Osgoode’s Justice Design Project offers students insight into the legal profession

Nicole Aylwin
Nicole Aylwin

York University’s Osgoode Hall Law School and the Winkler Institute for Dispute Resolution have joined forces to present one of the first programs of its kind in Canada – the Justice Design Project – an exciting week-long workshop in August for postsecondary students interested in learning about the legal profession and the future of law and innovation.

Taught by leaders in the areas of legal innovation and access to justice including several Osgoode faculty members and the directors of the Winkler Institute, the Justice Design Project will bring together small teams of students in a hands-on environment to learn about innovation, its various tools and methods, and how these tools are applied in the justice sector.

“We think this is a great way of connecting with postsecondary students who want to learn about the justice system across disciplines, acquire skills that can be applied to their studies and in practice, and gain insight into the legal profession and the future of law and innovation,” said Nicole Aylwin, assistant director of the Winkler Institute, who will be one of the workshop instructors.

“To improve the justice system we need to try new things,” added Aylwin, noting that the students will use a variety of design tools such as idea generation, prototyping, problem visualization and storyboarding to tackle a design challenge that addresses a real

The fee for the non-credit workshop, which will be held in the Paul B. Helliwell Centre at Osgoode Hall Law School from August 24 to 28, is $599.00 on or before May 15 and $699.00 after May 15. Subsidies are available for students who demonstrate financial need.

Aylwin said creative problem-solving, strategic thinking and the ability to collaborate are skills needed in all professions, but they are particularly needed in the justice sector where new approaches are required to improve access to justice.

“By looking at the innovation design process and how this process is being used in the public sector, we will introduce workshop participants to new modes of problem-solving and strategizing,” Aylwin said. “Ultimately, the students will gain skills and knowledge that can be applied in their studies and career endeavours.”

To apply, students must be enrolled in (or accepted to) a university or college. Applications will be reviewed on a first-come basis. Applicants are encouraged to apply early as there are limited spots.

For more information about the Justice Design Project, including how to apply and information about financial aid, please contact Nicole Salama, program lawyer, Office of the Dean, at: nsalama@osgoode.yorku.ca or 416-736-2100 ext. 44596.