faculty and dedicated staff, these students form a vibrant intellectual community that contributes to Osgoode’s international reputation for leadership in legal education, thoughtful and creative scholarship, and promoting social justice.
Osgoode’s historical and contemporary role in diversifying and reshaping the legal profession is second to none. Our admission policy recognizes, fosters and celebrates excellence and equity. We consider academic and Law School Admission Test (LSAT) results, significant achievements and the ways in which social inequality affects students with a demonstrated capacity who wish to pursue a legal education.
Our admission policy encourages students to identify any barriers they face in seeking to enter the legal profession. We place a priority on opening doors to communities that were traditionally under-represented in the legal profession. In creating each class, we look for those who can demonstrate intellectual achievement and a passion for learning and service. We welcome applications from individuals who have demonstrated, through the length and quality of their non-academic experience, an ability to successfully complete the JD program.