Osgoode advocacy course wins international award


The Professional Development Program of York’s Osgoode Hall Law School, in conjunction with the Advocates’ Society, has won an international award for outstanding achievement.

The International Association for Continuing Legal Education (ACLEA) will present an Award for Outstanding Achievement in the Best Program category to Osgoode and the Advocates’ Society for their annual course on Written Advocacy at the ACLEA annual meeting in San Francisco in early August.

The award is one of only three annual ACLEA programming awards granted to competitors representing more than 300 organizations worldwide.

Professional Development Program Director John Claydon (right) noted that the Written Advocacy course, one of 40 continuing legal education programs offered through the Osgoode Professional Development Program, draws on “experiential learning techniques” pioneered in Osgoode’s clinical courses and refined in the advocacy skills area in its Intensive Trial Advocacy Workshop.

“The award recognizes the value of collaborative and multidisciplinary programming,” Claydon said, “and confirms the importance of academic institutions in enhancing the lifelong learning of lawyers.”

Claydon singled out Stephen Armstrong of Wilmer, Cutler & Pickering, one of the top legal writing experts in North America, for playing an important role in the design and teaching of the program.

The Honourable Justice John I. Laskin of the Ontario Court of Appeal has also been a champion of the Written Advocacy course, generating support and enthusiasm among his fellow judges for it as a way of improving lawyers’ writing.

In making their award selection, ACLEA judges commented that the Written Advocacy course, which focuses on improving written legal advocacy skills, “uses a range of educational methods, brings in instruction from the highest levels of the Ontario judicial system, practitioners, law professors and outside consultants, and even attracts a waiting list for those who wish to be instructors in it.

“It brings a focus and intensity of instruction unmatched by many continuing legal education efforts,” said the ACLEA judges.

ACLEA members are professionals in the fields of continuing legal education and legal publishing. The ACLEA annual awards are highly competitive and winning projects represent the highest level of achievement for the staff and volunteers involved.

Osgoode Hall Law School of York University stands in the front rank of Canadian law schools. Established in 1889 and now the largest common-law law school in the country and also one of the oldest, Osgoode offers outstanding undergraduate, graduate and professional development programs in law.

Osgoode’s Professional Development Program is offered through one of York’s off-campus sites, the Professional Development Centre, located on the 26th floor of a high-rise office building at 1 Dundas Street West. The centre is also the home of the law school’s part-time master of laws degree programs and continuing legal education courses.