OLSAS – Osgoode Hall Law School (York University)

Last updated: August 20, 2020

Note: This application guide contains information for fall 2021 admission.

University program information is subject to change. View the application for the most up-to-date details.

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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 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 Juris Doctor (JD) program and the engaged, vibrant and intellectual community for which Osgoode is known.

We are particularly committed to supporting access to legal education. For those who might 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 program that meets their unique needs and challenges. Our Income Contingent Loan Program (ICLP) 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”.

Learn more about our faculty, students and programs, including experiential education and international opportunities.

Our Admission Policy

Our 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, 2020.

Application Category

We have 2 application categories: General and Indigenous.

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

We are committed to increasing Indigenous representation in the legal profession and strongly encourage 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, we will strongly consider your service and involvement or leadership within your community, on Indigenous issues or within Indigenous circles. 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.

Indigenous Law Centre Summer Program

Depending on the strength of your academic file, your offer of admission to Osgoode Hall Law School may be conditional upon successfully completing the Indigenous 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 Indigenous Law Centre Summer Program. Upon successful completion of the 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.

We do not require all Indigenous applicants to complete the summer program at the University of Saskatchewan as a condition of entry into first year. If you receive an unconditional offer of admission, attending the Indigenous 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 Indigenous Law Centre Summer Program, you may email them at native.law@usask.ca or email Lori Mishibinijima, Osgoode’s Program Manager, Indigenous Initiatives and Reconciliation.

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.

Applicants with Fewer Than 3 Years of University

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.

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).

LSAT

You are required to take the LSAT. We consider 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 2016) may be used. To apply to enter the program in September 2021, you must complete the LSAT by January 2021.

Note: If you wish to apply for Osgoode’s ICLP, you must complete the LSAT by November 2020.

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.

The testing centre should send English-language scores directly to Osgoode at:

Osgoode Hall Law School, York University
1012 Ignat Kaneff Building
4700 Keele Street
Toronto ON  M3J 1P3

Email us if the testing centre will not send scores directly to us.

Read more about English-language proficiency.

Admission Decisions

Admission decisions are made based on a holistic assessment of your entire file (in line with our 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.

We make admission decisions 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, note that we may make decisions before final transcripts are issued.

Application Components

Your application must include:

  • An OLSAS application
  • An LSAT score
  • An Autobiographical Sketch and verifiers
  • A 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)
  • A financial statement (if you wish to be considered for entrance scholarships and/or the ICLP)

Notes:

  • If you have cited circumstances which impacted your academic performance, or are otherwise relevant to your application, we encourage you, where possible, to provide corroborative documentation. This might include medical documentation, proof of economic circumstances or letters from individuals with knowledge of the cited circumstances. Such information is helpful to the Admissions Committee.
  • 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 1 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:

    • living with physical, psychological, sensory or learning disabilities
    • 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
    • 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 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:

    • 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:

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

     

  4. Diversity
    We aspire 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:

    • 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.

Select referees who have extensive personal knowledge of you and can 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

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

We are 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 our 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:

  • 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.

We typically make decisions about first-year admission to the Extended-Time Program 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
  • your 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.

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

Read more about the JD/MBA joint 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 our 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.

The program is structured as follows:

  • 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 must indicate your interest in the joint program on your applications. You are automatically admitted to the joint program upon being granted admission to both faculties.

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 you 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 our 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 a career 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 joint 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. A faculty member in the law program and a faculty member in the philosophy program jointly supervise this paper.

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

We continue to expand and strengthen our 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 if you wish to be considered for entrance scholarships and/or the Income Contingent Loan Program.

Scholarships and Awards

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

Today, we are pleased to have a substantial total award endowment dedicated to students. We offer 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 entrance scholarships

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.

We have an extensive paid summer internship program, which spans a variety of areas of law and includes local, national and international placements. Students selected to participate in summer internships are funded at $10,000 each for the summer.

Comprehensive Bursary Program

We fully understand 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. You may complete the online bursary application in early September and are eligible to reapply for further funding in each year of study. We allocate bursaries at the end of November.

To be eligible, you must:

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

Decisions are based on a variety of factors, including your 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.

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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 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 2021, we anticipate selecting 7 eligible students to participate in the ICLP. If selected, you will pay no tuition while in law school, but will agree to repay the entirety of your loan, after graduation, over a 10-year period.

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

The primary objective of the ICLP is accessibility through opportunity. The ICLP encourages and enables highly qualified potential law students to apply for admission to Osgoode when they otherwise would not, due to the high cost 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 2021, you will receive approximately $45,000 in bursary funding over 3 years of law school. The remainder of your tuition will be covered through loans.

Application and Selection Process

Before November 1, 2020: If you wish to apply for the ICLP, you must complete the online Financial Statement and the Supplemental ICLP Form. The Supplemental ICLP Form includes written responses to augment the financial information you provide as part of your online Financial Statement.

We strongly encourage you 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 2020 to February 2021: If you apply to the ICLP and receive an offer of admission to the JD program, you will receive a reminder alongside your offer letter to provide supporting documentation to our Student Financial Services Office within 2 weeks of the date of your offer. Supporting documentation must be provided by email in a single PDF document. Refer to the Supplemental ICLP Form for a list of required documents.

March 2021: Members of the ICLP Sub-Committee of the Admissions Committee will interview short-listed applicants in early March. ICLP offers will be communicated on or before March 25.

April 1, 2021: 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, be sure you write the LSAT by November 2020.

Eligibility and Selection

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

    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:

      • barriers faced in obtaining equal access to education
      • a high debt load
      • extraordinary expenses, such as caregiving, medical or disability-related expenses and minimal assets

 

  1. 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.

Selection is based on the most compelling circumstances. Recipients will be highly talented potential law students with very high financial need.

You will be required to provide documentation that demonstrates your continued eligibility for the ICLP in each year in which you are enrolled in the JD program.

Read more about the ICLP, including loan repayment and forgiveness.

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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 terms and other banking benefits 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

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

Visit the Student Financial Services website to find 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, 2021
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, 2021
Third-party documents, including transcripts, confidential letters of reference and NCA recommendations are due.

July 2021
We typically make decisions on Transfer, Letter of Permission and NCA applications 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:

  • 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 2016 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)

As an upper-year applicant, you 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.

The testing centre should send English-language scores directly to Osgoode at:

Osgoode Hall Law School, York University
1012 Ignat Kaneff Building
4700 Keele Street
Toronto ON  M3J 1P3

Email us if the testing centre will not send scores directly to us.

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. Our 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. In addition, if you have not already done so in your first year of law school, you will have to complete the “Indigenous and Aboriginal Law Requirement”.

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 of 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 spaces will be offered 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 spaces will be offered 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:
    • 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 dependants where separation to date has been extensive and commuting is not a viable option.

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

We are 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.

We do not offer any first-year courses to NCA students. Students admitted to satisfy 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 our ability to accommodate their placement in upper-year courses.

We give preference to applicants:

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

If you are an NCA applicant, 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.

Note: Osgoode Professional Development (OPD) offers specific programs for internationally trained lawyers, including a Canadian Common Law LLM designed to meet the NCA requirements. To learn more, email Osgoode Professional Development or call 416-736-5182.

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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 may 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

We encourage you to apply in the year you wish to enroll in.

Deferrals are granted in exceptional circumstances at the discretion of the Assistant Dean, Students and the Chair of the Admissions Committee. There is a maximum of 20 deferrals granted per year. We encourage you to submit your request as early as possible. Email the Admissions Office for more information on our current deferral policy, including the deadline for submitting your request.

Interviews

We primarily assess you based on application documentation. The Admissions Committee may, on occasion and by invitation, interview applicants to assist in the selection process. You may not request an interview.

Reconsiderations

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

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. You must demonstrate financial hardship and provide corroborative documentation. You must make your request well in advance of the November 1, 2020, application deadline to ensure a timely application.

Previous Applications

If you are a repeat applicant, you 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, 2020. 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.

Direct requests for late applications to the Admissions Office.

False or Misleading Information

Providing false or misleading information or failure to provide material information will invalidate your 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

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

Direct Osgoode-specific admission and application inquiries 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 Open House, which will be taking place on Saturday, October 3, 2020. Visit the events section of our website for more information.

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

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