OLSAS – Osgoode Hall Law School (York University)

Note: This application guide contains information for Fall 2020 Admission.

University program information is subject to change. For the most up-to-date details, view the online application.

Last updated: August 22, 2019

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About Osgoode Hall Law School

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 program is unparalleled in Canada and spans the spectrum in terms of range, coverage and diversity of perspectives. We lead the way in creating innovative learning opportunities. Osgoode students have the benefit of participating 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 Juris Doctor (JD) program and the engaged, vibrant and intellectual community for which Osgoode is known.

Osgoode is particularly committed to supporting access to legal education. Through our Extended Time Program, students who might find a traditional program of study to be a barrier to attending law school may design a more flexible program that meets their unique needs and challenges. Our Income Contingent Loan Program enables 7 students each year 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 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”.

Learn more about our faculty, students and programs, including Experiential Education and international opportunities.

Our Admission Policy

Osgoode Hall Law School’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.

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First-Year Applicants

Applications to the first-year program are due on November 1, 2019.

Application Category

We have 2 application categories: General and Indigenous. Please use the General category when you apply to the first-year JD program (or 1 of the joint programs) unless you feel you qualify to apply in the Indigenous category.

Indigenous Canadian Applicants

Osgoode Hall Law School is committed to increasing Indigenous representation in the legal profession and strongly encourages applications from Indigenous candidates.

To have your file reviewed as an Indigenous candidate, you must provide documentation that corroborates your identification and connection with your Indigenous community. More specifically, your service and your involvement or leadership within your community, on Indigenous issues or within Indigenous circles, will be strongly considered. In our experience, those markers of solidarity and ability to be supportive of others within your community correlate with academic and extracurricular success in law school.

Note: If the Admissions Committee determines that insufficient documentation has been provided, you may be reviewed as a General applicant.

Depending on the strength of your academic file, your offer of admission to Osgoode Hall Law School may be conditional upon successfully completing the Wiyasiwewin Mikiwahp Native Law Centre Summer Program at the University of Saskatchewan. This program, recognized by many law schools across Canada, provides preparation for your legal studies during the summer preceding the first year of your JD program. To satisfy a conditional offer of admission, you must receive a positive recommendation for admission to the Law School from the Director of the Wiyasiwewin Mikiwahp Native Law Centre Summer Program. Upon successfully completing the Wiyasiwewin Mikiwahp Native Law Centre Summer Program, you will not only satisfy your conditional offer of admission to Osgoode, but also be automatically granted advanced standing credit for the first-year Property Law course at Osgoode. In addition, a tuition credit equal to the value of the Osgoode Property Law course will be applied to your student account.

Osgoode does not require all Indigenous applicants to complete the summer program at Saskatchewan as a condition of entry into first year. If you receive an unconditional offer of admission, attending the Wiyasiwewin Mikiwahp Native Law Centre Summer Program is optional, although we believe it is an excellent way for all incoming Indigenous students to prepare for law school and build a supportive network of peers across the country. For more information about the Wiyasiwewin Mikiwahp Native Law Centre Summer Program, you may write to the Wiyasiwewin Mikiwahp Native Law Centre at the University of Saskatchewan and/or email Professor Karen Drake, Director, Indigenous Outreach.

Eligibility Requirements

Academic Requirement

You must successfully complete a minimum of 3 full years of study (90 credit hours of study) at a recognized university in a program leading to a degree to be eligible for consideration. If you received advanced standing toward your degree for a substantial number of credits completed through college, through distance studies or at an institution that is not accredited, or if your degree is from an institution that is not accredited, contact the Admissions Office before you apply. These factors may impact the competitiveness or eligibility of your application.

Applicants with Fewer Than 3 Years of University

Osgoode welcomes applications from individuals who have demonstrated, through the length and quality of their non-academic experience, an ability to successfully complete the JD program.

You are eligible to apply if each of the following conditions is met:

  • you have not attended university or have completed fewer than 3 years of university (as of June 1 of the admission year);
  • you are at least 26 years of age (as of September 1 of the admission year); and
  • you have a minimum of 5 years of non-academic experience (as of September 1 of the admission year).

Law School Admission Test (LSAT)

You are required to take the LSAT. Osgoode considers your highest result, as reported by the Law School Admission Council in the application. LSAT scores for the past 5 years (i.e., back to and including June 2015) may be used. To apply to enter the program in September 2020, you must complete the LSAT by January 2020.

Note: If you wish to apply for Osgoode’s Income Contingent Loan Program, you must complete the LSAT by November 2019.

Both first-year applicants and upper-year (transfer) applicants must provide an LSAT score. If you are an upper-year transfer applicant and have not written the LSAT, you must do so by March in the year you apply.

English-Language Proficiency

You must provide proof of English-language proficiency if 1 of the following applies to you:

  • English is not your first language; or
  • You have not completed at least 1 year of full-time study at an accredited postsecondary institution in a country (or institution) where English is the official language of instruction.

These requirements are for eligibility purposes only. Meeting them does not guarantee admission.

Admission Decisions

Admission decisions are made based on a holistic assessment of your entire file (in line with Osgoode’s admission policy objectives, as stated in the Mission Statement). Successful applicants generally have at least a cumulative “A-” average (includes all years of undergraduate study) and an LSAT in the 80th percentile, or better. Significantly stronger results on the LSAT or the cumulative grade point average (CGPA) may compensate for a less competitive LSAT or CGPA.

Admission decisions are made on a rolling basis, with the majority of offers made in January and February. As such, we encourage you to take the LSAT by the November test date. In addition, please note that decisions may be made before final transcripts are issued.

Application Components

Your application must include the following:

  • An OLSAS application
  • LSAT score
  • Autobiographical Sketch and verifiers
  • Personal Statement
  • 2 reference letters (minimum of 1 academic reference strongly recommended)
  • Transcripts for all postsecondary institutions attended
  • Proof of English-language proficiency, if applicable (see English-language Proficiency)
  • Financial Statement (required only if you wish to be considered for entrance scholarships, the Early Bursary Notification Program and the Income Contingent Loan Program)

Notes:

  • To protect the integrity of the admission process, corroborating documentation is required if your application relies on specific facts or circumstances that have impacted your academic performance.
  • Provide, as necessary, medical documentation, proof of economic difficulties and/or performance considerations referred to in your application.
  • Letters from individuals with precise knowledge of your circumstances, as discussed in the Personal Statement, are acceptable.
  • You must provide the names and contact information of verifiers for the activities listed in your Autobiographical Sketch.

Personal Statement

You must complete the Personal Statement and Supplemental Information. The Personal Statement consists of 3 questions:

  1. Discuss any significant personal, academic work experiences or career/life achievements you feel are relevant to your application.
  2. Discuss why you are interested in pursuing a legal education and how you see yourself using your law degree in the future.
  3. Discuss any of the following considerations that are relevant to your application:
    • Equity
    • Work or life experience
    • Performance considerations
    • Diversity

You must answer question 1 and question 2.

You may answer question 3 if one or more of the following considerations apply directly to your personal experience:

  1. Equity
    Equity factors relate to systemic barriers to equal access to educational opportunities. Most often, the barriers that give rise to equity concerns take the form of substantial discrimination on grounds recognized in the Ontario Human Rights Code or Osgoode’s Equality Resolution (race, ancestry, place of origin, colour, ethnic origin, citizenship, religion, political orientation, sex, age, marital status, sexual orientation, family status or disability). Economic disadvantage is also an equity factor. Examples of candidate experiences include:

    • growing up in family circumstances that are not conducive to educational achievement (e.g., family size, level of parental education, quality of support or other factors)
    • growing up in a low-income community or household
    • living with physical, psychological, sensory or learning disabilities
    • overcoming substance abuse
    • working substantial hours in paid employment while a full-time student, as required by economic circumstances
    • facing discrimination or other barriers to higher education as a recent Canadian immigrant
    • undertaking personal care-giving or other unpaid responsibilities, as required by family and/or economic circumstances

  2. Work or Life Experience
    For some applicants, work or life experience, rather than academic achievement, is the best indicator of their suitability and capacity for legal education. For example, this would apply to you if you:

    • did not pursue any postsecondary education; or
    • have been out of an academic environment for several years.

     
    You may wish to highlight how your experiences demonstrate that you possess the skills necessary to succeed in law school.

    Examples of candidate experiences include the following:

    • achieving leadership roles at work
    • managing the demands of full-time parenting
    • overcoming personal adversities
    • demonstrating commitment to life-long learning
    • making significant contributions to work or community, whether paid or unpaid

  3. Performance Considerations
    These considerations apply if you have special circumstances or non-academic commitments that negatively impacted a portion of your academic performance. Examples of candidate experiences may include the following:

    • significant involvement in student government or high-level sports
    • significant health issues
    • lack of accommodation for a disability that impeded LSAT performance
    • illness/death of a parent or close family member

  4. Diversity
    Osgoode aspires to admit an entering class that is enriched by perspectives and experiences that fully reflect the diversity of the Canadian population. Diversity factors extend beyond equity factors to include considerations that may not be related to systemic barriers to equal access to education. Particular attention is paid to exceptional personal characteristics or experiences that are under-represented in the Osgoode student body or in the legal profession. Examples of candidate experiences include the following:

    • place of residence (e.g., where you lived as a child)
    • languages understood and spoken
    • cultural background
    • religious or conscientious beliefs
    • age
    • other special skills, talents or experiences that have produced a distinct intellectual perspective

References

You must provide at least 2 letters of reference. We strongly recommend you provide at least 1 academic letter. The other reference may be academic or non-academic.

Please select referees who have extensive personal knowledge of you and are in a position to make statements concerning your academic capabilities, character, personal qualities, employment performance and/or volunteer capacity, as well as special circumstances, if applicable.

Letters of reference must be confidential and submitted directly by the referee to OLSAS.

Transcripts

Official transcripts are required for all postsecondary study and must be sent directly to OLSAS from the institution.

Foreign and Private Universities

Please ensure that your foreign credentials are equivalent to those of a recognized Canadian university degree before you apply.

An evaluation of foreign credentials (based on a course-by-course assessment) that specifies Canadian degree, grade and credit hour equivalency from World Education Services (WES) is required.

Language Proficiency

If applicable, you must provide proof of English-language proficiency.

Read more about acceptable English-language proficiency examinations and minimum scores.

Extended-Time Program

Osgoode is committed to enhancing the accessibility and flexibility of the JD Program. The Extended-Time Program allows students, whose life circumstances prevent them from engaging in full-time study, to reduce their courses to approximately half the required load. With the support of Osgoode faculty and staff, students in the Extended-Time Program will tailor a class schedule that meets their needs.

The decision to admit you to the first year of the Extended-Time Program is made only after you are admitted to Osgoode on a full-time basis. Upon acceptance of your place in the JD program, you must submit a statement to the Admissions Committee as soon as possible explaining why you are unable to carry a full course load.

If you are an upper-year student, you may apply to enter the Extended-Time Program at any time in your law studies by submitting a written request and supporting rationale(s) to the Assistant Dean, Students.

The Admissions Committee believes such rationales would include, but not be limited to the following:

  • pregnancy and childbirth;
  • family obligations such as child care or care of elderly, ill or disabled family members;
  • temporary or long-term student illness or disability; or
  • financial hardship.

Decisions for first-year admission to the Extended-Time Program are normally made in July.

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Joint Program Options

JD/MBA Joint Program

Osgoode Hall Law School, in conjunction with York University’s Schulich School of Business, offers a 4‑year program leading to a joint Juris Doctor/Master of Business Administration (JD/MBA) degree.

In the 4-year joint program:

  • your first year is spent in either the Law School or the School of Business,
  • your second year is spent in the first year of the other program, and
  • the remaining 2 years are spent taking courses in both programs.

As a successful applicant, you will be asked to select the program in which you prefer to commence your studies. While such preferences are given utmost consideration, the faculties of both schools reserve the right to designate initial programs.

Applicants to the joint program must apply separately and satisfy the entrance requirements of each program. You must indicate your interest in the joint program on both applications.

Read more about the JD/MBA program and the Schulich eligibility requirements, application process and deadlines.

JD/MES Joint Program

The Juris Doctor/Master in Environmental Studies (JD/MES) joint program, offered by Osgoode Hall Law School and the Faculty of Environmental Studies (FES), was established in 1974. It is the first and only program of its kind in Canada.

The purpose of the joint program is to encourage integration of these 2 critical fields and to prepare you for a range of opportunities in environmental affairs, law or planning. This unique program brings together one of Canada’s premier law schools with one of its most innovative environmental studies faculties.

The program draws upon Osgoode’s recognized strength in social justice, environmental planning, and Indigenous law, as well as the Faculty of Environmental Studies’ acclaimed leadership in interdisciplinary environmental education.

This joint program requires a minimum of 3.5 years of full-time study, including full‑time registration during the fall, winter and spring/summer academic terms. You may commence your studies either at the FES or Osgoode.

  • In year 1, you register full time in 1 faculty and complete the first year of that faculty’s program.
  • In year 2, you complete the first‑year program at the other faculty.
  • During years 3 and 4, you register full time at Osgoode during the fall and winter terms.
  • You spend the summer after year 3 at FES, working on your MES degree.

You must apply and be admitted separately to the MES and JD programs. You will indicate your interest in the joint program on your applications. Upon admission to both faculties, you are admitted automatically to the joint program.

JD/MA in Philosophy Joint Program

The Juris Doctor/Master of Arts in Philosophy (JD/MA [Phil]) joint program, offered by Osgoode Hall Law School and the Department of Philosophy at York University, provides students with the opportunity to develop skills and acquire knowledge at the intersection of the naturally related disciplines of law and philosophy.

It is the only program of its kind in Canada and draws on Osgoode’s strength in legal theory and the Department of Philosophy’s strength in moral, political and legal philosophy. The program is ideal for students who wish to pursue further postgraduate study and ultimately an academic career or opportunities in a variety of careers in legal practice.

You must apply, meet the admission requirements of and be admitted separately to both the JD and MA programs. You must indicate your interest in the dual program on your application.

The program is structured as follows:

  • You spend your first year of the joint program in the JD program.
  • In the second year, you enter the MA program on a full-time basis and complete the course work component of the MA degree.
  • In the third and fourth years, you return to the JD program, but take an additional graduate course in philosophy. You also complete a major research paper on a topic at the intersection of law and philosophy. This paper is jointly supervised by a faculty member in the law program and a faculty member in the philosophy program.

Successful completion of the dual program is validated by issuing 2 degrees: 1 for the JD and 1 for the MA. Your transcripts will include a clear statement of the nature of the dual program.

JD (Common Law)/LL.B (Civil Law) Dual Degree Program

Osgoode Hall Law School and the Université de Montréal, Faculté de Droit have established a program for granting the Osgoode degree in common law and the Montréal Bachelor of Law (Civil) to law graduates of either institution.

As an Osgoode JD graduate, you are given 2 years’ advanced standing toward the Montréal Bachelor of Law (Civil) and, upon successfully completing 1 year of study at the Université de Montréal, you will be awarded that degree.

Likewise, as a Montréal graduate, you are granted 2 years’ advanced standing at Osgoode and can obtain the Osgoode JD degree with 1 year of study.

You apply to your faculty in your third year of study for consideration to complete your fourth year at either Osgoode or Montréal. In your fourth year at either school, you must complete, on a full-time basis, many first-year courses. You then have the option to enroll in a variety of upper-year courses.

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Student Financial Services

Osgoode Hall Law School continues to expand and strengthen its financial assistance programs. Last year, we awarded more than $5 million in total funding to students.

Our primary objective is to ensure that all students who are admitted to the Law School have the necessary financial information, resources and support to complete their studies.

Online Financial Statement

We strongly recommend that you complete the online Financial Statement as part of your application to Osgoode Hall Law School. The information provided has no bearing on the merits of your application or your eligibility to enter law school. Rather, it is required from all first-year students who wish to be considered for entrance scholarships, the Early Bursary Notification Program and the Income Contingent Loan Program.

If you do not complete the online Financial Statement when you apply, you will not be considered for entrance scholarships, the Early Bursary Notification Program or the Income Contingent Loan Program.

Scholarships and Awards

Osgoode Hall Law School is proud of its numerous scholarships and awards and is grateful to the many alumni, friends, law firms and corporations who have generously donated to the Law School. Financial assistance at Osgoode has been buoyed by the Ontario government’s gift matching program.

Today, Osgoode is pleased to have a substantial total award endowment dedicated to students. Osgoode offers numerous entrance scholarships based on academic excellence and financial need.

By applying to Osgoode Hall Law School and completing the online Financial Statement with your application, you are automatically considered for all scholarships and awards.

Scholarships range in size from a few thousand dollars to our most prestigious, renewable entrance scholarships, valued at $30,000 over 3 years of study. In your upper years, you are eligible for additional scholarships and course prizes that are awarded primarily based on academic merit. We also offer a variety of awards specifically for graduating students that aim to alleviate debt upon graduation.

Osgoode has an extensive paid summer internship program. The internships span a variety of areas of law and include local, national and international placements. Students selected to participate in summer internships are funded at $10,000 each for the summer.

Comprehensive Bursary Program

Osgoode fully understands the increasing financial shortfalls and mounting debt that law students face today. That is why we have a comprehensive bursary program through which we typically award more than $3 million annually to students with financial need.

Bursaries are non-repayable grants that help offset student debt. The online bursary application may be completed in early September and bursary allocations are made in November.

To be eligible, you must do the following:

  • apply for government funding and a student line of credit and
  • provide documentation to support the financial information reported in your online application.

Decisions are based on a variety of factors, including a student’s resource-expense shortfall, accumulated educational debt and personal circumstances, such as caregiver status or exceptional medical expenses. Annual bursaries may range from $1,500 to $15,000 for those students documenting the highest level of financial need.

As a student entering Osgoode in fall 2020, you can take advantage of our Early Bursary Notification Program. This program allows us to tell you in advance whether, based on your current financial situation, you would qualify for a bursary in the fall. To access this program, you must complete the online Financial Statement at the time you apply.

If you do not receive an early bursary notification, you are still strongly encouraged to apply to Osgoode’s bursary program in September as your financial circumstances may change when you begin the JD program.

If you do receive an early bursary notification, you must also apply to the bursary program in September to provide complete financial information and supporting documentation so the Student Financial Services Office can accurately assess your level of need.

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Income Contingent Loan Program (ICLP)

Overview and Objectives

As part of our commitment to promoting the financial accessibility of law school, we designed the innovative Income Contingent Loan Program (ICLP) that provides bursary and loan funding to cover the full cost of tuition. This program is the first of its kind at a Canadian law school.

For 2020, we will select 7 eligible students to participate in the ICLP. The recipients will not pay tuition while they are in law school but will agree to repay the entirety of their loan, after graduation, over a 10-year period.

In any year of the repayment period, the loan repayment may be forgiven, in whole or in part, based on the individual’s income level.

The primary objective of the ICLP is accessibility through opportunity. The ICLP encourages and enables highly talented and qualified potential law students to apply for admission to Osgoode when they otherwise would not have, due to the “sticker shock” of tuition and other financial barriers.

In addition, the ICLP enables participants to pursue careers after law school without the burden of significant debt and overwhelming loan repayment obligations impacting their choices.

Loan Amount

In each of the 3 years of law school, the loan will be the amount of tuition minus a minimum of the then highest bursary amount. Currently, the highest bursary amount is $15,000. For example, if you start your legal studies in September 2020, you would receive approximately $45,000 in bursary funding over 3 years of law school. The remainder of your tuition would be covered through loans.

Application and Selection Process

Before November 1, 2019: If you wish to apply for the ICLP, you must complete the online Financial Statement and the Supplemental ICLP Form before the November 1, 2019, application deadline. The Supplemental ICLP Form includes written responses to augment the financial information you provide as part of your online Financial Statement.

You are strongly encouraged to provide as much information in the Supplemental ICLP Form as you feel necessary to ensure the Committee is fully aware of your circumstances and level of need. You will be able to access these forms through your Osgoode-specific OLSAS school submissions.

December 2019 to February 2020: Offers of admission to ICLP applicants include a reminder that they must provide supporting documentation to Osgoode’s Student Financial Services Office within 2 weeks of the date of their offer. Supporting documentation must be provided by email in a single PDF document.

March 2020: Applicants who are short-listed will be interviewed in early March by members of the ICLP sub-committee of the Admissions Committee. ICLP offers will be communicated on or before March 25.

April 1, 2020: The deadline to respond to the ICLP and admission offers.

Note: Due to the timing described above, the January and later LSAT scores will not be considered for ICLP applicants. Therefore, if you wish to be considered for the ICLP, please be sure you write the LSAT by November 2019.

Eligibility and Selection

Eligibility and selection criteria for the ICLP include high financial need and an aptitude for legal studies.

Selection is based on the most compelling circumstances. Recipients will be highly talented potential law students who have high financial need due to financial or other barriers they may face in accessing legal education.

  1. Financial need
    At a minimum, to be eligible you must meet the criteria for receiving the highest-level bursary from Osgoode. The basic criterion will be a resource-expense shortfall of greater than $20,000. In addition, you must demonstrate several other indicators of high financial need. These may include the following:

    • Barriers faced in obtaining equal access to education
    • High debt load (in past years, first-year high-level bursary recipients have had debt loads of greater than $30,000)
    • Extraordinary expenses, such as caregiving or medical expenses and minimal assets
  2.  

  3. Aptitude for legal studies
    The holistic admission criteria will be re-applied with a view to selecting the most highly talented and qualified law students.

You will be required to provide documentation that demonstrates your continued eligibility for the ICLP in your second and third years of the program.

Supporting Documentation

If admitted to Osgoode, you will be asked to submit supporting documentation for your ICLP application to Osgoode’s Student Financial Services Office within 2 weeks of receiving your offer of admission.

Refer to the Supplemental ICLP Form for a list of required documents.

Repayment Plan and Timing

The expectation is that you will begin to repay your loans approximately 2 years after you graduate from the JD program.

You will have up to 10 years to repay your loan. Each year, during the repayment period, you will be expected to pay back one-tenth of your loan and an annual administrative fee of $750. Annual loan repayments are due once per year in July.

Loan Forgiveness

You must apply to have a loan installment considered for loan forgiveness. Along with your application, you are expected to supply Osgoode’s Office of the Executive Officer with proof of your individual or household gross income (e.g., notice of assessment) from the previous tax year.

All or a portion of your loan and annual administrative fee may be forgiven. If your income is below a minimum threshold, your entire year’s repayment amount (loan plus administrative fee) may be forgiven.

If your income is above an upper threshold, there will be no loan forgiveness. If you fall in between these income thresholds, a portion of the loan may be forgiven, along a sliding scale.

In most cases, loan forgiveness is determined based on individual gross income. However, when your income is below the minimum threshold and there is a second income in your household, it is expected that you report household gross income. The median household income is applied to the loan repayment grid to determine if loan forgiveness will be granted.

In exceptional cases, extenuating circumstances may persuade the Law School to disregard the second household income when assessing for loan forgiveness.

Accelerated Repayment

You can repay your entire loan at any time. You will be charged the administrative fee only for the years in which you have an outstanding loan balance. E.g., If you repay your entire loan in the first year of your repayment schedule, you will pay the $750 administrative fee only once.

Special Circumstances

You can request a repayment deferral by providing proof of enrollment in full-time postsecondary studies, to a maximum of 2 years.

Read more about the Income Contingent Loan Program.

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Professional Student Line of Credit

Several financial institutions, including Royal Bank of Canada, TD Bank and Scotiabank, offer professional student lines of credit with favourable programs for Osgoode students. We encourage you to find the program that works best for you.

You may obtain a student line of credit from any financial institution for bursary application purposes. The Student Financial Services Office is pleased to provide guidance or contacts to help you learn more about what assistance is available.

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On-Site Financial Services Office

Osgoode has a fully staffed Student Financial Services Office that is responsible for the ongoing development and administration of Osgoode’s student financial assistance programs. The staff are available to discuss individual financial concerns and offer guidance. The Office also created, and regularly updates, an external award database that provides information about externally funded awards, prizes, essay competitions and more.

Read more about Student Financial Services and a list of awards, scholarships, bursaries and other forms of assistance.

Contact Information
Student Financial Services Office
Telephone: 416-650-8132
Email: financialservices@osgoode.yorku.ca

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Upper-Year Applicants

Deadlines

May 1, 2020
All upper-year applications, including transfer, Letter of Permission and National Committee on Accreditation (NCA) applications, are due. You must submit all documentation directly to OLSAS.

June 30, 2020
Third-party documents, including transcripts, confidential letters of reference and NCA recommendations are due.

July 2020
Decisions on transfer, Letter of Permission and NCA applications are typically made in July.

The number of openings in each upper-year category is dependent on the internal attrition rates at Osgoode and is usually quite small.

Your Application Package

A complete upper-year application package includes the following:

  • an OLSAS application
  • an upper-year Supplemental Information Form
  • a Personal Statement
  • a transcript of law grades
  • the home law school’s current grading practices (where available)
  • undergraduate transcripts (transfer applicants)
  • a valid LSAT score (transfer applicants)
    Note: Scores back to, and including, June 2015 are accepted (see LSAT).
  • a current academic letter of reference from a law professor who has taught you (transfer and Letter of Permission applicants)
  • corroborative documents (where applicable)
  • a Letter of Permission from your home law school (Letter of Permission applicants)
  • an NCA assessment report
  • an NCA report of challenge exams (where available)

All upper-year applicants must provide proof of English-language proficiency unless:

  • English is your first language or
  • you completed at least 1 year of full‑time study at an accredited postsecondary institution in a country (or institution) where English is the official language of instruction.

Read more about English-language proficiency.

Transfer and Letter of Permission Applicants

Transfer Applicants

If you have successfully completed a minimum of 1 year at another law school, you may apply to transfer to the second year of the JD program at Osgoode Hall Law School.

You must have completed at least 1 year of a common law program that the Admissions Committee judges to be the substantial equivalent of Osgoode’s first-year program. Osgoode’s program includes courses in Canadian Criminal Law, Contract Law, Tort Law, Property Law, Canadian Constitutional Law, Civil Procedure, Legal Research and Writing, and Canadian Legal Ethics. If you have not yet completed 1 or more of these courses, you will be required to do so as part of the upper-year program at Osgoode.

You will receive the JD degree from Osgoode Hall Law School upon successfully completing all pertinent requirements.

Note: If you are a transfer applicant and you have not written the LSAT, you must do so by March in the year you apply.

Letter of Permission Applicants

If you are currently studying at another law school, you may apply to enroll for a maximum of 1 year at Osgoode Hall Law School on a Letter of Permission basis. Although you would be studying at Osgoode, your work would be credited toward your law degree at your home law school. The law school giving the Letter of Permission would reserve the right to approve your program of study with regard to course load and content. If you are admitted on a Letter of Permission basis, you are not eligible to transfer into Osgoode’s JD program.

Admission Decisions for Transfer and Letter of Permission Applicants

Ordinarily, you are considered for admission as a Transfer or Letter of Permission applicant only if you have obtained a minimum “B” average in your previous law study. In the past, successful transfer students have typically had at least a “B+” average in their first-year law studies.

An indication of class rank or standing should be included in at least 1 reference if it is not included on your law school transcript. At least 1 academic reference must be provided from a law professor who can comment on your abilities.

The Admissions Committee will consider your complete application, including undergraduate grades and LSAT (transfer applicants), quality of institution, grade distribution, reasons for the application and Osgoode’s ability to accommodate any required first‑year courses.

The Admissions Committee will generally make decisions in accordance with the following priorities:

  1. Up to 50% of the available positions will be awarded to applicants based on the strength of their law school academic records to date. It is therefore critical that we receive an indication of your standing relative to the rest of your class.
  2. No less than 50% of the available positions will be awarded to applicants who demonstrate compelling, compassionate circumstances that require a transfer to Osgoode Hall Law School. Academic qualifications are not ignored in this subgroup; rather, they are used to aid in deciding between candidates who demonstrate comparable compassionate circumstances. Within this subgroup, priority will be given to the following:
    • persons who must re-locate to the Toronto area due to their own medical condition or that of an immediate family member;
    • persons who demonstrate extreme financial hardship occasioned by study outside of the Toronto area; and
    • persons who would be separated from their dependents where separation to date has been extensive and commuting is not a viable option.

National Committee on Accreditation Applicants (Quebec- and Foreign-Trained Lawyers)

Osgoode Hall Law School is prepared to admit a limited number of applicants as non-degree students when their law studies and experience are assessed by the National Committee on Accreditation (NCA).

Successful applicants are admitted to upper-year courses offered at the Law School, subject to space availability, to meet the Canadian JD equivalency requirement as set out in the NCA assessment report.

Osgoode does not offer any first-year courses to NCA students. Students admitted to meet the law course requirements set by the NCA do not receive the Osgoode JD degree.

The primary criterion for assessing applications is the perceived likelihood that the applicant will successfully complete the required program of study as set out in the NCA recommendation letter.

The Admissions Committee will consider an applicant’s complete application, including the results of their NCA Challenge Examinations and Osgoode’s ability to accommodate their placement in upper-year courses.

Preference is given to applicants:

  • who are required to complete upper-year courses there is availability in and
  • who were unsuccessful in meeting such course requirements by way of NCA Challenge Examinations.

NCA applicants should be advised that interviews for articling placement in Ontario generally take place during the summer, 1 full year prior to the start of the placement.

You are advised to contact the Law Society of Ontario, Office of the Registrar, to confirm procedures and deadline dates, by calling 416-947-3315.

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Housing

Welcome to Osgoode Chambers

As an Osgoode student, you will have access to convenient on-campus housing options at York University.

In particular, you will have the benefit of applying to live in Osgoode Chambers, a comfortable and affordable home away from home located minutes from the Law School and reserved for law and graduate students.

In addition to establishing great friendships and professional relationships from the start, this residence allows access to upper-year mentors who offer invaluable support and guidance as you begin your legal studies at Osgoode.

Suites are allocated to incoming JD students on a first-come, first‑served basis. You can apply for housing once you have firmly accepted Osgoode’s offer of admission. We encourage you to apply to Osgoode Chambers as early as possible. Pending availability, applying by June 1 will highly increase your chances of securing a unit.

You may choose to remain in your apartment for the entire 3 years of your program or for 1 or more semesters only. You are required to provide 60 days written notice to vacate.

Read more about Osgoode Chambers.

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Supplemental Information for All Applicants

Deferral of Admission

You are encouraged to apply in the year you wish to enroll in.

Requests by newly admitted first-year applicants for a 1-year deferral are considered on an individual first-come, first-served basis and are granted (up to a maximum of 20 per year). These are granted in exceptional circumstances at the discretion of the Assistant Dean, Students, and the Chair of the Admissions Committee. Email the Admissions Office for more information.

Interviews

The Admissions Committee may, on occasion and by invitation, interview applicants to assist in the selection process. Applicants are primarily assessed on the basis of application documentation. Applicants may not request a personal interview.

Reconsiderations

The Admissions Committee may reconsider an application only in the case of a procedural anomaly in the administrative process. Applicants must email the Admissions Office within 10 days of the decision date to request a reconsideration.

Note: Reconsideration of a file is based solely on the information available at the time of the original decision.

Fee Waivers

Application for a waiver of the Osgoode portion of the application fee ($100) can be obtained by emailing the Admissions Office. Applicants must demonstrate financial hardship and provide corroborative documentation. Requests must be made prior to the November 1, 2019, application deadline to ensure a timely application.

Retention of Materials

All materials submitted by or on behalf of an applicant will be used solely for admission purposes and will be kept confidential. The materials become the property of the Law School and may be destroyed following the year the application was made.

Previous Applications

Osgoode does not retain applications from previous admission cycles. Applicants must re-apply for admission through OLSAS and re-submit all required documentation, including current letters of reference.

Late Applications

All application materials are due at OLSAS by November 1, 2019. The Admissions Committee strongly believes that adhering to the deadline (with exception only for compelling and extenuating circumstances corroborated by documentation) is the best way to ensure fairness among all applicants.

Requests for late applications should be directed to the Admissions Office.

False or Misleading Information

Providing false or misleading information or failure to provide material information will invalidate the application and will result in immediate rejection or in the revocation of an offer of admission and/or registration.

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Contact Information

Please direct all OLSAS-related inquiries to OLSAS (e.g., inquiries about application submissions or the receipt of documents).

Osgoode-specific admission and application inquiries should be directed to Osgoode Hall Law School.

Telephone: 416-736-5712
Fax: 416-736-5618
Email: admissions@osgoode.yorku.ca

In person or by mail:
Osgoode Hall Law School York University
1012 Ignat Kaneff Bldg.
4700 Keele Street
Toronto ON  M3J 1P3

For More Information

Osgoode invites you to our Fall Open House on Saturday, October 19, 2019. Visit our website for information about our Open House.

To arrange an on-campus visit with a student ambassador or an advising appointment, contact the Recruitment Office.

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