Osgoode Hall Law School celebrates 125 years of leadership in legal education

Osgoode Hall Law School
Osgoode Hall Law School, interior view of the Kaneff Building
Osgoode Hall Law School photograph of the building interior
Osgoode Hall Law School

Osgoode Hall Law School of York University will officially mark the 125th anniversary of its founding in 1889 with an Osgoode@125 Celebration on Tuesday, Oct. 7, at 12:20pm in Gowlings Hall. All are welcome.

Osgoode Dean Lorne Sossin will serve as master of ceremonies for the event, which will look back at Osgoode’s illustrious past – the first classes were held on October 7, 1889 – and celebrate the law school’s bright future.

Among the highlights of the Osgoode@125 Celebration will be the unveiling of a pair of commissioned art pieces by celebrated Gitxsan First Nations artist and master carver Ya’Ya (Charles) Heit; a preview of a film about Osgoode’s history by Juris Doctor (JD) graduate Quinn Harris ’14; and the launch of a 12-hour Twitter Contest that will make one Osgoode student club $1,125 richer.

“Osgoode is extremely proud to be celebrating this important milestone,” Sossin said. “Our 125th is an occasion for looking forward and looking back, but especially looking forward. This anniversary year corresponds with several important Osgoode projects, particularly around themes such as accessibility and the use of digital platforms, which will animate the law school in the coming years.”

In honour of the 125th anniversary, Osgoode Hall Law School has launched the following new initiatives:

  • an innovative five-year pilot program that will see a minimum of five JD students a year offered admission to the law school on an income contingent loan basis;
  • a student-led fundraising campaign to raise $125,000 for debt relief, which will be matched by the law school and again by Osgoode alumni;
  • the inaugural Anishinaabe Law Camp: Anishinaabe Naakinigewin Gabeshawin held Sept. 11 to 14, which saw about 40 law students and Osgoode and University of Victoria Law School faculty members travel to Neyaashiinigmiing (Cape Croker) to engage with Anishinaabe legal traditions and community-based learning; and
  • the Osgoode Digital Commons, an open-access institutional repository of the intellectual output of the law school.

Sossin said the 125th anniversary, which will run throughout the 2014-15 academic year, has presented Osgoode Hall Law School with multiple opportunities “to tell more of our stories to more communities.”

Visitors to Osgoode Hall Law School will see a display called the Osgoode History and Archives Project that aims to preserve the school’s past and advance research into its legacy of leadership and nation-building. The display consists of print and electronic materials, photographs, art, artifacts such as old books and exams, and archival records such as old yearbooks and other memorabilia.

In addition, Osgoode’s new website features a history page whose centrepiece is a timeline with historical vignettes from 1889 to the present. The history page also offers a look at alumni who have blazed the trail (“Osgoode Catalysts”) and presents the “Osgoode@125 Index” – 125 interesting factoids about a great law school that will continue to make history.