Second-year JD student Clifford McCarten chosen Osgoode’s Dean for a Day

Osgoode Hall Law School entrance to the Ignat Kaneff building

Second-year Juris Doctor student Clifford McCarten has been chosen as Osgoode’s 2014 Dean for a Day. McCarten’s winning essay will be published in an upcoming issue of Obiter Dicta and he will serve as dean of the law school on Thursday, March 6.

“I look forward to attending Clifford’s classes this Thursday while he moves into my office and assumes the duties of Dean,” Osgoode Hall Law School Dean Lorne Sossin said in an announcement to the Osgoode community.

McCarten, a father-to-be, has a Bachelor’s degree in Cultural Studies from Trent University, but is equally proud of his credentials as a bicycle mechanic, welder and framebuilder. After building a community bicycle co-op in Peterborough, he came to Osgoode to expand his work with low-income and marginalized groups. This intention was honed after nine months at Parkdale Community Legal Services.

He is an organizing member of the Osgoode Hall Law Union, and is looking toward “a scrappy future practicing, inter alia, anything flavoured with refugee, criminal and poverty law.”

McCarten says he is “a bit embarrassed” that his highest-profile moment at Osgoode involves whining about PDF files (the subject of his Dean for a Day essay submission), and would like “to emphasize that accessibility around tuition and institutional design are more important issues.”

“In my view, Clifford’s essay speaks to a broader range of how best to modernize life at Osgoode in keeping with our values and principles – a timely comment in light of this year’s Digital Initiative,” Sossin said.

This year’s essay contest elicited several excellent submissions. “I want to thank all of the students who took the time to submit many great essays about what they would do if they had my job,” said Sossin who also thanked Associate Dean Poonam Puri and Assistant Dean Mya Bulwa for serving as the contest judges. “Heartiest congratulations to Clifford. I look forward to trading places with him on Thursday.”

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